PBS’s “Hamilton’s America” Unveils The Making Of A Theatrical Masterpiece

The Great Performances doc reveals Lin-Manuel Miranda’s creative process and the lessons from history that apply today.

PBS’s “Hamilton’s America” Unveils The Making Of A Theatrical Masterpiece

WHAT: Hamilton’s America, a Great Performances documentary about the making of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking Broadway show Hamilton, airing October 21 on PBS.

WHO: Director Alex Horwitz, plus interviews with Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; Senator Elizabeth Warren; Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner; musicians Questlove, Black Thought, and Nas; librettist John Weidman; Jimmy Fallon; and Stephen Sondheim.

WHY WE CARE: Hamilton not only earned 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize and broke casting and musical boundaries but also offered a new vehicle to educate audiences about history and issues still relevant today. Horwitz delves into Miranda’s creative process in adapting the story of Alexander Hamilton’s journey from poor immigrant to U.S. founding father to musical theater through a backdrop of historic location visits with Hamilton cast members Christopher Jackson and Leslie Odom Jr. and interviews with prominent politicians and personalities. It also highlights how many of the issues of Hamilton’s time—immigration, states’ rights, debt, income inequality, and race relations—are still very much in play. Quips Fallon: “Hamilton is somewhere going, ‘Thank you!'”

About the author

Susan Karlin is an award-winning journalist in Los Angeles, covering the nexus of science, technology, and arts, with a fondness for sci-fi and comics. She's a regular contributor to Fast Company, NPR, and IEEE Spectrum, and has written for Newsweek, Forbes, Wired, Scientific American, Discover, NY and London Times, and BBC Radio.