One very popular question that students love to ask is whether they should "drop" the accent when they sing in musicals. As I'm sure you can imagine, I definitely have some thoughts on this! But when I started putting these thoughts into this blog post, I began to see a very interesting comparison:
Accents are exactly like musical theater songs!
I think it’s important to remember why we pay attention to accents in musicals in the first place. Accents are an incredible tool that we’re able to use to create even more vibrant worlds for audiences. Accents help us tell the story. I think that by “dropping” an accent in the songs of a show, we run the risk of halting the story’s progression. It wouldn’t make sense for a character with an accent to suddenly "drop” or “lose” that accent just because she’s now singing a song—think of how jarring that would be to audiences! You and your actors have worked so hard to develop truthful, authentic characters from a specific part of the world… why should music change these characters? Both songs AND accents Songs help move the story forward in the world of musical theater.