Musical Theatre & Theatre With Music

The Latest

Filk on Stage
Essay

Filk on Stage

How the Underground Sci-Fi Folk Genre Found a Home Off-Broadway

by Jen Gushue
4 December 2018
Eating the Rich
Essay

Eating the Rich

Sweeney Todd’s Vicious Capitalism

by Cassidy Dawn Graves
18 June 2018
Broadway in a Year of Reckoning
Essay

Broadway in a Year of Reckoning

by Jonathan Mandell
3 May 2018
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
Performer holds a mic for another performer playing a guitar
Filk on Stage
Essay

Filk on Stage

How the Underground Sci-Fi Folk Genre Found a Home Off-Broadway

4 December 2018

Jen Gushue explores the emergence of filk theatre, a niche genre that uses a folk-concert frame as a basis for storytelling.

Eating the Rich
Essay

Eating the Rich

Sweeney Todd’s Vicious Capitalism

18 June 2018

Cassidy Dawn Graves writes about the anti-capitalist narrative present in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the significance of producing the musical in 2018.

Broadway in a Year of Reckoning
Essay

Broadway in a Year of Reckoning

3 May 2018

New York critic Jonathan Mandell gives us a glimpse at the recently ended Broadway season, and reflects on how these shows have handled the past as a way to adapt to our current sociopolitical moment.

"Positation" in Action
Essay

"Positation" in Action

Director Erin Ortman’s Multi-Year Journey with the Arabian Nights

2 May 2018

Director Erin Ortman loves musical theatre, new plays, theatre families, and William Ball’s idea of “positation” that celebrates the “yes” in artistic collaborations. The development process for One Thousand Nights and One Day produced by Prospect Theater Company in New York City provides a view of Ball’s philosophy in action.

Lost Worlds and “Pansexual Extravaganzas”
Podcast

Lost Worlds and “Pansexual Extravaganzas”

Rediscovering Weimar Operetta with Dr. Kevin Clarke

17 April 2018

Dr. Kevin Clarke of the Operetta Research Center introduces us to Weimar-era operetta, which pushed artistic and social boundaries and is finally enjoying an artistic and scholarly reappraisal after decades of neglect.

Coney Island’s Fantastical History
Essay

Coney Island’s Fantastical History

What Love Never Dies Leaves Out

1 April 2018

Kitty Drexel writes about the failure of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies to accurately represent the performers with disabilities that made New York City's Coney Island famous.

Maybe Tomorrow, The Fish Will Be Gone
Essay

Maybe Tomorrow, The Fish Will Be Gone

22 March 2018

Alison Weller reflects on the process of writing Boundless, a play about a fishing community on Cape Cod that faces climate change every day.

Beyond Demographics
Essay

Beyond Demographics

A Different Approach to Segmenting Audiences

1 November 2017

In a second installment about results of a survey of theatregoers to consider best practices to market lesser-known plays, Meghan Randolph discovers commonly held assumptions about segmenting audiences are wrong.

Dragon Lady
Essay

Dragon Lady

One Mother of a Musical

19 October 2017

Dragon Lady, written and performed by Sara Porkalob, brings bring race, female stories, and intersectionality into the American theatre conversation.

Women Making Musical Theatre
Essay

Women Making Musical Theatre

Institutions Hold the Power to Effect Change

3 October 2017

Women musical theatre writers may exist but do they apply for funding opportunities? EllaRose Chary addresses this question and looks at how that information can be used by institutions to create solutions to support emerging musical theatre writers.

Life Imitates Art Imitates Life
Essay

Life Imitates Art Imitates Life

21 September 2017

While researching and developing his musical The Rising Sea, playwright Eric Schorr reflects on the parallels between the historical narrative of slavery and the modern narrative of climate change.

An Experimental Argument
Essay

An Experimental Argument

Ethan’s Lipton’s Outer Space Odyssey Toward a Sustainable Life

8 September 2017

Ethan Lipton returns to his artistic home at the Public Theater in New York City to play with toys, musical storytelling, and space travel.

The West Side Story Appropriation We Never Really Talk About
Essay

The West Side Story Appropriation We Never Really Talk About

25 August 2017

Viviana Vargas compares West Side Story and La Carreta by looking at the history of Puerto Ricans migrating to New York to better understand an example of cultural appropriation in the arts, its effects, its telltale signs, and some lessons for the future.

The Sonic Harvests of Øystein Elle / Capto Musicae
Essay

The Sonic Harvests of Øystein Elle / Capto Musicae

18 August 2017

In the third installment of this series, Brendan McCall discusses the work of Norwegian artist Øystein Elle and his company Capto Musicae. Originally a classically trained opera singer, Elle now works in a hybrid performance field combining live and recorded music, with performances that border on vocal concerts or art installations.

Theatre History Podcast #42
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #42

From West Side Story to Wicked: Dr. Stacy Wolf on Feminism & the Broadway Musical

7 August 2017

Dr. Stacy Wolf reveals the hidden feminist history of the Broadway musical in this discussion of her book Changed for Good.

The Musical (Non-Lyrical) Brilliance of Hamilton's Hip-Hop Vernacular
Essay

The Musical (Non-Lyrical) Brilliance of Hamilton's Hip-Hop Vernacular

16 July 2017

Howard Ho breaks down the genius of Hamilton’s music and tracks how it follows musical theatre tradition.

Photo from Saint-Ex.
Comparing Notes
Essay

Comparing Notes

A Conversation with Jenny Giering

8 July 2017

In the final installment of the series, Donald Sanborn III talks with composer Jenny Giering about her experience and creative process.

Revising and Feminizing the Fairy Tale in Anastasia
Essay

Revising and Feminizing the Fairy Tale in Anastasia

27 June 2017

A fairy tale for our modern age? A consideration of Anastasia by Amanda Prahl.

Let’s Get Lost
Essay

Let’s Get Lost

Can Rock Tell a Story Onstage?

21 June 2017

Jessica Wallenfels considers the state of the new American musical.

The Native Language of Inclusion
Essay

The Native Language of Inclusion

An Interview with Ty Defoe

21 May 2017

Ryan Leeds interviews Ty Defoe about winning the Jonathan Larson Grant, his show Crane: On Earth, In Sky, and how his identity influences his work.

Celebrating Women Musicals
Essay

Celebrating Women Musicals

18 May 2017

Calling for more female-driven musicals.

Articulating Content and Creating Familiarity for Audiences
Essay

Articulating Content and Creating Familiarity for Audiences

14 May 2017

Meghan Randolph surveys theatregoers to consider best practices to market lesser-known plays.

Imagining Theatre as a Town Hall Meeting
Essay

Imagining Theatre as a Town Hall Meeting

2 May 2017

Director Alex Hare discusses using a town hall format for Chains Don’t Rattle Themselves, a song cycle performance about incarceration and how it affects individuals and their families.

The Power of Jo of Arc
Essay

The Power of Jo of Arc

18 April 2017

The grace and fury in the performance of Jo Lampert as Joan in Joan of Arc: Into the Fire.

Come From Away
Essay

Come From Away

Resenting the Decency in This 9/11 Musical

6 April 2017

 Jonathan Mandell considers his own and other reactions to the Broadway musical Come From Away, which have as much to do with what's happening in the world as on stage.