• Laurie Swigart

Analyzing a Song

Answer these questions for each of the five activities that follow:


- What is the character's circumstance at the outset? Where does he think he is going? What does he want? What does he expect to find? What impulse is setting her on this journey?


- What important encounters does the character experience? What discoveries does he make? What obstacles appear? When specifically do they appear?


- Where does the character end up? Is this where he wanted to go? Identify the kind of discovery the character has throughout the song.


1. Look at several filmed performances from a range of musicals. Compare your interpretation of the actor's work on film with your classmates' interpretations. Discuss the differences in your reading of the performance.


2. Listen to original cast recordings of songs from musicals you don't know. For each performance, analyze the development of the song. Now decide what you think the given circumstances of the song are in the context of the show. Then read the plot synopsis to compare your sense of what happened with the actual story of the show.


3. Have your class all listen to and read the same song. Have each of them write down what they think the purpose of the song has in its development of character and of the show as a whole. Obviously, all will not agree. Find out why.

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