Music Theatre Online, based at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, is a digital archive of texts, images, video, and audio files relating to musical theater. The best printed editions of musical theater texts cannot fully provide the experience of simultaneous expression of verbal, musical, and terpsichorean languages so necessary to fully understand the art form. Using the multimedia capabilities of the modern web browser, we created a better framework for studying these important works of drama.
The initial phase of the project was funded by a Scholarly Editions Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In the first year of the project we constructed the web interface and completed work on our first title, the 2008 musical Glory Days. In Spring 2011, we received a grant from the Access to Artistic Excellence program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to continue the work begun under the NEH-Startup grant. Each month the project team is posting a libretto of an important early American musical in a variety of formats and supplementing it with associated photographs, vocal scores, and the occasional audio file.
The Glory Days material is used with the kind permission of James Gardiner and Nick Blaemire.