Liberal Studies Program > First-Year Program > Course Descriptions > Discover Chicago for Music & Theatre Students
This course introduces students to the diverse musical offerings in the Chicago metropolitan area. Students will learn about the wide variety of music- and arts-related activities across many genres and musical styles. In addition to the excursions taken during Immersion Week and throughout the Fall Quarter, class discussions will focus on topics central to understanding Chicago's music scene in both its historical and contemporary contexts. Topics will focus on the relevance of the music industry as it relates to musicians, industry professionals, educators, and patrons; including fandom, race, gender, historical changes, music criticism, and current industry developments. Genres will span the diversity of the Chicago music community, including blues, folk, hip-hop, jazz, musical theatre, opera, rock, Western art and classical music, and various music of the world. Sessions will include lectures, open classroom discussion, and guest speakers.
Chicago is the second largest theatre center in the United States. Productions and artists nurtured in Chicago’s theatres regularly receive attention and acclaim nationally and internationally. However, the primary goal of most Chicago theatrical productions is to connect with audiences from Chicago and its surroundings. Chicago theatre companies produce a varied assortment of plays and communicate with audiences drawn from many different communities. This class will look at the work of some of Chicago’s theatre companies and examine how they connect to and create communities in the city. What specific communities are served by the theatres (economic, ethnic, political, social)? How do theatre makers interact with their communities and with their colleagues? How does ethical theatre making impact both the product and the process of theatre makers? By examining Chicago’s theatrical activity, we hope to be able to better understand the way the various communities that make up the city interact on a variety of levels.