In addition to singing, dancing, and acting technique classes, The Institute for American Musical Theatre is offering a unique and revolutionary approach in musical theatre curriculum. Each semester will be built around a series of lectures and demonstrations covering productions within a given period that shaped the future of the American musical theatre. There will also be lectures and demonstrations illuminating the choreographers, performers, producers, and directors whose work advanced the art of musical theatre.
The four semesters of the program are divided chronologically, allowing for parallel studies in the art of performance in drama music, and dance for each period.
They are outlined in the following manner:
Semester I: THE ROOTS OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATRE UNTIL WE STAND AT THE THRESHOLD OF SHOW BOAT (1886-1928)
European Operetta evolves from its roots in European opera. Likewise, we will explore the development of American musical comedy out of American vaudeville traditions leading to THE BLACK CROOK, America's first musical comedy. Also covered will be European operetta traditions, transforming into its Americanized version. Likewise, American jazz will begin to inform the American Musical Comedy.
Semester II: THE MUSICAL THEATRE IS AMERICANIZED AS IT GAINS DRAMATIC COHESION (1928-1959)
Jazz shakes off European influences as it asserts itself as the vernacular of the American musical comedy. American operettas become the new Musical Serious. Musicals begin to experiment with accepted formulas. Scores become more literate and musically sophisticated while the scripts gain equal importance to the scores and stars. This semester begins with SHOW BOAT and finishes with GYPSY.
Semester II culminates with our annual IAMT ROCKS! Benefit concert that combines Broadway professionals and IAMT students in a fun and energetic concert with some of the best musicians in NYC!
Semester III: THE OLD GUARD PASSES TO NEXT GENERATIONS: TRYING TO FIND A NEW VOCABULARY FOR THE AMERICAN MUSICAL (1959-1969)
Beginning with the final collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the musical theatre faces the grim realities of popular music. Through this struggle, new teams of writers emerge, as well as the rising power of the director/choreographer. Also covered will be the rise of the concept musical against the security of older methods which are no longer as safe as they once were. This semester begins with THE SOUND OF MUSIC and ends with 1776.
Semester III includes a two week residency of Broadway choreographers who will create new pieces and practice their craft using IAMT students. This is an incredible opportunity to work with choreographers who are currently working on and casting Broadway shows.
Semester IV: WITHER OR WHITHER BROADWAY? (1970 to 2015)
Uncertainty over the direction of the musical theatre leads to a long period of revivals of musical theatre classics, while contemporary music tries to find a foothold in the commercial theatre. The new format of Juke Box Musicalschallenge performers to work in established non-theatrical styles. Important new productions vie for attention with works created through small workshops, staged readings and regional theatre productions. Security is sought through proven works with established stars from other mediums as well as established successes from England. This launches an era of long-run productions monopolizing the limited Broadway real estate. Broadway turns to the Super Director/Choreographers to take firm command of the musical theatre. But surprise can still come from the increasingly rare original musical comedy. This semester begins with COMPANY and ends with HAMILTON.
Semester IV culminates in a showcase performance with invited casting directors, agents, choreographers and managers.