CFP Song, Stage and Screen X: “The Star System in Musical Theatre and Film”

Posted on Jan 19, 2015

Call for Papers
Song, Stage and Screen X:
“The Star System in Musical Theatre and Film”
Regent’s University London
June 24-26, 2015

“star” synonyms: celebrity, big name, celeb (informal), megastar, name, draw, idol, luminary, leading man or lady, lead, hero or heroine, principal, main attraction (Collins Dictionary)

The entertainment industry has always relied extensively upon the lure and sales potential of star­dom; not for nothing did MGM boast in the 1930s to have “More Stars Than There Are In Heaven”. Yet it seems that the whole concept of the larger-than-life artistic persona is especially potent and relevant when it comes to the stage and film musical:
Certain film cycles are exclusively identified by their stars (Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland; Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers), not by their directors. Certain stage roles (Harold Hill, Mama Rose, Fanny Brice) are always expected to be performed by star actors. There also is a particular fascination with the artist trying to make it in show business (42nd Street; A Star is Born; Funny Girl) and, converse­ly, with the fading star (A Star is Born; Applause; Follies; Sunset Boulevard).
The producers and artists working on film and stage musicals – whether conscious of doing so or not – are responsible for setting up and reinforcing the mechanisms that encourage an audience’s emotional affinity and identification with certain performers and their roles. Song, Stage and Screen X aims to explore these mechanisms and what they signify.

The following are a few suggested topics for papers and presentations:

Star quality
Creating stars
The star persona
Selling stars
Employing stars
Depicting stars

Papers should be designed to last no more than 20 minutes.
Please send an abstract of no more than 200 words for blind peer review (your name should not appear anywhere in the proposal) to the conference convenor, Dr Olaf Jubin, with the subject heading “Song, Stage and Screen X”.
The deadline for proposals is Saturday, January 31, 2015.

Applicants are eligible for 1 week extension of deadline.

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