Our Crowning Glory: SIX And The Path Of The Modern Progressive Musical
Marchiony, Samantha Eve
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The 2015 Broadway debut of the historical hip-hop musical Hamilton stands as the first in a new genre of theatre, the ‘modern progressive musical,’ which seeks to tell narratives from the past while resonating with modern audiences through the use of modern music, non-traditional casting, and socially progressive subtext. These ambitions have been best realized in SIX, the feminist pop musical based on the lives of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. This thesis will serve first as a historiography of the ‘modern progressive musical,’ exploring the applications of the genre’s key tenets in the musicals which precede SIX. It will then examine SIX on its individual merits, using a critical feminist lens to explore the nuances of Marlow and Moss’ approach to critiquing the patriarchal biases of both the past and present, and the means by which women can seek empowerment in spite of those biases.