First Advisor

Jonathan Walker

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Arts and Letters and University Honors


Arts & Letters


Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960), Songs -- Texts -- History and criticism, Music -- Performance, Musicals




The purpose of this paper is to outline the process I used to prepare a performance of ten songs written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, a famous composer and lyricist duo who wrote five notable works for the stage during the "Golden Age" of Musical Theater. I ask the question: how can I use evidence of motivation and desire in Hammerstein's lyrics to help inform my acting and vocal choice in the performance of each song? I investigate manifestations of desire in each of the song lyrics on my set list and reflect on the reality of applying my findings from these investigations to rehearsal. I found that in general, these lyrical analyses helped me understand the subtext of the lyrics and mood of the character, however it was also necessary to experiment with movement and physical alignment in order to transfer the idea of the character into the complete embodiment of them.


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