‘Hamilton’s America’ screens at Southern Utah University

Composite Imgae, St. George News, Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Don’t miss your chance to see a special preview screening of PBS Great Performances documentary “Hamilton’s America,” the story behind the revolutionary musical, on Thursday at Southern Utah University.

“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.

Poster Courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News, Cedar City News
Poster Courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News, Cedar City News

This special screening will be held from 6-8 p.m. in the Church Auditorium in the Sharwan Smith Student Center on the SUU campus. A keynote presentation by SUU professor Michelle Orihel and by Michael Bahr, education director at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, rounds out the evening.

The event is sponsored by 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,” Dickson said. “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,” Orihel said. “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.”

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, the presenters said.

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,” Orihel said.

About Southern Utah University

Southern Utah University (1897) evolved from a teacher training institution to Utah’s designated public liberal arts and sciences university, offering over 140 undergraduate programs and ten master’s degrees. With world class, project-based learning, unique undergraduate research opportunities, and a personalized learning environment (18:1) students lead projects mentored by professors. True to the University’s core vision, SUU faculty, staff and administrators enable students to honor thought in all its finest forms, achieve excellence in their chosen field, and create positive change in the world.

Event details

  • What: Screening of PBS Great Performances documentary “Hamilton’s America.”
  • When: Thursday, Oct. 20. Screening and keynote speakers from 6-8 p.m.
  • Where: Church Auditorium in the Sharwan Smith Student Center of SUU, 351 W. 200 South, Cedar City.
  • Admission: Free. Open to the public.

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