Musical Theatre

Home/ Musical Theatre
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2PS2094

Semester and Year Offered: 2nd and 4th Semester

Course Coordinator and Team: Deepan Sivaraman, Prof. Sumangala Damodaran &Prof. Anuradha Kapur

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: Ability to sing or act on stage or any kind of experience in theatre production.

Course Objectives/Description:

This course will aim to devise a musical theatre performance based on reading of a text, musical composition and creation of a pluri-medial production that mobilises several fields of cultural expression. Such performances have deep roots in India's cultural history with ancient and contemporary trajectories (from film to folk ritual, from the operatic to the avant-garde) and the different forms of musical theatre have affinities with African, Latin American and Chinese traditions. It will also allow students of a specific skill set to work together with other skills sets and begin to understand composition, direction and design. It will be based on a text that is already available or created for the purpose of the course, which might be in the form of an oratorio or operatic text that has scope for musical performance making.

Course Outcomes:

Learn to look at music as the central component and entry point to a performance making process.

  • To aid the development of an ability to physicalise/dramatise a text that has substantial poetic/musical content.
  • To equip students to develop and work with multi-sensorial registers where sound, music, movement and acting happen in conversation with each other.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Lecture Classes with course team

The students will be taken through an intensive reading exercise of a text that is selected for production. This exercise will involve inputs from scriptwriting, music composition, dramaturgy and scenography and will expose students to processes involved in each component of the text being interpreted in terms of performance. The writer or composer involved in the production of the script that is selected might be invited to take lectures in this period.

  • Lecture topics
  • Theatre and labour
  • Musical theatre & music in theatre
  • Text and dramaturgy
  • Dramaturgy through scenography
  • Devising performance
  • Sound and Dramaturgy


Module 2: Theatre Practice

Devising performance

Students will be divided into specific teams that will work on composing music, devising scenography and dramaturgy for the production. Students will be working along with the course coordinating team and invited artists in the production process and will open the performance for AUD community as the final outcome of the course.

Assessment Details with weights:

Students will be assessed for their overall understanding of the course and their contribution towards performances, group discussions and knowledge sharing. Attending weekly lectures and presentations are vital and any absence may affect the grades.

  • Class participation and blog contribution: 30%
  • Seminar presentation on reading: 20%
  • Final Performance Project: 30%
  • Reflective paper: 20%

*All students must participate in all course assessments to obtain a passing course grade.

Reading List:

  • Andrew Lamb, 150 Years of Popular Musical Theatre (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).
  • Allen Woll, Black Musical Theatre: From Countdown to Dream girls (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State 7 University Press, 1989)
  • Mel Atkey, A Million Miles from Broadway -- Musical Theatre Beyond New York and London
  • John David Cockerill (2012), A Little Rumba Numba: Latin American Music in Musical Theatre, Thesis submitted for the Degree of Master of Music, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  • Musicality in Theatre: Music as Model, Method and Metaphor in Theatre-Making By David Roesner, Ashgate Publishing , 2014
  • The Noise: The sound of Performance Edited by Lynne Kendrick, David Roesner, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 24-Jan-2012