Hair to Hamilton: The History & Performance of Pop/Rock Musicals

Thursdays 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Norris University Center beginning September 28
Course D Fall, 2023


Hair to Hamilton: The History and Performance of Pop/Rock Musicals,  Melissa Foster, Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction, Department of Theatre, School of Communication

To survive and excel in today’s performance industry, actors need to be increasingly multifaceted. The birth of the rock musical forever changed the landscape of the musical theatre stage, unleashing a theatrical vehicle of expression that mirrored, and continues to reflect the evolving landscape of history. The vocal demands of these shows are calling for extreme range, versatility, agility, and stamina. Singing in this genre is a specific skill set that needs practice and technical application. This course will explore how cultural and historical events influenced the sound of various genres of pop music in the USA and will discuss and examine the vocal styles/interpretations necessary for the performance of Pop/Rock Musicals in each genre. We’ll link these musical genres to the Broadway stage, noting their application to specific shows and scores. We also hope to include student performances and demonstrations, depending on availability.

Registration will open on August 15, 2023.  Go to


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