CFP: Music Theatre WG IFTR Conference 2015, Hyderabad India

06 December, 2014

IFTR 2015, Hyderabad, India
5 - 10 July, 2015

The Music Theatre Working Group is concerned with a broad range of methodological and theoretical perspectives on all kinds of music theatre, from opera and popular forms (such as Broadway musicals), and contemporary experiments with new forms of music theatre, to issues of sound and musicality in theatre and performance.

For the coming conference in Hyderabad, the Working Group invites papers that address the conference theme, ‘Theatre and Democracy’, or any aspect of following areas, from a historical, anthropological, philosophical / theoretical, pedagogical or interdisciplinary perspective:

  1. 1.The Politics of Sound in Music-Theatre.
    We define politics not just as the activities of state and governments but as systems and structures of power, its distribution, and their corresponding principles, purposes and consequences. By music-theatre, we wish to consider not just musicals or operatic forms but all forms of theatre and performance that employ music and sound as a structural and structuring principle. These could include dance-drama, composed theatre, ‘post-operatic’ music theatre, experimental music theatre, avant-garde practices, contemporary theatre and performance art.
  • Acoustic ecologies of nationhood and nationality
  • The political economy of music theatre
  • Local and Global soundscapes
  • Postcolonial politics, performance and sound
  • Cultural politics and music in performance
  • Sonicities of culture: performance and reception
  • Identity, accent and the voice
  • Opera and nationhood
  • Gender politics, gendered vocalities
  • Democratic soundscapes
  • The politics of silence
  • The politics of noise
  1. 2.Dramaturgies of Music-Theatre
    In this strand, the interaction of music, sound and other theatrical elements in theatre and performance, including issues of production, performativity, and meaning-making, would be considered. Certainly not limited to music-theatre or musicals, these intersections, connections and crossings could be analysed from the following perspectives:
  • Acoustemologies of music (in) theatre
  • Sonic architectures and sound design
  • Theatre sound (and noise)
  • Materialities of sound in performance
  • Sound, space and place
  • Phenomenologies of seeing and hearing
  • Semiotics of sound and stage
  • Voice and vocality in/and/as performance
  • Audiences: Spectatorship and reception
  • Dramaturgies of success / failure
  • Perspectives of genre: music theatre, musical theatre
  • Role of critics
  • Commercial and/vs artistic considerations


  1. 3.The Actor-Singer-Dancer
    Specific to musical theatre, the focus here would be issues surrounding the ‘triple-threat actor’ – a phrase used to describe a performer that acts, sings and dances. These could include, but are not limited to:
  • Theory, training and practice
  • Musicality and rhythm as schematics
  • Hearing & listening as processes
  • Movement, modulation and the voice
  • Music, movement and text
  • Performative intersections of the actor, singer and dancer


Papers will be circulated in advance of the conference so that the scheduled time would be used productively for debate, discussion and feedback.

Abstracts of 300 words must be submitted to the Cambridge Journals Online website before 31 January 2015. A short bio of 50 words should also be included. Do note that a current IFTR/FIRT member is needed to submit an abstract. In addition, the WG convenors would require a copy of the abstract to be sent to them via email (contacts listed blow).

Completed papers of no more than 3,000 words should be submitted to the convenors by 8 June 2015. These will then be circulated to all WG members attending the conference. More details will follow at a later date via email. Updates, as well as the WG meeting schedules, would also be placed on the Working Group’s webpage. Do visit the Music Theatre WG’s homepage on the IFTR website.


Marcus Tan (

George Rodosthenous (

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