The popular musical Hamilton, a sung-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, has won 11 Tony Awards and has tickets in San Francisco that run up to $850. While many people have anticipated watching this show for months, on April 12th, a select group of US History Galileo students, along with number of other students from around the city, had the opportunity to see this work of art.
Thanks to the Gilder Lermann Institute, students were able to see Hamilton for free. The institute partnered with the musical to receive sponsors and donors to make the play accessible to public school students in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. APUSH teacher Ms. Tang received an email through an organization regarding the opportunity to receive free tickets. “I wasn’t sure about it [the free tickets] yet since it is a travelling show; we thought it was a rumor,” she said. However, Mr. Williams, Ms. Tang, and Mr. O’Connor decided to apply and all were accepted in late February.
In order to receive the tickets though, there were certain preparation lessons laid out for the students by the Gilder Lermann Institute. “They provided a three day lesson for the kids to look at primary sources from the Hamilton era to see how the play was taken from them. They also had to create their own skit from the sources,” said Mr. O’Connor.
“We had to send in a video of the best skit performed by the students, they were able to perform it on stage before the play,” said Ms. Tang. The students had to write a song, poetry, or skit derived from primary sources in the vain of Hamilton. The point of the assignment was to showcase how the writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, wrote the music based on primary sources.
After the play, the responses from the students was incredible. Junior Mateo Langston, who was fortunate enough to be one of the student performers on stage, said, “I liked that it was very emotional, and sentimental, it always gets me.” Junior Krupa Patel added, “I like being able to see the actors hard work and emotion, I loved it,”
“The way the actors carried themselves on stage was amazing, their acting skills especially,” said junior Kenley Chew. Junior Nicholas Wong said, “I liked how they were able to show so much of his life in a short time and it was very entertaining.” “All of the play, everything, it was phenomenal,” said Nathan Lam, who also had the opportunity to perform on stage.
All of the students recommend other high school students watch the play. Krupa P. said, “I recommend it because any age group can watch and enjoy it.” “I definitely recommend it because the words are just not enough to explain how much I enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun performing on stage, I just went for it since I rehearsed so much,” said junior Nathan Lam.
Even the teachers were impressed with how much the students enjoyed the show. “Not one kid took out their phone during the 2 hours, kids teared up even, definitely a powerful play,” said Mr. O’Connor. Mr. Williams added, “Hopefully this motivates the students to continue seeing plays.”