Dr Sarah Whitfield

Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre, Course Leader MA Musical Theatre

Sarah Whitfield II
Email address: sarah.whitfield@wlv.ac.uk Phone number: 01902 321985 Location: WH Faculty: Faculty of Arts School/Institute: School of Performing Arts Areas of expertise: Musical theatre, musical theatre historiography, women of the stage, music theatre, collaborative production practices, cultural values


Sarah is a musical theatre researcher, practitioner and academic. She writes about theatre history with a particular focus in uncovering the work that women do in the arts. She is passionate about widening participation in theatre and in education.

As a dramaturg she has collaborated and advised on a range of projects from site-specific immersive theatre to West End musicals. Her PhD thesis proposed a cultural materialist approach in revealing collaborative practices in music theatre, and consequently challenging established historiographies; she focuses particularly on the work of Kurt Weill.

She has significant experience in curriculum design and delivery in drama and performing arts.

Research interests

Sarah's research has two main strands, on the one hand American musical theatre and Kurt Weill’s collaborative work for Broadway, and on the other women’s labour and creative practices. The former was the basis for her PhD, Kurt Weill the American Dramatist, and has led to a range of research from a forthcoming chapter for an edited collection on Disney musicals for Bloomsbury Methuen on Feminism and Frozen, and emerging new musical theatre.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the HEA


  • PGCHE in Creative and Academic Practices in Higher Education 2011
  • PhD in Drama, Queen Mary, University of London 2007-2010
  • MA in Musical Theatre, Goldsmiths College, University of London 2003-2004
  • BA (Hons) in Theatre Studies (Dramaturgy), University of Leeds (Bretton Hall Campus) 2000 - 2003


Publications and Conference Papers:

(In preparation/under contract 2018) Editor for Rethinking Musical Theatre: Race, Culture and Identity, Palgrave Macmillan

(In preparation/under contract 2018) Schönberg and Boublil’s Les Miserables (4THW) Routledge

(Forthcoming 2017) – ‘Jersey Boys (2014): The Contemporary Jukebox Musical and its audience’ for Twenty First Century Musicals: From Stage to Screen ed. by George Rodosthenous (Routledge) Link: https://www.routledge.com/Twenty-First-Century-Musicals-From-stage-to-screen/Rodosthenous/p/book/9781138648890

(Forthcoming 2017) - ‘For the First Time in Forever - Locating Frozen as a feminist Disney musical’ for The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen: Critical Approaches from 'Snow White' to ‘Frozen'. ed. by George Rodosthenous (Bloomsbury Methuen) Link: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-disney-musical-on-stage-and-screen-9781474234184/

(2016) ‘Next you’re Franklin Shepard Inc.?’ Composing the Broadway musical, a study of Kurt Weill’s working practices’, Studies in Musical Theatre, 10(3) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/smt.10.2.163_1

Browne, S and Whitfield, S (2016) ‘From Hair to Hamilton, Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story?’ Conference Paper Song, Stage and Screen XI, City University of New York, N.Y

(2015) Twelve Awesome Women of the Stage You’ve Never Heard of!, Jump Books (targeted for a 8-15 year old audience)

(2012) ‘Two different roads to new musicals in 2011 London: London road and road show’, Studies in Musical Theatre, 5(3), pp. 305–314. doi: 10.1386/smt.5.3.305_1.

Book Reviews:

(Forthcoming 2017) British Musical Theatre Since 1950, New Theatre Quarterly

(2017) Singing and dancing to The Book of Mormon: critical essays on the Broadway musical, Studies in Theatre and Performance, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14682761.2017.1284208

Experience in industry

  • 2015 Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre, University of Wolverhampton
  • 2012-2015 Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, Anglia Ruskin University
  • 2010-2012 Award Leader, Senior Lecturer in Music Theatre, Falmouth University College
  • 2008-2010 Teaching Associate, Queen Mary, University of London

Further information

Postgraduate Supervision:

  • Gus Gowland: Resisting homophobic stereotypes in British musical theatre

Sarah is available for PhD supervision in the following areas:

  • American musical theatre
  • Kurt Weill’s collaborative work for Broadway 
  • Women’s labour
  • Creative practices

Twitter: @sarahinthepark