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Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
* AMS 315 / MTD 315 / THR 344 / AAS 309 (LA)   na, npdf

Race and the American Musical from Minstrelsy to Hamilton

Stacy E. Wolf

This seminar explores how and why race is a key component of the Broadway musical theatre. From 19th-century minstrel shows, in which African American performers "blacked up" to play black characters previously performed by whites in blackface; to the mid-20th century "golden age" musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein, in which Asian characters were created to support a white liberal agenda; to the blockbuster HAMILTON, which merges musical theatre conventions and hip hop to re-tell the story of America, performances of race and ethnicity structure the American musical's aesthetic and political work. How did we get from there to here?

Sample reading list:
Woll, Black Musical Theatre: From Coontown to Dreamgirls
Hoffman, The Great White Way: Race & the Broadway Musical
Miranda, In the Heights
Rodgers & Hammerstein & Hwang, Flower Drum Song
Krieger and Eyen, Dreamgirls
Kern & Hammerstein, Show Boat

Reading/Writing assignments:
One or two musicals each week, including script, cast album, taped Broadway production or film, plus 2-3 theoretical and critical articles. Papers include script analysis, musical number analysis, and critique of a scholarly reading. Other projects include talkback facilitation, student-led class discussion, and a final project or paper.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 25%
Papers - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other Requirements:
United States Travel Required

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Enrollment will be limited to 15 with priority given to members of the American Studies and Music Theater programs..

Other information:
The seminar will be supplemented with visiting guest artists and scholars, a field trip to NYC to visit the archives at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center and to see a musical, and PU student productions of musicals.

Reserved Seats:
AMS Certificate Students Only 6

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
41974 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Wallace Dance Building and The   W217   Enrolled:19 Limit:24