Instructor: Heller T/R 2:00pm-3:20pm
Wicked: Rewriting Oz
The phenomenally successful musical Wicked is a series of retellings: inspired by Gregory Macguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the musical is, like Macguire’s tale, a revisionary take on L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz and the iconic, 1939 film version of the story. In this course we’ll explore the relation between musical theater and literature by examining Wicked in light of the narratives it rewrites, as well as other versions of the Oz story such as the 1978 musical The Wiz. In doing so, we’ll consider both the enduring appeal of popular stories and the ways in which we reimagine them to reflect the concerns of changing cultural and historical moments. Please note that you don’t need to know how to read music to take this course: you only need to enjoy listening to it, and to want to learn more about why musical theater appeals to us. Course assignments will include blog posts and take-home exams comprised of both analytical essays and creative options (for example, fanfiction).