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Estranged Partners?: The Place of Musical Theater Studies Within Popular Music Studies

  • UCLA Jan Popper Theater, Schoenberg Music Building 445 Charles E Young Drive East Los Angeles, CA 90095 (map)

One of the most vexing questions in scholarship that deals with popular music and/or musicals is the strange bifurcation that divides these into separate and even antagonistic realms, despite their strong connections, as practices, throughout the intertwined histories of popular music and stage music in US American culture, from Show Boat and The Jazz Singer to Hamilton, from Tin Pan Alley to Hip Hop and beyond. This one-day symposium brings together scholars and practitioners from both popular music studies and musical theater studies to present a diversity of perspectives on this bifurcation and discuss how the artificial boundary between these two areas might be better understood and managed.


Daniel Goldmark (Case Western University), Elizabeth L. Wollman (CUNY Graduate Center), Raymond Knapp (UCLA), Oliver Wang (CSULB), Amy Coddington (Amherst College), Masi Asare (Northwestern University), Jake Johnson (Oklahoma City), Nina Sun Eidsheim (UCLA), and Shana L. Redmond (UCLA)



12pm-1:15pm: Concert featuring students from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

Selections from Bells Are Ringing, Between the Lines, Edges, Waitress, and world premiere musical Rebel Genius


Walker Brinskele, Fernando Carsa, Naama Shaham, Sara Gilbert, Michael Wells

1:30pm-3pm: Panel 1 - Vocal Embodiment, moderated by Mitchell Morris

Panelists: Masi Asare, Jake Johnson, Nina Sun Eidsheim, Shana L. Redmond

3pm-3:30pm: Coffee Break

3:30pm-5pm: Panel 2 - Theatricality and Authenticity, moderated by Robert Fink

Panelists: Elizabeth L. Wollman, Daniel Goldmark, Raymond Knapp, Amy Coddington, Oliver Wang


UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

UCLA Department of English

UCLA Department of Theater

UCLA College of Letters and Science, Division of the Humanities

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fund

UCLA Department of Musicology

UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology

UCLA Department of Music

Parking Information

We recommend parking in Lot 2 (602 Charles E. Young Drive, East
Los Angeles, CA 90095 ). Parking is $12 per day, and passes can be obtained at a self pay station in the lot.

For detailed instructions on how to get from the parking lot to the event, please visit