Hamilton has turned musical theatre on its head, and after winning 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer prize, this fact is becoming more and more obvious. Everybody has noticed the show’s absurd success, including the students of Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in Scarborough, Ontario.
To say the students are passionate is an understatement. Their teacher told the CBC that, “by first rehearsal, the students had memorized the entire score.” The collection of students have recorded a series of Hamilton tribute videos, their most popular being “Right Hand Man,” which has over 30,000 views and counting.
Their videos are shot in a quality that matches that of the young performers’ vocal abilities, and the diverse student makeup matches that of Hamilton, too, which is a rarity in the performing arts. Student Daniel McCormack told the CBC, “Because Hamilton is so culturally diverse — when Broadway has been so white over the years — to do it at Wexford makes sense since we’re such a diverse school.”
The esteemed musical provides a space, even off Broadway, for young students and actors of color to see themselves in roles that do not exclude them based off of their skin tone, i.e., an African-American George Washington. That’s to say nothing of the way it opens avenues musically, exposing hip-hop to Broadway junkies, who would normally never listen to the stuff.
“It’s our dream to be the first high school to perform Hamilton. Thank you so much for creating a musical that speaks to people like us,” the students say in a statement from their Youtube page. No word yet on if they’ve got the go-ahead from the Hamilton producers, but if they ever do, it’s probably safe to say tons of other high schools will follow suit.
Watch their video for “Right Hand Man” below. The production values are insane.