Musical theatre

Musical theatre

For Question 1 you should start revising the following chapters/articles;

Womack, M. (2009), ‘‘Thank You For the Music’: Catherine Johnson’s feminist revoicings in

Mamma Mia!’, Studies in Musical Theatre 3: 2, pp. 201–211

Chapter 8 ‘Marry the man today’: Feminism and the Performance of Identity Consumerism in

Taylor, M and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan.

Wolf, Stacy (2011) ‘It’s all about popular : Wicked divas and internet girl fans.’ in Changed

for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical pp 219-236. Oxford University Press,

USA. ((on moodle)

Burger, A. (2010) “Wicked and Wonderful Witches : Narrative and Gender Negotiations from

The Wizard of Oz to Wicked.” . In Beyond Adaptation: Essays on Radical Transformations

of Original Works, ed. P. Frus & C. Williams. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 123-132. (on

moodle)

There are power-points on moodle that you can read in conjunction with the relevant

chapters.

You won’t need or be able to cover all the material in these articles/chapters. However you

will need to be able to discuss two musicals and their portrayal of female protagonists, in

depth and detail.

Ideas and issues that are worth researching and developing responses too

? Why are musicals criticised for their portrayal of female characters?

? How have representations of female characters changed and why?

? When do we see stereotypes challenged or reaffirmed?

? How do narratives disempower/empower female protagonists?

? Which songs reflect patricah values and which celebrate female empowerment?

? Where do we see contradictions in representations of female protagonist -i.e.

strength in suffering, the female voice being used to signify the weakness and

vulnerability of a character but conveying the singers considerable musical/vocal

strength and prowess

Aim to have at least three songs that you can discuss in detail to help support and

illustrate your argument.

Some theories that you can use in your analysis and discussion of gender and musicals;

Use these theories to analyse specific characters, scenes and songs from musicals.

Raymond Williams’s theory of ‘Cultural Materialism’ (this is really useful for discussing gender

and musicals in terms of how they ‘spring from and reflect the culture in which they were

created’. ) discussed on pgs. 65-66 in Taylor, M and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical

Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan.

Different waves of feminism – discussed in Womack, M. (2009), ‘‘Thank You For the Music’:

Catherine Johnson’s feminist revoicings in Mamma Mia!’, Studies in Musical Theatre 3: 2, pp.

201–211

The role of the ‘diva’ – discussed in Wolf, Stacy (2011) ‘It’s all about popular : Wicked divas

and internet girl fans.’ in Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical pp

219-236. Oxford University Press, USA. ((on moodle)

Any of the theories that are discussed in Chapter 8 ‘Marry the man today’: Feminism and the

Performance of Identity Consumerism in Taylor, M and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical

Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan.

Don’t try and cover everything. Aim to incorporate two theories in your answer. Remember

that you need to use the theory to discuss and explore the issue of how female characters are

represent musicals and the various debates that surround those issues/problems.

Think about how you can use the theories in the reading to;

– analyse a song

– analyse a performance/interpretation of a song

– analyse the narrative of a musical

analyse the ways in which gender is constructed and interpreted

For Question 2 you should start revising the following chapters/articles;

Chapter 13 ‘Dreamgirls Will Make You Happy’: The Pleasures of Voice and Body’ in Taylor, M

and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan.

Sections on ‘Women and hysteria’ and ‘Hysterical Violetta’ in Chapter 8 ‘Marry the man

today’: Feminism and the Performance of Identity Consumerism in Taylor, M and Symonds,

D. (2014) Studying Musical Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan.

Section on ‘The sexualised voice’ in Chapter 10. ‘I am what I am’: Sexuality and Queer

Theory in Taylor, M and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan.

Ppower-points attached that you can read in conjunction with the relevant chapters.

You won’t need or be able to cover all the material in these articles/chapters. However you

will need to be able to discuss and apply two theories in depth and detail, that are used to

analyse the voice and how it can be interpreted in relation to meaning.

Ideas and issues that are worth researching and developing responses too

? How might Bert O. States categories of three ‘modes’ be used to analyse the

relationship between singers and audiences?

? ‘the negotiation between the actor/singer and the character’ (pg. 219)

? How is an audience able to distinguish and interpret how a ‘character uses the

heightened language of song’ from how ‘the performer maintains the technical

prowess required for singing.’ (pg. 219)

• How might the singing voice be considered ‘as embodied’ which ‘ has a quality that is

expressive of the body that produced it… and is therefor always individual.’ (pg. 228)

? What aspects of a ‘cultural background’ might be communitaed through the singing

voice? Think about ideas of social class, different regions, nations, age, etc?

? What singers have a unique ‘vocal fingerprint’? How is this used in examples of their

work?

Some theories that you can use in your analysis and discussion of gender and musicals;

Use these theories to analyse specific performances of songs from musicals.

• Roland Barthes (1977) article ‘The Grain of the Voice’

? Michel Poizat’s theory of ‘jouissnance’

? Jaques Lacan and Freud ideas of ‘attachment’ and the voice

? The da capo aria

? Richard Shechner’s ideas of ‘restored behaviour’ and ‘twice-behaved behaviour’

Don’t try and cover everything. Aim to incorporate two theories in your answer. Remember

that you need to use the theory to discuss and analyse how different singing voices create

different Interpretations of songs.

Aim to have at least three songs that you can discuss in detail to help support and illustrate

your argument. You might find it useful to analyse two contrasting

performances/interpretations of the same song to explore how different voice create different

interpretations.

Time allowed: 2 hours

Dictionaries

International students whose first language is not English may bring in a standard translation dictionary. No form of electronic dictionary is permitted.

Rubric

1. Answer TWO questions.

2. Your answers should not deal with substantially the same material as your Practical Essay and Presentation. You should avoid repeating and covering the same material in both exam questions.

1

1) With reference to two contrasting musicals, discuss the ways in which musical theatre ‘positions women and their voices in situations of strength, even if their storylines cast them as weak or victimised.’

Taylor, M and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan, pg. 146.

2) With reference to two theories discussed in ‘“Dreamgirls Will Make You Happy”: The Pleasures of Voice and Body’, (Taylor and Symonds, 2014) discuss the ways in which voices signify and embody characters, personas and performers in musical theatre and performance.

3) With reference to two musicals discuss how musical theatre explores sexuality as ‘something that co-opts other expressive forces into its control of what is normative and acceptable and what is threatening.’

Taylor, M and Symonds, D. (2014) Studying Musical Theatre, Palgrave Macmillan, pg. 174.

While working these can help you

-STUDYING MUSICAL THEATRE BOOK

Click to access empathy%20and%20mimesis%20in%20relation%20to%20The%20Rocky%20Horror%20Show.pdf

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/pleasure+of+voice+and+body/14b8d8b022d058cc?projector=1

Module convenor: Lee White

So you’re all doing the music exam as an alternate assignment. This is how it works;

1) The exam paper will be available on moodle for you to download from tomorrow morning (weds29th April) at 9.30 am, BST. If you have any problems accessing the exam paper then contact Steph or myself.

2) You do the same exam paper as the other students on the course and you should follow the instructions on the paper. There are three questions and you have to answer two of them. The only difference is that your answers must be 1500 words for each answer. That works out as 2 x 1500 essays totalling 3000 words altogether.

3) You should include references and citations from the course reading as you would in any other essay.

4) You have a week to complete the exam and your essays should be submitted as a single document through the turnitin link on the MTP moodle site. The deadline for submission is Wednesday 6th May 2015, 4:30pm, BST.

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