There may be only one month dedicated to women’s history, but we need all 365 days in the year to appreciate the many contributions women make on and off the stage. Can you imagine a world without women onstage, behind the table, backstage or filling the seats? To help inspire me as I wrote this, I took a look through my Spotify and gathered 10 of my favourite leading lady ballads and decided to share! Additionally, I’ll share some of my favourite female composers and lyricists that you should check out if you’re not familiar with them!
These 10 songs capture complex emotions in each of these female characters, as do the leading ladies who play them. Now don’t get me wrong, we all like to play the ingenue or the girl next door and sing songs about falling in love sometimes – but as theatre evolves, so has the complexity and realism of female characters. While falling in love and being in love is complex, women feel and experience so much more than that.
What are some of your favourite power ballads?
Plenty of females are making impactful & meaningful music in our industry! Some work in teams, some are solo, and some have made music both ways. Here are 10 of my favourites:
· Sara Bareilles – Music & lyrics for Waitress
· Dolly Parton – Music & lyrics for 9 to 5
· Irene Sankov – Music & lyrics for Come From Away
· Nell Benjamin – Music & lyrics for Legally Blonde
· Edie Brickell – Music & lyrics for Brightstar
· Lynn Arhens – Music & lyrics for SO many shows – Ragtime, Seussical & Anastasia, to name a few
· Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, Music & lyrics for The Secret Garden
· Amanda Green – Music & lyrics for Hands on a Hardbody
· Lisa Kron & Jeanine Tesori – Music & lyrics for Fun Home
· Cyndi Lauper – Music & lyrics for Kinky Boots
Check some out – there could be some pieces to add to your book! Keep researching – there are so many more great musicals written by women!
Take a listen, have a google search, and let’s celebrate women’s history all year round by supporting females in our industry.
Thinking about a career in musical theatre? Apply to the ICMT!