Villages Member Richard Block is sharing his in-depth knowledge at a Renesan event, Wednesday, February 1st titled The Birth of Musical Theater and Who Invented It. For Villages' theater buffs, enjoy this afternoon course on how American musical theater started and grew into this dramatic form.
People love musicals. Most of the great musicals have been made into successful movies, including Steven Spielberg’s recent remake of West Side Story. Musical theater is an American theater form, an American invention, which is jealously imitated in other countries but never equaled. In this course, students will look at how the American musical theater started, grew, and gave birth to a new dramatic form: the musical play, an integrated performance form that tells a story combining music and drama.
Richard Block (BFA in Theatre Arts, Carnegie Mellon; MA in Theatre Arts, U. of Washington) grew up in the “Golden Era” of American musical theater (1940s-1970s) and knows virtually every musical of the period, and most of the songs by heart. Block was a composer of an off-Broadway musical revue and directed off-Broadway. He is the founder of Actors Theatre of Louisville and served as its Producer and Artistic Director for seven years. Block has directed at professional theaters and opera houses all over the country and has taught directing workshops in Chicago and in Santa Fe.