I’m past patiently waitin’, I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation.

a/k/a Where I Am and Where I Want To Go

“Miranda, are you using an excuse to blog about Hamilton for a grade?”

The answer is,

…..um, maybe.

In seriousness, I have seen Hamilton as a musical that theatre teachers could get behind since the day I first decided to sit down and listen to the soundtrack. I first gave Hamilton a listen the evening after the closing of Orphan Train, a show I performed in with the UWM Theatre Department. A little background on Oprhan Train — it was a devised play writing collaborative among the cast and the director, Robin Mello, on real accounts of the post-civil war movement known as the Orphan Train movement. For an overview of the Orphan Train movement, see this link.

Orphan Train was one of the most educational experiences for me as an actor and theatre maker in general. It was no surprise that when I finally sat down and listened to the Hamilton soundtrack I fell in love immediately since I was flooded with emotions and ideas about how the rest of my career would go.

The focus of my blog is to apply the concepts we learn from class and apply it to how Hamilton can be an educational experience for young people, and not just a musical that evokes emotions.

“So what do you already know about Hamilton, huh?’

-Hamilton was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

-He has also written and originated the role of Usnavi in In The Heights. 

-In an interview for Playbill written by Michael Gioia, Miranda talks about how he taught English at his old high school.

-Miranda cites the TV show The West Wing and Ron Chernow’s biography on Alexander Hamilton as inspirations for his musical.

-In 2009, he first performed the titular song for the play at the White House to Barack and Michelle Obama, which was responded to will laughter.

“What about Hamilton do you want to learn?”

-How to write a lesson plan for a future theatre class around Hamilton.

-What are the ways that we can apply reality pedagogy to Hamilton?

“What about Hamilton have you learned?”

-History can be taught when applying modern culture.

-A musical absolutely has business being in the classroom; and it is not limited to theatre class.

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6 thoughts on “I’m past patiently waitin’, I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation.

  1. I bet you’ll enjoy this project since you’ll be researching what you love! I think it could be a very effective thing to teach to students in the future, as it incorporates history, music, and theater, combing multiple disciplines into one production.

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  2. I think Hamilton is an interesting and exciting way to place history in a context that young people will find more interesting. Your post reminds me of the “Hip Hop Science” video; teachers need to put content that students might otherwise find boring (science, American history) in a context that appeals to them and grabs their attention.

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  3. Are you using this as an excuse to blog about Hamilton for a grade? I hope so, because it gives me an excuse to read a blog about Hamilton! Hamilton has already begun to open so many doors in the theater (educational and otherwise) and it has so much potential to help students engage more with history and then engage further with other productions.

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  4. How interesting that you have come up with an idea like this to teach about something you are so passionate about. I’m sure you will definitely enjoy this project.

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  5. I have to say, I look forward to reading your posts because even though I know nothing about Hamilton, your love and passion really shines through. I think this concept will be really interesting to me as I love musicals and really like reading about what you are interested in!

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  6. I like that you are already thinking about how this play opens doors not only for theatre but for many disciplines, history, music, English, etc. As you stated above, the piece has much potential for enacting reality pedagogy in a very interdisciplinary way. I look forward to seeing how Chris Emdin’s ideas shed new perspectives on how to frame and invite study of Hamilton. I’m in!

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