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Dramatism and Musical Theater

Experiments in Rhetorical Performance

Kimberly Eckel Beasley and James P. Beasley

Dramatism and Musical Theater: Experiments in Rhetorical Performance is an innovative workbook for both students and teachers in advanced communication performance. Meeting at the nexus of English composition, advanced rhetoric, theater, music, and drama, this book utilizes Kenneth Burke's method of dramatism to discover the motives inherent in performance practices, whether they be in the classroom or on the stage. In this book Kimberly Eckel Beasley and James P. Beasley take the five corners of the dramatistic pentad (act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose) and demonstrate their utilization in performance analysis. The authors then correlate those performance practices with the production of five contemporary musicals: Little Women, Aida, Street Scene, Into the Woods, and Children of Eden in order to emphasize the use of the dramatistic pentad in character, scene, and staging direction. By doing so, the book highlights dramatism as a performance practice necessary for effective participation in artistic communities.

Dramatism and Musical Theater: Experiments in Rhetorical Performance is also an indispensable guide for teachers and directors to successfully navigate the challenges of collegiate theatrical production.

Kimberly Eckel Beasley received a post-master's Certificate of Vocal Performance degree from Northwestern University in 2004. She teaches courses in opera history and vocal pedagogy, and she serves as chair of the department of music at Jacksonville University. She recently received an excellence in directing award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for her production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.

James P. Beasley received a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2007. He teaches courses in rhetorical history, theory, and research at the University of North Florida. He is the author of Rhetoric at the University of Chicago from Peter Lang Publishing.