Well, that’s a question that is going to be more accurately answered by looking at your individual community, but there are some general trends that we can point to that are true of many communities across the country. For example, thanks to Hamilton, innovative takes on historical themes are very popular right now. That means that classics with a historical leaning like Les Miserables and Miss Saigon are seeing a resurgence in popularity.
It would be unfair to not mention that Hamilton is also influencing a lot of playwrights at the moment. The catch rap music that is at the core of Hamilton has given many local writers a lot of inspiration, so do not be surprised if you see this type of music making its way into other genres of musical at the local level. Some of these will be surprisingly good and groundbreaking, while other productions might fail. However, the influence of that play cannot be understated, so this is a trend that is likely to continue into the 2018 calendar year.
Disney productions are also in right now. A lot of local organizations have announced their renditions of Disney tales for the 2018 season, and there’s no surprise here, either. The resurgence of the Disney label ever since Frozen came out in the theaters has been huge, and since this has been a part of the theater for ages, it’s only natural that the local theater reflects what’s going on in culture. Classics like Pinocchio, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and even Newsies are all affiliated with Disney, and all are gaining popularity at the local level. And, of course, there are the Broadway shows Aladdin and The Lion King that are still quite popular. While we might not see those ones at the local level yet, they are only a few years away from happening.
Speaking of social trends, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention plays like Dear Evan Hansen. This is a musical about bullying, suicide, and trying to fit in with your peers. This has been something that’s been in the news a lot, unfortunately, and it was only a matter of time before it was addressed in an artful and tasteful manner on Broadway. Yes, this is a tough play for some to watch, but it has important themes. Local theaters won’t be tackling this play yet as it is still fairly new on Broadway, but variations of this theme might be making their way to your neighborhood. This is an important issue to be addressed, and Broadway might be a leader in the theater business, but this is not the only place where tough topics can be discussed.
And finally, don’t forget about the classics. They are classics for a reason, after all. Whether it’s the musical or the dramatic variety, certain titles just never go out of style. The Pajama Game, Cats, Fiddler on the Roof, and more are certain to never fade away, and local theater carries the torch for these all the time. They are great shows and the local theater always provides a unique take on them.