UW News

April 3, 2008

Musical theater symposium slated April 11-12

A two-day symposium on American musical theater organized by Larry Starr, the Ruth Waters Endowed Professor in Music History at the UW School of Music, will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12, in Brechemin Auditorium.

The program includes presentations and a panel discussion by nationally celebrated scholars and theater professionals. Highlights include a session titled “Topics in American Musical Theater, 1935-2007,” and a panel discussion, “Come to the Cabaret,” featuring national scholars and theater professionals from Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theater and coinciding with the Fifth Avenue Theater’s production of Cabaret.

Sessions will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. All events are free and open to the public.


Session One: Topics in American Musical Theater, 1935-2007
Friday, April 11, 2008, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Brechemin Auditorium

Presenters and topics

  • Andrew Buchman (Evergreen State College) on the recent film adaptation of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd;
  • Larry Starr (UW) on Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess;
  • Steve Swayne (Dartmouth College) on the musical theater works of William Finn;
  • Judy Tsou (UW) on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song;
  • Gwynne Brown (University of Puget Sound), respondent.

Session Two: Come to the Cabaret: A Panel Discussion
(Coinciding with the presentation of Cabaret at Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theatre)
Saturday, April 12, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Brechemin Auditorium


  • David Armstrong (Producing Artistic Director, Fifth Avenue Theatre)
  • Bill Berry (Director of Cabaret, Fifth Avenue Theatre)
  • Geoffrey Block (University of Puget Sound)
  • James Leve (Northern Arizona University)
  • David Schiff (Reed College)
  • Claudia Zahn (UW), respondent