Two Sanpete students win drawing,
get free tickets to ‘Hamilton’ play
By Linda Petersen
Apr. 26, 2018
MT. PLEASANT—Two North Sanpete High School students recently became the envy of many of their family and friends.
Jeffery Putnam and Scott Larson won tickets to one of the performances for the highly acclaimed and sold-out Broadway musical “Hamilton,” which is currently playing at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City.
After each writing a letter to an elected official and submitting it through an online portal, Jeff and Scott were chosen in a random drawing.
In his letter, Jeff proposed a solution to bullying, while Scott expressed his opinion that some school classes are unnecessary and suggested that classes which teach about the court system or how to handle personal finances would be more relevant.
From close to 700 entries, two students from each legislative district (both House and Senate) were chosen and, where possible, attended with their legislator.
In Jeff and Scott’s case, scheduling conflicts led to them being unable to attend with Rep. Derrin Owens. Instead, they were accompanied by Rep. Raymond Ward of Bountiful.
Scott, a junior at age 16, had actually forgotten he had entered the contest when his mom found out he had won.
Scott said he was surprised by the hip hop music the play is set to.
“I think it was smart that they did it in hip hop to try and bring in my current generation to the arts,” he said.
Scott said he has never been to a Broadway play or anything like it but would like to go to others if given the chance.
Jeff, age 15 and a sophomore, on the other hand, is a big fan of Broadway musicals.
Prior to attending the performance, he had heard about “Hamilton” from friends and had educated himself about the production, even downloading YouTube videos of people lip-synching numbers from the show.
“I love the show,” he said. “I’ve been obsessed with ‘Hamilton’ since about when school started.”
Jeff said the show lived up to his expectations and that meeting the cast was amazing.
The State Legislature paid for the students’ tickets with part of a $350,000 appropriation lawmakers approved for Alexander Hamilton-related education. Elected officials paid face value for their own tickets.
“The primary goal of this contest was to encourage civic engagement, which is why it was a random drawing,” Josh Loftin, Utah Department of Heritage and Arts representative, said. “That underscored the message that the most important step for driving change is getting involved, in this case, doing as Alexander Hamilton did and writing.”
The contest was part of the New Nation Project, a series of events presented by the state of Utah to celebrate the founding era of America.
There is currently a library display on Alexander Hamilton and the founding era at the Mt. Pleasant Library and an art exhibition at the Utah State Capitol (https://newnationproject. utah.gov/whotellsyourstory)