Case study (Producers)
The Case Study module is made up of two parts:
Case Study 1
The case study course will employ a combination of workshops, lectures and seminars including some guest lectures by specialists from the industry (choreographer, conductor, producer, director, critics) that will equip students to comprehend methodological problems pertinent to artistic collaboration. Students develop a critical approach to the production process, which aims to enable them to act as agents of change within the industry. Weekly case studies of representative examples of the genre will highlight the following topics:
- the libretto – forms and subjects
- the art of lyric-writing
- musical structure as dramaturgy
- alternative choreographic approaches
- staging, scenography and the impact of contemporary technology
- approaches to artistic collaboration
- the role of the producer in creating new musicals
- production and marketing – the aesthetics of the popular
- case study of a musical production
Students will develop their own ability to analyse the structure of musical theatre texts by way of small group discussion and argument led by experts in the field.
Case Study 2
The aim of this class is to gain a socio-historical understanding of individual musicals in their cultural context and to learn how to analyse musicals critically as popular cultural texts. In a succession of case studies representative of larger sociocultural issues, we will read a selection of mainly 20th century works from the canon of popular musical theatre as manifestations of their time. By comparing musical texts to each other and by relating them to theoretical approaches, the musicals emerge in their sociocultural and socio-political relevance as expressions of their cultural climate.
The class is taught chronologically alongside hallmark musicals from the beginnings of a European operetta tradition through early American musicals and Hollywood films to contemporary subversions, parodies and revivals of the genre. The historical component of this class is enriched by the introduction of a select number of cultural theory approaches surrounding the categories of race, class and gender, as well as more recent approaches indebted to spatial theory (e.g. Ecocriticism) and to constructions of the other (e. g. Orientalism). Thus, an overview of the social and cultural history of the musical is enriched with the practice of applied theoretical analysis of the musicals from a cultural studies perspective. We will also look at live performances of musical for this class. Two or three theatre excursions will be planned for this module.