Schools Use 'Hamilton' to Enhance Teaching

By Antlfinger, Carrie | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), December 3, 2017 | Go to article overview

Schools Use 'Hamilton' to Enhance Teaching


Antlfinger, Carrie, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


CHICAGO - More than 2,000 students got into the hottest show in Chicago for free - "Hamilton: An American Musical " - as part of their acceptance to Northwestern University.

It's one of the ways colleges and high schools are using the hugely popular musical to teach students about history, art, drama, culture, and even politics. There's even a high school program coordinated through the show that has allowed nearly 49,000 students in four cities to see the show for free or reduced admission.

"It's one thing to learn about these kind of events in a classroom but to go and see this in a production it's different, and it's just amazing," said Northwestern freshman Alex Richards after seeing the smash hit musical.

First-year Northwestern students went to two matinees at CIBC Theatre in October on 48 buses as part of the One Book One Northwestern program, which includes a series of discussions, speakers and other events around the theme of a book. This year it was Danielle Allen's "Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality."

Nancy Cunniff, director for One Book One Northwestern, said the program gives students a common discussion point when they get to campus as well as a different perspective on a subject.

"Our approach has been to find different access points," Cunniff said. "So maybe history is not your thing but you like musicals and then you go and see this musical and then maybe history isn't so bad."

The university also started a class last year called "Hamilton's America," a lecture course cross-listed in history and Latino studies. …

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