Free Screening of PBS Documentary Hamilton's America

Published: October 13, 2016 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Hamilton's AmericaDon’t throw away your shot to see a special preview screening of PBS Great Performances Documentary Hamilton's America, the story behind the revolutionary musical on Thursday, October 20th from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Church Auditorium in the Sharwan Smith Student Center at SUU. The event is free and will feature a keynote presentation by SUU Professor Michelle Orihel and Michael Bahr, education director at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

The event is co-sponsored between SUU, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and KUED 7.

KUED’s Director of Creative Services and Host of Contact, Mary Dickson, helped organize the event and is excited to bring the documentary film to Cedar City.

“The musical phenomenon of Hamilton is firmly rooted in the history of our democracy, which makes it an important work for today’s audiences,” said Dickson. “It’s highly appropriate that we’re screening the film that tells the story of its creation. We’re very excited to partner with the Shakespeare Festival and SUU and to have an acknowledged scholar from SUU speak about and lead a discussion of the cultural relevance of this musical.” 

As the Assistant Professor of Early American History at SUU, Orihel uses the hit musical to teach about the complexities of the revolution.

Hamilton creates an instant connection to history and our founding fathers,” said Orihel. “By analyzing a song from Hamilton, students are engaged and motivated about a subject they usually struggle with. Discussing the themes presented in the song gives them the opportunity to think about a number of important issues: the relationship between old and new media, the role of extra-constitutional organizations in the coming of the revolution, and the importance of context and chronology in history.”

Hamilton’s America is a behind-the-scenes documentary film that brings history to vivid life through the lens of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pop culture Broadway phenomenon Hamilton – winner of 11 Tony Awards® and the Pulitzer Prize. The film endeavors to brush the dust off American history, much as the musical does, and provide a unique new way for us to view our national heritage and current political landscape.

“Hamilton has inspired me and helped me start a valuable conversation with my students about how we tell the story of the American Revolution and what it means to us in the present,” said Orihel.

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