2023 – Summer

Covering the Arts: NYC Backstage (Session 2)

Course Number: SS2: JOUR-UA 204.064

Day & Time: Tue/Thu 4:00-7:00 pm

Location: 20 Cooper Sq.

Instructor: Michelle Smawley

Syllabus: Download

Albert Class Number: 2591

The backdrop for this class is the New York city arts scene.  Every summer NYC hosts more than 300 cultural events, from the Mostly Mozart Festival to Central Park’s SummerStage to Shakespeare in the Park.  The producers of Shakespeare in the Park are the world renowned Public Theater.   A number of  Broadway productions began their award winning journey at the Public theater, the three most iconic are Hair, A Chorus Line and of course, Hamilton.  Through a partnership with the theater, this class will have front row access as a working journalist to this major cultural institution.

While immersing yourself into the cultural life of NYC, in this course students will learn to perfect the art of the interview and hone your reporting skills.  Your beat is NYC theater and your interview subjects are the people who make up these productions; from the performer on center stage to the artists behind the scenes, all essential to bringing productions alive.

This class offers key insights into the elements that go into a great interview, because at the foundation of every great story is the exchange between a journalist and her/his subject.  This course examines the most important components of the interview; such as human psychology, preparation, relationship building, how to gain access and the treatment of sensitive subject matter.  You will practice real-world journalism in the field and students will have the opportunity to create print, audio, or video stories to build their portfolio.  All class participants will need to come into the class with the requisite technical skills.