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Musical Theatre Song is a handbook for musical theatre performers, providing them with the wide-ranging skill set they need for success in today's competitive musical theatre environment. Breaking down the process into knowing how to select your song material based upon your individuality and how to prepare and perform it in a manner that best highlights your attributes, Stephen Purdy provides a succinct and personalized trajectory toward presentation, taking the reader through a series of challenges that is designed to evoke original, personal and vibrant song performances.


STEPHEN PURDY is an internationally recognized authority in musical theatre vocal pedagogy and on musical theatre vocal technique. He is known as the author of the book “Musical Theatre Song: A Comprehensive Course” published by Bloomsbury and available at bookstores and online everywhere. He is the founder of The New York Vocal Coaching Studio and spent many years on musical theatre faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and other higher education institutions. His students have been cast in the Broadway and touring companies of virtually every major Broadway musical of the last 15 years including "Wicked," 'Kinky Boots," "The Lion King," "Jersey Boys," "Billy Elliot," "In the Heights," "Hairspray," "Avenue Q" and many others. As a guest artist/instructor he has taught extensively both nationally and internationally most notably in China, Korea and Europe. He is active as a teacher and coach with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Camp Broadway and NHSMTA. He is the vocal instructor for the popular “Dancer’s Voice” series taught in tandem with casting personnel from Broadway’s leading casting offices including Telsey and Company, Duncan Stewart, Tara Rubin and others. His credits include musical director and conductor of a number of Broadway, off-Broadway, National and European tours and he regularly gives master classes and workshops at universities and arts institutions throughout the U.S. and around the globe. Stephen holds a Bachelor’s in Music from The University of Mississippi and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton

"Stephen Purdy takes you on a journey (which is concise as well as personalized) through a sequence of challenges designed to help you bring about innovative, personal and effervescent musical performances. If you are a performer who is looking to have a successful career in the musical theatre industry then Stephen Purdy's MUSICAL THEATRE SONG is a must-have for you."

- NY Theatre Guide

It's about time that somebody put a real, relevant text out there about theatre song preparation and choice. As a music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator of many "rock" and "pop" Broadway, West End and Internationally produced musicals I'm extremely sensitive in the casting process to a singer's ability to execute story-based song performance and "act" the song. This is in addition to having chosen material that works for them personally. Purdy's knockout book gives modern musical theatre performers the essential ingredients they need to accomplish these things and so much else.

- Ethan Popp, Grammy-nominated producer, Tony-nominated orchestrator,

Musical director and supervisor of "Rock of Ages"

"We love Musical theatre songs, and we love MUSICAL THEATRE SONG, a handy dandy how- to guide to superior song performances written by New York based Stephen Purdy. This articulate and entertaining gem for the musical theatre performer steers them to truth and originality in song delivery, traits all too absent all too often."

- The WEST END (London) Theatre Review


"This book is wonderful, a unique and invaluable publication."

-Allen Hubby, Owner - The Drama Bookshop, New York

Dramatic stage singers today are more hard-pressed than ever to deliver original, truthful and personal performances with bravura. Stephen Purdy's new text contains insightful, invaluable wisdom that gives modern stage performers the tools and the wherewithal to do this in a way that nurtures their individuality and fosters their artistry?

- Placido Domingo, Opera Singer and Conductor

Author: Stephen Purdy


  • Comprehensive, step-by-step directions for choosing, preparing and presenting songs in widely varied styles that highlight the singing actor's attributes in the most favorable and flattering manner

  • Extensive advice on how and where to find the song material
  • A section exclusively dedicated to the pursuit and executions of the dramatic elements of song preparation/presentation ("acting" the song) with extensive attention given to methods and techniques to achieve this

  • Across-the-board explanations of the many song and vocal styles beyond "belt" and "legit" used in today's musical theatre and concise clarification on "how to" sing them with expertise

  • A list of what are perhaps the 25+ most overused songs, what show music to steer clear of in general and frank discussion about "overdone" and "iconic" songs (and what to do with them)

  • What it means when a song has a "high price tag" (as many do) and how to overcome this

  • A history of the Broadway Musical Theatre, inclusive of representative song titles and historical trends for the singing actor's reference

  • A Music for Musical Theatre term lexicon

  • Transcripts of actual coaching sessions with Broadway and West End performers

  • A section devoted exclusively to "go to" singing audition tips, strategies and game plans

  • "Get it done" sections where the reader is, in a highly systematic way, guided through exercises and directives and put through the paces of bringing to fruition the teachings of this book

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