Prompt Images

There was a smart, thoughtful, passionate, hard-working man who had good intentions. There was another man, charting nearly a parallel path, who was an impulsive, manipulating, arrogant social climber. At nearly every turn, personally and professionally, the first man was snubbed and bested by the second man.

Eventually every man hits a breaking point, and the first guy, the patient do-gooder, outdone time and time again, snapped.

Keep antagonizing me, Watch what happens

Both men, orphans, were instrumental in the founding of the United States, but it was the second man, the one who cheated on his wife, the one who put his son in death’s path, and the one who made enemies out of everyone, became the hero, while the other was cast as the villain.

Murder be like that.

It’s been almost a decade since Lin-Manuel Miranda debuted Hamilton on Broadway, after seven years toiling on his historical masterpiece. Miranda based the musical megahit on Alexander Hamilton, a biography written by historian Ron Chernow, which is widely accepted as THE historical compendium of the Founding Father. Also, I’m assuming he was well versed of that old Got Milk? Commercial.

So I plead, Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda, please please please write another musical, the same story, from the perspective of Aaron Burr, the story’s other “hero.”

I know it won’t be easy, but there isn’t anyone else who could handle such a task. And you already have so much of the bones of it. I think Burr would be another culture-captivating sensation, not to mention an incredible moneymaker. Can you imagine how many shows would be sold out if they got the original cast back together? Certainly writing another couple dozen songs is a mighty undertaking, but, no offense, what have you been doing the last few years?

Aaron Burr is frequently in the background of Hamilton’s litany of conquests, occasionally popping up to the A-plot for sporadic conflicts. But Burr could flip that narrative focus, giving Burr the main storylines and finding Hamilton popping through every so often in increasingly big moments.

In dueling and ultimately killing Alexander Hamilton, Burr made one unquestionably unredeemable mistake, but otherwise Burr’s life was marbled with professional successes that helped set up our country. He was also a lawyer, also fought in the Revolutionary War, and also a politician, who served as Vice President during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. He also opposed slavery, like Hamilton, and was a major proponent for education equality between men and women. He was a doting father.

Burr and Hamilton shared both storylines and ideals but often found themselves pitted against each other based on their methods and Hamilton’s never-ending thorny nature.

Hamilton got the position under General George Washington that Burr had his eyes set on. Hamilton specifically kept Burr out of “the room where it happens” in the negotiations with Jefferson and Madison. Burr took Hamilton’s father-in-law’s Senate seat. Hamilton and Burr squared off in the 1800 Presidential election.

Thanks to Hamilton, we know the story already, so Burr could spend a majority of its run chronicling Burr’s psychology and slow descent to Hamilton-induced madness.

Burr is the antagonist in Hamilton, but another telling could easily cast Burr as a flawed protagonist if the lens was shifted. He is just as interesting as Hamilton, with similarly lofty aspirations. He might prove a sympathetic figure, who was pushed and prodded and undercut, over and over, before the fateful duel. Lin-Manuel, you are our only hope.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more