HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

U.S. history students have the opportunity to see a popular show and talk to some of the actors as well.

Back to Article
Back to Article

HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

Rabiya Salman, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Thanks​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Gilder​ ​Lehrman​ ​foundation,​ ​Hoffman Estates High School ​U.S.​ ​History​ ​students​ ​had​ ​the opportunity​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​Broadway​ ​musical,​ ​​Hamilton,​ ​​​on​ ​October​ ​19th.​ ​Gilder Lehrman​ ​paired​ ​up​ ​with​ ​​Hamilton​​ and​ ​the​ ​Rockefeller​ ​Foundation​ ​for​ ​this​ ​unique program​ ​that​ ​was​ ​offered​ ​to​ ​Title​ ​One​ ​High​ ​Schools.​

“Last​ ​Spring,​ ​in​ ​April,​ ​I​ ​ran​ ​across​ ​this​ ​opportunity​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Gilder​ ​Lehrman​ ​website​ ​and applied​ ​to​ ​participate,​ ​not​ ​thinking​ ​much​ ​of​ ​it.​ ​I​ ​came​ ​back​ ​[this​ ​Fall],​ ​and​ ​[Kevin] Mallon, head​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Social​ ​Studies​ ​Department,​ ​notified​ ​me​ ​that​ ​he​ ​got​ ​an​ ​email;​ ​it​ ​said​ ​that​ ​our application​ ​was​ ​chosen,”​ ​said​ ​William​ ​Helzer,​ ​U.S.​ ​History​ ​teacher.

Because ​​Hamilton​​ is ​on​ ​tour​ ​this 2017-2018​ ​school​ ​year,​ ​the​ ​musical​ ​was​ ​scheduled to be performed in ​large​ ​American​ ​cities,​ ​including Chicago. HEHS​ ​teachers​ ​often​ ​use​ ​Gilder​ ​Lehrman​ ​primary resources​ ​for​ ​their​ ​classes.

After​ ​being​ ​contacted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​foundation,​ ​​Helzer​ ​was​ ​informed​ ​that​ ​there​ ​were​ ​only 70​ ​tickets​ ​available​ ​and​ ​that​ ​students​ ​who​ ​wished​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​must​ ​commit​ ​to​ ​making a​ ​project.​ ​This​ ​project​ ​encouraged​ ​kids​ ​to​ ​use​ ​their​ ​creativity​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​rap,​ ​poem,​ ​or video​ ​that​ ​would​ ​be​ ​their​ ​original​ ​work​ ​based​ ​on​ ​facts ​they​ ​had​ ​learned​ ​in​ ​class about​ ​Hamilton’s​ ​role​ ​in​ ​U.S.​ ​History.​ ​This​ ​project​ ​was​ ​based​ ​on​ ​Lin-Manuel’s​ ​structure of​ ​his​ ​musical,​ ​​Hamilton,​ ​since​ ​the​ ​music​ ​in​ ​the​ ​play​ ​was​ ​rap​ ​based,​ ​as​ ​well.

“I​ ​enjoy​ ​rap​ ​and​ ​really​ ​liked​ ​doing​ ​this​ ​assignment.​ ​I​ ​got​ ​to​ ​put​ ​history​ ​into​ ​my​ ​own words,​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​focusing​ ​on​ ​the​ ​textbook’s​ ​words;​ ​this​ ​helped​ ​me​ ​understand​ ​the material​ ​better,” said Mykel Brewer, junior. “​It​ ​took​ ​me​ ​only​ ​a​ ​day​ ​to​ ​finish​ ​the​ ​project​ ​and​ ​it​ ​was​ ​really​ ​fun​ ​because I’ve​ ​never​ ​done​ ​anything​ ​like​ ​this​ ​before.”​ ​

After​ ​the​ ​projects​ ​were​ ​submitted,​ ​there was a lottery ​to​ ​choose​ ​which​ ​70​ ​kids​ ​would​ ​be able​ ​to​ ​go.​ ​The​ ​students​ ​chosen​ ​were​ ​very​ ​excited​ ​about​ ​this​ ​unique​ ​opportunity. ​They​ ​experienced​ ​even more beyond seeing the musical. ​
First,​ ​they​ ​had​ ​a​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​five​ ​stars​ ​of​ ​the​ ​musical prior to showtime.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​a​ ​question​ ​and​ ​answer​ ​session​ ​that​ ​allowed​ ​the​ ​audience​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to know​ ​the​ ​actors.

“Listening​ ​to​ ​the​ ​women​ ​speak​ ​[beforehand]​ ​about​ ​their​ ​life​ ​experiences​ ​was​ ​very interesting,” said Helzer.​ “​When​ ​we​ ​saw​ ​them​ ​on​ ​the​ ​stage​ ​during​ ​the​ ​play,​ ​I​ ​felt​ ​like​ ​I​ ​had​ ​a connection​ ​with​ ​the​ ​stars​ ​and​ ​that​ ​they​ ​were​ ​not​ ​just​ ​some​ ​actresses​ ​in​ ​a​ ​musical.”​

Next,​ ​the​ ​HEHS​ ​students​ ​and​ ​chaperones​ ​went​ ​for​ ​lunch.​ ​Gilder​ ​Lehrman​ ​gave​ ​them​ ​a taste​ ​of​ ​history​ ​by​ ​reserving​ ​a​ ​room​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Palmer​ ​House​ ​Hilton​ ​hotel,​ ​the​ ​oldest​ ​hotel​ ​in Chicago​ ​and​ ​considered​ ​the​ ​oldest​ ​continuously​ ​operating​ ​hotel​ ​in​ ​the​ ​USA.

After​ ​lunch,​ ​they​ ​went​ ​to​ ​the​ ​auditorium.​ ​They​ ​found​ ​out​ ​the​ ​seats​ ​they​ ​would​ ​be sitting​ ​in​ ​were​​ ​front​ ​row,​ ​center​ ​stage. ​Tickets​ ​for​ ​these​ ​seats,​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time​ ​they went,​ are valued at ​$900.​ ​These​ ​seats​ ​allowed​ ​them​ ​to​ ​see​ ​everything​ ​from​ ​the details​ ​on​ ​the​ ​actors’​ ​costumes,​ ​the​ ​intense​ ​lighting​ ​making​ ​the​ ​actors​ ​sweat,​ ​and​ ​all​ ​the actors’​ ​facial ​expressions.

​“My​ ​overall​ ​experience​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Hamilton​ ​field​ ​trip​ ​was​ ​an outstanding​ ​experience​ ​because​ ​it​ ​was​ ​my​ ​first​ ​time​ ​seeing​ ​a​ ​Broadway​ ​musical,” said Hafsa​ ​Amir,​ ​junior. ​”​King​ ​George​ ​III​ ​was the​ ​best​ ​character​ ​in​ ​the​ ​show​ ​because​ ​the​ ​way​ ​he​ ​walked​ ​in​ ​and​ ​came​ ​onto​ ​the​ ​stage was​ ​hilarious.​”

There​ ​was​ ​an​ ​assignment​ ​attached​ ​to​ ​this​ ​field​ ​trip:​ ​students​ ​were​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​do​ ​a​ ​review of​ ​the​ ​musical​ ​after​ ​the​ ​trip.

“The​ ​whole​ ​[event] was​ ​great,​” said Helzer. “​In​ ​my​ ​14​ ​years​ ​of​ ​teaching,​ ​this​ ​was​ ​by​ ​far​ ​the​ ​best experience​ ​I​ have ​had.​ ​The​ ​talent​ ​on​ ​that​ ​stage​ ​was​ ​unbelievable.”​ ​​

 

Principal Josh Schumacher along with teachers Kevin Mallon, Jason Stevens, Rob Schmidt, Dia Bell, Bill Helzer, and Dave Calisch attend the performance of Hamilton.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    Clubs

    Rotary International treats students to a youth leadership retreat

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    Resource officer already making an impact at HEHS

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    HEHS gymnasts’ trip to State Series creates confidence for entire team

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    HEHS takes first place at Building STEAM event

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    Who’s WHOSSICAL in the musical?

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    Rube Goldberg team is going to Nationals

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    Detective Allen leaves lasting impression on HEHS students, staff

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    Poetry Power empowers individuality

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    Clubs

    iCompete Mentors: changing the future hawks for the better

  • HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton

    News

    HEHS Band’s “Sounds of the Stadium” Concert: from bleachers to center stage

Navigate Right
HEHS students score front row seats at Hamilton