Producers and creators of the box-office-busting Broadway buzzmagnet have partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the New York City Department of Education to launch a $1.46 million initiative that will see “Hamilton” play more than a dozen Wednesday matinees to public school students at a ticket cost of $10 to each student, with $60 subsidized by the Rockefeller Foundation.
The initiative also will incorporate “Hamilton” and its story of the U.S. founding fathers into classroom studies in history, theater and other disciplines. A “Hamilton” study and performance guide will also be created with resources for students and teachers.
The program marks a step toward broadening access to a Broadway show that’s so hot right now that it’s nearly impossible to get a ticket — and those tickets that are available probably come with an extremely hefty price tag. (The show’s average amount paid per ticket last week came in at about $138.)
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The initiative also addresses a longrunning concern of the theater industry in general, which frets that young people won’t have the chance to discover theater — and become lifelong fans, creators and ticketbuyers — if they don’t get exposure to it at a young age. “I can draw a very direct line between the first show I ever saw and standing on this stage right now,” said “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, speaking at the announcement of the program at the Richard Rodgers Theater.
New York’s Title I schools will be given priority for participating in the “Hamilton” program, as will those institutions with the interest and ability to integrate the musical and its subject matter thoroughly into their curriculum. The first student matinee of “Hamilton” is set for April 13, 2016.