American historian by day and Canadian jazz musician and playwright by night, Clyde R. Forsberg Jr. has also written five original "jazz-musicals." Originally, the idea was for a history professor who played jazz to use the stage to convey a message of some historical importance, augmented by music, as an experiment to see whether the theatre was not a better medium than the classroom. There is no doubting the important fact that the public cast their vote . . . and quite decidedly in the affirmative, despite it all. Playing It By Ear: The Jazz-Theatre of Clyde R. Forsberg Jr. explores such public events and social issues as the Canadian ice storm of 1998 and the urban-rural divide, Louis Armstrong's "Black and Blue" and the relationship between racism and domestic abuse, the death-rattle of patriarchal authority evident at family holiday gatherings, the penis and vagina as twin taboos, and what Forsberg's seven-year trek along the Silk Road (2003-2010) in search of self understanding and renewal would cost him-but also reward him for venturing outside of the box.