Local students take part in ‘Hamilton’ innovative education program

SAN DIEGO – Thousands of students from across San Diego County were treated to a special performance of the hit Broadway show Hamilton Thursday and also had the chance to perform themselves.

More than 2,200 students and teachers from 46 area public schools attended the matinee performance at the San Diego Civic Center, where they also were given the opportunity to perform the history behind the smash hit.

The performance was part of the innovative education program EduHam and students' history curriculum.

"Hamilton" is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.

After spending several weeks studying American history through a curriculum about Hamilton and the nation’s founding fathers, the students performed original work they had created based on their studies, including songs, rap poetry and scenes.

“I cannot believe I actually get to watch this show. I would never have this opportunity if it wasn’t for the EduHam program,” said Jaimelyn Cruz, a senior at University City High School.

Cruz and her fellow students sang a song about Phillis Wheatley, the first published female African-American poet.

“Being on stage I thought I was really nervous, but it felt really good being on stage,” said Cruz.

“I was performing and I could hear the cast on my left and I could hear their commentary and it made me more confident,” said Jasmine Cruz, her sister and student performer.

“When you look out and you see everyone there you don’t want to mess up. I was just really nervous but it was fun,” said Chelsea Lugue, student performer.

The students performed in front of not only a filled theater but also the show’s cast members.

“They were so good,” said Karli Dinardo, a castmember. “We had some of the best performances we’ve ever had in EduHam today, people really stepped it up they were just so calm and confident and talented.”

Hamilton runs through January 28 at the San Diego Civic Theater.