Theater Sometimes Deserves More Recognition Than Sports

11 Reasons Theater Scholarships Should Be More Popular Than Sports Scholarships

It's time we all recognized theater as something that requires just as much effort and skill as sports.

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Before you get angry at this headline, I'm going to preface this with a fact about myself: I love sports. I myself played volleyball and tennis all throughout junior high and high school, and I am forever grateful for the lessons I learned while participating in those sports, and I will always remember the joy they brought me.

But there is another thing that has been a part of my life longer than sports, and that's theater.

I've been in love with the stage since I was five. I was constantly in shows as a young student, and I loved every second of it. And while I may not do theater anymore, I have never stopped loving it and recognizing how much work goes into every show. Theater deserves way more credit and recognition than it is currently given to it, and I believe that starts with theater scholarships. In order to raise up the next generation of artists, they need to be given the proper tools in order to succeed. Here are thirteen reasons why I believe theater scholarships should be more popular than sports scholarships.

1. Theater is more competitive than sports, maybe even more.

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Sports try-outs are stressful, but I guarantee you there's nothing more stressful than competing against almost a hundred other people for a single role. At least with sports, there are multiple spots for people to try out for.

2. Athletes are not chosen for teams based on their appearance.

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Sure, height is a part of the criteria for getting chosen for a team, but the main component of getting on a sports team is ability. With theater, you have to be talented enough to have the role and look the part, as well. I can't tell you how many times I've been rejected from roles because I have red hair.

3. The people who work behind the scenes are just as important as the actors themselves.

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Sports teams have managers, but they tend to be more out in the open. In theater, there are stage managers, props masters, costume designers, lighting crews, and set designers. Without them, there would be no show. All their hard work should definitely be recognized.

4. Actors are just as committed to theater as athletes are to sports.

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Actors have to follow a vigorous rehearsal and show schedule, as well as staying on top of their assignments, jobs, and spending time with their friends and family. Sometimes rehearsals go until midnight. This is very much like a practice schedule for athletes.

5. Theater requires actors to have many skills, not just one.

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Athletes need to have all the basic athletic skills, but they usually just learn skills that are specific to their position. Actors have to be able to sing, dance, and act if they want to receive the roles they want.

6. Actors devote themselves to theater for years.

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Actors don't just develop their talent overnight! It takes years and years of practice in order to become the best they can be. This means constantly attending all kinds of lessons and rehearsals in order to become one of the best of the best.

7. Memorizing lines, lyrics, cues, etc. is not easy.

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Actors have to remember their lines, choreography, and cues all within a split second. This comes from hours of rehearsal and complete and total dedication to their role.

8. Theater helps people to develop a sense of drive.

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If any actor wants to succeed in theater, they need to give each role their all, whether they're the lead or in the ensemble. Just like any athlete who wants a top spot on their team needs to put all the effort they can into it, actors need to put all the effort they can into becoming the best they can be.

9. Theatrical productions are a great way to give back to the young community.

So many kids look up to actors and actresses, and their stories of pursuing their dreams help kids to realize they can achieve those dreams too. Without actors and actresses to give back to the community, so many kids would be without great role models in the art world.

10. Theater is a great way to escape.

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When actors perform in a show (and the audience comes to see a show), they find themselves being transported to a brand new place they've never been to before. They can find themselves in turn-of-the-century New York, Ancient Egypt, or even Oz. Sports still leave people in reality, but theater helps people forget reality for a while.

11. Theater brings so many people joy.

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It's nearly impossible not to smile when you either watch or are a part of a show. Sports definitely make people (especially myself) happy, but theater has a special kind of joy that's all its own. And that definitely deserves some recognition.

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Top 10 Most Overrated Musicals

Do you agree?
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What makes something overrated? If you google "Overrated" it will spit out "have a higher opinion of (someone or something) than is deserved." This is 100% true, in the theatre world it means something that's so well liked and talked about nonstop that doesn't need to be talked about as much as it is. This was taken as a survey on the All Things Broadway Facebook page and when stated a musical was asked to give an answer. This is my personal list with a mix of my responses and theirs. To be clear just because it is overrated doesn't mean it is bad or that I dislike the musical. Now here we go with what I think are the Top 10 Most Overrated Musicals

10. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

The 2014 Tony Award Musical that lasted for 905 performances on Broadway. This musical made the list simply because it won the Tony award over what I believe was better, even thought this show was very original, Aladdin or Beautiful. The story of the whole thing was decent, the musical wasn't catchy, didn't walk out of the theatre singing the songs.

9. Grease

The 1972 Tony Award Nominee has been done multiple times whether it be on Broadway, Regional theatre, tours, High Schools, and even on TV. This show made the list not just for how often it is done because of how the story ends and the message it leaves behind. The story falls short, a rushed end as the character arcs fall short and the message that you should change for the person you love.

8. Lion King

The 1998 Tony Award winning musical has been open on Broadway for around 19 years, and has played 7,849 performances as of September 4th 2016. This show was been open since forever and it is okay, yet is very unique with the puppets but it is an okay show. But it still has a ton of hype of this musical and it has been open for 19 years, and still brings in the big bucks for Broadway.

7. Les Miserables

The 1987 Tony Award winning musical has been done numerous amounts of time just like Grease. Besides it being done reivial after revival it is a great piece of musical theatre but the hype that the show gets is what makes it keep coming back. The show it's self doesn't need any hype because it is truly great, rather give lesser shows some hype.

6. RENT

The ground breaking Tony Award winning musical was something else when it first came out. Yet it is very overrated, for instance have you seen there rush lines and lotto lines it was basically the Hamilton of 1996. It has not many catchy songs that people leave singing and it is about multiple story lines which for a not so smart audience member won't be able to focus and will end up being not an engaging piece.

5. Chicago

You defiantly had this Tony Award Winning revival of a musical on the list. As when asked people to say why they thought Chicago was overrated someone said "If you want to dance sexy and 'naked' go find a pole. It's time to bring that one back to period dress". Which is interesting because that's what makes Chicago what it is yet that is why it is the Longest Running Musical and it has been open since forever.

4. Wicked

This is one of those shows that was hard to put on the list because of all the conservatory this one had. But at the end of the day Wicked has a good story but it is not the spectacular musical everyone thought it was. It gets so much hype and it has been open since 2003.

3. Phantom of the Opera


This is one of those shows that is full of reprises for most of the show, same consent theme of music if that makes any sense. This show as been open since 1988 and is declared the longest running show on Broadway which gives it a ton of hype. Phantom is "old" but not really fresh with the music type and effects and the show in general. But to me it is one of my guilty pleasures to see.

2. Cats

Cats is very hard to write about because of family connection to the show but it is very overrated. It is people in leotards pretending to be cats and they sing and dance. There is not really a great story in the musical. It is a tourist show for fluffy entertainment.

1. HAMILTON



There is nothing to say to this. But it's Hamilton ..... but I am not paying almost 1,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars to see theater, sorry Lin!

Yours Truly,

David Heguy




Cover Image Credit: Nashville Parent

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'The Jonathan Larson Project': A Tribute For An Artist Gone Too Soon

No day but today.

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I first listened to Jonathan Larson's magnum opus piece, "Rent," when I was fourteen years old. I was a mini-Broadway fan at the time, slowly discovering musicals that I knew meant a lot to other fans. As someone who had only previously listened to strictly rock musicals or the standard musical theatre style, "Rent" was a show that had blended both genres. When I finally finished listening to the show, I was hungry for more. I turned to the internet looking for more shows from this composer, Jonathan Larson.

I knew that "Rent" was Larson's first major show, written in 1996, so I expected to fall through a rabbit hole of eighteen years worth of musicals, each one better than the one before it. I expected to find interviews of Larson on YouTube, talking of his early days as a struggling composer but now having countless Tony Awards, a modern-day Sondheim. But when I typed in his name, I only found two musicals listed, "Rent" and "tick...tick...BOOM!" the latter being a posthumous, off-broadway release.

The morning of "Rent"'s first off-broadway preview performance on January 25th, 1996, Larson died of an aortic aneurysm at 35-years-old. He never got to see his show go onto a successful Broadway run (12 years to be exact, and the eleventh longest-running Broadway show of all time), win four Tony awards (including best musical), and receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (one of only nine musicals to ever receive the honor in the Pulitzer Prize's almost one hundred year history). His previously written one-man show "tick...tick...BOOM!" was rewritten and was given an off-broadway run in 2001.

As a young teenager, this was shocking to me, as it had just dawned on me that you could work your whole life toward a certain goal, and never see it come to fruition. In "Rent," the character Roger sings of his "One Song Glory," and unbeknownst to Larson, he was writing his own. "Rent" remains one of my favorite musicals, even after spending almost six years listening to, what feels like at this point, a hundred different shows. This show spoke for a whole generation, and with it's genius score paired with Larson's story, it has always stuck with me.

It's now 2019. "Rent" premiered twenty-three years ago. Larson, if he were still alive, would be 59. And this year, he came out with a brand new album.

Theatre historian Jennifer Ashley Tepper produced and directed a concert, and later this album, titled "The Jonathan Larson Project." The songs that are included a range from cut songs from "Rent" to music that was written, but never recorded or performed. As I sit here, currently listening to this album, I wonder if Larson was planning another show, some of these songs to be included.

The songs received new orchestrations, and five young, well-known musical theatre actors bring them to life. Krysta Rodriguez, one whose voice I can only describe as a force of nature, shines in her solo pieces, most notably "Out of My Dreams." Andy Mientus' contemporary alternative voice fits so well in "Valentine's Day" (a song that was in a few early versions of "Rent") and "SOS." Three newer actors on my radar, George Salazar, Nick Blaemire, and Lauren Marcus have all blown me away with their performances as well, most notably Salazar's powerful "Iron Mike," Blaemire's bittersweet "One of These Days," and Marcus' hilarious "Hosing the Furniture."

I have to give it to Tepper to putting this all together, and I am so happy that this album can open the floodgates to young theatre fans like I was, discovering Larson's genius.

In the final track, "Piano," you can hear Larson performing a demo of the song before it fades into the modern-day, as if Larson was there, performing with them. Through his artistry, he lives on and will continue to live on years after his death, having left a mark on the world.

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