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Sean Harley

Director of Theater for Kaufman Music Center

Broadway Musical History

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Sean Hartley is the director of Theater@Kaufman, the musical theater division of the Kaufman Music Center. He curates, produces and often hosts the series Broadway Close Up and Broadway Playhouse. He is a frequent lecturer on Musical Theater for One Day University. As a lyricist, composer and/or playwright his productions include Cupid and Psyche (written with composer Jihwan Kim, Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Lyrics), Little Women (Syracuse Stage, Village Theater), Love and Real Estate  (written with composer Sam Davis) and Snow, which won the ASCAP Harold Arlen Award for Best New Musical. He is currently writing lyrics for Prelude to a Kiss, based on Craig Lucas’s play, with book by Mr. Lucas and music by Daniel Messe. The show will premiere at South Coast Repertory Theater in 2020.

His works for television include songs for the Disney Channel’s The Book of Pooh and Bear In the Big Blue House. His theater works for children include Number The Stars (adapted from the Newbury Medal book by Lois Lowry), Sunshine (based on a book by Ludwig Bemelmans, music by John O’Neill) and Vashti!, and Holy Moses! (both with books by Bob Kolsby.) He is a proud member of the faculties of Special Music School, One Day University and Lucy Moses School.


An overview of Broadway musical history, with musical examples, focusing on four revolutionary shows: Show Boat, Oklahoma, Company and Hamilton. The focus is on why these four shows helped the musical to evolve from light entertainment to a thoroughly integrated work of art.

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