Hamilton’s Production Path Before the Hamilfilm

by Kelly Ann McGuinness
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I am sure by now almost everyone has heard of the theatrical production Hamilton by Lin Manuel-Miranda. For those of you have not, then here, here, and here are some articles to give you the Scoop. Now you may wonder, where was this show before it was on my screen on Disney+? Well, we have the Scoop on where in the world Hamilton was/is before it became the Hamilfim.

The White House

Yes, you read that correctly. While this is not a production of Hamilton, it is the earliest occurrence of a draft of the future sensation. In 2009 Lin Manuel-Miranda performed at the White House’s Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word. Miranda presented an early draft of the song “Alexander Hamilton” to guests in attendance, including the Obamas. This performance becomes the first appearance of what used to be called The Hamilton Mixtape.

New York Stage and Film

Hamilton made its next appearance at New York Stage and Film as a part of their 2013 Readings Festival. This company is a not-for-profit theatre company based in both New York City and Poughkeepsie, New York. This theatre company is a place for artists to foster new works in an environment where creators can develop without the pressure of having a perfect product. This was not presented as a fully produced Hamilton production, but rather a reading of the script with actors and music stands in a Blackbox Theater. New York Stage and Film’s goal is to give artists time, space, and resources to experiment and create. This means that no reviewers attend these productions, which is why Hamilton was not on the media’s radar 7 years ago.

The Public Theatre

After the reading at New York Stage and Film, Hamilton then went to The Public Theatre 2 years later. The Public Theatre is a notable and very well respected Off-Broadway theatre company. They are most known for the free Shakespeare that happens every summer at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. This marks the first Hamilton production that was fully staged and produced. Opening in February of 2015 at The Public’s downtown theatre space, Hamilton makes it’s official New York Premiere. Opening to rave reviews, making the move to their next destination was no surprise.

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Broadway

Hamilton announced it’s Broadway transfer to the Richard Rodger Theatre. The production opened in August of 2015, mere months after its production at The Public. Hamilton quickly became a sensation, it was a hit among reviewers, audiences, and award shows. The production awards and accreditations consist of a groundbreaking 11 Tony Awards, a Grammy Award, a Billboard Music Award, a Kennedy Center Honors, a Pultizer Prize, among other various nominated and awards. The hype is real. Hamilton continues to run on Broadway and will return when Broadway opens back up in 2021.

Chicago, Los Angeles, and across North America

Following the success on the Great White Way, Hamilton started its first residency in Chicago. Hamilton played in Chicago for four years, launching in 2016 and closing this year. The show also tours across North America through their touring production which launched in 2017. The North American Hamilton tour is currently slated to start again on October 13, 2020, in Tempe, Az. You can find this tour stopping in cities all across North America such as San Fransisco, Vancouver, Orlando, and more. Starting September 8th, 2020 there will be an LA residency of Hamilton. This LA residency will be housed in the iconic Hollywood Pantages theater. If you would like more information about the tour stops, as well as other information regarding the various Hamilton productions you can click here.

Across the pond to the West End and down under to Sydney, Australia

In December of 2017, a production of Hamilton opened across the pond at the Victoria Palace Theater in London. This production was spearheaded by Cameron Mackintosh, a producing force behind other notable West End shows such as Les MisérablesMary Poppins, and The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Hamilton, alongside these other shows will not be returning to the stage until 2021. In addition to going across the pond, Hamilton will also be going down under to the Sydney Lyric Theatre in Australia. Performances will start March of 2021 with ticket sales starting in September. You can find more information about international productions here.

Disney+

The hype behind Hamilton has helped propel Lin Manuel-Miranda’s work to reach a global in-person audience as well as an at-home audience with the addition of the musical to Disney+. This addition makes theatre more accessible for those who cannot travel, pay the cost of the ticket, etc. With the pandemic and most productions not opening up until 2021, Hamilton on Disney+ brings theatre back to the people.

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