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Scholars 2009 - 2010

Shane Parks

Shane Parks, Music Composition
“A Structural and Thematic Analysis of Children of Eden”
Faculty Mentors: Ms. Anna Rubin and Ms. Susan McCully
Expected Graduation Date: May 2011
Contact: Sparks3@umbc.edu

My research will analyze and categorize a major work in Musical Theatre repertoire: Children of Eden, by Stephen Schwartz. I will conduct this research by thoroughly studying and dissecting the script and score as well as seeing various performances of the composers works and studying his history as a composer. This analysis will be conducted from two points of view. First, the research will focus on the dramatic perspective. I will analyze the dramatic structure and themes of the play from a theatrical standpoint. Then I will evaluate how these themes and structures are employed musically. By taking these two different analytical strategies, I hope to create a thorough and exciting study of the work. This study will show how the librettist and composer/lyricist work together to bring the story alive, both in dialogue and in song. The work will also be an example for others on how to analyze a musical, employing the same scholarly strategies. The final printed analysis will also give those who produce the show a detailed breakdown as to refer to.