Course Description

ONLINE: After the failure of "Merrily We Roll Along" in 1981, composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim considered leaving musical theater altogether; however, new collaborators rekindled his desire to work. In 1982, he met James Lapine, an avant-garde playwright and director. Their first collaboration, "Sunday in the Park With George," won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. They followed this with "Into the Woods" and "Passion." With John Weidman, Sondheim wrote "Assassins" and "Road Show." At the time of his death in 2021, he was working with playwright David Ives on an adaptation of Luis Bunuel films, which opened off-Broadway in 2023. In this course, we'll explore these works and others by listening to and watching excerpts. We will observe how Sondheim applied his principles for writing lyrics: “Content dictates form. Less is more. God is in the details.” The course is primarily lecture with video clips and recommended readings; students will be able to ask questions and make comments in each class. | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 200.

Class sessions are recorded.

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