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Grant number: FT-255197-17

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James S. Leve
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ 86011-0001)

Sounds, Sights, and Silences: Disability in Musical Theater

Preparation of a book-length study about the representation and impact of disability on American musical theater.

I request an NEH Summer Stipend to write two chapters of my book, "Sounds, Sights, and Silences: Disability in Musical Theater,” the first major study of disability as it is constructed and experienced in musical theater. The funding will support on-site visits to Theater by the Blind and Deaf West in Los Angeles. I will observe how the staff of these organizations interacts with and prepares the disabled performers. Following these visits, I will incorporate this material into the relevant chapters of my book. My study approaches disability in musical theater from three distinct perspectives: the narrative structure, the composition, and accommodation for performers and audience members. It also explores the impact of the ADA on the repertory. My book speaks to a diverse audience of scholars in the humanities by enlarging the scope of disability studies to include musical theater.

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism; Theater History and Criticism; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 8/31/2017