from The Dramatists Guild

The Architecture of Musicals: The Pulitzers


In this ten week class, we’ll explore the ten musicals that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and other musical works that were contenders. We’ll dig deep into both the timeless craft principles and the breathtaking innovations that drive each musical’s success. We’ll look at the “forest” (musical genre, storytelling style, overall dramatic structure) and the “trees” (song forms, lyric craft elements, character arc through song, key scenes). We’ll talk about the unique story and song challenges the architects of these musicals faced, and the innovative solutions they discovered. Along the way, we’ll also share gritty, behind-the-scene anecdotes about the creation and evolution of some of these works. We’ll look at how each musical is in dialogue with the American landscape in the decade in which it received the award.


Musicals we’ll discuss in this class include (but are not limited to): Of Thee I Sing, South Pacific, Fiorello!, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Chorus Line, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, Next to Normal, Hamilton, and A Strange Loop.

Saturdays, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm,
beginning September 18.

Class runs for 10 weeks.