What Hollywood’s Addiction to The Hero’s Journey is Doing to the Broadway Musical

major to minor

“Too many musicals are being made from films!” we cry.

But I don’t think the number of films becoming musicals is the real problem. If we want vibrant, innovative musicals, I think there’s a worse problem headed our way, assuming it’s not here already. Are you already familiar with the history of writing manuals for the screen, intentional and un-? You might like to skip this next bit. Otherwise, behold:


1949 – Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces is published. Campbell compares myths from many different cultures and eras, and finds they have so much in common that they constitute what he calls a monomyth . Here’s what Campbell wrote:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power…

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