How Broadway’s Hamilton is Radically Relevant

June 7, 2018  • Aspen Ideas to Go

As the producer of the Broadway show Hamilton, Jeffrey Seller helped the play’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, tell the story of yesterday using the tools of today. The musical about America’s founding fathers had a virtually all minority cast and was set to hip-hop. “Lin looked at the character of Alexander Hamilton and heard all of his favorite hip-hop artists in his head,” says Seller. Some were skeptical at first, he recalls, but the musical has become “one of the greatest successes in recent theatrical history,” according to the New York Times. The show sold more than 20,000 seats even before its first public performance, says Seller.

In this episode, Seller talks about producing Hamilton, Rent, Avenue Q, and other theatrical shows. He describes what draws him to producing a play, and how he works behind the scenes to bring the show to life on stage. He also tells moderator and Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein about growing up as an adopted child.

“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.