When we attend a musical theatre production, we go with certain ideas about what we’re going to see and hear, but those notions took years to develop and are ever-changing. The majority of what we think about musical theatre comes from its Golden Age, spanning the years, people, and productions between Showboat and Fiddler on the Roof. In this presentation, Rob Seitelman will explain the building blocks that started the ball rolling for the American Musical, you will hear about some of the major works that established the genre, and ruminate on what makes the musical a quintessentially American art form.
A student of theatre, including musical theatre, for almost thirty years, Seitelman studied at Williams College (Williamstown, MA) and American Conservatory Theatre (ACT, San Francisco), where he earned his MFA in 2004. Seitelman has acted, directed, and written professionally, and has worked in various creative capacities with ACT, Berkeley Rep, and Berkeley Playhouse, among others. He co-founded a performing arts high school in Antioch Unified School District and has run theatre programs at high schools across the San Francisco Bay Area for the past ten years. His original musical based on Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost premiered at the New York Music Theatre Festival in 2008. Seitelman lives in Walnut Creek with his wife, two daughters, two dogs, and a cat, all of whom have Shakespearean names (except his wife).
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