Hamilton is more relevant than ever.
In a new virtual panel from the Essence Festival, stars Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones, who played the Schuyler Sisters in the original Broadway cast of the show featured in the new Disney+ movie, sit down to talk about the ongoing musical phenomenon.
“What we learned throughout time is that the world keeps changing and there’s new relevance to this piece of art,” Goldsberry said. “When they first decided to have it come out on this big Independence Day weekend, we thought it was like, ‘Hey, you guys, here’s some theatre on television! Theatre is dark but we need to remember our humanity and come together.’ We thought it was about that, and then somebody videotaped George Floyd being murdered and it suddenly was not as important to be hiding in our houses, we needed to go out into the street and demand justice and try to start fixing some of the issues in this country that were bigger than a quarantine.”
She continued, “Then all of a sudden, Hamilton becomes relevant in a way that gives ownership to all of the people in this country, it gives entitlement to some different voices at the table to answer some of these questions because you remember when you see us playing these forefathers and foremothers of our country that our ancestors also built this country, and we have some really important ideas about what needs to happen so that the great work they started is continued,” she added. “I’m constantly learning from the show, and I’m excited that some of these cries that they sang in the birth of our nation are really relevant today. They’re on my lips and I’m hoping they will be on the lips of so many of the Americans that are demanding justice in this country.”
Jones added, “One of the important points of the show is no matter where you come from, no matter what background you are that you have a voice and it’s OK to use it,” said Jones. “And however you want to do that — by voting, by writing, by getting your friends together and speaking out — I hope it inspires people to do so.”