Musical theater is a dynamic, collaborative art form, which encompasses music, theater, dance, and the visual arts. Traditionally associated with adult performers, musicals also have roles designated specifically for children. How then does involvement in musical theater support children's learning through the performing arts? What do children value from their musical theater experiences and how do these experiences influence children's personal, social, and artistic lives?
Based on a decade of research, this book explores these questions through children's participation as singers, actors, and dancers, in school-based, community, and professional musical theater. By valuing children's voices as important in understanding experience, Rajan constructs a framework of musical theater participation, and applies broader educational implications to highlight the unique characteristics of musical theater in children's lives.