Studies in Musical Theatre 10.2 - out now!

Intellect is delighted to announce that Studies in Musical Theatre 10.2 is now available.

For more information about this issue, click here or email


Articles in this issue touch on several different examples of numerous instances of popular culture and musical theatre colliding. Another theme that serendipitously emerges from the articles in this issue is the spectre of class, something that seems to haunt all of the discussions. In all the articles there is an underlying sense that critical perceptions of genre-class positions are not as clear-cut or indisputable as they may seem.


Articles in this issue include (partial list):


The Time of Your Life: Gene Kelly, working-class masculinity and music

Authors: Julianne Lindberg

Page Start: 177


William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life (1939) is typically discussed alongside the works of great American playwrights. Music and dance, however, are major symbolic and structuring devices in the narrative of the play. Two characters in the play purposely embody music and dance: the pianist Wesley (a ‘colored boy’ who plays a ‘mean and melancholy boogie-woogie piano’), played by Reginald Beane, and Harry (a ‘natural born hoofer’), played by the then-stage novice Gene Kelly. Though no records remain of Kelly’s original choreography, he often spoke of the importance of music to his conception of the character Harry. Lindberg suggests that Kelly/Saroyan’s Harry is a product of the mainstream acceptance of working-class masculinities, an outgrowth of the progressive politics of the 1930s. Kelly’s relationship to the music of marginalized identities, Lindberg argues, informed the development of his iconic ‘average Joe’ persona.


Big possibility: Moscow, and musical theatre’s subjunctive dramaturgy

Authors: Zachary A. Dorsey

Page Start: 195


Grammatically speaking, many, many key songs and moments in musical theatre rely on the subjunctive, a grammatical mood that is used variously to express openness, hopefulness, wishfulness and possibility, as well as doubts, opinions, judgements and fears. Tevye’s ‘If I Were a Rich Man’ from Fiddler on the Roof is such a prime example of the subjunctive that it is often invoked in grammar guides and textbooks that seek to teach the proper use of this mood. This article explores the phenomenon that Dorsey describes as ‘subjunctive dramaturgy’ – the way that the spirit of the subjunctive mood underpins and crackles through the musical genre. Dorsey argues that particularly when amplified by speech, song and dance, the subjunctive mood helps to join character, actor and audience in a shared affective experience.


Sound design in theatre: Interruptions, counterpoints and punctuations – an interview with Mic Pool 

Authors: George Rodosthenous

Page Start: 243


Mic Pool has been working in theatre for over 40 years. He has had residencies as sound designer at the Lyric Hammersmith, the Royal Court, Tyne Theatre Company Ballet Rambert and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, alongside a busy freelance career. Pool has designed for more than 350 productions and he received a Tony Award for The 39 Steps (2008). Here, Pool talks to George Rodosthenous about theatre sound, preparation and rehearsal techniques, the challenges of working with both classical repertoire and musical theatre and how sound design, the ‘least consciously perceptible element’ of a production, becomes ‘powerful as a tool to propel and empower a production’.

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