We at City Circle are thrilled to announce that this year’s Teen Musical is going to be the Tony-winning Best Musical In The Heights! The show was strongly influenced by creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s own experience growing up in an immigrant family in New York City. It tells several stories of people living in the predominantly Latino community of Washington Heights, a section of Manhattan, as they deal with economic stress, cultural changes, first generation college education, and gentrification. It has been performed all over the world and in hundreds of high schools across the nation. Its success paved the way for Miranda to write and produce the current Broadway sensation Hamilton with essentially the same team that created In the Heights.
Miranda recently spoke out about casting in regard to high school actors. “When I see a school production with not a lot of Latino students doing it, I know they’re learning things about Latino culture that go beyond what they’re fed in the media every day. They HAVE to learn those things to play their parts correctly. And when I see a school with a huge Latino population do Heights, I feel a surge of pride that the students get to perform something that may have a sliver of resonance in their daily lives.”
“And I’ve said this a million times, but it bears repeating: high school’s the ONE CHANCE YOU GET, as an actor, to play any role you want, before the world tells you what ‘type’ you are. The audience is going to suspend disbelief: they’re there to see their kids, whom they already love, in a play. Honor that sacred time as educators, and use it change their lives. You’ll be glad you did.”
We wish to do just that: honor this time in our students’ lives to step into the experiences and roles of people of different backgrounds and cultures. At the same time, we know that we also serve an area with a vibrant and involved Latino community and want to expand our efforts to involve local students of all backgrounds in our program.
We had originally planned to produce the classic Kiss Me, Kate this summer but Miranda’s comments have inspired us to bring the sights, sounds and stories of Washington Heights to Coralville immediately. In The Heights will be directed by Ian Zahren. Tickets are on sale now for the performances, June 17, 18 and 19.
Auditions for In The Heights will take place April 9 and 10 and callbacks will take place on April 11. For more information about auditions, go to the Auditions page. We will be hosting an Auditions Workshop on April 2, for those who are auditioning for the first time, or who would like to get feedback and guidance before they audition. The details are here.