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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 6

Length: 60 minutes min.

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learning

The Arts

Archived Media and Resources


Kennedy Center Explore the Arts, The

Explore the Arts, an engaging and rich resource for upper level students and adults, features some of the most celebrated lyricists and composers of the stage, television, and film. In addition to Prairie Public broadcasts, these episodes and more are also available via the Internet with free registration at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts website.

Episode Guide

1. Charles Strouse (Grades 9-12)  Charles Strouse is a luminary composer of Broadway, Hollywood, television, pop, and concert music. He is best known for his legendary Tony Award-winning Broadway musical compositions, Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, and Annie. This episode includes an interview with Strouse as well as live performances of the best of Charles Strouse. Streaming Only

2. A Tribute to Cy Coleman (Grades 9-12)  Celebrate the life and sounds of legendary composer Cy Coleman, the genius behind Tony Award-winning musicals The Will Rogers Follies and Sweet Charity. This episode includes a retrospect of Coleman’s life as well as live performances of his music. Airable

3. Up Close and Personal: Marvin Hamlisch (Grades 9-12) — The NSO Principal Pops Conductor and composer of A Chorus Line, Marvin Hamlisch has hundreds of songs to his credit, providing a soundtrack to the lives of many throughout the world. In the process, he has won virtually every major award that exists for the field of composing, including Oscars, Grammys,  Emmys, Golden Globes, a Tony Award, and a Pulitzer Prize. This episode includes an intimate interview with Hamlisch along with live performances of his music. Streaming Only

4. Up Close and Personal: Jerry Herman  Join Broadway legend Jerry Herman for an evening filled with personal stories and songs as the accomplished lyricist looks back on his career. In an intimate interview moderated by ASCAP’s Director of Musical Theater, Michael Kerker, Herman discusses the creation of his award-winning musicals, including Hello, Dolly!, Mame, Mack and Mabel, and La Cage Aux Folles, and shares a lifetime of stories filled with wit and charm. Broadway artists Debbie Gravitte, Jason Graae, and Ron Raines, along with longtime collaborator Donald Pippin, round out the program with performances of “Shalom,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” “Wherever He Ain’t,” and “If He Walked Into My Life,” from Herman’s songbook. Airable

5. A Tribute to Frank Loesser  — Over the course of his career, Frank Loesser wrote more than 700 songs and 5 Broadway musicals and contributed music and lyrics to dozens of films, leaving behind classics like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “Luck Be a Lady.” Celebrate Frank Loesser’s 100th Birthday with ASCAP’s Michael Kerker and Jo Sullivan Loesser as they commemorate the work of the late composer who created such gems for the stage as How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Guys and Dolls. Musical guests Susan Egan, Noah Racey, Ron Raines, and pianist Donald Pippin perform the best of Frank Loesser with a special tribute by his daughter and Broadway star Emily Loesser along with her mother Jo Sullivan Loesser. Airable

6. Sheldon Harnick — Tony Award®–winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick’s words have delighted audiences on Broadway and beyond for more than half a century. His long list of celebrated works includes Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, The Apple Tree, and The Rothschilds, as well as the Kennedy Center original production for young people of The Phantom Tollbooth. In this special evening, join Harnick for an intimate interview with ASCAP’s Michael Kerker and live performances by vocalists Kate Baldwin, Karen Mason, and Ron Raines, and pianist Joseph Thalken sharing the best of Sheldon Harnick. Streaming Only

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