Event Title

Actualizing the (Im)Possible in Community Musical Theater: An Ethnography of Tallahassee, Florida Production of Titanic

Start Date

30-5-2011 4:00 PM

End Date

30-5-2011 4:30 PM

Description

Community musical theater actively engages individuals in music-making and dramatic performances across the United States. The American Association for Community Theatre (AACT) reports that community theatres in the US engage nearly 1 million volunteers in more than 46,000 productions for over 375,000 performances each year. In community musical theater, enthusiastic volunteers are afforded socially and musically meaningful opportunities to perform alongside other members of their community. Musical experiences in the realm of community musical theater afford individuals opportunities for meaningful musical and social interactions. This intensive study of music as a social activity chronicles the experiences of a community group in the southeastern United States as they present a production of Maury Yeston’s blockbuster musical Titanic. Participants’ approaches to music-making on the community level, their reasons for involvement, and their view of the relationship between community and professional musical theater are discussed. An understanding of community musical theater that considers its ability to shape and influence the most fundamental aspects of its participants’ lives reveals the power of this compelling variety of musical performance and its vital function in the larger community. This paper focuses on influences that define or confine musical experience and interactions that come to shape these musical activities. Community musical theater is explored as an important activity that affords individuals opportunities to fulfill a need to be musical through self-exploration and collaboration in a social environment. Community musical theater participants are positioned at the crossroads of what ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino refers to as “the Possible” and “the Actual.” The relationship between the Possible and the Actual is explored as it unfolds in three contexts: between community musical theater and Broadway, within the musical Titanic itself, and for the individual participant in community musical theater. This paper reveals the power of actualizing possibilities in community musical theater an Community musical theater actively engages individuals in music-making and dramatic performances across the United States. The American Association for Community Theatre (AACT) reports that community theatres in the US engage nearly 1 million volunteers in more than 46,000 productions for over 375,000 performances each year. In community musical theater, enthusiastic volunteers are afforded socially and musically meaningful opportunities to perform alongside other members of their community. Musical experiences in the realm of community musical theater afford individuals opportunities for meaningful musical and social interactions. This intensive study of music as a social activity chronicles the experiences of a community group in the southeastern United States as they present a production of Maury Yeston’s blockbuster musical Titanic. Participants’ approaches to music-making on the community level, their reasons for involvement, and their view of the relationship between community and professional musical theater are discussed. An understanding of community musical theater that considers its ability to shape and influence the most fundamental aspects of its participants’ lives reveals the power of this compelling variety of musical performance and its vital function in the larger community. This paper focuses on influences that define or confine musical experience and interactions that come to shape these musical activities. Community musical theater is explored as an important activity that affords individuals opportunities to fulfill a need to be musical through self-exploration and collaboration in a social environment. Community musical theater participants are positioned at the crossroads of what ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino refers to as “the Possible” and “the Actual.” The relationship between the Possible and the Actual is explored as it unfolds in three contexts: between community musical theater and Broadway, within the musical Titanic itself, and for the individual participant in community musical theater. This paper reveals the power of actualizing possibilities in community musical theater and how the music at the heart of this experience is so meaningful to its participants.

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May 30th, 4:00 PM May 30th, 4:30 PM

Actualizing the (Im)Possible in Community Musical Theater: An Ethnography of Tallahassee, Florida Production of Titanic

Community musical theater actively engages individuals in music-making and dramatic performances across the United States. The American Association for Community Theatre (AACT) reports that community theatres in the US engage nearly 1 million volunteers in more than 46,000 productions for over 375,000 performances each year. In community musical theater, enthusiastic volunteers are afforded socially and musically meaningful opportunities to perform alongside other members of their community. Musical experiences in the realm of community musical theater afford individuals opportunities for meaningful musical and social interactions. This intensive study of music as a social activity chronicles the experiences of a community group in the southeastern United States as they present a production of Maury Yeston’s blockbuster musical Titanic. Participants’ approaches to music-making on the community level, their reasons for involvement, and their view of the relationship between community and professional musical theater are discussed. An understanding of community musical theater that considers its ability to shape and influence the most fundamental aspects of its participants’ lives reveals the power of this compelling variety of musical performance and its vital function in the larger community. This paper focuses on influences that define or confine musical experience and interactions that come to shape these musical activities. Community musical theater is explored as an important activity that affords individuals opportunities to fulfill a need to be musical through self-exploration and collaboration in a social environment. Community musical theater participants are positioned at the crossroads of what ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino refers to as “the Possible” and “the Actual.” The relationship between the Possible and the Actual is explored as it unfolds in three contexts: between community musical theater and Broadway, within the musical Titanic itself, and for the individual participant in community musical theater. This paper reveals the power of actualizing possibilities in community musical theater an Community musical theater actively engages individuals in music-making and dramatic performances across the United States. The American Association for Community Theatre (AACT) reports that community theatres in the US engage nearly 1 million volunteers in more than 46,000 productions for over 375,000 performances each year. In community musical theater, enthusiastic volunteers are afforded socially and musically meaningful opportunities to perform alongside other members of their community. Musical experiences in the realm of community musical theater afford individuals opportunities for meaningful musical and social interactions. This intensive study of music as a social activity chronicles the experiences of a community group in the southeastern United States as they present a production of Maury Yeston’s blockbuster musical Titanic. Participants’ approaches to music-making on the community level, their reasons for involvement, and their view of the relationship between community and professional musical theater are discussed. An understanding of community musical theater that considers its ability to shape and influence the most fundamental aspects of its participants’ lives reveals the power of this compelling variety of musical performance and its vital function in the larger community. This paper focuses on influences that define or confine musical experience and interactions that come to shape these musical activities. Community musical theater is explored as an important activity that affords individuals opportunities to fulfill a need to be musical through self-exploration and collaboration in a social environment. Community musical theater participants are positioned at the crossroads of what ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino refers to as “the Possible” and “the Actual.” The relationship between the Possible and the Actual is explored as it unfolds in three contexts: between community musical theater and Broadway, within the musical Titanic itself, and for the individual participant in community musical theater. This paper reveals the power of actualizing possibilities in community musical theater and how the music at the heart of this experience is so meaningful to its participants.