The Musical Theatre History Subway Map

This map was designed as a tool to help students learn about musical theatre history. At first I wanted to create a database of songs that would help auditioners find good audition songs. You would enter information about the part you are trying out for and it would re- turn songs that are appropriate. (See Info Arch project about audition songs.) I tested the idea in a workshop in which I worked with students to develop a repertoire of audition materials, asking them questions about what parts they would want to play and then giving them appropriate songs based on my criteria. But what I realized was that while the students left with a trea- sure chest of song choices, they didn’t actually learn how to pick songs for themselves. Rather, they just asked me to tell them and didn’t learn from watching me pick for them.I went back to square one and reflected on how I was able to pick songs. What it came down to was 2 things: I’m fairly well-versed in musical theatre history and the act of choosing good audition songs came down to drawing a connection between the show you’re audi- tioning for and the song you choose to sing.I looked at one of the first questions I ask myself when choosing audition material: what other shows did these creators work on? So, the project changed courses and become about learning the history as a series of connections.

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