Introduction to Musical Theater

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SALEM COMMUNITY COLLEGE COURSE SYLLABUS
Course Title: Introduction to Musical Theater
Course Code: MUS104
Lecture Hours:
Laboratory Hours:
Credits:
Course Description:
3
0
3
Introduction to Musical Theater is a survey and analytical look at musical
theater, specifically in America. This course is not a comprehensive study
of the history of theater, nor is it a technical course in production, direction,
and performance. A brief history of the origins of musical theater,
including such things as passion plays, opera, operetta, and other related
media will be covered. This course will emphasize the development of
American musical theater beginning with the operetta and early minstrel
shows through the Broadway hits of the Twentieth Century. Additionally
this course will enable the student to understand the art of critique as
regards to musical theater. Students will view several film versions of
musicals in an attempt to understand the societal influences that brought
them about as well as investigate the lives and careers of several major
contributors to American Musical Theater.
Place in College Curriculum: MUS104-Introduction to Musical Theater fulfills an open elective
requirement and Humanities elective for those students
pursuing either a certificate or degree program.
Introduction to Musical Theater / Page 2
Outline of Course Content: The following content may be organized to suit the instructor’s
preference.
I.
Introduction
A.
B.
Characteristics of Musical Theater
Types of Theaters
II.
European Influences
A.
Antiquities – Greek and Roman
B.
The Dark Ages & The Renaissance
C.
The Beggar’s Opera
D.
Comic Operas
III.
The American Musical
A.
The Black Crook
B.
Operettas – Pirates of Penzance
1. movie
2. critique
C.
Revues
D.
George M. Cohan
E.
The Princess Musicals
F.
Show Boat
1. movie
2. critique
G.
Porgy and Bess
1. filmstrip
2. discussion
H.
Agnes de Mille and Oklahoma
1. movie
2. critique
I.
Jerome Robbins and West Side Story
1. movie
2. critique
J.
Michael Bennett and A Chorus Line
1. movie
2. critique
Introduction to Musical Theater/ Page 3
IV.
The Golden Age
A.
Directors and Choreographers
1. Stephen Sondheim
2. Concept musical - Into the Woods
a. movie
b. critique
B.
C.
D.
The English Musicals
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.
V.
The Black Musicals
The Rock Musicals – Jesus Christ Superstar
1. movie
2. discussion
End of an Era
The Off Broadway Musical
Classics, Major and Minor
1. movie
2. discussion
Book Writers
Lyrics
Music
Introduction to Musical Theater/ Page 4
Specific Objectives:
Course Performance Objective #1
Following lectures on characteristics and types of theaters, students will learn and know key aspects of the musical
theater.
Learning Outcomes:
1.
The student will explain the variable characteristics of musical theater i.e. “cast of one” and a “cast of
hundreds,” “short and long,” “light and dramatic”, etc.
2.
The student will explain the key components of jazz, rock and country western musical productions.
3.
The student will list the different types of musical theaters by their physical attributes.
Course Performance Objective #2
Following lectures and discussion on the European influences on musical theater, students will relate the impact that
the Greek & Roman, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Beggar’s Opera and Comic Opera had on the American Musical
Theater.
Learning Outcomes:
1. The student will explain qualities and characteristics of the Greek and Roman theaters.
2. The student will list the major influences on musical theater during the Middle Ages.
3. The student will describe the characteristics of the musical theater during the Middle Ages.
4. The student will explain the qualities of the Commedia Dell’Arte during the Renaissance.
5. The student will list the qualities of the Humanist Theater during the Renaissance.
6. The student will define the attributes of Elizabethan Drama during the Renaissance.
7. The student will explain the importance of Venice and Moliere to musical theater during the Renaissance.
8. The student will describe the key influences of the Beggar’s Opera on future productions.
9. The student will explain the influence of the English comic opera and the Viennese romantic operetta on America
Musical Theater.
10. The student will view and critique “The Pirates of Penzance” or “The
Mikado.”
Course Performance Objective #3
Students will learn key aspects of several types of American Musical Theater through viewing and discussion of those
productions.
Learning Outcomes:
1. The student will explain why “The Black Crook” was considered to be the beginning of musical theater in
America.
2. The student will describe the historical story that “The Black Crook” was based on.
3. The student will relate how “The Black Crook” led to “Burlesque” theater.
4. The student will compare the key aspects of the American Operetta, with that of the English Operetta.
5. The student will view and discuss the filmstrip “American Musical Theater.”
6. The student will describe the influence of George M. Cohan on early American Musical Theater.
7. The student will compare the key qualities of the Princess Musicals with the musicals of George M. Cohan.
8. The student will view and critique the musical “Showboat.”
Introduction to Musical Theater/ Page 5
9. The student will view critique, and discuss the key influences of the musical “Porgy and Bess” on society and
future productions.
10. The student will view and critique the musical “Oklahoma.”
11. The student will view and critique the musical “Westside Story.”
12. The student will view and critique the musical “A Chorus Line.”
Course Performance Objective #4
Students will learn key components of several musicals of the Golden Age of American Musical Theater through
viewing and discussion of those productions.
Learning Outcomes:
1. The student will list important choreographers and directors of musical theater during the Golden Age.
2. The student will enumerate key aspects of the Black Musicals during the Golden Age.
3. The student will view and critique the rock musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
4. The student will explain the influence of English musical on American Musical Theater.
5. The student will define the meaning of “Off Broadway” musical and enumerate the differences with
that of the Broadway musical.
6. The student will describe what makes a show a classic and list several.
7. The student will list the most notable “Book writers” of Broadway shows.
8. The student will describe the characteristics of several of the most influential lyricists and the
inspiration behind their most memorable compositions.
9. The student will list the various kinds of songs used in the musical and the techniques used by the
composers who wrote them.
Course Performance Objective #5
Students will understand the significance of the 1970’s and 1980’s in the history of the Broadway musical as it
demonstrates a decline in public interest and quality of offerings. Students will also be able to relate the resurgence of
interest in Musical Theater in the late 1980’s and 1990’s to the significant shows that made it possible.
Learning Outcomes:
1. The student will explain why certain Broadway shows fail as compared to the successful shows.
2. The student will enumerate the events or reasons for the decline of the Broadway Musical.
3. The student will name significant shows that were marginally successful during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
4. The student will list those shows which led to the renewed interest in the late 1980’s.
5. The student will explain the term “poperetta.”
Introduction to Musical Theater/ Page 6
Course Activities:
The course will consist of lecture, discussion, in-class group work, attendance at a
live musical theater production when possible, and the viewing of a variety of
videos of musical presentations from the time periods studied.
Course Requirements and Means of Evaluation:
Please refer to the instructor’s syllabus addendum (to be distributed in class) for specific information
regarding the course requirements and means of evaluation.
Attendance Policy:
Regular and prompt attendance in all classes is expected of students. Students absent from class for any
reason are responsible for making up any missed work. Faculty members establish an attendance policy
for each course and it is the student’s responsibility to honor and comply with that policy.
Academic Honesty Policy:
Students found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty may be subject to failure of this course,
academic probation, and / or suspension from the college. See the Student Handbook for additional
details.
ADA Statement:
If you have a 504 Accommodation Plan, please discuss it with your instructor. If you have any disability
but have not documented it with the Disability Support coordinator at Salem Community college, you
must do so to be eligible for accommodations. To contact the Disability Support Coordinator, call 856351-2773, visit DON108, or email [email protected] to set up an appointment. To find out
more information about disability support services at Salem Community College, visit
www.salemcc.edu/students/student-success-programs/disability-support.
Required Text:
For textbook information, please see the Salem Community College Bookstore
Website.
Resources:
Web Sites:
Class Act: http//www.classicmoviemusicals.com
Directories:
http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.google.com
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