SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — More than 2,000 students and teachers from 18 Bay Area schools saw the acclaimed musical “Hamilton” Wednesday at a matinee at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre as part of a history program, theatre officials said.
“Hamilton” is the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became an adviser to George Washington during the Revolutionary War and the nation’s first Treasury Secretary.
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The musical includes hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway music to tell a contemporary story of Hamilton.
Organizers of the history program are planning to host three other matinees in the Bay Area, giving more than 8,500 high school students in the region the opportunity to see the hit musical.
The students have spent the last several weeks studying Hamilton and other Founding Fathers as part of a greater program in American history, according to theatre officials.
As part of the program Wednesday, students had a chance to ask the cast of the play questions. Students also put on performances they created based on their American history studies.
“I didn’t really care much for the Revolutionary era, but as I started researching all these people and the documents, I found all these fascinating facts,” said Arise High School sophomore Umali Horne.
Horne was one of the 13 acts heard by the whole high-school audience.
This was the first of four all-student shows for the Bay Area. Each is followed up by a Q&A with actual Hamilton cast members, lunch, then a performance of the show itself starring a little local talent.
“I’ve seen so many shows at the Orpheum growing up, and to be here right now is just wild to me,” said cast member Ryan Vasquez.
The educational program based on the musical kicked off in New York City and also debuted in Chicago.
“The playwright was here today. We’ve done this program in NY and Chicago and he says these are the best performances he’s seen,” said Jim Basker of the Gilder Lehrmen Institute of American History, the group that has organized the program.
“Hamilton” debuted at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco earlier this month and runs through Aug. 5.
Wednesday’s matinee for the students was paid for by Facebook employees.
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