Kathleen Sills, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theatre, was awarded a Presidential Fellowship for her project entitled Hamilton: The Room Where it Happens.
Hamilton: An American Musical,Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ground-breaking production about the life and times of the Founding Father is the source material for the development of a new course and community engagement project.Inherently interdisciplinary, theHamilton course will require collaboration/participation by and with colleagues in Music, Political Science, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Economics, Marketing, Finance, Social Justice, Visual Art, and Education. The course is designed to be both a creative/experiential studio experience, as well as one that uses more traditional pedagogical approaches. The musical Hamilton will be approached from various lenses such as historiography, intersectionality, musicology, performance theory, capitalist economics, and ethnography. The second piece of the fellowship proposal seeks to develop an outgrowth of the course that asks Merrimack students to plan an arts education program that engages with middle-school-age students in Lawrence, MA to develop their own unique creative approaches to the question “What are the historical stories that have shaped our understanding of the world for better or worse?” The goals of this project would be to focus on memory and self-reflection in order to learn and understand a framework for collective and participatory action for democracy.