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Hamilton Education Program to Debut in DC

The Kennedy Center will welcome the celebrated education program this fall.

Bryan Terrell Clark commands the stage as George Washington in the Broadway production.
(© Joan Marcus)

The innovative educational program that launched at Hamilton on Broadway will make its debut in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, September 12, when more than 2,150 students and teachers from DC metro-area schools attend the matinee performance of the musical at the Kennedy Center.

The September 12 performance is the first of two all-student matinee performances at the Kennedy Center that will provide more than 4,300 local high school students from underserved communities the opportunity to experience the musical Hamilton after having spent several weeks in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Alexander Hamilton and the nation's Founding Fathers. The second all-student matinee performance will take place on Thursday, September 13.

In addition to seeing a performance of Hamilton, students representing various schools in attendance will perform original works they created based on their classroom studies — songs, rap, poetry, scenes, and monologues — on the Kennedy Center stage in front of their peers. Students will also participate in a Q&A with Hamilton cast members.

The Hamilton Education Program (HEP) is one of several history education programs offered by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Rockefeller Foundation provided an initial grant of $1.46 million that funded the educational partnership in New York City. After the resounding success of the partnership, the foundation committed an additional $6 million to the effort to support the program's national expansion.

With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow's biography of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton is the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.