Stars of Hamilton: International Tour on the Secrets of the Schuyler Sisterhood

Akina Edmonds and Elandrah Eramiha share what it’s like playing musical theatre’s favourite sisters.
Published: March 20, 2024
Secrets of the Schuyler Sisterhood
Photo: Courtesy of the Hamilton International Tour

In the highly competitive landscape of musical theatre, securing a spot as a female lead is akin to acquiring a rare gem. Actresses of colour face an additional hurdle, relegated to one-dimensional token characters or racial stereotypes. However, the tide is turning, with a surge of female-led productions challenging these norms.

Hamilton, in particular, has welcomed over 27 actresses for the roles of Angelica, Peggy, and Eliza Schuyler, the musical’s fleshed-out female protagonists. For actresses Akina Edmonds and Elandrah Eramiha, currently starring as Angelica and Peggy Schuyler respectively (Eliza Schuyler is starred by Rachel Ann Go) in Hamilton: The International Tour, this shift is palpable.

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“It’s changed a lot since I’ve started in this industry. So many more stories are being told by women in shows. We can obviously do more stories with more female characters,” Eramiha reflects. Edmonds adds, ”What’s really cool about [Hamilton] is that there are three female principles, It’s unusual for there to be that many females in principle roles.”

Underscoring the significance of the show’s portrayal of the Schuyler sisters, she continues, “These [characters] are well-rounded humans. We get to play the sexuality, the sensuality, the wit, the vulnerability, the strength, and the grace in one.”

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Secrets of the Schuyler Sisterhood
Photo: Courtesy of Hamilton International Tour

Since its debut nine years ago at The Public Theatre in New York City, Hamilton has redefined what makes a quintessential Broadway hit. Creator Lin Manuel Miranda crafted a narrative that transcends traditional musical storytelling, presenting the Schuyler sisters as formidable figures in their own right. Hamilton has garnered acclaim for its fusion of show tunes with contemporary music, appealing to a diverse audience.

“I had no idea about the show [before auditioning]! I listened to the soundtrack first and was like this is incredible. It sounds just like stuff you listen to on the radio… and you could see these people’s journeys just by listening to it,” Edmonds shares, reflecting on her initial encounter with the production. “[The sisters’] narratives are complex and beautiful; it’s such a privilege to be able to step into their stories and tell it through beautiful music.”

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Secrets of the Schuyler Sisterhood
Photo: Courtesy of Hamilton International Tour

As the Broadway phenomenon arrives in the Lion City for a two-month stint at the Sands Theatre, both actresses describe it as a human story intertwined with a modern history lesson. “It is a show about being a flawed human and making successes within those flaws,” Edmonds describes. “You kind of wouldn’t think that would work, but when you get to it, it’s like wow, it’s so multi-genre, so multifaceted. You will be blown away whether you’re a musical theatre-goer or not.”

Hamilton: International Tour is on from 19 April to 9 June 2024 at Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands (tel: 6688 8826). For more information, visit their website.

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