(Princeton, NJ) A symposium on creating Broadway musicals will be held on April 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. “Making Broadway Musicals: Artists and Scholars in Conversation” will feature interviews and roundtables with some of the leading artists currently working today. Composers, lyricists, orchestrators, designers, directors, and choreographers will discuss their work on musicals including Jersey Boys, Company, Lysistrata Jones, Urinetown, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Drowsy Chaperone, and In the Heights. The symposium, presented by the Lewis Center’s Music Theater Lab, will be held in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street in Princeton and is free and open to the public.
The symposium has been organized by Princeton Professor of Theater Stacy Wolf and Harvard Professor of Music Carol Oja. Among the Tony and Drama Desk award-winning artists to be featured are director John Rando; director and choreographer Dan Knechtges; lyricist and composer Lisa Lambert; orchestrators Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Alex Lacamoire, and Michael Starobin; and costume designer Jess Goldstein. Through interviews by Princeton undergraduates along with theater scholars and graduate students from across the country, the artists will discuss their roles and experiences in creating and bringing musical productions to Broadway.
In addition to Wolf and Oja, the theater, dance, and music scholars participating are Lynn Garafolo of Barnard College, Liza Gennaro and Tamsen Wolff of Princeton University, Raymond L. Knapp of University of California Los Angeles, Jeffrey S. Magee of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, David Savran of City University of New York Graduate Center, Dominic Symonds of University of Portsmouth in England, and Elizabeth Wollman of Baruch College.
“We are very excited to collaborate with Harvard to put together this symposium and to take this next step in building Princeton’s Music Theater Lab at the Lewis Center,” states Wolf. “We are delighted to bring some of the most prominent artists working in the field to our students and to open this opportunity up to the wider community. We hope that audiences’ experiences of musical theater will be enhanced by gaining insight into the backstage creative process.”
Leading up to the symposium, the Lewis Center featured a series of conversations with other Broadway musical theater artists, including director John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company), assistant stage manager Jenny Slattery (Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark), scholar David Román, and writer Winnie Holzman (Wicked), an interview with whom can be heard on a Jersey Arts podcast. A conversation with Tony Award-nominated actress Montego Glover (Memphis) will conclude the series on April 16.
The conversation series and symposium are part of a spring 2012 course being taught by Wolf called, “Isn’t It Romantic: The Broadway Musical from Rogers and Hammerstein to Sondheim.” The course, which is cross-listed with Theater, American Studies, and English, explores how musical theater artists work to create this quintessentially American form of art and entertainment built on the basics of love and romance.
Sponsors of the symposium, in addition to the Lewis Center for the Arts, are the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Fund and Princeton’s Department of Music, Department of English, Center for African-American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Program in American Studies, and the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Sponsored by Lewis Center for the Arts, David A. Gardner ’69 Fund, Department of Music, Department of English, Center for African American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Program in American Studies, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies