3 Elgin High School Students to Perform Onstage at ‘Hamilton’!
Three Elgin High School students will perform before the cast and crew of “Hamilton” and more than 1,500 students Wednesday in Chicago as part of the Hamilton Education Project.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, sponsored the project, which challenges students across the nation to select a document from American history and turn it into a performance art piece. The program provides examples of how composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda used documents as a springboard for his creative process in developing “Hamilton,” an American musical about the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
The journey to the “Hamilton” stage at the CIBC Theatre began more than four months ago when EHS social studies teachers John Devine and Heather Misner presented students with the competition as they studied the founding of America. More than 130 EHS students participated, generating more than 50 pieces of original work that were then reviewed by a panel of EHS teachers and students before selecting one piece to send to the institute.
“The students in the winning group did thoughtful, original historical research that went far beyond expectations,” said Devine, a social studies teacher at EHS. “They did a great job of combining solid historical research and creative, compelling presentation.”
The institute selected the EHS students’ piece as one of the 10 student performances to appear onstage in the morning pre-show on Dec. 13.
Elgin high juniors Fernanda Palomar, Mollie Geron and Alexandra Sampieri will play the role of Washington, Hamilton and Lafayette for their pre-show performance. As their selected piece, the students will perform a rap that touches on the debate between Washington and Hamilton on the role of both free and enslaved African-Americans in the revolution. Lafayette enters the rap late with a surprise introduction of James Armistead, a Virginia slave who joins the revolution as a spy and aid to the American cause.
“It’s a historically rich and informed piece of performance art that has re-introduced the founding period of American history in a dynamic and memorable manner,” said Devine.
Students who participated in the project and completed a piece of original work were awarded seats to a matinee of the show on Wednesday in Chicago through funds raised by the Gilder Lehrman Institute.
- WHO: Elgin High School students Fernanda Palomar, Mollie Geron and Alejandra Sampieri will perform. Students Jonathan Antemate, John Malkowski and Inga Suceska assisted in the research.
- WHERE: CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago.
- WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13.
School District U-46 serves families in 11 communities across 90 square miles within Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The district is nestled in the Fox River Valley, approximately 45 minutes west of downtown Chicago, and includes communities within Cook, DuPage and Kane counties. Nearly 40,000 pre-schoolers through twelfth graders attend the 57 district schools and programs. To learn more, visit the U-46 website, or like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.