When the award-winning Broadway show Hamilton announced last summer it was coming to Knoxville, Vine Middle Magnet School dance teacher Jana Cartee jumped on the chance to win tickets for her students.
The Tennessee Theatre Youth Arts Alliance provides tickets for students to “attend world-class performances in one of the most well-known theaters in the region,” according to their website.
Cartee applied for tickets on the last day applications were open and was awarded 50 tickets for chorus, dance, and technical theater students.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Getting to see some of the kids that it was their first time getting to see it, and the first time for some of them to see any live theatrical performance, it was really great.”
Sixth-grader Hope Harlow attended the Saturday afternoon performance with her classmates. She has been a long-time fan of Hamilton.
“It was really fun because not a lot of people get that chance to go see Hamilton,” Harlow said. “They did really good, and Thomas Jefferson was hilarious.”
Now, the Vine theater program is preparing for a show of its own. Theater lovers can see The Little Mermaid, Jr. in May in their auditorium.
“It’s really cool seeing the kids that have been able to do theater in elementary school learning and watching them grow,” Cartee said. “Some of the kids that are in the musical are also in my technical theater class, so they are getting to make their costumes for the show.”
The show follows the major plot of Disney’s The Little Mermaid with a more condensed runtime. The group began working on stage after weeks of rehearsing the music and dialogue in the chorus room.
“It’s a really good show with what we’ve done so far,” Harlow said. “We do a really good job.”