2nd Edition

Acting in Musical Theatre
A Comprehensive Course

ISBN 9780415713276
Published September 23, 2015 by Routledge
428 Pages

USD $68.95

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Book Description

Acting in Musical Theatre remains the only complete course in approaching a role in a musical. It covers fundamental skills for novice actors, practical insights for professionals, and even tips to help veteran musical performers refine their craft.

Updates in this expanded and revised second edition include:

  • A brand new companion website for students and teachers, including Powerpoint lecture slides, sample syllabi, and checklists for projects and exercises.
  • Learning outcomes for each chapter to guide teachers and students through the book’s core ideas and lessons
  • New style overviews for pop and jukebox musicals
  • Extensive updated professional insights from field testing with students, young professionals, and industry showcases
  • Full-colour production images, bringing each chapter to life

Acting in Musical Theatre’s chapters divide into easy-to-reference units, each containing group and solo exercises, making it the definitive textbook for students and practitioners alike.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: Fundamentals of Acting in Musical Theatre  1. Acting Basics - The Foundation  2. Acting Basics - Step-by-Step  3. Making it Matter  Part 2: Score and Libretto Analysis and Structure  4. Musical Analysis - Listening for Clues  5. Working with Words - The Language of the Lyric and Libretto 6. Elements of Storytelling  7. Character Analysis  Part 3: The Journey of the Song  8. The Journey Begins  9. Working with Relationships  10. Intensifiers  Part 4: Making it a Performance 11. Discovering your Phrasing  12. Staging your Song  13. Rehearsal into Performance  Part 5: Style in Musical Theatre  14. What is Style?  15. Style Tags  16. Style Overviews Part 6: The Profession  17. Do you have the Stuff?  18. Auditioning  19. A Winning Attitude  Subject Index  Show, Character and Song Index

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Rocco Dal Vera was Professor of Drama at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where he headed the Division for Musical Theatre, Acting, Opera, Dance, Arts Administration, Theatre Design and Production. He is the author and editor of six books including Voice: Onstage and Off with Robert Barton.     

Joe Deer is Head of Musical Theatre at Wright State University, as well as being an experienced director, choreographer, actor, dancer, stage manager, and artistic director. He has been a musical theatre educator for almost thirty years, and is a frequent contributor to theatre publications, including Teaching Theatre Journal and Dramatics Magazine.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Joe  Deer

Joe Deer

Head, BFA Musical Theatre Program, Wright State University
Dayton, OH, USA

Learn more about Joe Deer »


"An essential guide to musical theatre acting. [...] This book should be a staple on the shelf of every musical theatre professor, instructor, and student as it is an invaluable resource."

- Matthew Teague Miller, Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.