Call for Papers

Conference – May 9-10, 2019. University of Sheffield

DEADLINE EXTENDED – We are now accepting submissions until Friday, February 15.

Cast albums perpetuate musicals beyond their theatrical limits as ephemeral events. The chance of seeing a live performance is reliant on finances, location, and timing, but these recordings can create a much larger audience. In recent years, for example, Hamilton has built an unprecedented fanbase as a result of the shared experiences of listening to its cast album and subsequent reinterpretations online. In the 1960s, the original cast recording of Camelot contributed to its enduring legacy via its posthumous association with John F. Kennedy, a topic that was more recently referred to in the movie Jackie. As these and many other examples demonstrate, cast recordings are an influential part of public understanding of musical theatre and a necessary part of its history and academic study. This conference will provide a forum for a critical discussion of perspectives on and research frameworks for the study of cast recordings. 

Laurence Maslon (New York University) will present the keynote lecture based on his recent publication Broadway to Main Street: How Show Music Enchanted America (OUP 2018). His lecture will examine how the theatricality of Broadway-based show tunes and scores was transmuted into experiences for home and personal listening over the last century.

Examples of paper themes include but are not limited to:

  • Defining the cast album
  • Documenting a production vs. creating a discrete listening experience
  • Production and performance practices
  • Marketing and dissemination
  • Fandom and reception studies
  • Framing cast recordings as ‘works’
  • The relation between recordings and live performance
  • Music analysis
  • Musical theatre and recording history

Submissions should be sent to Elsa Marshall at by February 15, 2019. Proposals must be sent in an attached PDF without any identifying information and include a title and an abstract of up to 250 words.