The Writing Stage

…a place where student writers practice and play with language for an audience of their peers. As a theatre educator, I’ve watched students pour hours and hours into a performing monologue, exploring a character’s given circumstances and motivations with a wide range of acting choices involving variations of movement and facial expression, vocal tone, tempo, and register. Yet, some of the same students grow frustrated at revising and editing their writing, finding the right words in the right combination to communicate their ideas on the page. The Writing Stage encourages student writers give their readership the same thoughtful attention and respect as an actor would give their audience.


Gender and Sexuality on the Musical Stage


Funny Girl (2016)

gypsy (1992)

42nd Street (2019)

Race and Ethnicity on the musical Stage

Rent (2005): Eight Crazy New Yorkers, All Defined by Love

By Koby Hrynkiewicz, Shahar Hartman, & Elisa Maknojia While experiencing Rent and its timeless themes of love, acceptance, inclusion, and living life to the fullest, we decided as a group that no written assignment could do justice in explaining the importance of this musical and how it transcends the concepts of social barriers of race,…

Does Race Exist in the World of RENT?

Conversation between Hale Masaki and Mady Johnston Mady: I guess we’ll start with what Rent is trying to represent: diverse perspectives. It has all these different characters going through very real experiences. I find it hard to talk about Rent starting out because I feel like it’s supposed to be taken in all at once.…

Hamilton: An icon or failure?

Having an interest in pop culture and musicals, Matthew and Ewon are students taking a course in Cultural Identity and the American musical.  As a musician, Matthew finds interest and unique perspectives in the music that drives the musical forward in its storytelling and characterization. It is this love for music that drives his curiosity…

Hamilton and Restructuring American Legacy Through Race

Soleil Moffitt, Yehchan Kim, and Jonah Barbin Intro Yehchan  It’s funny because I’d shock people by saying I never watched Hamilton. And now that I finally watched it – I think I get why they were shocked! Jonah I can’t believe I’d never seen Hamilton until now. When it was the ‘sensation that was sweeping…

Wait…The King and I is racist???

A critical dialogue on race and imperialism by Lindsey Caroll, Jasmine Jain, and Claire Duffy JJ: “Okay so this is Jasmine Jain, Lindsey Caroll, and Claire Duffy responding to the 1956 film adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, directed by Walter Lang.” CD: “Our central question is ‘where is whiteness hidden in…

Hairspray: You Can’t Stop the White Savior Complex

By Hayden Paige and Natalie Wright From dissecting cow hearts to analyzing musical theatre together, Hayden and Natalie are the epitome of a dynamic duo. Whether growing up listening to Seth Rudetsky’s radio show in the car or donning a pillowcase to act in Annie in 1st grade, both women maintain a long-term love for…

Some examples of Blog posts from THTR 3333, Fall 2021

Brooke’s advice on writing

On Trust:

Trust. Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Hi, y’all! I’m Brooke! I’m originally…

On Voice:

Consider yourselves lucky.  Dr. Essin has spared you from watching The Little Mermaid Live on Disney+. You can thank my…

On Revision:

Oh, revision. How dreadful it can be. I don’t know about you, but I hate revision——or, at least I used…

On Empathy:

On March 16, 2021, eight people―six of whom were Asian women―were killed in spa shootings outside of Atlanta by Robert…

Recent Posts

“The Anonymous Ones”: Why Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Isn’t a Total Disaster

By Lindsey Carroll When Stephen Chbosky’s film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen began screening in cinemas in the fall of 2021, I intentionally avoided buying a ticket. This may seem bizarre given my devotion to the source material: I have seen the 2017 winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical twice on Broadway and, … Continue reading “The Anonymous Ones”: Why Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Isn’t a Total Disaster

“Breaking Free” from the “Status Quo”

I got into a debate with my Vanderbilt interviewer. After he mentioned that his favorite novel was Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” we got into a passionate conversation about some of its philosophical ideas. After about ten or so minutes of this esoteric analysis, he confirmed that I was intending to be an English major. When I … Continue reading “Breaking Free” from the “Status Quo”

NO! NO! NO! Do we live in an East High Society?

When I sat down to watch High School Musical again as a 21-year-old woman, I expected to see the straightforward love story that I understood as a child. A heartthrob basketball player and a quirky science girl fall in love and fight against all odds to audition for the school musical. And admittedly… that’s exactly … Continue reading NO! NO! NO! Do we live in an East High Society?

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