Nancy: What Sondheim (Re)Taught Me About Scene

Stephen Sondheim

Story is everywhere, and storytellers come in all shapes, sizes, and media. This lesson was brought home to me recently when I caught a fascinating documentary on HBO titled Six by Sondheim. The documentary covers the career of American composer and lyricist Steven Sondheim. The documentary traces Sondheim’s career in musical theater, focusing on six of the many, many songs he has penned.

I must admit, I am not a musical theater aficionado, nor am I particularly a fan (apologies to all my college friends who were musical theater majors), outside of a few classics like Guys and Dolls and Jesus Christ, Superstar. And while I know musical theater productions tell stories, I had never before thought about songs being used as turning points. That’s where Sondheim, who gives master classes in musical  theater and has stated that teaching is “a sacred profession”, taught me something new. Continue reading