In the spirit of our upcoming Independence Day, I’ve been taking pictures at Colonial Williamsburg. My daughter also works there as an orientation interpreter, so I’ve been getting some Revolutionary War info from her as well. Having her work there has given me a new appreciation for Revolutionary War history. That’s never been my period, but I’ve developed an interest in 18th century Colonial America both from her experiences there and from our shared love of the Broadway musical sensation, Hamilton.
One of the things I’m excited about is how theatre is making history, especially the time of the birth of our nation, somehow new and relevant in different, more vital ways. Hamilton’s use of modern hip-hop and rap music, its multicultural casting which the writer, Lin-Miguel Miranda (who also plays Hamilton) is reported to have used to “represent… a nation not of African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans and White Americans living together in racial harmony, but of Americans living together in national unity.” I think it’s brilliant and so appropriate for the 21st century.
So my Fourth of July is going to be spent actually on the ground where it all happened. I’m going through the Yorktown battlefield to get to Williamsburg via the Colonial Parkway. Then my daughter has arranged passes so we can go into all the exhibits (expect more pictures next week!) and then we’re eating dinner at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern just before watching the fireworks display at 9pm.
As you might think, this is going to be one of my more patriotic 4th of July’s on record.
To leave you with something stirring, here is “The World Turned Upside Down” from Hamilton (which the British actually played as they surrendered Yorktown.)
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!