‘Hamilton’ controversy spills over into Montana community theater

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Last week, a case of mistaken identity brought New York City theater and Washington DC politics together at a small nonprofit in the Bitterroot Valley.

Denise Rose is the director of the Hamilton Players:

“The Hamilton Players are a small, non-profit community theater in Hamilton, MT. And last week our Twitter account, @hamiltonplayers got confused with @hamiltonmusical, and people were very upset, ”Rose says.

When Rose opened up her theater’s social media accounts early last week, there were some nasty surprises. They had been falsely associated with the now famous incident involving Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s visit to the Broadway play “Hamilton,” in which the cast members addressed a political message directly to him that erupted. in the nationwide controversy:

“We’ve had a lot of negative feedback on Twitter and Facebook,” says Rose. “We got private messages, public posts on our timeline. And then we started getting one-star reviews from people who mistook us for the Hamilton musical in New York City. It was kind of crazy. At first I thought it was funny. My phone blew up, and I was like ‘Oh my god this is crazy.’ “

At the time, the Hamilton Players had 49 followers on Twitter and 1,000 likes on Facebook. They have a full time employee.

“And then we started getting negative comments and negative reviews, and I realized how much of an impact it could have, and how, if you are not socially responsible, and be careful of who and what you talk to and who, you could destroy a business. These people had no idea who we were, “said Rose,” and called us racist, ugly and disrespectful, and said boycott @hamiltonmusical, boycotting @hamiltonplayers, not even knowing who they were talking to, a little terrifying in that sense. “

Rose says she doesn’t think there will be a lasting effect on the gambling house:

“I think we survived. It actually made it a bit more aware that we even exist, and I encountered a lot of support in the community. So I think overall we’ll end up better for it. ‘experience with more awareness and support. “

I asked her what she had learned from the experience.

“Love everyone and make more art,” Rose says.



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