LIVE OUT LOUD! : A CELEBRATION OF THE HISTORY, LEGACY, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF QUEER COMPOSERS & LYRICISTS IN THE MUSICAL THEATRE ARTFORM
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThough musicals have told so many stories over the last century, not too much has been said about the people who wrote those stories. In study, we praise the great composers like Bernstein, Porter, and Sondheim, but no one has bothered to question the elephant in the room: during their careers, these composers were all closeted homosexuals. In fact, most of the composers and lyricists that have contributed to the true American artform were closeted during the twentieth century. Still, in the 21st century we have many composers who are gay, but who are only now able to be "out" and proud of their identity. To explore this, I will look to the personal lives of these writers, hoping to find concrete evidence of their experiences as queer people, then linking it to their careers and writings. By looking over the expanse of writers from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, I hope to draw some conclusion about what the "queer voice" is in the theatre, how it has changed throughout the decades, and if there is any influence at all in regards to theatre and popular culture. I hope to share my findings with the theatre community in the form of my cabaret performance. As I share my talents, using the songs of the studied composer/lyricists, I hope to intersperse anecdotes and findings from my research in between my songs, educating and inspiring the audience. I want them to walk away with a great understanding and appreciation of what the queer voice is, and why one should pay attention to it. I also hope that by taking leadership in this educational and creative project, I will set myself apart from my colleagues as a distinguished performer/theatre maker.
Degree ProgramMusical Theatre