Kelsey is currently pursuing a PhD in English from Simon Fraser University. Her research and teaching interests include: performance studies, theatre studies, affect theory, sport’s studies, gender theory, musical theatre studies, and empowerment studies.
Kelsey is a graduate fellow at Simon Fraser’s Institute for Performance Studies and her studies are generously supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarship.
In this article, I examine the act one finales of two Broadway megamusicals–“Defying Gravity” from “Wicked” (2003) and “One Day More” from “Les Misérables” (1987)–to query the relationship between the performance of these numbers and the generation and circulation of feelings of empowerment. As musical theatre scholar Jessica Sternfeld argues, megamusicals offer a performance where ’emotions run high [and] the tears tend to flow both onstage and in the audience’. Both “Defying Gravity” (where one character in a single song offers a performance of empowerment) and “One Day More” (where an ensemble performs empowerment) have been singled out for their affective impact on audience members and their association with empowerment. Through an analysis of these two numbers, I argue that the numbers’ artistic elements intentionally emphasize the performance of empowerment’s two defining characteristics, power and change, in order to amplify characters’ feelings of empowerment. This, in turn, establishes an affective link between stage and auditorium.
When Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal for Canada in the gold medal men’s hockey match at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the crowd went wild. The post-game atmosphere was described by media outlets as “electric” and “joyous.” Is there a more precise way to define the feelings that circulated during and after the game? In this essay, I examine one of the intangible impacts of The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games: its affective legacy.
Kelsey combines her academic interests with community projects in art and sport.
Current projects include:
Kelsey is a member of the Board of Directors of Basketball BC, the co-founder and co-organizer of Launch: An Accessible Open Mic, the co-lead artist of The Britannia Players, an upcoming community theatre project based out of Britannia Community Services Centre, the co-editor of an upcoming community writing anthology to be published by Peter Lang, a member of the organizing team for the Tri-University Theatre and Performance Colloquium, and a member of The Canadian Association of Theatre Research’s Task Force for Emerging Scholars.