Integration and Conflict: An investigation of Afro-American Aesthetics in Musical Theatre
Prof. Paul Barker
My current study is a historiographic investigation of Afro-American Aesthetics in musical theatre and where it comes into conflict with pre-existing narrative constructs of Anglo European decent. Rooted within the Afro-American Aesthetic is a distinct temporality or "spiritual perception" that may have derived from a unique cross cultural experience. Despite many elements of the original west African culture dissipating from the African American population, Afro-American Aesthetics retain some of their original cultural stimuli. Taking this into account this Aesthetic seems to resists integration with the Eurocentric paradigms of Musicality, Narrativity, and Performance within musical Theatre. This hypothesis is based on the idea that musical theatre is a supernormal stimuli and that owes its creation to the cultural experiences of its constituent artistic parts. Through investigation into this unique aspect and my own multiethnic experience of musical theatre, I aim to create a historical picture of the development and integration of the Afro-American Aesthetic and it's effect on present musical theatre.
Oliver is a professional musical theatre performer from the US that has worked in New York, Philadelphia, and currently works in London's West End. Oliver has a multi-ethnic background and has appeared in musicals such as the Regional Premier of Caroline or Change (USA), and The Lion King in London. He studied Musical Theatre at the Ira Brind Collage Of Performing Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
There he had extensive training in Meisner, and SAVI method for training actors and singers. Upon graduating he received a BFA in Musical Theatre. He then moved to the UK were he completed his MA in Music Theatre at the Central School Of Speech and Drama. Other institutions and programs Oliver is affiliated with include: The Rock School Of Dance( Philadelphia), The Dartington International Summer School (Devon), Equity UK (West End Deputy), and the Young Vic's Young Directors Project.