This course offers an intensive survey of gender crossings on the American musical theater stage. The course’s study of American musicals (in terms of form, content and context) will be anchored in a historical exploration of world theatrical traditions of cross-gender performance. The course will examine multiple modes of cross-gender performance, while also considering musicals that stage gender role reversals and those that open questions of gender expression and identity.
Sample reading list:
Laurence Senelick, The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre
Jill Dolan, Theatre and Sexuality
Kinky Boots, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Peter Pan, Billy Elliott
Two or three musicals each week (including script, cast album, taped Broadway production or film) plus 2-3 theoretical, critical and/or historical articles. Short weekly readings and listening sessions, with occasional screenings, field trips, workshops with guest artists, and performances as required. Regular short writing assignments throughout the semester, with a final project portfolio.
United States Travel Required
The seminar will be supplemented with visiting guest artists and scholars, at least one field trip to NYC to see a musical, and required attendance at selected musicals staged on the Princeton campus.