Hamilton in the White House: An On the Same Page panel

Panel Discussion | November 13 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium

 Donatella Galella, Professor, Theatre, Film, and Digital Production, UC Riverside; Philip Gentry, Professor, University of Delaware; Philip Kan Gotanda, Professor, Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, UCB

 Mary Ann Smart, Professor, Music Department, UCB

 College of Letters & Science

Alexander Hamilton himself never occupied the White House, but the premise of this panel is that Hamilton the musical has been symbolically in and of the White House since Lin-Manuel Miranda and cast members performed an early draft of the title song there in 2012. In its first flush of success the show sounded to some like a perfect musical accompaniment for a “post-racial” America, while others heard it more as a utopian dream in a nation plagued by racial profiling and new forms of slavery and oppression. More recently, changing political realities and rhetoric, legislative initiatives, and economic realities have given Hamilton new resonances. Most visibly, Vice-President Elect Mike Pence saw Hamilton on Broadway and was treated to a lecture on diversity by cast members, prompting the president-elect to tweet explosively: "Apologize!" But lots of other things have changed too. What once felt like an accidental masterpiece miraculously produced by a scrappy and diverse crew from Washington Heights and Wesleyan University is now a franchise, with touring casts in California, Chicago, and soon London. The original cast and creative team have graduated to projects with Disney, Netflix, and HBO.

How should we hear the show's whip-smart lyrics and wildly eclectic musical styles now that the White House is inhabited by a politician who was elected for his “American First” and anti-immigration policies? In this panel speakers will explore the ways the sounds and meanings of Hamilton have changed since the show was first seen at New York's Public Theater in 2015, and what these changes might tell us about the role of the arts in post-Trump America.

 Students - Undergraduate

 All Audiences

 Free and open to everyone on a first-come, first-seated basis.

 light refreshments afterward

 alix@berkeley.edu, 510-642-8378