You’ve heard of the musical Hamilton, right? And you know there’s a filmed version coming out July 3, on the streaming subscription channel Disney+? Cool, we’re all on the same page.
For a lot of teens, though, Hamilton is more than a show: It’s a cultural touchstone, something we all know and connect with, even if we’re not theatre geeks. A lot of us became theatre geeks because of Hamilton. It also got us interested in American history—history for real, not just what we learned in elementary school.
The musical exploded on Broadway in the fall of 2015, when Barack Obama was President, and he invited Lin-Manuel Miranda and his racially diverse cast to perform at the White House. We’ve held on to that moment. We’ve grown to appreciate everything Hamilton is, while understanding some of the things it leaves out… Like, the white heroes’ involvement in chattel slavery, or what was happening to Indigenous people during this time.
Now, as our generation marches for racial justice, and with July 4th a dud due to the pandemic, we can stay home with Hamilton, break it down, and redefine it for ourselves. For this episode of D&Z, we brought together a few Hamilton super-fans from the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts, plus one from Indian Hill High School, to share their insights.
- Rashaad Rice, School for Creative and Performing Arts
- Abigail Doench, School for Creative and Performing Arts
- Jordan Shaw, School for Creative and Performing Arts
- Jonah Sorscher, Indian Hill High School
- Seth Coppens (moderator), Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts
- Kailani Childress (intro narration), Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts