Event Title

Women in Musical Theatre

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Sooah Park

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Date of Publication

April 2021

Abstract

Our goal is to inform the audience about sexism women faced, which has been displayed through the history of musical theatre. We will present two representative works that show examples of sexism in the genre of Broadway Musical Theater. We will discuss how sexist influence in the literature has affected our society and the hardships some of the women still have to endure. As part of the presentation, two students will perform a song each that represents contrasting characters of the two female characters in Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim and Street Scene by Kurt Weill respectively. Women in the Georgian Era took on a submissive role with expectations of being under men's power. The story of Sweeney Todd takes place in the Georgian Era, specifically 1785. In the musical, Johanna embodies the women of this era and the sense of powerlessness that many women must have felt under male authority. Johanna was a victim of Judge Turpin's control. A student presenter will perform "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd as an example to support the discussion. Contrasting to females from the Georgian Era, women in the 1940's experienced a drastic change due to World War I and II. Men had to go to war and women had to take on new roles in society. Street Scenes (1946) invites us into the lives of characters who share their lives in a personal way. In Kurt Weill's musical, Rose is a teenage girl who is confident and knows what she wants. Rose is a great example of the women in this era. A student presenter will perform "What Good Would The Moon Be" from Weill's Street Scene to supplement the discussion about the independent women in the 1940's.

Keywords

Musical Theatre, Sexism, Women

Persistent Identifier

http://hdl.handle.net/10950/3092

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Apr 16th, 12:00 PM Apr 16th, 1:00 PM

Women in Musical Theatre

Our goal is to inform the audience about sexism women faced, which has been displayed through the history of musical theatre. We will present two representative works that show examples of sexism in the genre of Broadway Musical Theater. We will discuss how sexist influence in the literature has affected our society and the hardships some of the women still have to endure. As part of the presentation, two students will perform a song each that represents contrasting characters of the two female characters in Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim and Street Scene by Kurt Weill respectively. Women in the Georgian Era took on a submissive role with expectations of being under men's power. The story of Sweeney Todd takes place in the Georgian Era, specifically 1785. In the musical, Johanna embodies the women of this era and the sense of powerlessness that many women must have felt under male authority. Johanna was a victim of Judge Turpin's control. A student presenter will perform "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd as an example to support the discussion. Contrasting to females from the Georgian Era, women in the 1940's experienced a drastic change due to World War I and II. Men had to go to war and women had to take on new roles in society. Street Scenes (1946) invites us into the lives of characters who share their lives in a personal way. In Kurt Weill's musical, Rose is a teenage girl who is confident and knows what she wants. Rose is a great example of the women in this era. A student presenter will perform "What Good Would The Moon Be" from Weill's Street Scene to supplement the discussion about the independent women in the 1940's.