Friday 26 Feb, 2016

Hamilton’s Depiction of American History Earns the Kennedy Prize for Drama

Those who say hip hop is dead are surely mistaken. As the current most listened to genre of music in the world, hip hop sits at the top of the musical throne. But did you know that it now connects to the beginning of American history, as well? Alexander Hamilton may have died in 1804, but his legacy lives on through the critically acclaimed and groundbreaking Broadway musical, Hamilton.

A different kind of production than many are used to, Hamilton is primarily rapped from start to finish with little conversation throughout. Connect hip hop with period correct visuals, lighting and costumes, and the outcome becomes something truly exciting.

Hamilton has won a variety of awards including, most recently, the Kennedy Prize for Drama. This prestigious award is named after former Senator, Edward M. Kennedy, who had a passion for both theater and American history. After his passing in 2009, his sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, and  playwright Tony Kushner created this particular award, to be given to the best new play or musical that illustrates American history. Hamilton competed against a variety of other productions, but was ultimately declared the victor.

Winning awards is not foreign to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind Hamilton. Another play of Miranda’s, In the Heights, won two Tony awards; one for Best Musical, and one for Best Original Score. Both In the Heights and Hamilton have won Grammys for Best Musical Theater Album, as well.

Hamilton continues to receive staggering acclaim from both critics and audiences. Already securing a Grammy and a handful of other prestigious awards, Hamilton now waits on two more. Nominated for a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the success of Hamilton could get even greater.

Photo Credit: Marion Doss. November 8, 2008.