NEW YORK, N.Y. – Some 20,000 New York City high school students will see the Broadway hit “Hamilton” thanks to a $1.46 million grant announced Tuesday by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Classroom materials integrating “Hamilton” into the 11th-grade U.S. history curriculum will also be provided under the program.
“Hamilton,” created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, uses hip-hop and other popular music forms to tell the story of the Founding Fathers.
The musical is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and has been praised by scholars for its vivid depiction of historical events, including Hamilton’s death at the hands of Aaron Burr in a duel.
It tells the unlikely story of an orphan from the Caribbean island of Nevis who served as George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and later became the first secretary of the U.S. Treasury.
“The Rockefeller Foundation recognizes ‘Hamilton’ as a groundbreaking work of genius, and everyone should have the opportunity to see it, regardless of their resources,” Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin said. “This is doubly true of students who are finding their passions and deciding on career paths.”
Under the initiative starting next spring, the producers of “Hamilton” will make tickets to select Wednesday matinees available for $70 for students attending New York City public high schools. The Rockefeller Foundation will subsidize $60 of each ticket, and students will pay just $10.
“Our goal is to ensure that all students have a shot to see ‘Hamilton’ and use its words, music and staging to further their enjoyment of American history, music and drama,” said “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller.
Miranda, a native New Yorker who plays the title role in “Hamilton,” called the initiative “a dream come true.”
“I can’t wait to perform for a theatre full of students who are learning about our Founding Fathers in class and seeing how it still relates to their own lives on stage,” Miranda said.
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the opportunity to see “Hamilton” will “give teachers and students the opportunity to experience American history in a unique way while connecting to the class curriculum and cultivating a deep love of learning.”