Aristotle, Plot, Musical Theatre, Linear, Non-linear, Neoclassicism
Since the first recorded theatrical events, theatre has been presented in a linear fashion. It is no surprise that the majority of American Musical Theatre also follows a linear plot conception. Musicals that blatantly defy linearity are often called "concept" musicals. However, there is a small portion of concept musicals that do not abandon their linear plot altogether, but instead choose to skew the line in order to give the audience a unique perspective of the story being told. This mass categorization does not accurately take into account the extreme difference in structure of the two types of concept musicals. For this purpose, I explored the notion of a new structural category, the Less Linear Concept Musical, in hopes of identifying the unique characteristics and challenges associated with this type of musical. Beginning with Aristotle's "The Poetics" and ending in modern day Musical Theatre, I examine key events in the shaping of this musical theatre form, as well as define the form itself. The application of this research culminated in a classroom presentation of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, which I directed. I pose the question, "Can sound direction conquer the pitfalls found within the Less Linear Concept Musical?"
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lewis, Andrew, "The Last 2500 Years: Defining, Dissecting And Directing The Less Linear Musical" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4438.