Embodying history: Casting and cultural memory in 1776 and Hamilton | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167

Abstract

Both Lin-Manuel Miranda’s and recent all-female productions of Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone’s dramatize historical events of the American Revolution with women and people of colour in the roles of white ‘founding fathers’. This article juxtaposes the casting and reception of these history musicals to theorize the ways their non-traditional casting opens up new possibilities for cultural memory of that revered era in US history. Underlying the seemingly progressive embodied performance, the written texts of both and perpetuate founders chic and rehearse traditional versions of the nation’s founding story. Thus they expose but do not subvert the construction of whiteness and masculinity as unmarked categories that have always dominated US culture. The process of upholding the old version while blending it with the new exemplifies the incremental process of cultural memory as it shapes national identity.

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2019-12-01
2024-05-29
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): 1776; casting; cultural memory; founders chic; gender; Hamilton; history musicals; race
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