SC 101: The American Musical and Diversity

Moving decade by decade, this course examines the last 100 years of American Broadway Musical Theatre.   It offers insight and inside information about the artistic approaches various composers, lyricists, and directors have taken; how those approaches have changed over time; and what social and historical forces continue to shape musical theatre today. Particular attention is placed on diversity and how it is an essential part of this art form as it moves forward. Treating musical theatre as an irreplaceable piece of American history this course demonstrates how it reflects the social and political conditions of its time.

Texts and resources for this class will include:

  • Strike Up the Band, by Scott Miller
  • Broadway: The Musical.  PBS film by Michael Kantor
  • Various CDs and DVDs of individual productions and performances


Meet Your Professor

Assistant Professor of Music – Voice

Matthew Lau, MM, BM

I first saw The Wizard of Oz in first grade and have been hooked on American musical theatre ever since. Live theatre was thriving in Michigan City, IN, where I grew up, and I took full advantage.  My undergraduate degrees are from Indiana University in both theatre and in music, while my Masters of Music Performance is from The Eastman School of Music.  Living in New York City for more than 30 years, I was fortunate to find steady work in both opera and musical theatre. When not on the road performing, I was in line for discount tickets to the best that Broadway had to offer.   In addition to teaching musical theatre at Simpson, I also teach private voice, vocal literature, and music history.  Additionally, I continue an active performing career with recent performances in St. Louis, New York, Pensacola, Milwaukee, and Cedar Rapids.  In my free time, I am an amateur artist working in oils, acrylics and fiber arts.


Meet Your SC Leader

Hello! My name is Annalise Minnick. I am from Leon, Iowa and I went to Central Decatur High School. This fall I will be a senior at Simpson College. I am majoring in Music Education. This is my first year being an SC Leader!

I am a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Mu Sigma Kappa music fraternity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Light Company. I work in the Scene Shop for the Theatre Department. Outside of Simpson I co-direct for Leon Community Theatre every summer and I am a lifeguard at the local pool.

I love watching Riverdale, trying new and different foods, and traveling just about anywhere. I love Coldplay, fall weather, and football! I love socializing with my friends and making new ones along the way!

Your first year can be a wonderful experience and I hope that I can help guide you along the way. I am so excited to be an SC Leader and get to know all of you! I really have enjoyed my time here at Simpson and I can’t wait to be a part of your first year! See you at registration and Go Storm!


Meet Your Writing Fellow