Cover of Marc Shaw's book

Hartwick College’s Shaw Releases Book on “Book of Mormon”

May 17, 2016

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Dr. Marc Edward Shaw has completed Singing and Dancing to The Book of Mormon: Critical Essays on the Broadway Musical, a compendium of essays he co-edited with Holly Welker on the widespread cultural impact of the Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon. The book was released on May 15.

Published by Rowman & Littlefield, this book of essays sets out to answer questions such as: What made the musical such a remarkable success? In what ways does the show utilize established musical theatre traditions and comic tropes, but still create something new? What religious and cultural buttons does the work push? What artistic and social boundaries—and the transgressions thereof—give the work its edge?

According to Shaw, “It’s been an exciting process putting this work together, trying to do justice to this cultural phenomenon, and all the cultural history that comes with a successful American musical about this American religion. We have a diverse interdisciplinary group of contributors to the anthology, covering sociology, religious studies (including Mormon studies), cultural studies, African studies, and theatre studies. I think if you are at all interested in the musical, our book will add to that understanding and enjoyment from an academic and approachable angle.”

Shaw is the Arkell Hall Chair in the Arts, and he teaches dramatic literature, acting, and playwriting. His research focuses on contemporary British & American theater and gender in popular culture, and he has presented his academic research at many national conferences.

He is co-editor of Performing American Masculinities: The 21st-Century Man in Popular Culture (Indiana University Press, 2011) and HBO’s Girls and the Awkward Politics of Gender, Race, and Privilege (Lexington Press, 2015), and his writing appears in Theatre Journal, Shakespeare Bulletin, Modern Drama and Theatre Topics, as well as publications from Rodopi Press, McFarland Press, and Wiley & Sons.

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Singing and Dancing to The Book of Mormon: Critical Essays on the Broadway Musical is widely available at the publisher’s website or on amazon.com.