1st Edition

Performing in Contemporary Musicals

By David Sisco, Laura Josepher Copyright 2022
    252 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Performing in Contemporary Musicals brings into sharp focus the skills performers must possess when tackling shows that are newly written, in development, or somewhere in between.

    The authors bust myths about contemporary musical theatre and analyze the development timelines of musicals from around the world. They also explore how performers can become invaluable to a creative team by developing the skills needed to move a new musical forward including: contemporary acting and singing techniques, dramaturgy, quickly picking up new material, and collaboration. Each chapter features insightful industry interviews, recommended activities, an extensive reading list, and an online companion for further study.

    This textbook is the only comprehensive resource that provides an overview of the development process of a new musical while guiding musical theatre performers to be fruitful collaborators in a new works scenario.

    Introduction; CHAPTER 1 What Is Contemporary Musical Theatre?;  CHAPTER 2 The Varied World of Musical Development; CHAPTER 3 What You Need to Know About the New Works Process; CHAPTER 4 Dramaturgy; CHAPTER 5 Acting in Contemporary Musicals; CHAPTER 6 Singing in Contemporary Musicals; CHAPTER 7 Auditioning for New Musicals; CHAPTER 8 Picking Up New Material; CHAPTER 9 Collaboration; CHAPTER 10 Working on Material That Isn’t Fully Realized (Yet)


    David Sisco (he/him) is Adjunct Voice Faculty at NYU Steinhardt and regularly lectures nationally and internationally. He is Founder and President of ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com and co-authored Mastering College Musical Theatre Auditions with Laura Josepher. David is also an award-winning composer, music director and, every once in a while, takes the stage himself.

    Laura Josepher (she/her) has been directing, teaching, and coaching professionally for over 30 years. Along with business partner David Sisco, she runs ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com and co-authored the book Mastering College Musical Theatre Auditions. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

    "Performing in Contemporary Musicals offers a comprehensive and highly informed view of the world of creating new musical theatre. Sisco and Josepher understand this world through long experience working closely with every part of the process. This book is an essential part of any serious theatre-makers’ library."

    Joe Deer, Chair, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Motion Pictures at Wright State University

    "Performing in Contemporary Musicals details the foundational skills necessary to approach new musical theatre works. The mastery of these skills will allow actors to bring their authentic selves to a new project and collaboratively serve the vision of the creative team. I will absolutely include this book on my syllabus!"

    Michele Pawk, Tony Award winning actress and Associate Professor at Wagner College

    "Working on a new piece of theater is an exciting but often nebulous process. David and Laura have taken their years of experience in developing new works and created a valuable resource for future generations of theater-makers to give shape to the sometimes-shapeless process of making new musicals."

    Telly Leung, Broadway Veteran

    "As an actor who has spent much of his career developing new work, it is so exciting to finally have a comprehensive book dedicated to the process of creating new musical theatre. It breaks down all the tools an actor needs to be an informed and prepared collaborator."

    Jason Gotay, Broadway Veteran

    "Musicals are like icebergs: we only admire the little part we see. Performing in Contemporary Musicals takes us below the water line, however, and gives us a glimpse into the entirety of what makes up the creation and collaborative nature necessary to the success of a new musical."

    Jean-Paul Yovanoff, Founder of MusicalTheatreRadio.com

    "David and Laura have their finger on the pulse of the industry as it's changing and understand how training must change as a result. In Performing in Contemporary Musicals, they are both meticulous and incredibly soulful about setting artists up for success."

    Sheri Sanders, Founder & CEO of Rock the Audition