BLOOMINGTON — The co-author of the best-seller “Hamilton: The Revolution,” will be the keynote speaker at Illinois Wesleyan University's Founders' Day Convocation on Feb. 21.
Jeremy McCarter's 11 a.m. talk in Presser Hall's Westbrook Auditorium, 1210 N. Park St., is free and open to the public.
Co-authored with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the book documents how the musical “Hamilton” became a cultural phenomenon that has stirred discussion of race and immigration. McCarter's address follows IWU's intellectual theme for this academic year, “The Evolution of Revolution.”
It was McCarter who put his friend Miranda in touch with people at the Public Theater in New York City where “Hamilton” made its off-Broadway debut.
McCarter, who studied history at Harvard University, helped create and organize The Public Forum at the Public Theater, which gave audiences the opportunity to take part in panel discussions with the theater's creative minds about the themes and ideas of their shows. He spent five years on the Public Theater's artistic staff.
Two years ago, McCarter moved to Chicago and started a nonprofit production company, the Make Believe Association, to present high-end readings of plays with current social problem themes. After each show, the audience is invited to discuss how the plays' messages still matter in today's world.
He has written about culture and politics for New York magazine, Newsweek and the New York Times.
His 2017 nonfiction book, “Young Radicals,” tells the story of five young American revolutionaries who fought for American values, such as women's rights and freedom of speech, leading up to World War I and during the war itself.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, McCarter said, “A big argument of the book is that we inherit the ideals of the 'young radicals' and the legacies of their struggles so we can build on them. The point is to do better than they did.”
Founders' Day honors the 30 civic and religious leaders who came together in 1850 to establish IWU.