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In 2007, the distinguished scholar of musical theatre, Bruce Kirle, passed away unexpectedly. In tribute to his contribution to this field of scholarship, the Music-Theatre-Dance focus group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) established a competition for new
scholars researching in the field. The three prize-winning entries to the inaugural season of this competition were presented as conference papers at the 2009 ATHE conference in New York, and appear as written articles on the following pages of Studies in Musical Theatre. Stacy Wolf,
chair of that inaugural ATHE panel, and respondent to the papers, introduces the papers in this short address.
Studies in Musical Theatre is a refereed journal which considers areas of live performance that use vocal and instrumental music in conjunction with theatrical performance as a principal part of their expressive language.