High schoolers treated to workshop with "Hamilton" cast at WH

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In 2009, Lin-Manuel Miranda -- a 29-year-old rapper and Broadway producer -- was invited to the White House.

Instead of the piece they expected, he performed his brand new rap song about Alexander Hamilton.

It got a standing ovation, and now seven years later "Hamilton" is the biggest hit on Broadway.

Miranda was at the White House again on Monday -- along with the show's cast -- for a workshop with high school students.

"What do our favorite hip hop artists do if not write about their struggle and their circumstances so well that it transcends them? That's exactly what Alexander Hamilton did," he told the students.


Daveed Diggs performs as Thomas Jefferson in "Hamilton" Radical Media

Daveed Diggs plays Thomas Jefferson as you've probably never seen him before.

"The big project of this show is trying to erase as much distance between the audience and these figures we used to know as statues, as paintings. We want to make these real people, flesh and blood people," said Diggs.

At Loudoun County High School in Virginia, students preparing to perform at the White House workshop told us why they're so crazy about "Hamilton."

Millicent, a high school student, was at the White House for a workshop with Hamilton cast members CBS News

"So you'll memorize these raps and then you're like, I know too much about like, Aaron Burr like all of a sudden, cause I've listened to this song," one student said.

"I think the great thing about "Hamilton" is it kind of takes these old dead people, and they apply them to people that we see every day and people that we interact with, and they don't seem so dead and old," said another.

It's been a long time since the Founding Fathers seemed this alive.

  • Chip-Reid_bio_140x100_bw.jpg
    Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.