Consent Based Considerations for the Musical Theatre

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Lusie Cuskey


Musicals have always tended to center romantic relationships, engaging these relationships both as a plot in their own right and, often, as a metaphor for broader social considerations. Despite a historical understanding of the form as light, many contemporary musicals engage explicit sexual content, and the formal conventions of all musicals means that even non-sexual content may feel particularly intimate for performers. Musical theatre is a field that expects high levels of vulnerability and availability, but it also tends to magnify the broader industry’s challenges of scarcity thinking and high pressure for actors to be easy to work with and eager to please; if actors are going to be able to navigate the tensions of the field with health and grace, they need the support of consent-based processes in their training institutions. This article explores the genre-specific challenges and opportunities of musical theatre, offering field-specific suggestions for cultivating consent-based creative spaces in the musical theatre.


[1] Deer and Del Vara, 352-353.

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