‘Hamilton’ cast member speaks to Troy High School students

For the Miami Valley Today

TROY — Growing up in Edmond, Okla., Christopher Rice-Thomson had many of the same dreams the students at Troy High School currently have.

Rice-Thomson, who currently is performing in the hit musical “Hamilton” at the Schuster Center in Dayton through the end of the week, has made those dreams come true. Tuesday morning he spoke to, and performed for, Troy High School music and theatre students.

After answering student questions – many of which revolved around his career as a musical performer on and off Broadway – Rice-Thomson performed “Farmer Refuted,” a song from “Hamilton,” for the students.

Rice-Thomson said he understands how invested many students are in musical theatre and wanted to encourage them to follow their dreams.

“It’s really a pleasure,” he said. “I remember being a high school student and loving theatre so much. And to have an opportunity like this would have been life changing, really. I think it’s so important to give back to communities, and that’s one of my favorite parts of traveling around is getting to meet students from different places. All of the students here asked such educated and smart questions, and it was just really a wonderful morning with them.”

Prior to his current role touring in “Hamilton,” Rice-Thomson appeared on Broadway in the musicals “Pretty Woman” and “The Book of Mormon.” He has also danced full out on tour as a member of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” and as Baby John in “West Side Story.”

Troy City Schools choir director Rachel Sagona said she hopes the students he got the chance to meet with Rice-Thomson believe they can one day accomplish similar things.

“This shows them that even someone from a small town in Oklahoma can go and be in New York and do stuff,” she said. “I just want these kids to dream big, to realize that the world seems big, but is not that big and they can go and do amazing things. Experiences like this are always worth it. Always.”