Title

Cockeyed Optimist: Social Relevancy of Oscar Hammerstein II’s Lyrics

Poster Number

01B

Lead Author Major

Vocal Performance

Lead Author Status

Senior

Second Author Major

Vocal Performance

Second Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

James Haffner

Faculty Mentor Email

jhaffner@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Performance Studies

Abstract/Artist Statement

This study examines the social relevancy of the lyrics of American librettist and theatrical producer, Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960). With his powerful words and fierce advocacy, Hammerstein tackled issues of prejudice and politics never before seen on the Broadway stage. This study seeks to discover if Oscar Hammerstein II was successful in influencing and affecting change through his libretti not only in his own time, but also now in the present day. Furthermore, his text will be critically examined to find if there is objectively more meaning because of the iconic collaborations with composers Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern.

The research explores three Hammerstein musicals, namely South Pacific, Carousel and Flower Drum Song and their connection to American society. Revival productions continue to capture the hearts of viewers just as the original productions did. The lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II have had a strong connection to American culture since they were written. This presentation will seek to discover why these shows retain popularity and importance.

Location

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

Start Date

27-4-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

27-4-2018 2:30 PM

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Apr 27th, 12:30 PM Apr 27th, 2:30 PM

Cockeyed Optimist: Social Relevancy of Oscar Hammerstein II’s Lyrics

DeRosa University Center Ballroom

This study examines the social relevancy of the lyrics of American librettist and theatrical producer, Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960). With his powerful words and fierce advocacy, Hammerstein tackled issues of prejudice and politics never before seen on the Broadway stage. This study seeks to discover if Oscar Hammerstein II was successful in influencing and affecting change through his libretti not only in his own time, but also now in the present day. Furthermore, his text will be critically examined to find if there is objectively more meaning because of the iconic collaborations with composers Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern.

The research explores three Hammerstein musicals, namely South Pacific, Carousel and Flower Drum Song and their connection to American society. Revival productions continue to capture the hearts of viewers just as the original productions did. The lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II have had a strong connection to American culture since they were written. This presentation will seek to discover why these shows retain popularity and importance.