A Dream Come True, “Hamilton” Inspires, Educates & Entertains 2700 Denver Area Students

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Article & Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media, Videos courtesy Denver Center for the Performing Arts (see more performances below)

From West Leadership Academy, Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas (left) Jose Torres-Andazola (left center) Alexandra Andazola-Chavez (right center) & Rossy Martinez-Sanchez (right)

From West Leadership Academy, Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas (left) Jose Torres-Andazola (left center) Alexandra Andazola-Chavez (right center) & Rossy Martinez-Sanchez (right) 

“It was a beautiful experience that we will all remember for the rest of our lives,” said Jose Torres” of West Leadership Academy speaking to Latin Life Denver Media of his time and that his fellow school mates, Zehydi Chaparro, Rossy Martinez, and Alexandra Andazola.  The group performed a Spanish version of  a Hamilton scene, ‘The Story of Peggy” on stage at the Buell Theater at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “It has been a marvelous experience for all us,” said Zehydi Chaparro, adding “from a small classroom project this has turned into something big, a grand experience for all of us that not everyone gets to have and we are so grateful for that.”

A bashful Alexandra Andazola said  “it took a lot of time and effort but with the help of our teachers we were able to dedicate ourselves to this project to the point that brought us here today,” she said. “As for the Spanish translation of this play we took the English documents required to read for the project and translated them ourselves adding or changing bits here and there so that it would better suit the Spanish language,” they said, adding we have already staged this play in Spanish at our school.”

All four students said they were “Dreamers”  DACA students.  Addressing the political climate that exists in regard to undocumented immigrants Zehydi Chaparro said, ” Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant, a dreamer himself, and he showed that we cannot sell ourselves short, we cannot give up our dreams, we must persist and go forward.” Rossy Martinez said that “Just like Hamilton, he like us, all immigrants, have the ability to go as far as we want in life given the opportunity.” Jose Torres chimed in saying “We are demonstrating that yes we can “Si Se Puede”.

Issak Lucero From Strive Prep - SMART

Issak Lucero From Strive Prep – SMART

Issak Lucreo, a junior at Strive Prep – SMART told Latin Life Denver, I was nervous a bit, my legs were shaking but I was comfortable performing the “Benjamin Franklin -rap’. I chose Franklin because of his creativity, his inventiveness and the fact that he wrote so many books and just did his own thing. He is an inspiration because he did what he wanted to do. He set his heart to it and did it. He accomplished what he wanted,” said Lucero concluding, “I have gotten a deeper understanding of American history doing this. It has been a fun although nerve wracking experience.”

All 2700 plus students were  part of  the “Hamilton Educational Program”  an innovative educational program that “Hamilton” debuted on Broadway and continued in Denver on Wednesday, March 21.

Agusta Lopez (left) Marlene Cervantes (center) & Eva Bustamante (right) from The New America School in Thornton get ready for some "Hamilton"

Agusta Lopez (left) Marlene Cervantes (center) & Eva Bustamante (right) from The New America School in Thornton get ready for some “Hamilton”

The students and teachers from 38 Denver area high schools attended an all-student matinee performance of the hit musical at The Buell Theater. Many of the students had never been to a Broadway theater production before. Several of the students from the various schools were able to sing, act, rap and perform parts of the Hamilton production on the Buell stage. (See videos of performances below)

Aisha Mostafa (left) and Kristian Soto (right) from The New America School in Thornton. The School is 90 percent Hispanic.

Aisha Mostafa (left) and Kristian Soto (right) from The New America School in Thornton. The School is 90 percent Hispanic

 

 

 

Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Gilder Lehrman Institute is providing public school students across the country with the opportunity to see Hamilton and is integrating the show into classroom studies.

Before the students saw the show, their teachers  guided them through a unique, hands-on class project using Gilder Lehrman Institute resources to introduce the students to the people, events, and documents of the founding era. In addition, the students learned how Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, incorporated primary sources into the songs he wrote for the show and use that knowledge to produce their own performance pieces.

To support these projects, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has created student and teacher guides for classroom use and an exclusive website featuring primary sources and videos to facilitate student research. Among the videos are clips from Hamilton and interviews with Lin-Manuel Miranda, selected cast members, and Ron Chernow, whose biography Alexander Hamilton inspired the musical. This innovative program integrating history and performing arts will allow teachers to bring American history to the classroom in a new way and help students find their own connections to the Founding Era.

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More than 2700 Denver Metro Area students & teachers from 38 schools packed the Buell theater for the Broadway Tony Award winning play “Hamilton”

For those who are not currently part of the Hamilton Education Program, The Gilder Lehrman Institute has an array of resources on Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Era available to everyone. Our online materials in the History by Era section of the website include 8 essays, 14 Featured Primary Sources, 8 videos, 4 interactive features, and 15 lesson plans. In addition, you can order posters of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Hamilton as well as posters of Founding Era documents from our shop, or request a Traveling Exhibition on Alexander Hamilton.

Grace Padilla

Vantage Point High School

Esteban Gallegos and Madison Rust,

Emily Griffith High School

 Noah Thomas

Atlast Preparatory School

Eduardo Gonzalez and Sydney Hernandez

Global Leadership Academy

 Luis Castro and Jesus Villa

Mapleton Early College High School

Albert Ortega

High Tech Early College

John Le

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy

 Erin Jones

Harrison High School

Josiah Blackbear

West Early College

Precious Allen

Sierra High School

 Luis Castro and Jesus Villa

Mapleton Early College High School

Ryker Poor and Sabian Storm

Moffat School