HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES - The smash Broadway hit "Hamilton" is selling out the Pantages Theatre during its 21-week run in Hollywood, but on Thursday, the cast put on a special free performance for 2,600 high school students from mostly low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods.
The performance is part of the Hamilton Education Initiative, or #EduHam, a nationwide hands-on program using resources from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, which integrates the show into classroom studies for 8,000 L.A. students.
The program focuses on a creative learning process. Students from 15 schools got a chance to sing, rap, and dance in performances rooted in American history.
"I think you learn better when you have something to do, and especially when it has some creative aspect," said Lili Lindemose, a junior at Eagle Rock High School.
Eagle Rock High School history teacher Katie Villegas agrees.
"It's hands-on, and it's them learning for themselves and being responsible for their own learning, instead of us teaching them what to do or telling them what to do," she said.
The students also got a chance to ask the cast questions before the free performance.
"It's really exciting," said Emily Arroyo, a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School. "And I think a lot of kids get motivated in seeing this stuff."