Students take part in 'Hamilton' education program

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

HOUSTON - As the Broadway hit show "Hamilton" nears the end of its run in Houston, 2,500 students and teachers from Title 1 schools in the Houston area came together to see the show and some of those students even performed on the stage.

The trip was part of a Hamilton education program called Edu-Ham.

Schools had to apply to be a part of the program. Once accepted, they received a curriculum and spent weeks studying American revolutionary history that included Alexander Hamilton and the nation's Founding Fathers.

Participating high school students were then asked to put together performance pieces that could be a song, rap, spoken word or monologues.

Working in partnership with Hamilton, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History selected about a dozen student groups to perform on the Hamilton stage at the Hobby Center.

“Before we started performing, I was really nervous,” said Erin Andress, an Advanced Placement History student at Kipp Academy Houston High School.

Nearly, 30 Houston-area schools were accepted.

“The kids were digging into primary sources, coming up with really creative student original projects, they got in groups, they made their original performance pieces,” said Ali Boutras, a teacher and the program director of Edu-Ham for Kipp Academy Houston High School.

“They were like make something up about revolution, but I wanted to tie it to present day,” said Edward Ramirez, a Kipp Academy Houston High and AP history student. Ramirez’s performance piece tied revolutionary times to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Dreamers."

Then, the Hamilton actors answered questions from students about their journey to their roles in one of Broadway’s hottest shows.

“I auditioned 11 times,” said Chaundre Hall-Broofield who plays Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the show.

The actors also talked about how they hoped students would be inspired to go out themselves and write the next hit musical.

With their Hamilton style, the students impressed the performers they would soon see on stage.

“Oh my gosh, who knew there was so much talent in Houston,” said Nicholas Christopher, who plays Aaron Burr. “I mean, obviously Beyonce and everybody else, but this is the next generation coming up."

Here are the schools that were chosen to participate in Edu-Ham:

  • Alief Early College High School
  • Alief Taylor High School
  • Bellaire High School
  • Charles H. Milby High School
  • Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston
  • Cypress Falls High
  • Douglas MacArthur High School
  • Eisenhower High School
  • Elsik High School
  • Energy Institute High School
  • KIPP Houston High School
  • KIPP Northeast College Preparatory
  • KIPP Sunnyside High School
  • Mayde Creek High School
  • Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men
  • New Caney High School
  • North Forest High School
  • Pasadena Memorial High School
  • Sharpstown High School
  • South Early College High School
  • Splendora High School
  • Stratford High School
  • Victory Early College High School
  • Westside High School
  • Willowridge High School
  • Young Women's College Preparatory Academy

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