The Acting Text, The Dancing Voice, The Singing Body
: Towards a model of Somaesthetic Performance Analysis for Musical Theatre

  • Benjamin Jonathan MacPherson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis offers a model for analysing live musical theatre performance through a focus on the embodied relationship between the actors and the audience. It presents a framework for analysing the bodily experience of performance, and the role of corporeality in understanding musical theatre. Throughout the study, this framework is developed by exploring aspects of performance studies and reception theory, along with related cognitive and neuro-biological research in support of such a position. The model is then tested through an examination of three contrasting musical theatre works in performance, analysing specific elements of the framework within – and against – conventional readings of embodiment, the actor/character duality, dance and movement, music and the singing voice. In conclusion this thesis finds that through a focus on the bodily relationship between actors and audience in live musical theatre performance, the many and varied theoretical approaches commonly taken to investigating such an interdisciplinary form can be set in discourse with one another, enhancing, challenging or generating alternative approaches to the way live musical theatre may be analysed.
Date of Award7 Jul 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorMillie Taylor (Supervisor) & June Boyce-Tillman (Supervisor)

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