Cape High theater students meet ‘Hamilton’ star

In NYC for workshop, thespians get their shot with show creator and original star
January 16, 2024

Cape High students participating in a “Hamilton” Broadway rehearsal workshop in New York City just before winter break didn’t throw away their shot to pose for photos with the musical’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, when they ran into him at his nearby store, The Drama Book Shop. 

On Dec. 20, students began their day getting the job done by rehearsing with Thayne Jasperson, the longest-standing original member of the cast of “Hamilton,” where they learned the music and choreography for "The Schuyler Sisters." 

Jasperson portrays the role of Samuel Seabury, America’s first Episcopal bishop, who was a leading Loyalist during the Revolution and a rival of Alexander Hamilton, who was portrayed originally by Miranda. 

During their lunch break, students broke into smaller groups, which is when several pupils stopped into The Drama Book Shop. The store has been part of the New York theater scene since 1917 and was purchased by Miranda and several partners in 2020.

In a serendipitous encounter that could have occurred in a play of its own, students spotted Miranda, who posed with them for several shots – including some in which the young thespians caused Miranda to crack up over their silly faces.  

Miranda is a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning composer, lyricist and actor who also created and starred in the Broadway musical “In the Heights.” Younger children may know his work from Disney films “Encanto” and “Moana.” 

After exploring the city and enjoying lunch, students attended the Tony-Award-winning musical “Kimberly Akimbo.”

Cape performing arts teacher Sadie Andros said the theater department takes a field trip to New York every year, typically in the winter, to participate in workshops with professional Broadway performers and music directors, and to attend a musical.

“Some of our past trips have included ‘Hadestown,’ ‘Come From Away,’ and, last year ‘Funny Girl,’ when the students had an amazing workshop with Julie Benko, who even shared a video of them singing at the workshop on her personal Instagram,” Andros said.

Andros said she coordinates the annual trip with the company Broadway Inbound and some of her personal industry connections to set up the workshop and show for students.

“The trip is funded by students and families for the most part, with the theater department sponsoring any student who would like to attend but might not have the financial means through fundraised money,” she said.


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