Bjِrklunden Offers “A Guided Tour through the History of the American Musical Theatre”

From Sept. 8 – 13, Lawrence University’s Björklunden is offering this seminar “A Guided Tour through the History of the American Musical Theatre” with Roger Nelson.

How did the unique art form of the American musical come to be? How did this art form grow to encompass its astonishing variety of expression? Through audio, video and live examples, participants will visit the landmark musicals, creators and performers that defined the musical theatre of their time. This seminar will examine the three major arteries that fed “classic” musical theatre: operetta, musical comedy, and revue, and how their influence molded the forms of musical theatre still being produced today. Stops along the tour include the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, the world of Vaudeville, the “golden age” of the American musical from Oklahoma! to Fiddler on the Roof, the rock revolution of the 1960s, the concept musicals of Stephen Sondheim, and new directions in the contemporary musical theatre scene.

Nelson recently retired as professor in the bachelor of fine arts musical theatre degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he directed and/or music-directed 27 productions since joining the faculty in 1996. Previously, he worked in New York City for 20 years as actor, singer and music director.

Seminar classes meet weekday mornings and some evenings at Björklunden’s lodge, just south of Baileys Harbor. Each seminar includes meals prepared by Björklunden’s resident chef. For complete course descriptions, fees, and registration dates call 920.839.2216 or visit