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Where theater and psychology intersect. Blog, interviews & insight from a psychologist, about the shows YOU love.

Category: The Psychology Of Musicals

Hamilton – Sing Out, Louise

Hamilton – Sing Out, Louise

Ask fans of musical theater to name the best musical of all time, most will quickly say Gypsy. This 1959 musical is the penultimate stage mother story, led by a pedigreed creative team that included Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne, and Jerome Robbins and […]

Top 10 Musicals about Mental Health

Top 10 Musicals about Mental Health

Art is a powerful medium for understanding ourselves and each other. As one of those art forms, theater can elucidate and educate, allowing us inside of the internal lives of the characters through song and dance in a way that other genres cannot, making it […]

Hamilton and Bipolar Disorder – Why He Wrote Like He Was Running Out of Time

Hamilton and Bipolar Disorder – Why He Wrote Like He Was Running Out of Time

Hamilton: An American Musical is arguably and by all measures the most popular theater piece of the last one hundred years. The secondary market ticket prices are unprecedented (into the thousands of dollars for the best seats) and the show is sold-out well into 2018. The musical moved beyond Broadway […]

Come From Away and Trauma – The Healing Power of Community

Come From Away and Trauma – The Healing Power of Community

It happened sixteen years ago this week. The sky was falling, the fright was blinding. A sickening coordinated attack by humans on other humans. A sense that the world would never again be safe. Sounds like the least likely topic for a musical. Yet playing eight times a week […]

Dear Evan Hansen – Capturing Anxiety

Dear Evan Hansen – Capturing Anxiety

An adolescent male stands downstage, a searing hot spotlight singularly illuminating his isolation. The teen fumbles through his index cards, desperatedly searching for the lost place in his speech and an anchor for his fear. His lower lip trembles while this young man unevenly sucks in oxygen, trying to remain afloat. […]

Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Transgender Icon

Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Transgender Icon

Hedwig and the Angry Inch boasts the best rock score to ever grace the off-Broadway and Broadway stages. In addition to this brilliantly penned score, Hedwig, in all of her wigged glory, is one of the great transgender icons. Most articles about the recent 2014 Broadway […]

Burn All Night and Collective Trauma: Shall We Dance?

Burn All Night and Collective Trauma: Shall We Dance?

Burn All Night is a gritty immersive musical making its world premier at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. It follows young Bobby, freshly arrived in New York City, as he runs into his old friend, Holly and then tries to settle into his adulthood. […]

Waitress and Domestic Violence – Portraying Financial Abuse

Waitress and Domestic Violence – Portraying Financial Abuse

At the Brooks Atkinson Theater, Jenna Hunterson, the lead character in the musical Waitress, is abused by her husband eight times a week. We see Earl grab her roughly by the wrist, raise his hand to strike her, intimidate her with his physicality, and financially control her. The […]