The American Musical on Stage & Screen: An Interdisciplinary Extravaganza

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

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