Story Comes First: The Craft of Musical Theater

Course Leader(s)
Day of Week: Tuesday
Course Length: 5 weeks
Starting: 09/10/2024
Ending: 10/08/2024
Period of Day: Period 2 In-Person
Time: 11:30 - 1:00
Course Fee: $50

Course Description:

In this class we’ll look at songs/scenes from multiple shows from the past 70 years to learn how music uniquely serves and advances story. In virtually every successful musical, the creators’ compositional choices must demonstrate WHY they write to begin with. We’ll analyze the positioning of songs in the play, the formal design of songs, their melodic and harmonic styles and impacts, and structural/textual formats, to understand how these elements serve the stories’ goals. Examples will come from a wide variety of pieces, including the Music Man, Into the Woods, She Loves Me, 1776, Les Miserables, Fiddler…, Cabaret, Hamilton, Come from Away, My Fair Lady, and La Cage Aux Folles. The format will be a combination of videos, audio, lecture, and discussion.  Prep time will be 1-2 hours per week of reading, listening, and viewing online of materials I will provide.

Books and Other Resources:

I will provide materials.

Course Leader Bio(s)

Art Finstein

I hold degrees in Music History and Theory, and taught in public schools for 32 years. Since 1970 I’ve music-directed more than 200 productions of musicals in scholastic, community, and professional theater circuits. I’ve taught at LLAIC and BOLLI multiple times since 2008.