Musical Theatre History

Discipline: Drama
Instructor: Snow Carr
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 1520
End: 1635
Field Work: Day 1 - Dublin - Thursday, 10 July | Ireland Download Syllabus

Whether you love the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals like The
Sound of Music, Stephen Schwartz’s sensation Wicked, the rock musicals
American Idiot and Mamma Mia or the new movie musicals Rock of Ages and
Les Misérables, this class will examine them all. Taught by a professional actress
and professor who currently has a student on Broadway, this class will explore
many of Broadway’s milestone musicals complimented by a collection of over
400 video clips, original Broadway cast albums, scores, librettos (scripts),
audio clips and photographs. Students will immerse themselves in the world
of the musical by studying some of the most influential composers, lyricists,
directors, choreographers, and performers that have contributed to the historical
development of this art form. By exploring the language of music, the art of drama
and the beauty of dance, you will investigate what it takes to bring musicals from
the page to the stage, and what makes them triumph or flop. Students will gain
insight into what really happens at an audition for a musical, how the world of
musical theatre functions and the effect television shows like Glee and Smash as
well as the resurgent popularity of movie musicals are having on the future of both
the Broadway musical and its audience. Also, we will examine composers from
several of the countries visited during the voyage who have had an impact on the
development of the musical theatre landscape including Andrew Lloyd Webber
(England), Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus (Sweden) and Irving Berlin
(Russia), as well as the work of American composers and librettists who have used
the countries we are visiting as settings for their musicals.

Field Work

Country: Ireland
Day: 1 - Dublin - Thursday, 10 July

Our adventure begins as we depart the ship and make our way to Dublin’s Theatre District where we will learn about the history of theatre in Dublin and take a look at a few of the major theaters - the Gate, the Abbey, the Gaiety, the Olympia and the Grand Canal.  We will then travel to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre where we will eat dinner together and attend a live production of the musical Dirty Dancing.  After the show we will have the honor of having a talk back with one of the actors from the musical and a backstage tour (if possible).  Our evening will conclude in an Irish pub where we will have a post-show discussion and then return to the ship. Academic Objectives: 1. To encourage the student to critically examine and discuss performances, performance spaces, acting styles and the influence of music on performance. 2. To expose the student to the experience of a live stage performance. 3. To interact with a professional performing artist.