Image: Emma Basha

Field Trip! Sleepy Goes To Hamilton

On November 14th, the Regents U.S. History classes and some select juniors went on a very exciting field trip to what some might call the “greatest city in the world.” For only $10 per student, they traveled to the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical HamiltonHamilton is a sung- and rapped-through musical that tells the life story of the controversial Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Miranda incorporates hip-hop, rhythm and blues, pop music, soul music, and traditional show tunes into the score, and uses color-conscious casting of non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures to demonstrate the importance of immigrants in American history. The music, lyrics, and book of this unconventional musical were inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of the man on the $10 bill. The musical has achieved both critical acclaim and box office success, and has expanded the definition of what a musical can be.

Image: Variety Magazine.

Before the show, students from several schools performed poems, monologues, raps and songs. Each of the Sleepy Hollow students who went on the trip had to prepare an original creative piece related to an event in early American history, and Sleepy’s own Ginger Sakarya (who created her own song about the Boston Massacre) was selected to perform on stage after a backstage tour! Following the student performances, there was a Q&A with some of the cast members, who were later seen in the ensemble and leading roles. They answered questions about how they came to be on Broadway and what it was like to perform in such a critically acclaimed show. After lunch, the juniors and teachers went back to the theater to watch the show, which was spectacular.

“I really loved it–the ensemble was spectacular. It was just an amazing thing to see in person!” said one student. “I thought it was a really good performance…not just the actors but also the effects and the music,” said another. Teachers and students alike were amazed by the show and grateful for the opportunity they had been given, especially considering how notoriously expensive and inaccessible Broadway shows can be.

Thank you to Ms. McLaughlin and Ms. Horn for making this opportunity possible!

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