The American Musical on Stage & Screen: An Interdisciplinary Extravaganza

September 24th, 2007

Conference:  The American Musical on Stage & Screen: An Interdisciplinary Extravaganza

UCLA October 12-14, 2007

Keynote speaker: Richard Dyer
Plenary speakers:  David Savran, D.A. Miller, Rose Rosengard Subotnik

From its complex origins on the New York stage, to its lush incarnations in the Hollywood studios, to its rich transformations all over the world, the musical has always been a genre that sought to place the pleasures of the extraordinary next to those of the commonplace. Its wide range of characters and situations has inspired and been inspired by an equally wide range of styles in music, dance, and theater. Operetta and pop ditties, social dance and ballet, vaudevillian shtick and high drama have all found a place on the capacious stage of the musical­a space where differences between styles and media, and among all sorts of people, become visible and audible as they negotiate the terms of their theatrical lives. The passionate struggles on stage and screen to accommodate, to appropriate, to endorse and reject, all find parallels in the intricate and sometimes contradictory responses of the musical’s audiences.

This conference responds to the musical’s variegated multiplicity by bringing together scholars from a multitude of disciplines such as musicology, ethnomusicology, theater, cinema studies, literature, and communications to work towards an understanding of the musical in all its manifestations. The conference and all its events are free.

Organizers:  Raymond Knapp, Mitchell Morris, Stacy Wolf

Research archives and libraries

July 20th, 2007

I have added to the sidebar on the right a list of several libraries and archives that have large collections of musical theatre materials. Please email me (dreside AT umd DOT edu) if you know of others that should be included.

CFP: The Musical Abroad

July 17th, 2007

Doug Reside is soliciting papers for a panel at the West End Musical Theatre conference described in the previous entry. Please email abstracts of any length to dreside AT umd DOT edu.

Today, when a musical is flown across the Atlantic (in either direction), a few minor changes are sometimes made to the text and score to “translate” the piece for the new culture. In the 19th and early 20th century, on the other hand, exported musicals were often so completely rewritten that the new piece would share little more than a title with its original. This panel will examine what the differences between the Broadway and West End productions of pre-1930s musicals reveal about American and British cultures and about the attitudes of each towards the art form of the musical. I would also like to invite discussion of the reasons why, in the later part of the 20th century, texts and scores became far more stable across international productions.

CFP: West End Musical Theatre, 1880-1930

June 29th, 2007

West End Musical Theatre, 1880-1930

A Conference at Goldsmiths College, London, April 10-11th 2008

We are inviting papers on any aspect of the academic study of West End Musical Theatre, 1880-1930. We are also looking for panel leaders and ideas for panels. Among the broad topics we have considered are:

Musical theatre and the idea of modernity
West End musical comedy
Early British musicals in musical theatre historiography
Music Hall
The economics of West End musical theatre
Gender and performance
Musicals and the idea of cultural value
Musical theatre as ‘popular culture’
Musicals and national identities

The ambition is to illustrate lectures with student performances – of scenes, songs, dance routines etc – where this is possible and appropriate. It would be helpful if proposals could indicate where there is congruence with this aim, advising us on the availability of texts and scores where necessary.

Ideas for lectures and panels, and offers to chair panels, should be sent to by July 31st, 2007.

New domain name

June 27th, 2007

I have registered the domain name for this page. You can now use the URI to get here.  The original address will still work as long as the list is hosted at the University of Maryland, but the new address may be a little more permanent.

Musical Theatre Studies LISTSERV launched

June 19th, 2007

I am pleased to announce the launch of the new Musical Theatre Studies listserv. This is a moderated, low-volume mailing list for scholars interested in the academic study of musical theatre. To subscribe, send an email to:

with the words

subscribe MUSICALS-L FirstName LastName

in the body. For example, when I subscribed, I sent an email to with no subject containing only the following in the body:

subscribe MUSICALS-L Doug Reside

Hope to see you all on the list!

CFP: Song, Stage and Screen III

June 18th, 2007

Call for Papers

Music in Gotham, in collaboration with Song, Stage and Screen III, invites proposals for presentations on topics in American musical theater, to be held on April 2-5, 2008 at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. We encourage abstracts of up to 250 words on 19th-century musical theater, the musical from 1900 through World War 1, and the musical from 1920 through the present. Proposals on other aspects of musical theater, including the issues of critical editions, revivals, and textual and musical problems are also welcome. Abstracts should be sent to MusicinGotham AT by August 30, 2007.

Song, Stage and Screen is the annual conference of the academic journal, Studies in Musical Theatre, which is published by Intellect Press. Previous Song, Stage and Screen conferences have been held at the University of Portsmouth, UK (2006) and University of Leeds, UK (2007). We are delighted to be bringing the 2008 conference to the USA, to be hosted in collaboration with Music in Gotham at the Graduate Center of City University of New York. It is expected that a selection of papers from this joint conference will be invited for submission to the journal and publication.

Dr. Dominic Symonds

Senior Lecturer in Drama

University of Portsmouth

Editor: Studies in Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre Studies

June 18th, 2007

Welcome to Musical Theatre Studies, the online hub for news and discussion relating to the academic study of musical theatre. Although the serious study of musical theatre is rapidly gaining interest in both the United States and the United Kingdom, the scholarly community, as yet, lacks an efficient online means of communication. It is the aim of this blog to meet this need. We will soon be posting calls for papers, academic job opportunities, book reviews, and other news items of interest to the musical theatre scholarly community. Add us to your RSS feed and check back often.

If you would like to make an announcement on this site, please send email to Doug Reside (dreside (AT) umd (DOT) edu).


June 15th, 2007

Musical Theatre Studies is the online hub for news and discussion relating to the academic study of musical theatre. We will soon be posting calls for papers, academic job opportunities, book reviews, and other news items of interest to the musical theatre scholarly community. Add us to your RSS feed and check back often.