The works of Stephen Sondheim are some of the most complex in the musical theatre canon. The storylines are often about adults in tumultuous relationships and the music contains indiscernible melodies and abnormal rhythms. These are works often difficult for even the most experienced performers, let alone any high school student. As a high school theatre teacher, it is important my students are challenged and prepared to tackle any and all theatrical works. I have dissected a number of Sondheim's works in order to find ways to make them more accessible to high school students. While the characters and their experiences may be well beyond their high school years, these works are still relevant to them. Navigating this complicated material is one of the many ways I challenge my students, and in my thesis, I intend to explain how I guide them through this text and music. I utilized research for my classroom teachings to explore three different works by Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, Company, and Merrily We Roll Along). Each of these musicals presents different challenges student performers must overcome. I used my musical theatre class as my lab to delve into in-depth script and score analysis and discussion of how to master the challenges of each musical into a full production.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Nash-Brown, Matthew, "Everybody Says Don't: An Examination of Works by Stephen Sondheim in High School Theatre Programs" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 105.