BFA Thesis Exhibit

Emma Koehn


Artist Statement

Stage musicals are a powerful medium. The lyrics, choreography, set, props, costuming, lighting, all these and more can hold so much meaning. A musical does not have to be realistic, so the viewer can consume the message, while enjoying the experience of watching the story, sitting in a theater, glimpsing the stagehands, and feeling the actors' passion for the craft onstage. This medium is a tradition, and yet it is ever-changing and evolving. In modernity, the youth consume stage musicals digitally, mainly auditorily, perhaps never visually at all. In this way, it is versatile. It is both stationary and mobile. It is a symbol of balance between tradition and progress. For me, consuming musicals has been a tradition, both visual and auditory. Growing up, my mom and I had a tradition to see Wicked whenever it played near enough to justify the trip, blasting the cast album in the car for weeks beforehand to get ourselves hyped for the big day. Throughout college, musicals continue to help me relax, escape, and connect to people online through mutual love of the music, the story, and the characters. As a medium, I wish to both consume it and produce it. I have struggled with assigning meaning to my work in the past, but the immersive complexity of a musical allows me to do so creatively and logically, both things I value in a message. As an artist, musicals have helped me progress and grow, which is the message I wish to portray in my work. The story of my musical, Take Wing, involves the youth taking hold of their future. Learning about and rejecting unfairness in the world is part of progress, and just like a musical, progress is complicated and ever-changing. It is hindered by things that influence people, like dishonest media, unprogressive attitudes, and personal insecurities. Both individual perspectives on progress and the broader picture are explored through the experiences of the characters, as they grow and change throughout the story. My musical is a work in progress, a pitch for a future completed story. A piece with so many facets, so many parts to consider, is never quite complete, and even once finished, a musical is ever changing. From performance to performance, it changes and grows, just as the characters strive to do in Take Wing.

Bird’s Eye News- Take Wing Musical // Video // 00:03:11

Take Wing- Take Wing Musical // Video // 00:05:34