CPS students get the 'Hamilton' experience

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
CPS students get the 'Hamilton' experience
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Students performed on the "Hamilton" stage and then saw a performance on the hit play.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nearly 2,000 Chicago Public Schools students attended a performance of "Hamilton" Wednesday afternoon as part of a program to nurture the artistic talent of young people.

The special field trip, which took place on former President George Washington's birthday, launched the first Chicago "Hamilton" education program.

"When I watch those kids on stage, interpreting American history in their own way, with their own language, I'm looking at the future," said Jeffrey Seller, who is the producer of "Hamilton."

Students and teachers from all over the city attended the performance.

"Our goal is to do 20,000 students every year that we're here, in New York, in Chicago, and wherever else we'll go. It's not just a one time thing," said "Hamilton" director Thomas Kail.

The young people spent weeks studying an Alexander Hamilton curriculum, then 10 original works including rap, poetry and song which the students performed on the musical's set.

Following student performances, the "Hamilton" cast members took the stage to answer questions.

After lunch for 2,000 at the Palmer House, the students went back to the theater to see the musical.

"It was absolutely electric, 'Hamilton' does that to young people. It brings something out of them. So for them to be in the room where it happens, our theatre, it was wonderful," said cast member Wallace Smith.