Who Tells Puerto Rico’s Story

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Who Tells Puerto Rico’s Story

Lin Manuel Miranda holds the Puerto Rican flag after opening night of his show, Hamilton, on the island.

Lin Manuel Miranda holds the Puerto Rican flag after opening night of his show, Hamilton, on the island.

via Chicago Tribune

Lin Manuel Miranda holds the Puerto Rican flag after opening night of his show, Hamilton, on the island.

via Chicago Tribune

via Chicago Tribune

Lin Manuel Miranda holds the Puerto Rican flag after opening night of his show, Hamilton, on the island.

Sydney Dunlap, Staff Reporter

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The story of the founding fathers is one that many people find dull, but in an ironic twist, it has become the focus of one of the most famous pop musicals of all time. Hamilton follows the story of the first Secretary of State, Alexander Hamilton. The show makes a point to include people of color to bring representation to the world of theater. The musical currently has shows in multiple areas of the world, but the newest is a limited run in Puerto Rico. Hamilton will be presented at Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center for seventeen days. The show opened on January 11, 2018, and included the creator of the famous musical, Lin Manuel-Miranda, in the starring role. He was joined by new cast members that will depart on the third US tour after completing their run in Puerto Rico. Many of the tickets for the show were sold for about $5,000 in hopes that the many people who visit Puerto Rico for the show will help boost the economy so Puerto Rico can start to rebuild after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Miranda has a special place for Puerto Rico since his father, Luis Miranda, is from the island. After Hurricane Maria, which “had a $43 billion impact on the U.S. territory’s economy”, as NBC News states, Miranda was determined to help Puerto Rico on its road to recovery. With the outpour of support for Hamilton from around the world, the special performance received a lot of publicity, which Miranda hopes will encourage people to support Puerto Rico through a difficult time.  As sophomore Annabel Poinsette stated, “bringing Hamilton to Puerto Rico allows him to bring attention to Puerto Rico and help him get more US citizens aware of and active in helping the difficulties the Puerto Ricans are facing.” Another primary motivation for the show was raising money to help the college students in Puerto Rico, especially by supporting the arts programs at the University of Puerto Rico. While most tickets were sold for thousands of dollars, some tickets only cost ten dollars, giving any Puerto Rican citizen the chance to win tickets through the lottery and experience the revolutionary musical.

While the performance received a lot of support, it also came with resistance. The venue of the show had to be changed due to concern about security if there were protests.  As the New York Times stated, “Some of the potential for unrest was not directly related to “Hamilton” — the university is in the midst of contentious labor talks — but some was. Mr. Miranda’s support for a debt restructuring plan that led to a fiscal oversight board for Puerto Rico has brought him some criticism.” Even despite the controversy, Miranda has brought positive attention to Puerto Rico and hopes that the US will not forget about the struggles that territory is still facing.