(A SPECIAL ISSUE OF STUDIES IN MUSICAL THEATRE)
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
While the musical theater has always been a commercial enterprise, the amount of money needed to produce a musical has risen steadily since the onset of the Depression, and especially since the last decades of the 20th century. The cost of production, coupled with the introduction of numerous cheaper, more widely accessible entertainment forms, has forced the musical to struggle financially and aesthetically at various periods during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Broadway musicals suffered along with the rest of the US during the economic recession and skyrocketing inflation that plagued much of the 1970s, for example.
Inflation affects the criteria for hit status: since the 1970s, shows must run for increasingly long stretches to profit. Thus, while musicals that ran for more than a few years were comparatively rare in the 1940s, it is now common for musicals to run several years before recouping, which
has led to new emphasis on advertising and marketing strategies, and, some would argue, a diminishing role for critics.
The longer average run of stage musicals depends in part on an increasingly global audience, which is seen as transitory and ever-renewing. Modern musicals court audiences from around the country and around the world by employing strategies that include new approaches to subject matter and musical style; ever-changing approaches to spectacle; increasingly sophisticated marketing; and more dependence on and careful emulation of the mass media.
This is especially true since Times Square was renovated at the end of the 20th century. During the booming 1990s, the musical grew larger, more internationally appealing, and more
spectacular than ever, but with what critics argued were serious aesthetic consequences. Now in the early 21st century, the global recession has again begun to affect the musical theater economically and aesthetically. But how?
As guest editors for a special edition of Studies in Musical Theatre to be published in 2010, we would like to propose a multidisciplinary approach to the relationship between commerce and art as applied to the stage musical since the late 1980s, and especially since the turn of the century. We welcome proposals for articles that explore the stage musical from a wide variety of perspectives. Topics might include but are not limited to:
- International stage musical economics
- Advertising and marketing
- Criticism, gender representation, or race representation as related to the economy
- Style, content, consumption, cost, or longevity as related to the economy
- Tourism and audience demographics as related to the economy
Submissions, in the form of abstracts that do not exceed 500 words, should be sent by email before Thursday, April 30, 2009, to guest editors Elizabeth Wollman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jessica Sternfeld (email@example.com).
Potential contributors will be notified by late May 2009. Completed articles will be expected in late January 2010; all revisions will be due in late August 2010.
Studies in Musical Theatre is a fully refereed international journal published by Intellect. For further information, please visit the website: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals.php?issn=17503159