The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is proud to announce the launch of the prototype of Music Theatre Online (MTO), a freely accessible web-based archive of musical and music theatre. Funded by a Digital Humanities Startup grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, MTO provides a model for online scholarly archives of the exceptionally multimodal art form of music theatre. “Under the inspired leadership of Doug Reside,” comments MITH Director Neil Fraistat, “MTO promises to revolutionize the study of musical theatre, and adds to an increasing number of MITH projects involving the performing arts.”
The MTO prototype makes available, with the generous permission of creators James Gardiner and Nick Blaemire, audio and video files, photographs, and seventeen TEI encoded drafts of the 2008 Broadway musical, Glory Days charting the development of the show from early sketches through regional productions to opening night. For several versions of the show, the lyrics have been linked to audio transcriptions of related performances, allowing a reader to closely study both text and music simultaneously.
Glory Days is the first in what we hope will be a continuing series of musicals added to the collection in the coming years. Upcoming titles under development include the 1866 melodrama The Black Crook and the 1920 Jerome Kern musical, Sally. The prototype is available at http://mith.umd.edu/mto.