The Hamilton Musical Inspired ASU Professors for New Educational Initiatives

Now the students can study music, performance art and American History from the perspective of Hamilton.

ASU Hamilton

The Tony-winning Hamilton become not only a legendary musical which shook the world but also a turning point for the educational establishments to inspire the integration of the new methods of learning history.

The show is dedicated to the story about the Founding Fathers of the USA. The main ideas which were implemented during its production haven’t been fully disclosed yet in such a brilliant way. ASU Gammage will hold Hamilton performances from Jan. 30 to Feb. 25 in 2018.

The other breaking news is the decision of ASU professors to include Hamilton’s issues into the curriculum of various subjects related to the topics.

Learning the Hamilton’s Times

The bright example of an independent course focused on Hamilton is Pamela Stewart’s new class called “The World of Alexander Hamilton”. In her opinion, it is substantial to show the connection between past and present by emphasizing the impact of events from Hamilton’s time on modernity.

She decided to use the documents written by the political figure himself and let the students associate them with the musical along with expressing their own reflections. “Learning history with Hamilton is an easier way to find out more about our factual history. Some things are relevant even today.” – said Stewart.

The other book included in the course is “Hamilton: The Revolution” written by Jeremy McCarter and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The last one is the director and producer of the original version of the musical. While focusing on the history, Stewart is going to broaden her students’ mindsets.

Studying the Race through the Show

Another course will be about race and performance. Mathew Sandoval will be the class leader. In his opinion, the Hamilton is the great example of reconsidering the race issue not only in its casting but also in the plot. The course’s program is complemented by several attendances of the particular shows, including Hamilton. This way, Sandoval is going to engage his students in culture and arts. Barrett, the Honors College students will be allowed for the course’s admission.

Sandoval believes that Hamilton speaks for all the American races by representing wide cultural and musical tendencies in the modern performance art. All of these features make it perfect for a discussion in such a class.

Most of Sandoval’s students are involved in discussions about the current political issues with their inner circle, so he hopes that they will actively start conversations in class too. “It is quite different things to talk about race in terms of history and to talk about it in terms of performance. As for me, the second one is easier for the start.” – he said.

Also, Sandoval would like to teach the race issues using the other plays presented by ASU Gammage as an example. “I think that having ASU Gammage here in our place is a great luck for us and our students. They are able to see Hamilton almost for free without leaving their home, unlike the students from the other cities in our region.

Hip-Hop vs. Classical Musical Accompaniment

The third course based on Hamilton is music history class headed by Chris Wells, the assistant professor of musicology. During the course, students will learn the history and influences of various musical styles on the show, as well as their analysis.

To Wells’ mind, the class is useful for both hip-hop lovers and musical theater enthusiasts. The first ones will be able to dig little deeper into musical theater history and make some connections between it and genre’s influences. The second group will have a chance to know more about hip-hop culture. There is no sense to join the course if you want to get the cheapest ticket in town. It is created for people who would like to gain indispensable experience related to the live Hamilton performance.

“Hamilton is among the plays which help people understand how art and politics may be connected. That is why I think Miranda’s creation is highly important for the students” – said Wells.

Touchdown in the Theater

Not only students of these classes may examine Hamilton in details, but also sportsmen during such an event such as Senior Championship Life Experience, created by Buffie and Ray Andersons, the supporters of Sun Devil Athletics organization.

During this event, 200 students of sports faculties, as well as their coaching staff and graduating senior administration, will get tickets on Hamilton. Buffie Anderson assumes that this show teaches leadership and decision-making capacity, the abilities crucial for sportsmen.

A few years ago, Ray Anderson visited one historical place during the staff trip while working for the NFL. The event was arranged by Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons. This experience impressed Ray very much, that is the reason why he decided to organize the similar event by himself in collaboration with ASU Gammage submitted by Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of the theater.

He said: “I and my wife Buffie see great value in athletes, their administration and coaching staff in this experience. I am convinced that they are unlikely to stay indifferent after they get out from the audience. It has left an indelible impression on my soul, so I hope it will have the same impact on them”.

The first similar event was held in the venue in 2016, while Sun Devil Athletics brought the show called “Black Angels over Tuskeegee”. Now the organization’s team is preparing the largest program ever.

Buffie Anderson thinks that some people underestimate Hamilton’s educational value. This performance can teach leadership – the Founding Fathers are setting a great example for athletes in empowering others and many other traits of personality crucial for the social life. “It is a great idea to give somebody who is far from the theater a chance to see such a masterpiece” – she said.

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