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Guest Lecture | Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theatre Across America

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Stacy Wolf visits TAPS from Princeton University to present on her new book "Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theatre Across America" | RSVP

The idea of American musical theatre conjures up images of bright lights and big city, but its lifeblood is found in local and amateur productions at schools, community theatres, summer camps, and more. In Beyond Broadway, author Stacy Wolf considers the widespread presence and persistence of musical theatre in U.S. culture, and examines it as a live, pleasurable, participatory experience of creating, watching, and listening. Why does local musical theatre flourish in America? Why do so many Americans passionately engage in a century-old artistic practice that requires intense, person-to-person collaboration? Why do audiences flock to see musicals in their hometowns? How do corporations like Disney and Music Theatre International enable musical theatre's energetic movement through American culture? Touring from Maine to California, Wolf visits elementary schools, a middle school performance festival, afterschool programs, high schools, summer camps, state park outdoor theatres, community theatres, and dinner theatres, and conducts over 200 interviews with practitioners and spectators, licensors and Disney creatives. In Beyond Broadway, Wolf tells the story of musical theatre's abundance and longevity in the U.S. as a thriving, joyful activity that touches millions of lives.


Stacy Wolf is Professor of Theater and American Studies at Princeton University and the founding director of Princeton’s Program in Music Theater.  She is the author of A Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical; Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical; and Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theatre Across America, which was a finalist for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2020 Outstanding Book Award.  Wolf co-edited The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical and “Sondheim from the Side,” which is a forthcoming issue of the journal Studies in Musical Theatre that brings together personal reflections of Sondheim’s musicals by women, queers, people of color, and others.  Wolf has published articles on Hamilton and gender, on college student productions of Sondheim’s musicals in the age of #MeToo, and on Disney’s divas.  She is currently writing an article about the composer Jeanine Tesori and is co-writing a book with a former student titled Feminist Approaches to Musical Theatre.  In addition to writing and teaching at Princeton and going to see theatre in New York City, Wolf sings in a community choir, listens to audiobooks, and likes to take hikes with her adopted miniature schnauzer Ellie.