My main area of interest and expertise is in Musical Theatre. I teach Singing for The Actor I and II, and Musical Theatre I and II. In the singing classes, we focus on approaching songs as acting pieces, and consider the lyrics as the "text." In the musical theatre courses, we trace the development of American musical theatre from its earliest years until what's playing on Broadway today.
I've worked on many shows as Musical Director, both here at MSU and professionally. I also write music, and have a special interest in songwriting for theatre. In many of my classes we discuss contemporary pop,rock and rap music and its affect on and relationship to Broadway music. We also discuss the use of dance and "storytelling" in music videos and television shows such as Glee and American Idol. As popular music evolves, so does the music and sound we hear in Broadway musicals. This evolution and development of the classic Broadway tradition is a primary interest on mine.
I also teach Introduction to the Theatrical Medium, which explores the fundamentals of the creation and production of theatre. It explores the role of and relationship between the playwright, the actor, the director, the designers, and the audience. Its primary theme is that the theatre is an art form that observes, chronicles and examines human behavior, illuminating both the human comedy and tragedy.
I have a special interest in the music and lyrics of what some call the "Golden Age" of American musicals, by writers such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and George and Ira Gershwin.