Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Cindy Melby Phaneuf
This thesis is concerned with Elizabeth Swados’s musical, Runaways. The original production was preformed in New York City in 1978 after a ten-month long workshop where actual runaways were interviewed and their stories recorded for later use in production. The musical was a surprise hit, even though the reviews were mixed. It was successful, at least in part, because of its departure from what is normally expected of a musical. Following the influences of such musicals as A Chorus Line and Hair, Runaways was one of the original “concept musicals” which began to flourish in the 1970s. This musical was different than the more well known hits of Rodgers and Hammerstein because: it had no “book”; it was more serious in nature than most popular musicals; it contained an electric mixture of music, ranging from reggae to blues to country; it used a combination of professional young actors and real runaway teenagers; and it was an ensemble approach, meaning that the monologues and songs were not connected by a storyline, but rather the connection was the cast themselves.
Hays, Dan Patrick, "Runaways - then and now: A comparison of the 1978 original New York production and the 1992 University of Nebraska at Omaha production" (1993). Student Work. 3102.