Our World Now - Identity

Our world has changed in the 71 years since the premiere of South Pacific, one of the greatest American musicals. During that time, questions of race, gender, and American dominance that are central to the South Pacific story have been rethought, reimagined, and reconsidered. This season we invite you to a bold retelling of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic, yet shockingly relevant, masterpiece South Pacific.

Issues of nationalism, imperialism, and inherited prejudices are at the heart of this beloved Broadway musical often more appreciated for its unforgettable melodies than for its progressive message. This production casts a new perspective on the white woman who works for the U.S. Army and recognizes her role in systemic racism, a mixed-race couple that finds each other amidst the backdrop of a war on anti-Semitism, and the young Polynesian woman at the heart of this love story.

Due to rapidly evolving developments, and in accordance with the City of Philadelphia’s recommendation that all large gatherings be suspended to limit community transmission of COVID-19, all scheduled Philadelphia Orchestra rehearsals, performances, and events through May 10, 2020, are cancelled. Learn more