Reynolds to immerse students in 'Hamilton'
A group of about 70 students from Reynolds High School will travel to Seattle in March to see the megahit Broadway show, "Hamilton: An American Musical."
"We're so excited to have this amazing educational opportunity available to our students," said Daniel Lee, Reynolds High School band and orchestra director. "We love that they're learning more about both the Founding Era and about the process of turning an idea into performing art."
Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the groundbreaking musical depicts the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton in rap and song. In 2016, "Hamilton" won 11 Tony awards, including best musical, the Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Grammy for the best musical theater album.
"Hamilton's" revolutionary musical styles include hip hop, rhythm and blues, pop, soul and traditional belt-it-out Broadway show tunes. The parts of Founding Fathers and others are played by non-white actors.
New York-based Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a nonprofit organization working to improve the understanding of American history, subsidized the tickets for the Raiders, bringing them down to an affordable $10. The program was not offered for the show in Portland, prompting the trip to Seattle.
The school will pick up the cost of the matinee tickets and lunch. Gilder Lehrman, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Hamilton Education Program, cut the price of tickets for high schools with a large number of low-income students.
The discounted tickets are limited to juniors taking U.S. history, so Reynolds theater and orchestra teachers partnered with two social studies teachers to get the right mix of students to attend the popular musical. Parameters include a grade requirement, then a first-come, first-served basis for qualifying juniors.
The students will have six special class sessions to take a deep dive into the history of the American Revolution and founding of the U.S. presented in "Hamilton," Lee noted.
Gilder Lehrman provided "all of the materials including a student workbook and access to a special website with tons of interviews of the cast and examples of primary sources from the Founding Era."
Reynolds students will create their own performance pieces based on primary documents from the time in American history depicted in the show.
Although some theater students may have seen a Broadway show when one came through Portland, Lee said "this might be a first for many students going on the trip."