As an organization that holds community and collaboration as core values, The Musical Theater Project is committed to participating in organizational and structural changes to disassemble systems promoting white dominance and power in every area of our society.
We recognize that for more than a century, the classic American musical, when viewed through a contemporary lens, has been a racist art form springing from a Eurocentric tradition. This racism has often been unintentional, but it is the result of an indisputable fact: the art form was developed here mostly by white men telling stories mostly about white people for mostly white audiences. Black artists and stories are historically underrepresented in musical theater, and the number of musicals created by people of color is even smaller. So we at The Musical Theater Project must not assume that our work always speaks in universal terms when the backdrop for the art has been painted in white privilege.
Art both reflects the sins of our past and illuminates the possibilities of our future. We believe that song and story offer a unifying force that can bind hearts and minds together. The voices of musical theater are optimistic, hopeful. The art form can point to a tradition of being a welcoming place. In exploring musical theater, we have an opportunity to discover and rediscover ourselves as American citizens.
As a white-led organization, we pledge to confront the white privilege that resides in our work artistically and organizationally. We vow to learn, listen and do better. We value the potency of diversity and the importance of inclusion. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We stand with and support this movement to fight for social justice and change.
Musicals With Stories For, About or Created By People of Color
SHOW BOAT (1936)
CABIN IN THE SKY (1943)
STORMY WEATHER (1943)
CARMEN JONES (1954)
SOUTH PACIFIC (1958)
FINIAN’S RAINBOW (1968)
LADY SINGS THE BLUES (1974)
THE COTTON CLUB (1984)
SCHOOL DAZE (1988)
It is essential to expose children to musicals with representation at an early age. We highly recommend one of these for your next family movie night!