May 9 and 10, 2019, Sheffield
Deadline: February 4, 2019
University of Sheffield, UK
Convenors: Elsa Marshall and Joshua Goodman
Cast albums perpetuate musicals beyond their theatrical limits as ephemeral events. The chance of seeing a live performance is reliant on finances, location, and timing, but these recordings can create a much larger audience. In recent years, Hamilton has built an unprecedented fanbase as a result of the shared experiences of listening to its cast album and subsequent reinterpretations online. In the 1960s, the original cast recording of Camelot contributed to its enduring legacy via its posthumous association with John F. Kennedy, a topic that was more recently referred to in the movie Jackie. As these and many other examples demonstrate, cast recordings are an influential part of public and academic understandings of musical theatre. This conference will provide a forum for a critical discussion of perspectives on and research frameworks for the study of cast recordings.
Laurence Maslon (NYU) will present the keynote lecture based on his recent publication Broadway to Main Street: How Show Music Enchanted America (OUP 2018). His lecture will examine how the theatricality of Broadway-based show tunes and scores was transmuted into experiences for home and personal listening over the last century.
Examples of paper themes include but are not limited to:
Defining the cast album
Documenting a production vs. creating a discrete listening experience
Production and performance practices
Marketing and dissemination
Fandom and reception studies
Framing cast recordings as ‘works’
The relation between recordings and live performance
Musical theatre and recording history
Send submissions to Elsa Marshall: emmarshall1 -at- sheffield.ac.uk . Proposals should be sent as an attached PDF without identifying information and include a title and an abstract of up to 250 words.
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