Exploring musical theatre performance synergy: Accessing seven performative processes | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167

Abstract

To meet the demands of the ever-evolving musical theatre industry, performers are expected to craft inspiring performances across eight shows a week, seamlessly integrating their triple-threat expertise. Most actors undertake intensive training to achieve the complex skillset required to execute this art form, yet professional success can be elusive. It appears that a key element to building and maintaining a musical theatre career is performance synergy. This phenomenon is described colloquially as or Whilst the literature regarding the field of musical theatre training is wide-ranging, little formal research has been undertaken on the ephemeral subject of performance synergy as it pertains to the work of the musical theatre actor. To address this lacuna in the literature – and to determine whether performance synergy can be described, comprehended, taught or learned – semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 Australian actors and creative directors active in the musical theatre industry. Collected data captured expert opinions on the elements, constructs and praxis of musical theatre performance synergy. Following a thematic analysis of the data, a framework of seven performative processes was constructed towards a clearer understanding of the practical aspects of this multifaceted phenomenon.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/smt_00094_1
2022-07-01
2024-05-22
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Alfreds, Mike. ( 2007), Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor, London:: Nick Hern Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Balk, H. Wesley. ( 1977), The Complete Singer-Actor: Training for Music Theatre, Minneapolis, MN:: Minnesota Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Balk, H. Wesley. ( 1985), Performing Power: A New Approach for the Singer-Actor, Minneapolis, MN:: Minnesota Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Benedetti, Jean. ( 1999), Stanislavski: His Life and Art: A Biography, London:: Methuen;.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bennett, Leslie. ( 2013;), ‘ Inspired states: Adapting the Michael Chekhov technique for the singing actor. ’, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4:2, pp. 14661, https://doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2013.794157. Accessed 20 September 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Berry, Cicely. ( 1973), Voice and the Actor, New York:: Wiley;.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Bonfitto, Matteo. ( 2016), The Kinetics of the Invisible: Acting Processes in Peter Brook’s Theatre, vol. 5 (ed. M. Kocur.), Frankfurt am Main:: Peter Lang Edition;.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Braun, Victoria, and Clarke, Virginia. ( 2017;), ‘ Thematic analysis. ’, Journal of Positive Psychology, 12:3, pp. 29798, https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2016.1262613. Accessed 10 September 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Braun, Victoria,, Clarke, Virginia, and Hayfield, Nikki. ( 2019;), ‘ A starting point for your journey, not a map: Nikki Hayfield in conversation with Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke about thematic analysis. ’, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 19:2, pp. 42445, https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2019.1670765. Accessed 15 September 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Bricusse, Leslie, and Newley, Anthony. ( 1970;), ‘ Pure Imagination. ’, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, USA:: Taradam Music Inc;.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Carman, Judith. ( 2004;), ‘ Yoga and singing: Natural partners. ’, Journal of Singing: The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, 60:5, pp. 43341, http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/scholarly-journals/yoga-singing-natural-partners/docview/1401831/se-2?accountid=14543. Accessed 3 March 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Chalfin, Dane. ( 2015;), ‘ Primal singing in action: How to access your inner vocal power. ’, YouTube, 24 February, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCxvP7cG4mQ. Accessed 20 May 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Chapman, Janice. ( 2017), Singing and Teaching Singing: A Holistic Approach to Classical Voice, 3rd ed., San Diego:: Plural Publishing;.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Chekhov, Michael. ( [1953] 1985), Lessons for the Professional Actor (ed. D. H. du Prey.), New York:: Performing Arts Publications;.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Chubbuck, Ivana. ( 2004), The Power of the Actor: The Chubbuck Technique, New York:: Avery;.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Craig, David. ( [1978] 1990), On Singing Onstage, , rev. ed.., New York:: Applause Publications;.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Cuny, Jacqui. ( 2018;), ‘ Music theatre performance strategies for the private singing studio. ’, Australian Voice, 19, pp. 714, https://search-informit-org.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/doi/10.3316/informit.304990178370804. Accessed 24 January 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Deer, Joe, and Dal Vera, Rocco. ( 2016), Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course, , 2nd ed.., New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Donnellan, Declan. (2002), The Actor and the Target, London:: Nick Hern Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Dunbar, Zachary. ( 2014;), ‘ Practice as research in musical theatre: Reviewing the situation. ’, Studies in Musical Theatre, 8:1, pp. 5775, https://doi.org/10.1386/smt.8.1.57_1. Accessed 14 May 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Dunbar, Zachary. ( 2016;), ‘ Stanislavski’s system in musical theatre actor training: Anomalies of acting song. ’, Stanislavski Studies, 4:1, pp. 6374.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Estill, Jo. ( 1996), Voice Craft: A User’s Guide to Voice Quality – Level One: Primer of Compulsory Figures, Santa Rosa, CA:: Estill Voice Training Systems;.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Fischer-Lichte, Erika. ( 2018;), ‘ Introduction: Transformative aesthetics – Reflections on the metamorphic power of art. ’, in E. Fischer-Lichte, and B. Wihstutz. (eds), Transformative Aesthetics, Abingdon:: Routledge;, pp. 121.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Glasheen, Kate. ( 2017;), ‘ Negotiating the contrary craft of the triple-threat. ’, Voice and Speech Review, 11:1, pp. 2039, https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2017.1370833. Accessed 10 May 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Goodall, Jane. ( 2008), Stage Presence, London and New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Hagen, Uta. ( 1973), Respect for Acting, Hoboken, NJ:: Wiley & Sons;.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Harvard, Paul. ( 2013), Acting through Song: Techniques and Exercises for Musical Theatre Actors, London:: Nick Hern Books;, https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au. Accessed 4 April 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Jaeger, Suzanne M.. ( 2006;), ‘ Embodiment and presence. ’, in D. Krasner, and D. Z. Saltz. (eds), Staging Philosophy: Intersections of Theater, Performance, and Philosophy, Ann Arbor, MI:: University of Michigan Press;, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/griffith/detail.action?docID=3414685. Accessed 4 October 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. John, Elton, and Hall, Lee. ( 2005;), ‘ Electricity. ’, Billy Elliot, UK:: WAB MGT. LTD and Universal Music Publishing Ltd;.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kayes, Gillian. ( 2000), Singing and the Actor, London:: A&C Black;.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Kemp, Rick. ( 2012), Embodied Acting: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Performance, Abingdon:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Krasner, David, and Saltz, David Z.. (eds) ( 2006), Staging Philosophy: Intersections of Theater, Performance, and Philosophy, Ann Arbor, MI:: University of Michigan Press;, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/griffith/detail.action?docID=3414685. Accessed 2 October 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Latash, Mark L.. ( 2008), Synergy, New York:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Lessac, Arthur. ( 2011;), ‘ Keynote address, VASTA conference, 3 August 2009. ’, Voice and Speech Review, 7:1, pp. 2933, https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2011.10739516. Accessed 9 September 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Linklater, Kristin. ( 2006), Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language, , rev. ed.., Hollywood, CA:: Drama Publishers;.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Marshall, Lorna. ( 2008), The Body Speaks: Performance and Expression, London:: Methuen;.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Melton, Joan. ( 2007), Singing in Musical Theatre: The Training of Singers and Actors, New York:: Allworth Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Melton, Joan, and Tom, Kenneth. ( 2012), One Voice: Integrating Singing and Theatre Voice Techniques, , 2nd ed.., New York:: Heinemann;.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Merlin, Bella. ( 2007), The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit, London:: Nick Hern;.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Moliterno, Mark. ( 2008;), ‘ Voice pedagogy: YogaVoice – Balancing the physical instrument. ’, Journal of Singing: The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, 65:1, pp. 4552.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Moore, Tracey, and Bergman, Allison. ( 2016), Acting the Song: Performance Skills for the Music Theatre, New York:: Allworth Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Moss, Larry. ( 2005), The Intent to Live, New York:: Bantam Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Mourik, Mark. ( 2008;), ‘ Undergraduate music theater education: Integrating musical and theatrical skills. ’, Journal of Singing: The Official Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, 65:2, pp. 21318.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Napier, Kate. ( 2008;), ‘ Integration and performance: The usefulness of books in musical theatre training. ’, Studies in Musical Theatre, 3:3, pp. 28393, [Crossref] https://doi.org/10.1386/smt.2.3.283/7. Accessed 30 August 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Nelson, Robin. ( 2013), Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances, Basingstoke:: Palgrave Macmillan;.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Newlove, Jean, and Dalby, John. ( 2004), Laban for All, London:: Nick Hern Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Ostwald, David F.. ( 2005), Acting for Singers: Creating Believable Singing Characters, Oxford:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Patton, Michael Quinn. ( 2015), Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, Thousand Oaks, CA:: Sage Publications;.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Petit, Lenard. ( 2010), The Michael Chekhov Handbook for the Actor, New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Rodenberg, Patsy. ( 2007), Presence, London:: Penguin;.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Saunders-Barton, Mary. ( 2005;), ‘ The well-spoken singer. ’, Voice and Speech Review, 4:1, pp. 28182, https://doi.org/10.1080/23268263.2005.10739482. Accessed 12 September 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Sherman, Jon F.. ( 2016), A Strange Proximity: Stage Presence, Failure, and the Ethics of Attention, Abingdon:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Silverberg, Larry. ( 1994), The Sanford Meisner Approach: An Actor’s Workbook, Hanover, NH:: Smith and Kraus;.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Smith, W. Stephen. ( 2007), Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing, New York:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Taylor, Millie. ( 2009;), ‘ Integration and distance in musical theatre: The case of Sweeney Todd. ’, Contemporary Theatre Review, 19:1, pp. 7486, https://doi.org/10.1080/10486800802547286. Accessed 6 June 2019.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Wicks, David. ( 2010;), ‘ Bricoleur. ’, in A. J. Mills,, G. Durepos, and E. Wiebe. (eds), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research, vols 1–10, Thousand Oaks, CA:: Sage Publications;.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Wilson, Pat H.. ( 2010;), ‘ Showtime! Teaching music theatre and cabaret singing. ’, in S. D. Harrison. (ed.), Perspectives on Teaching Singing: Australian Vocal Pedagogues Sing Their Stories, Brisbane:: Australian Academic Press;, pp. 293305.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Zinder, David. ( 2009), Body Voice Imagination: ImageWork Training and the Chekov Technique, Abingdon:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Cuny, Jacqui. ( 2022;), ‘ Exploring musical theatre performance synergy: Accessing seven performative processes. ’, Studies in Musical Theatre, 16:2, pp. 13350, https://doi.org/10.1386/smt_00094_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/smt_00094_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/smt_00094_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error