ROTA Reaches Hamilton

12 Lawrentians attended a performance of Hamilton: An American Musical at The Kimmel Center’s Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia this past Sunday at 7:00 PM.

12 Lawrentians attended a performance of Hamilton: An American Musical at The Kimmel Center’s Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia this past Sunday at 7:00 PM. The trip was coordinated by the School’s Reach Out to the Arts Program (ROTA), which strives to “expose students to world-renowned art and inspire students to be art lovers and make [art] a part of their lives,” according to program coordinator English Master Marta Napiorkowska.

Although the ROTA program has been running for close to 30 years, Napiorkowska began coordinating the ROTA program four years ago after inheriting the program from former History Master John Sauerman H’84. Since then, she has expanded ROTA to encompass a greater variety of the arts through trips to local art museums, theatrical plays, and dance performances. While Napiorkowska must work with a budget and limited number of calendar dates, she strives to find more opportunities that appeal to a broader range of students, not just those who are interested in musicals.

“Great art has the potential to elevate us beyond our everyday cares and the world’s troubles. For Lawrenceville students, being in the presence of great art is enriching to their beings in ways that they don’t often come across during the grind of the school day or school week,” she said.

Hamilton tells the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. With a score composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the music incorporates hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, and R&B. Since its Broadway debut in August 2015, Hamilton has won 11 awards at the 2016 Tony Awards in addition to recieving both the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Mackenzie Bunnell ’21 has been an avid fan of the musical for a long time, and she enjoys listening to the soundtrack with her family. On her experiences watching Hamilton, Bunnell said, “It completely lived up to my expectations. One thing I find really special about Hamilton is how there’s barely any dialogue—most of the show is just the music.”

Bunnell connected the musical to what she has been learning in her Honors United States History class. She believes that Hamilton’s relevance to her course load is “really fun and beneficial” to her learning.

When she first heard that she had been selected to watch the show, attendee Allison Williams ’21 was “really happy and excited.”

On her overall impressions of the show, Williams said, “It was really cool to see the music and actors come to life through each of the director’s choices—[these choices] make a scene totally different [...] The actors were so talented [...] Even the scenery, stage, and lights were incredible,” she said.

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