‘Hamilton’ cast member Anthony Ramos will visit Northwestern


Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Diana Andrade, 17, takes a photograph outside the PrivateBank Theatre where "Hamilton" made its Chicago premiere in October. The entire incoming first-year class will receive free tickets to see “Hamilton” in Chicago as part of Northwestern’s One Book One Northwestern program, the University announced Tuesday.

Matthew Choi, Campus Editor

“Hamilton” cast member Anthony Ramos will come to Northwestern on Feb. 3 to answer questions and sing for students in classes centered on the acclaimed musical.

Ramos, 25, who played both John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the original cast of the Broadway musical, will respond to student-submitted questions on his work with the musical. The event is co-sponsored by Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and multiple departments in Weinberg and the School of Communication.

All students enrolled in the two classes — Hamilton’s America, taught by history Profs. Caitlin Fitz and Geraldo Cadava, and Hamilton: Bullet’s, Banks and Broadway, taught by legal studies Profs. Laura Beth Nielsen and Joanna Grisinger — will be able to attend the talk. The departments co-sponsoring the event will also distribute information on how their students can receive tickets.

Students in the classes will submit their questions to their teaching assistants and professors, who will then prepare them for Ramos, Fitz said.

A native of Brooklyn, Ramos has proven to be a rising performer on Broadway, Cadava said, having performed in shows including “Grease,” “Damn Yankees” and “In the Heights.” For his work on the original cast album of “Hamilton,” Ramos won a Grammy in 2016.

Cadava said he hopes the class and event will prompt increased interest not only in the historical events discussed in the musical, but also in the history of Broadway and people of color in Broadway shows.

“It’s a kind of popular cultural phenomenon that opens up so many doors to historical conversations about the relationship between the past being depicted and the ways in which present actors choose to depict that past,” Cadava said.

Cadava said he and Fitz had wanted to create a class centered on the musical “Hamilton” since the summer, adding that its popular success made an excellent conduit for students to get engaged with history. Their class, an introductory history course, focuses on different contemporary representations of history in relation to current political and cultural contexts, he said, and aims to serve as an appealing gateway for students to join the History Department.

Fitz said she and Cadava had worked to get a member of the cast to visit since they first began creating the class and were ecstatic to discover that Ramos would be in Chicago.

“It will be a perfect fit for our course, which is really interested in the ways early American history sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t speak to our contemporary political and cultural concerns,” Fitz said.

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