Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
exhibit / culture

For Those Still Hungering for ‘Hamilton,’ a New Indulgence

Here comes another way to indulge your “Hamilton” mania: a high-tech, interactive, traveling exhibition.
So you’ve seen the musical. You’ve memorized the cast album. You’ve read the book, you’ve downloaded the app, and you’ve streamed the bonus track videos.

Here comes another way to indulge your “Hamilton” mania: a high-tech, interactive, traveling exhibition.

The musical’s creative team, following other pop culture phenoms from “Star Wars” to “Downton Abbey,” has created “Hamilton: The Exhibition,” which will open in November in Chicago, where the musical has been running since 2016, and then move to other cities.

The project differs from other brand-extending entertainment-industry gallery ventures in one key respect: Because this musical is a work of nonfiction, based on Alexander Hamilton’s life, the museum-style exhibition aspires to historical accuracy, and has been developed in consultation with experts at Yale and Harvard. The exhibition’s creators — much of the same team that put together the musical — say they are seeking to answer questions asked by the show’s fans.

“There was no way of anticipating the fact that ‘Hamilton’ has sparked this interest in this era, and in this founder who didn’t really get his due,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and original star of the musical, said. “This is much more historically rigorous than two hours of musical theater could ever possibly be, and it really is to satisfy the demand of people who learn a little bit in our show and want to know more.”

The exhibition’s creative director is David Korins, who designed the set for the stage musical; the company behind the project is Imagine Exhibitions, which has produced similar programs delving into “Angry Birds,” “The Hunger Games” and many other popular titles. The other key players include Jeffrey Seller, the musical’s producer; Thomas Kail, the musical’s director; and Joanne Freeman, a Yale history professor whose research helped inform the musical.

“There’s a spectrum of responses to the musical among academics, but to me this is the supreme teaching moment for early American history — not to teach the play, but to use it to teach,” Ms. Freeman said. “To understand what America is, we have to understand the past, and if people come away from this exhibit having a sense of all the people engaged in this big debate over who had power and who didn’t, and the contingencies of that moment, and thinking ‘This is kind of interesting,’ that would be wonderful.”
View source