Jade Kirchert

Tutor in Music Theatre, VCA

Towards a feminist dramaturgy in music theatre: theoretical contexts and critical perspectives.

Music theatre is a powerful artform that reaches millions of people worldwide. As such, it is crucial to examine its content carefully by critically engaging with the messages it is communicating. Its popularity often stems from the pleasurable use of spectacle and feelings of empowerment, however these moments of empowerment feelings are not necessarily tied to empowerment outcomes (in terms of the story). The aim of this thesis is to address the question, “to what extent is music theatre empowering for female identifying people?” My thesis will first engage directly with scholarship within the music theatre discipline (and expand to peripheral disciplines when necessary) to clarify the current discourse within this emerging discipline, address the gaps as they relate to ‘feminist’ concerns, before working towards new approaches for practical contexts. 

Key terms: Feminism, dramaturgy, empowerment, semiotics, music theatre.

Researcher Bio

Jayde trained at the Victorian College of the Arts, completing a Bachelor of Music Theatre in 2011. Upon graduating she toured with GFO’s Australian production of ‘Annie’. She founded Citizen Theatre in 2013 and has since directed and produced Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ (at Hares & Hyenas bookshop), ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (at Como Historic House & Garden), two seasons of ‘Nude’, a one woman show she also wrote featuring the songs and stories of Marilyn Monroe (2014 Melbourne Cabaret Festival & Alex Theatre St Kilda, supported by Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program), ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (at Como Historic House & Garden, supported by the City of Stonnington) and ‘Crestfall’, as part of ‘Inferno: A Double Bill’, also featuring Attic Erratic & 5pound theatre’s critically acclaimed production of ‘Purgatorio’. Recent credits include ‘Alexithymia’ for the 2017 Poppy Seed Festival and one woman cabarets Jordan Barr’s ‘How To Be Sexy’ (Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018) and Willow Sizer’s ‘Death of a Demi Diva’ (Melbourne Cabaret Fringe Festival 2018).
She has been involved with the development of numerous new musicals, mostly recently on a musical adaptation of ‘Dot and the Kangaroo’ (director/dramaturge for VCA development). She also had her own new work Mara KORPER presented at Small and Loud in March this year (at The Channel, Arts Centre). She has been assistant director on many occasions, mostly recently on Company (dir. Roger Hodgman for VCA) and A Chorus Line (dir. Tyran Parke for VCA).She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Anthropology and her research interests including the body, performance and music theatre. She also teaches at the Victorian College of the Arts.

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ORCID number:  0000-0002-7165-8115