CPS students learn through arts & theater during Hamilton performance and project

Thu. November 30, 2017 6:54 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

hamilton cast takes q&a from chicago public school students

photo credit // chicagopride.com

Over 1,900 Chicago Public School students participate in Hamilton Education Program yesterday

Chicago, IL - Courageous high school students from all over the Chicago area performed on the Hamilton stage at Broadway In Chicago's CIBC Theatre as part of the Hamilton Education Program.

As part of yesterday's program, over 1,900 students from 25 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) watched their peers perform original works which included songs, rap, poetry, scenes, monologues, before getting the chance to participate in a Q&A with members of the Hamilton cast. Afterwards, students were able to attend the matinee performance of the musical.

The performance is the ninth out of 10 all-student matinee performances in 2017 that will provide 20,000 Chicago high school students the opportunity to experience the musical HAMILTON after having spent several weeks in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Alexander Hamilton and the nation's Founding Fathers.

Fenger Academy High School student Yasmine Hadi performed her original work called "Duel." Hadi studied Lin-Manuel Miranda's book while in school to prepare for her performance and was inspired by her teacher Mr. Voss. 

Hadi, who loves to sing and dance for her family and has written over 20 poems, says her favorite part of the musical includes the opening number and was very excited to meet the Hamilton cast. Her goals include being a nurse - and possibly a broadway performer. Her takeaway from the musical: "keep your friend close," she says emphatically.

The schools that participated in the November 29, 2017 event include: Amundsen High School, Auburn High School, Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities, Carl Schurz High School, Chicago Tech Academy High School, Clay High School, Curie High School, Fenger Academy High School, George Washington Carver Military Academy HS, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, John F. Kennedy High School, John Hancock College Prep HS, Mississinewa High School, Noble - Noble Street College Prep, Noble - Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy, North Lawndale College Prep High School- Christiana Campus, North-Grand High School, Perspectives Charter Rodney D. Joslin, Perspectives IIT Math & Science Academy, Prosser Career Academy, South Newton High School, United Township High School, Waukegan High School, Wendell Phillips Academy High School, and William H. Wells Community Academy High School.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool states, "We are thrilled that so many CPS students are learning about one of our nation's Founding Fathers through the HAMILTON Education Program, and that they will have the opportunity to see this acclaimed musical. By combining the study of American history with an appreciation for the arts, we are giving students the well-rounded education they need to become successful thinkers and leaders. Huge thanks to HAMILTON, the local funders and Gilder Lehrman for providing Chicago's youth with this unique opportunity."

The Hamilton Education Program is one of several history education programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Its president, James G. Basker - who devised the education program in New York in tandem with HAMILTON creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer Jeffrey Seller, The Rockefeller Foundation and the NYC Department of Education - adds, "This project is transformative. HAMILTON has struck a chord with our nation's students because it embodies what great history education is all about: bringing the past to life, and fostering connections with the exceptional individuals and moments that have made us who we are. This program empowers students to reclaim their own narrative and empowers teachers to bridge classroom learning with the stage."

HAMILTON producer Jeffrey Seller, who was instrumental in developing the HAMILTON Education Program, says about the program in Chicago, "Our goal is to ensure that students have a shot to see HAMILTON and use its words, music and staging to further their understanding and enjoyment of American History, music and drama. We've had the pleasure of expanding the education program outside of New York in Chicago and other cities around the country."


With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow's biography. HAMILTON, winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical, is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War, and was the nation's first Treasury Secretary. HAMILTON's score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway – the story of America then, told by America now.

For information on HAMILTON, visit www.HamiltonOnBroadway.com,


The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the teaching and learning of American history. To provide resources and programs for educators and students, the Institute draws on top scholars, an unparalleled collection of original historical documents, and a network of more than 11,000 Affiliate Schools across the country. As a leading provider of K-12 programs, the Institute supports tens of thousands of teachers and millions of students in elementary and secondary schools in all 50 states and 39 foreign countries.

For information on The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, visit www.gilderlehrman.org, www.Facebook.com/gilderlehrman.


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 17 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago's Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.