In tune with the times: part 2

Ref: C2338453

History through operettas and musicals, including Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, Silk Stockings, Chicago, Singin' in the Rain, Miss Saigon. The course will examine political, cultural and social issues that form the basis of the plots, and how the historical contexts in which they were written have affected views of history portrayed in the shows themselves. We will assess how differently such material might have been treated in today's political and cultural climate. We will also consider the contrast between today's blockbuster musicals and those of the past, and how audience's expectations of musicals have changed. With film clips and musical extracts.

Course aim

Another look at the history behind musicals and operettas – the political, cultural and social issues that form the basis of the plots, and also their historical contexts.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify historical and musical sources of well-known works of musical theatre
  • Describe some distortions of historical events that have been portrayed in musicals
  • Outline how musicals can influence viewpoints on historical events and situations
  • Explain how contemporary events and prevailing opinions at the time musicals were written have affected their content

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course outline

In tune with the times: part 2 Course Outline

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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