What music theatre can teach you about life

Music theatre is a genre with a rich and diverse history which continues to develop and evolve. Tyran Parke Head of VCA Music Theatre talks about its wide reach, and the physical and emotional journey of being a performer.

Music theatre is a fusion of three crafts: the disciplines of singing, acting and dancing. Most of us know of shows like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon and Hamilton. Each are very different and represent some of the many forms of music theatre, driven by a diverse range of music from opera through to hip hop.

As Tyran explains, humans love telling stories as a way of understanding the world and our environment, “Music theatre recognises there are many ways of bringing in contemporary music to tell stories.”

Performers are constantly upskilling for each musical and require a rigorous athletic discipline to dance, sing and act to a high standard. Most importantly, they also need to possess a strong sense of courage.

“Performers put themselves on the line over and over again. And keep morphing themselves into a range of characters and different stories. What that gives is you is a great breadth and appreciation of what it is to be alive and what it is to navigate your path in the world through this art form.”

The skills that are learnt in the theatre translate beyond the stage. Building your ability to communicate, practice empathy, and resilience are all important to personal and professional success, as well as developing flexibility and versatility.

One of the core skills developed during the study of music theatre is to adapt and respond creatively to changes in society. Ultimately, practicing as a music theatre performer is very much about questioning who you are and finding your individual voice within existing works. For Tyran, “My value in people learning music theatre, is not just that they can sing, act and dance well. But how they can take that training into their relationships whether it be personal, or professional and be a more evolved human being.”

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