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Musical Theatre and Theatre With Music

Content in this section explores the popular art form of musical theatre and theatre works that integrate music in other ways. You’ll find thoughts and conversations from artists, articles about contemporary and historical works, and performance videos. The #MusicalsWeek series is a great place to begin, as is “The Black in Black Musical Theatre” episode of the Daughters of Lorraine podcast.

The Latest

Celebrating CLUB 57 with founder Stanley Strychacki, Dany Johnson, Ande Whyland, and April Palmieri
Video
Celebrating CLUB 57 with founder Stanley Strychacki, Dany Johnson, Ande Whyland, and April Palmieri
A Panel Conversation
Thursday 23 May 2024
New York City
Book Talk: We Started a Nightclub
Video
Book Talk: We Started a Nightclub
The Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge
Thursday 23 May 2024
New York City
Mic Check Mind Check Money Check
Video
Mic Check Mind Check Money Check
The Culminating Money Jam of the 2024 Hip Hop FinFest Rap Song Competition and Contest
Wednesday 5 June 2024
New York City
student with a mic standing on stage in front of an oversized book open to a page that reads once upon a time.
Mic Check Mind Check Money Check
Video

Mic Check Mind Check Money Check

The Culminating Money Jam of the 2024 Hip Hop FinFest Rap Song Competition and Contest

Wednesday 5 June 2024
New York City

Featuring winning student performances, guest artists, money stories with MC Dyalekt, and community conversations about one of the most crucial topics in our lives: money.

rock musicians performing on stage.
Book Talk: We Started a Nightclub
Video

Book Talk: We Started a Nightclub

The Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge

Thursday 23 May 2024
New York City

The Segal Center celebrates the publication of a new book on underground culture and performance at the infamous Pyramid Club. A panel with John Jesurun, Kestutis Nakas, and others.

black and white photograph of club attendees.
Celebrating CLUB 57 with founder Stanley Strychacki, Dany Johnson, Ande Whyland, and April Palmieri
Video

Celebrating CLUB 57 with founder Stanley Strychacki, Dany Johnson, Ande Whyland, and April Palmieri

A Panel Conversation

Thursday 23 May 2024
New York City

Segal Center celebrates the history of legendary CLUB 57. In 1978, a Polish emigré Stanley Strychacki rented a basement space of the Holy Cross Polish National Church at 57 St. Marks’ Place with an intention "to create an environment for artists so they could meet, collaborate, and create.”

A promotional graphic for Daughters of Lorraine.
Opening the Channel with Masi Asare
Podcast

Opening the Channel with Masi Asare

28 February 2024

Masi Asare is an assistant professor of theater and performance studies at Northwestern University. She is a songwriter and dramatist and also works as a performance scholar specializing in the study of race and vocal sound and musicals. On this episode, hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview Masi on her experiences as a Black woman working in musical theatre and why Black women’s vocal training is so important. 

A promotional graphic for the Daughters of Lorraine Podcast.
Justice for Movie Musicals, or Why the Musical Adaptation of The Color Purple Matters 
Podcast

Justice for Movie Musicals, or Why the Musical Adaptation of The Color Purple Matters 

14 February 2024

Some stories transcend time and continue to resonate across generations. Undoubtedly, one might consider The Color Purple as one of those stories. Hosts Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley discuss this new movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple and delve into questions around the genre of the movie musical and the challenge and necessity of representing Black women stories on screen.

Four women play the drums together on stage.
An Art Festival in Rwanda Converses with the Past and Celebrates Our Shared Present
Essay

An Art Festival in Rwanda Converses with the Past and Celebrates Our Shared Present

5 October 2023

Giulianna Marchese discusses productions from the Ubumuntu Art Festival, which is held annually at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. Throughout this year’s festival, performances explored what it means to be a human post-tragedy—the highs and the lows.

event poster for Responses to Climate Crisis and Emergencies with people planet and performance.
Responses to Climate Crisis and Emergencies
Video

Responses to Climate Crisis and Emergencies

Storytelling from the Performing Arts

Wednesday 26 July 2023
Kenya, Uganda

Different art forms (such as theatre, film, visual arts, and social media) have often been used to communicate, educate, and promote climate justice issues. This episode offers the opportunity to hear stories of practitioners using their art forms in this era of climate emergency. We focus on theatre practices and digital art forms and ask guests to share their work and that of others from the continent.

Event poster for safe havens freedom talk Indigenous Languages: Memory, Poetry, and Music.
Indigenous Languages: Memory, Poetry, and Music
Video

Indigenous Languages: Memory, Poetry, and Music

A Safe Havens Freedom Talk

Tuesday 30 May 2023
Mexico City

The power of language, memory, and creativity are intertwined in this performance featuring readings of poetry written in Zoque, Tzotzil, and Spanish accompanied by music composed and arranged by musicians from the Chiapanec culture, an extinct language but one that continues to manifest itself culturally in rituals and festive practices.

Linda Chapman and Jim Nicola posing for photo.
Linda Chapman and Jim Nicola: Thirty Years at New York Theatre Workshop
Video

Linda Chapman and Jim Nicola: Thirty Years at New York Theatre Workshop

Joined by Jean Passanante and Patricia McGregor and moderated by Frank Hentschker

Thursday 27 April 2023
New York

Join us for an evening celebrating the work of Linda Chapman and James C. Nicola at the legendary New York Theatre Workshop. In their thirty-four-year run, Linda and James, at the 199-seat East Village theatre, gave birth to hundreds of important theatre works including Tony-winning best musicals Rent, Once, and Hadestown, as well as What the Constitution Means to Me and Slave Play.

Two people speaking on stage with one person standing behind them.
Surviving in the States: Audience Rejection on the Road with Oklahoma!
Essay

Surviving in the States: Audience Rejection on the Road with Oklahoma!

3 April 2023

The 2022 national tour of Oklahoma! brought Daniel Fish’s critically acclaimed revival to commercial theatre audiences nationwide. Those audiences met the production with overwhelming disapproval and animosity rooted in its departures from decades-old conventions. Actor Christopher Bannow, who played Jud in the touring production, details his experience of enduring audience rejection while remaining committed to engaging audiences in challenging conversations through risky theatrical choices.

two actors in suits on stage amid falling papers.
Office Hours: Phelim McDermott
Video

Office Hours: Phelim McDermott

A Live, Virtual Conversation on Directing and Collaboration with Phelim McDermott and Frank Hentschker

Tuesday 28 March 2023
New York City

In advance of McDermott’s upcoming New York Premiere of Tao of Glass at NYU Skirball, they discussed McDermott's work and career, Improbable’s work with Open Space Technology, and McDermott’s long-term collaborations with Philip Glass.

Eight actors dressed in costume singing together on stage.
A Music Man for Deaf Audiences
Essay

A Music Man for Deaf Audiences

6 September 2022

Melissa Lin Sturges shares her experience attending Olney Theatre Center’s bilingual production of The Music Man, which was presented in both English and American Sign Language.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre
Podcast

I Write What Comes Up in My Body: Robbie McCauley's Theatre

24 August 2022

In this episode, Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley look at the life and legacy of playwright Robbie McCauley, who recently passed away. They discuss her work as a pioneer of solo performance as a Black woman and how she impacted the world of Black feminist theatre.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible
Podcast

Writing Detroit: Dominique Morisseau’s Practice of the Possible

10 August 2022

Jordan Ealey and Leticia Ridley interview award-winning and acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau about her recent Broadway productions of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations and Skeleton Crew; the future of Detroit theatre and performance; and reckoning with American history. Ealey and Ridley discuss Morisseau’s practice of reparative creativity and the ability for theatre to serve as a rehearsal for true change.

A screenshot of 3 actors on Zoom performing a musical in costume.
The TikTok Revolution
Essay

The TikTok Revolution

9 August 2022

Katy Zapanta champions TikTok as a platform with the potential to revolutionize the theatre industry’s systemic issues.

Daughters of Lorraine Podcast teaser.
Working Her Own Tune: Revisiting the Life, Legacy, and Work of Micki Grant
Podcast

Working Her Own Tune: Revisiting the Life, Legacy, and Work of Micki Grant

6 July 2022

This episode honors the life and work of composer, writer, and performer Micki Grant, who passed away in August 2021. Grant was the first Black woman to write and compose a musical that made it to Broadway, and she is also the subject of Jordan's dissertation.

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences
Podcast

Creating a Space for Black Theatre Audiences

With Addae Moon

29 June 2022

This episode is an interview with Addae Moon, the associate artistic director at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta, Georgia. We discuss his journey as a theatre artist; his playwright development lab, Hush Harbor Lab; and his own artistry and creativity.

Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf
Podcast

Singin' a Black Girl's Song- Ntozake Shange and for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf

22 June 2022

This episode explores the recent revival of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, directed and choreographed by Camille A. Brown. Hosts Leticia Ridley and Jordan Ealey contextualize the production, its ongoing relevance and legacy, and its resonance in Black feminist theatre, dance, and performance.

Three actors performing outdoors.
On Hauling Water: Outdoor Theatre as Re-Enchantment amidst Climate Crisis
Essay

On Hauling Water: Outdoor Theatre as Re-Enchantment amidst Climate Crisis

2 May 2022

Theatre artist Elle Thoni shares their experience working on the outdoor theatre production of a futuristic musical, Queen B, and challenges institutional ideas on how and where theatre can take place.

Actress Tawana Montgomery playing Deborah Scott. Photo credit: Greg Mooney
Organizing History in the Alliance Theatre’s Working: A Musical
Essay

Organizing History in the Alliance Theatre’s Working: A Musical

17 August 2021

Margarita Kompelmakher details the Alliance Theatre’s process of adapting Working into a community-engaged production that both modeled grassroots organizing and told the story of the work of organizers in the city.

Several half-naked actors with lacrosse sticks. One actor is front and center, wearing a red hat and white underwear, with his hands behind his head. The actresses on his sides are using lacrosse sticks to cover their chests.
The Island of Lost Chorus Boys: Professional Theatre’s Broken Promise to Accept Us in All Our Glorious Queerness
Essay

The Island of Lost Chorus Boys: Professional Theatre’s Broken Promise to Accept Us in All Our Glorious Queerness

8 July 2021

Kieron Cindric talks about how the theatre industry—and, in particular, musical theatre—has continually reinforced a narrow and harmful version of masculinity.

black background with white text taylor talks above black and white portraits of artists
Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac
Video

Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac

Episode 8: Sachiyo Takahashi & gamin

Tuesday 4 May 2021
United States

HERE presented Taylor Talks: Episode 8 with Sachiyo Takahashi & gamin livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

portrait of Pedja Muzijevic.
SEGAL TALKS with Pedja Muzijevic (United States)
Video

SEGAL TALKS with Pedja Muzijevic (United States)

Join us for a conversation about curating, producing and presenting theatre and performance in the Time of Corona

Friday 16 April 2021
United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented SEGAL TALKS with Pedja Muzijevic (United States) livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 16 April 2021 at 9 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 12 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

zoom windows of artists performing in their homes.
Sonic Gathering In Person
Video

Sonic Gathering In Person

Featuring a rotating cast of dancers and musicians presenting new collaborative work of movement and sound

Wednesday 7 April 2021
United States

CultureHub presented Sonic Gathering In Person with Re-Fest livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Wednesday 7 April 2021 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

portrait of gelsey and taylor against a black background with white text TAYLOR TALKS.
Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac
Video

Taylor Talks: HERE Resident Artists talk art & process with Taylor Mac

Episode 5: Gelsey Bell

Tuesday 23 March 2021
United States

HERE presented Taylor Talks: Episode 5 with Gelsey Bell livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).

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