AMS Annual Meeting, Denver, 9–12 November, Denver, CO (leading SSCM Informal Business Meeting)
NASM Annual Meeting, 17–21 November, Scottsdale, AZ
Rutgers: A New Chapter | Posted 4 September 2023
As of 1 July 2023 I have a new gig. I am the Director of the Department of Music at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, New Brunswick. I did a little social media meet-and-greet with the MGSA team, which you can find here. I’m very grateful to Syracuse University for their support over the past twenty-two years; I will miss my colleagues and friends there, but I am looking forward to a new challenge.
Despite the vicissitudes of moving, I did manage some summer research and travel. I spent a week at the British Library pulling together bits and pieces for the Lloyd Webber book and then headed to Geneva where I presented a revised version of my Psyche paper at the Biennial Baroque Conference.
My new location has also made it easier to do research in NYC. I spent a profitable afternoon last week at the New York Public Library, Performing Arts Division, which has a veritable treasure trove of sources about all things Broadway.
If you want to catch up with me you will be able to find me at NAMESU, AMS, or NASM.
Actio! Actio! Actio! | Posted 27 December 2022
Earlier this month I presented my research on the dramatick opera Psyche at the University of Leiden. The organizer Jed Wentz had originally asked me to participate in a symposium on historical acting in 2020; sadly, that proved impossible because of the COVID pandemic. After several additional delays, the symposium finally happened, and it was everything I’d hoped for. For those of us who could arrive early, our intellectual appetites were whetted by the “OverActing” theatre festival, which considered the benefits of revivifying historical acting techniques in the modern theatre. Because of end-of-term obligations, I had to miss one of the key performances, a theatrical extravaganza on the first evening featuring 100-year-old painted scenery (you can find an image of the event above, and a YouTube trailer here), but I did attend a range of other activities, including performances of a cantata, a melodrama, and a series of silent films with live accompaniment. I also participated in a historical acting workshop led by Kat Carson. Click here to read more.
Summer Travels | Posted 1 August 2022
This summer has felt like that Johnny Cash song: “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man!” I had a lovely vacation hiking in multiple national parks in the US and the Lake District in the UK. Following the Lake District jaunt I relocated to London and started work on a whole new archive for the Andrew Lloyd Webber book. I found some fascinating items having to do with the concept album rollout of Jesus Christ Superstar and the original Broadway production directed by Tom O’Horgan. I also discovered intriguing tidbits associated with Evita, Starlight Express, and Aspects of Love. I spent many happy hours in the manuscript and music and rare books reading rooms at the British Library, but instead of carefully parsing seventeenth-century manuscripts, I was looking at much more recent theatrical history! I also had teas/dinners/drinks with many friends. Click here to read more.
Back to the Archives | Posted 25 March 2022
I spent last week in the UK. This was my first time seeing my family for two years and it was also my first trip back to the archives. It felt so good to be there, although my enthusiasm was tempered by the ongoing disruptions of COVID. The UK is grasping for a “new normal” in which COVID is a mere nuisance, but we really aren’t there yet. Despite the stresses, there were many pleasures. I connected with friends and collaborators and made a trip to the archive at Shakespeare’s Globe.
I’ve worked at the Globe several times on practice-based research projects (workshop of the Restoration Tempest, showcase presentation of our Folger Macbeth production), but it was the first time visiting their archives, which houses material from productions at the Globe and at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Click here to read more.
Happy New Year | Posted 7 January 2022
Sometimes you finish a thing in a global pandemic and wonder if, given the dire state of the world, anyone has read it or found it useful. Most of us are barely keeping our heads above water. In November my pandemic-spawned book, Music, Dance, and Drama in Early Modern English Schools (CUP, 2020) received an Honorable Mention for the Diana McVeagh Prize from the North American British Music Studies Association. Click here to read more.