Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Click Here to Visit the College Center

BWW Blog: Surviving a Non-Theatre Curriculum - Becoming the Hamilton of Your School

Article Pixel

What to expect: Tips, a personal experience, and lots of theatre puns.

BWW Blog: Surviving a Non-Theatre Curriculum - Becoming the Hamilton of Your School

Theatre kids are familiar with Alexander Hamilton's life-story. A bastard orphan, born in the caribbean, struck and impoverished by a hurricane, writes his way into revolution, becomes a catalyst to the birth of a nation, and is able to almost single handedly reinvent his life. His legacy encouraged many great leaders of many nations and (arguably more importantly) inspired the hit musical Hamilton, to take on the Broadway stage. Although many are motivated by his movement, his experience is rather far-fetched for our time, but that doesn't mean our youth can't become revolutionaries of their own. His challenges were supernatural, a hurricane isn't the usual obstacle in a day-to-day life, however, the hurdles seen in modern-day shouldn't be disregarded or snubbed; whether it be bullying, a social uprise, time management issues, or even a global pandemic.

In this modern day, some of us have been forced to grow up faster than we should have. Much like Hamilton, it's in the hands of our youth to become creative revolutionaries and make do with what we have. I, for instance, faced an unfortunately common challenge during High School. I grew up in Nicaragua, a country which ostracized the arts and dismissed it as a futureless career. On top of that, we dealt with more peculiar circumstances such as a civil uprising, a corrupt government, and the COVID-19 pandemic, all in two years time. All in all, I was able to overcome this through theatre and learned life changing lessons, which proved to be helpful during my performing arts career.

Much like myself, students face a diverse set of challenges on a daily basis. Some of which may include specific circumstances, or the underlying factor of how schools tend to disregard their arts programs. It must be nice, to have the administrators on your side. Personally, I was stuck with several options, I could carry on with my career and grow independently as an artist, or attempt to revitalise the theatre program at my school. Either scenario is acceptable for any student in this position and each will yield many different ways to grow and succeed. I opted to construct a well-rounded theatre program at my high school in order to offer opportunities for young artists like myself. To establish a theatre program in a STEM centered environment, is a challenge, it comes with hours of planning and overwhelming work. I learned this the hard way, planning the first musical my school had showcased in over a decade. It's important to always communicate with the administration and with your members what the plan is and how you hope to accomplish it. Goals are just dreams written on paper, so writing my plans out was a great guide to keep myself on track, in a way, I wrote my way out. Always keeping a goal in mind for your program is a good idea, a shared objective you can all work for, which will require determination and perseverance. So although all of this may sound overwhelming, it proved to be very fruitful, and very satisfying in the end.

Painting the perfect Arts program in a STEM centered school seems almost fantasy-like. So the question is, can it really happen? After I graduated from my high-school, I decided to check in with the administration one last time before I left. Only to find out that my 6 year struggle to gain an artistic centered curriculum had resulted in the school officially declaring themselves as STEAM-focused. As a college student, I drew many of my work habits and disciplines from this experience. The crushing hours of work back in high school helped me remain calm when faced with the arduous amount of work that I'm given on a day-to-day basis in college. The idea of having to constantly communicate and create for a team of completely different individuals keeps me versatile, and makes me more open to new perspectives and ideas. Most importantly, the determination I kept throughout those years of struggle have helped me keep my head in the game. Even if we are silenced, we have to be louder than the crack in the bell. After all, we decide and create what we leave behind, we are the ones who choose who tells our story.

Related Articles

From This Author Student Blogger: Edoardo Amador