re founding fathers

  • What she says: I'm fine.
  • What she means: Where is Madison??? Why was he kidnapped??? Where do his psychic powers come from? Will John Adams win the election? How can the series possibly continue when he was running in the 2012 election and that election is long over? How will the time gap be explained? Or will we just pretend that it's still 2012 and pretend no time passed at all? What's happening with Washington and Caroline? Do all of their new friends just accept that they're the founding fathers, traveled through time, or do they think they're just nice guys who happen to have an identity crisis? Will Benjamin Franklin try more types of Pop Tarts? Will he ever get a job? WHEN WILL THERE BE A SEASON 2?????

Billboard Cover: ‘Hamilton’ Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Questlove and Black Thought on the Runaway Broadway Hit, Its Political Relevance and Super-Fan Barack Obama:

Hamilton’s perspective on slavery is also really important. If in 2015 we’re watching the Founding Fathers in black and brown ­bodies, the elephant in the room from the first moment is slavery. And then, in the opening number…

Miranda: Third line.

…In the third line – “every day, as slaves are being slaughtered” – Daveed [Diggs, as Jefferson], who delivers that line, really hits “slaughtered.” That’s the first indicator for the audience: We understand what this was.

Miranda: I was very conscious of it. And ­having the show from Hamilton’s perspective is a ­blessing, because he was ahead of the other Founding Fathers. He grew up on Nevis and Saint Croix [in the Caribbean], which was one of the key points on the triangle [slave] trade, and so he saw the brutality. He wrote about the smell of the ships before they arrived on the island carrying slaves. So he was repulsed by the practice and got the importation of slaves banned in New York and co-founded the New York Manumission Society. So he’s morally on the right side of ­history – in contrast to Washington, and in ­contrast to Jefferson.

When we meet Jefferson in the play, people are scrubbing his floors. You have to hit it and you have to hit it early and often, because this was a part of their world. We originally had a third rap battle that was about slavery.

Really?

Miranda: Yeah, that we cut, and it was sort of our homage to “Hail Mary” [by Tupac Shakur]. There was a moment when there were two Quakers from, I think it was Pennsylvania, who tried to ban the importation of slaves and brought it to the house floor. And [James] Madison let them talk about it for two days and then set a gag rule – “We’re not talking about slavery until 1808” – basically saying, like, “We don’t know how to solve it.” They knew it was a problem. Even from the racist perspective, it was, “There’s going to be more of them than us!” But no one knew what to do about it, and they all kicked it down the field. And while, yeah, Hamilton was anti-slavery and never owned slaves, between choosing his financial plan and going all in on opposition to slavery, he chose his financial plan. So it was tough to justify keeping that rap battle in the show, because none of them did enough.

Right. You don’t want to have a fake moral hero.

Miranda: Right. I’m not going to say Hamilton was the anti-slavery crusader when he didn’t make his life about it. His friend John Lawrence [sic] was an ardent abolitionist trying to free slaves and raise battalions of armed free slaves, and was getting shut down at every turn. And then he died. So he’s the great “what if” of American history, because he would’ve been one of our Founding Fathers and that would’ve been part of the conversation. But he died in battle.

(To Black Thought.) When you first went to see Hamilton, did you know that the racial makeup of the cast would be what it was?

Black Thought: I had no idea.

How did that land for you?

Black Thought: It’s something that I kind of processed after the fact. It was a complete ­after-thought. I was like, “Wow, yeah, that was the whole cast.”

Questlove: It’s so seamless and you’re so ­entertained. For me, it wasn’t until the third time the king came out when I was like, “Wait a second…”

Miranda: (Laughs.) He’s the only white guy!

Questlove: The casting is a bold decision that works, that totally works. I went on a night when Lorne Michaels was in the audience and ­[playwright] Tracy Letts was there and I just kept looking at their faces, and they were so energetic and entertained by it. And I was like, “OK, so maybe this isn’t as controversial as I thought it would be.” From a hip-hop head perspective, it was thumbs up. And then I was wondering: What will a history buff say? Who’s going to snark in The New Yorker and say, “You know, this is not at all an authentic portrayal”?

Fact check: Jefferson wasn’t black.

Miranda: A lot of his kids were, though. (Laughter.) In terms of the casting, for a long time we were thinking about it as an album. So we were dream-casting artists and were never looking at color – we were thinking literally of voices. One of the characters that still kills me that I couldn’t get in the show – the governor of New York when Hamilton was there, and an enemy of his – was named George Clinton.

Black Thought: Ha! Oh, shit.

founding fathers, hogwarts edition

okay so if we’re sorting American founding fathers (and apparently we, the people of Tumblr, are sorting American founding fathers) come on, you know Alexander Hamilton’s sorting would go exactly like this:

Sorting Hat: Oh, quite the thirst for knowledge! Perhaps Ravenclaw would be the–

Hamilton: But what are the exact benefits of Ravenclaw? I hear Hufflepuff is very good for networking and Gryffindor have the most noteworthy leaders-

Sorting Hat: – Slytherin.

Hamilton: I’m not sure we’ve discussed the options thoroughly enough–

Sorting Hat: SLYTHERIN.

And then they argued for about four more minutes.

10

It’s Alexander Hamilton, no debate. Over Washington. And Jefferson. Direct, proud, that chin and those blazing eyes.

They’re discussing the founding fathers.

Which was the greatest?

LOVER.

Most of us picked Washington or Jefferson. There was one vote for James Madison.

And I chose the stud on the 10.

@linmanuel TELL ME U HAVE SEEN THIS.

“Within five minutes, I became a militant on the subject of color-blind casting.”

From a New York Times article about the musical “Hamilton,” a quote from Ron Chernow, the historian who wrote the biography of Alexander Hamilton the musical is based on:

Then he invited me to one of the first rehearsals at a small studio in the Garment District. I remember poking my head into the room and seeing eight actors standing in front of eight music stands, thinking, ‘‘Oh my goodness, they’re all black and Latino! What on earth is Lin-Manuel thinking?’’ I sat down with Thomas Kail, the director, and Jeffrey Seller, the producer, thinking to myself, ‘‘When this is over, I need to sit down and talk to Lin-Manuel alone. We’re talking about the founding fathers of the United States.’’ But after a minute or two I started to listen and forgot the color or ethnicity of these astonishingly talented young performers. Within five minutes, I became a militant on the subject of color-blind casting.

The whole concept of ‘‘Hamilton,’’ I realized, was inseparable from casting. The miracle of the play is that it shows us who we were as a nation but also who we are now. This young, multiracial cast has a special feeling for the passion, urgency and idealism of the American Revolution, which maybe shouldn’t surprise us. Our history is the saga of outsiders becoming insiders — of the marginal and dispossessed being welcomed as citizens. Lin-Manuel offers us an Alexander Hamilton who is the quintessential immigrant and outsider who lends his talents and energies to creating the new nation.

The article also has comments from Stephen Sondheim and The Roots.

[Lin-Manuel] invited me to one of the first rehearsals at a small studio in the Garment District. I remember poking my head into the room and seeing eight actors standing in front of eight music stands, thinking, ‘‘Oh my goodness, they’re all black and Latino! What on earth is Lin-Manuel thinking?’’ I sat down with Thomas Kail, the director, and Jeffrey Seller, the producer, thinking to myself, ‘‘When this is over, I need to sit down and talk to Lin-Manuel alone. We’re talking about the founding fathers of the United States.’’ But after a minute or two I started to listen and forgot the color or ethnicity of these astonishingly talented young performers. Within five minutes, I became a militant on the subject of color-blind casting.

The whole concept of ‘‘Hamilton,’’ I realized, was inseparable from casting. The miracle of the play is that it shows us who we were as a nation but also who we are now. This young, multiracial cast has a special feeling for the passion, urgency and idealism of the American Revolution, which maybe shouldn’t surprise us. Our history is the saga of outsiders becoming insiders — of the marginal and dispossessed being welcomed as citizens. Lin-Manuel offers us an Alexander Hamilton who is the quintessential immigrant and outsider who lends his talents and energies to creating the new nation.

—  Ron Chernow, The American Revolutionary (T Magazine)