Harold Prince Research Paper

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For the Solo Theater project I have chosen Harold Prince or rather his theory on Concept Musicals. After research on the life of Prince from his book Contradictions (Dodd, Mead & company) and biographies, I have been able to have background information that lead him to the world of theatre. Harold prince has often said he doesn’t enjoy performing and he doesn’t sing so why musical theatre? I have also learned about his major influence within the world of theater. His work producing and directing created an entire new genre of musicals. To understand this theory I had to understand the man behind it. Prince was adopted by Milton A. Prince. (A Life in the Theatre: Harold Prince." Playbill.) Rightful upbringing led him to finish school and serve…show more content…
In Contradictions he says “Mine was a family addicted to theatre.” ("1." Contradictions. N.p.: Mead, n.d. 1. Print) This is notable, because at this time many men went into finance; forced by their parents but he wasn’t. This freedom, allowed Harold's interest ignite. Thus, so when the chance to work for director George Abbott arose, he jumped aboard and became an assistant-stage manager. By this time in Harold Prince’s life he had completed school and left the army. In 1954 Abbott and Prince decided to produce a show together. He worked as a co-producer for the time being due to lack experience in the Broadway circuit. Abbott never approved of Prince’s dream to direct and being a great mentor to Prince he obeyed his wishes. Within a few years Abbott died suddenly of a heart attack and Prince wasted no time. By 1962 Prince directed his first musicals this went by the name of A family…show more content…
The two met during the production of West Side Story and worked together for around eight shows. Despite success Harold Prince was forced to temporarily stopped working due to money issues. (“7" Contradictions. N.p.: Mead, n.d. 144. Print) Throughout his productions, the theory of Concept Musicals started to emerge. A concept musical is defined as; when the musical’s statement is more important than the narrative. In other words the theme, or message is more important than the progression of character and their journey. Ironically enough Prince hated the term of “Concept Musicals” He thought it gave his shows negative attention and wrongful labeling. “The whole label that was put on our shows, the whole notion of the ‘concept’ musical, was one that I really resented. I never wished it on myself. It caused backlash and animosity towards the shows and us.” ( Craig Zadan Sondheim & co. 2nd edition) Prince and his lyricist referred to the shows as ‘unified’ and ‘integrated’ They to a certain extent believed there was a gap between the audience and actors. Musicals are hard to understand and bookless shows create that connection. Because in reality book musicals are very clean and served on a silver platter.While Concept Musicals switch ideas so often making the audience search for the message.Musicals and their ideas tend to be held in their own world,but Prince

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