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Collaboration illustrated

Hamilton, a Revolutionary Collaboration

Kathy Clemons's picture
Kathy Clemons
February 10th, 2016

Hamilton Musical Collaboration Facilitation Design Creativity

I might just keel over from the excitement. I have tickets to see the blockbuster musical Hamilton this week. “But, Kathy, what does this have to do with collaboration or facilitation?” Stay with me here…

First, in case you haven’t seen James Corden and Rosie O’Donnell rapping the opening number, or Charlie Rose interviewing the creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on 60 Minutes, or the #Ham4Ham videos all over social media, or heard about how the ticket lottery (you can enter to win a $10 orchestra seat) broke the internet (literally), here’s some background.

Hamilton is a Broadway musical inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, of $10 bill and founding fathers fame. The cast is diverse, the music is hip-hop, and it’s a favorite to win a bajillion Tony Awards this year. It’s nearly impossible to get tickets – Colbert has joked about it – so how did we swing it? Lin-Manuel Miranda is not my BFF (I wish!), and I don’t have magical connections. Several months ago, wonderful friends of ours suggested we pick a date and get some tickets. Easy.

So in preparation for this, and because I have a lot of friends who are obsessed and I felt left out, I bought the soundtrack. Little did I know it would be a gateway to the crazy world of rabbit holes and trivia that is Hamilton. I’ve been listening for months, and I keep finding new moments of brilliance, little seeds dropped here and there that bear fruit later in the story, subtle touches that just make me love it more and more.

Which brings me to what Hamilton has to do with collaboration and facilitation. It’s a shining example of someone taking a spark of inspiration and creating something extraordinary. At first, Miranda was going to make it a ‘conceptual mix tape’. But in the hands of great collaborators like his musical director Alex Lacamoire, and with a lot of hard work, it has grown into a transformative piece of original theatre. This is the kind of collaboration we believe in and help facilitate wholeheartedly. Our clients come to us with a vision, or ideas that need to be developed, or problems in need of solutions. We help bring together great minds and diverse talents, and shape an experience that allows them to creatively design something together that couldn’t be achieved, or even fully conceived, by any one of them alone.

Hamilton has announced a Chicago production that is going up in September, and a national tour in 2017. If you’re Ham-curious, here are 3 easy steps to self-initiation:

  1. Listen to the soundtrack. You can stream it or buy it - whatever you typically do for music. Don’t accidentally have it on shuffle, that will be confusing (trust me, that’s the voice of experience). Go back and listen to the songs you love, and you’ll start to get hooked on the songs right before and after, and soon you’ll have heard the whole thing.
  2. Watch the 60 Minutes interview and the extras they posted online. They are so good.
  3. Fall down the #Ham4Ham rabbit hole. Some of them are awesome (Audra McDonald doing “Say No to This” as Billie Holliday? Transformative!), and some are just wacky, but they are all a good time.

Me? I’m going to try not to pass out from the excitement. I promise not to sing along with anything, but I will probably shed some tears. And if you’re so inspired, I noticed there are some tickets available for matinees in January 2017, but hurry up if you want to grab them.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

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