FTH3200 Survey of Musical Theatre

Course Overview

Educational Level: Upper undergraduate, Bachelor
Credit Hours: 3 Credits
Instructor: Dr. J.L. Guerriero

Course Description:

Illustrates musical theatre as being the prime example of Interdisciplinary Art in that it encompasses the combined disciplines of music, theatre, dance and design. Considers the role of musical theatre as both entertainment and serious art form. Traces the history and social and political context of musical theater productions in the United States and the movies through an examination of various genres, composers, lyricists, performers, directors and choreographers. Introduces students to the field of dramaturgy.

How This Course Benefits Students:

The course introduces the student to the idea of musical theatre as a genuine art form rather than mere entertainment. Students will be asked to consider the social and political themes of musical theatre and examine how the musical can be an effective form of artistic expression, particularly when it comes to missional endeavors. Students will also be introduced to the concept of dramaturgy.

Why This Course Is Important:

Musicals are often seen as mere entertainment, a sub-standard form of real theatre, but they have the potential to be very moving, powerful works of art. For this reason, the musical has the ability to act as a Trojan horse: an effective and unexpected way to deliver a message. One might be moved by a film such as The Passion of the Christ, however any impact the film has often fades just days after screening. In contrast, a musical such as Godspell has the ability to impact theatre goers for weeks, months, and even years. Consider the power of the soundtrack alone: the songs become ingrained in the mind, compelling people to listen and sing the songs over and over again. For this reason, musical theatre is an effective evangelistic tool.