THE 103 Seminars in Theater: American Musical Theater from 1943 to Present
American musical theater works from the years of World War II to the present reflect radical changes as the form evolved from loosely-constructed entertainments to works of art fully integrating song, story, and dance. In an effort to create musicals of greater depth, creators looked to adapting literary works – the plays of William Shakespeare to contemporary plays and novels by George Bernard Shaw, James Michener, Christopher Isherwood, E. L. Doctorow, and others, provided sources. The class will closely examine representative works by such composers and lyricists as Cole Porter, Richards Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Jeanine Tesori, and Tony Kushner, including Finian’s Rainbow (1947), Kiss Me, Kate (1948), South Pacific (1949), My Fair Lady (1956), West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Cabaret (1966), Follies (1971), Ragtime (1998), and Caroline, or Change (2003). This course is offered in the fall (second half of semester).