How Musicals Work


New Title Fall 2023

How Musicals Work

(formerly Dramatic Forms of Musical Theater)

Professor Ryan Donovan

W 3:05 - 5:35 p.m.

Page 106, West Campus

Theater Studies Musical Theater Minor Requirement

Theater Studies Major - Area 2 (Dramatic Literature, Theater History, Performance Studies)

What makes a musical a musical? How do musicals create alchemy in song and dance? What is the relationship between content, form, and context? These questions will guide our study of musical theater dramaturgy and its evolution. We will cover everything from contemporary musicals to Sondheim, rock operas, revues, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. By the end of the course, students will become experts at recognizing various forms of musical theatre, gain an understanding of the pivotal relationship between historical context and dramatic form, and be able to chart how innovations often become conventions. Our focus is musical theater on the page and the stage as we explore how musicals work.


Previously Titled "Dramatic Forms of Musical Theater"

Curriculum Codes
  • ALP
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring