The Pyramid in Practice – “The Story” of Hamilton

In The Imagineering Pyramid, each of the chapters devoted to a specific principle from the pyramid included a section called “The Pyramid in Practice” that looked at how I applied (or in some cases, tried to apply) that principle while writing the book.

I’m going to expand on this “Pyramid in Practice” idea here (and in other “Pyramid in Practice” posts), and look at other examples of the principles at work in different contexts (including inside the Disney parks).

Hamilton-The-Revolution

For the first of these, I want to share a line I came across recently while reading Hamilton: The Revolution, a book that documents the development and production of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. In a section describing the origins and development of the song “One Last Time” (which began as a song entitled “One Last Ride”), the authors write:

“The rewrite to “One Last Ride” illustrates what all those creative impulses, all those pragmatic experiments, were trying to achieve: to ensure that every single element in the show, at every moment, was serving The Story. The Story was not a list of events on a historical timeline, in Tommy’s view, it was the emotional journey that Hamilton and the other key characters needed to make.”

(from Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, page 206-207)

This sentence is a great example of several Imagineering Pyramid principles in practice together (and where you find one principle of the Imagineering Pyramid at work, you’ll often find others at work alongside it). In particular, this sentence illustrates four of the Foundations of Imagineering in practice:

  • It All Begins with a Story: the show’s subject matter is Hamilton’s life and role in the early days of the United States, and informs decisions about “every single element in the show, at every moment”
  • Creative Intent: “all those creative impulses, all those pragmatic experiments” represent a constant focus on the show’s creative intent: “The Story…the emotional journey that Hamilton and the other key characters needed to make.”
  • Attention to Detail / Theming: “every single element in the show, at every moment was serving The Story” speaks to attention to detail and how the creative team used appropriate details to serve their creative intent

 

I hope you enjoyed this first sampling of the Pyramid in Practice! There’s plenty more to come!

 

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