History has been happening in Manhattan since smash-hit Hamilton first came to Broadway in 2015. Not only was the show nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony awards, but tickets are still nearly impossible to come by (unless you happen to be the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey, or Beyoncé and Jay-Z). The groundbreaking musical has created unique opportunities for performers of color, and last summer, the show’s producers and original cast members reached an agreement that would allow its actors to receive part of the show’s substantial revenue stream. Earlier this month, a group of cast members from Hamilton decided to give back and ensure that organizations will “include women in the sequel.”
Many people choose to donate gently used clothes and household goods to charity. In fact, the charity proceeds from the sale of these donated goods in 2015 exceeded $2.5 million, which goes on to support charitable programs across the country. But on March 8th, a portion of the current Hamilton cast donated their salaries for the evening to Dress for Success in honor of International Women’s Day. This non-profit organization focuses on empowering women by helping them enter the workforce and thus promoting financial independence.
Javier Muñoz, who currently plays the title role, tweeted an image of the show’s playbill inserts, which thanked all of the women in the audience and in the building for celebrating the day at their show.
And while the show may be centered around America’s founding fathers, women play a pivotal role in the story. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s creation highlights the importance of the Schuyler sisters in a way that the history books never did.
Hamilton director Thomas Kail notes that both these characters — and the actresses who play them — are key to the musical’s success.
“They are the heartbeat of the show. Those ladies, the bond they have, the love they have for each other, is so palpable. It’s why that number when we meet them is such a wave of oxygen,” he told Variety.
In addition to donating their salaries for the evening, the show’s female cast members wore shirts that read, “Women in the s(=),” a lyrical reference to the musical’s feminist sentiments, in a video. The cast shouted “Happy International Women’s Day!” during curtain call, as female cast and crew members rushed the stage.
Cast members haven’t shied away from expressing their thoughts on political issues, much to the chagrin of many supporters of the Trump administration. But given the show’s powerful and revolutionary lyrics — in “My Shot,” Hamilton declares, “I’m past patiently waitin’, I’m passionately smashin’ every expectation. Every action’s an act of creation!” — it’s likely that cast members will continue to speak out and fight for the repressed and undervalued.