Broadway Stars Help Dubs Broaden Their Horizons


Maddox Wade

All Hail Hamilton: NAHS students were able to meet with esteemed stars of Hamilton’s cast and given insight to their musical theatre journeys. Ta’era Campbell and Quiantae Thomas were able to “Blow Us All Away” with their talent and drive.

On Tuesday, September 21, the NAHS Arts Department was paid a special visit by the cast of the musical theatre phenomenon, Hamilton. Ta’era Campbell—who portrays Angelica Skylar—and a member of the ensemble, Quiantae Thomas, met with art, theatre, and dance students to tell the stories of their rise to fame and inspire students on their own unique journeys.

Dance teacher Tamara Irving sparked the idea for the meeting. She is personal friends with Campbell and invited her to come in and speak to the students. The fine arts coordinator was able to welcome Thomas in addition. Irving notes that Campbell and Thomas were the ideal pair when it came to advising and encouraging students. Campbell has been on the Broadway scene for many years and has maintained a consistent career with handfuls of renowned shows and roles. She provided insight on how to sustain leverage in the field and get consistent casting. On the other hand, Thomas is a fresh face on Broadway who catered to a newer perspective of acting. “The students really loved listening to the guests,” said Irving. “Together they relayed a lot of sage advice that they can take with them long after they graduate high school.”

One thing that stuck out to senior Mckenna Weinbaum about the stars was how secure they were in their individuality and their strength as women and performers. Thomas was able to connect with students by being honest about the struggle of body standards on Broadway. She and Campbell continued by saying that even though the industry is not an easy one to succeed in, but if performers have even an inkling of passion and lots of hard work, everything is in their grasp. “Everything they said really resonated with me, they gave me hope for my future as an actor and a lot of new knowledge to work with,” said Weinbaum.

Not only were students able to connect with Thomas and Campbell on a personal level, but also an academic one. Thomas grew up in Atlanta and participated in the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP), like many Dubs in the audience, including Weinbaum and senior Olivia Schramkowski, for her excellence in acting. Schramkowski was accepted into the GHP Dance Program and was able to relate to Thomas’ path to Broadway. “It’s cool to know there are people that have been in our shoes that are big on Broadway. It really helps me feel like I’m on the right track,” Schramkowski said.

The arts students and staff are beyond grateful to the musical theatre icons for taking time out of their schedules to inspire North Atlanta’s finest. The actresses helped to start Dubs off on the right foot for the race through the chaos of Broadway and set sail towards their dreams.