CMU School of Drama

Monday, January 30, 2017

An Interactive Visualization of Every Line in Hamilton When I first heard of Hamilton, I was doubtful ("a hip-hop musical?"). But from the moment I sat down to listen the whole way through, I was done for.

I was obsessed. I had the soundtrack on repeat for months, it was all I listened to in my waking hours. I listened so much I had favorite lines and favorite songs. I analyzed the lyrics; I reveled in the layers of complexity, the double entredres, the clever word plays.

Then my obsession hit a peak; I kept wondering, what would a visualization of Hamilton look like? I couldn't stop thinking about it.


Chris Calder said...

Hmm. Aside from the fact that I am still coming down from the massive headache that was looking at this website, I struggle to understand the purpose. Sure, yet another domain that has the word Hamilton in it is never a bad thing, but this website, to put it plainly, is just a big cluster. Not being able to move the mouse one inch without hovering over another link makes it extremely hard to navigate and the amount of activity that is going on completely overwhelms the viewer making it hard to understand. This website being tagged with the name “interactive” seems preposterous to me. Seriously, is a bunch of hidden quotes with a picture attached to it really considered interactive these days. I would argue that I could have more interaction with turning the page of the script. Although, I think Polygraph has a great mission statement and the right motivation I would say toning this one back a few clicks and capturing the content would go a long way.

Madeleine Wester said...

I really liked the concept of this "Interactive Visualization" but I feel like the actual webpage was too cluttered and confusing. Even though the site was probably made by someone with a lot of interest and talent in website designing, it felt like the page was just a space for a typical die-hard Hamilton fan to freak out about every single lyric in the musical. Polygraph could do much better than this, and I think this one site may just be a fluke. I also feel like this website could potentially be worth visiting, IF the aesthetics were better, it was more user friendly, and actually interactive. It is mostly just a good idea with poor execution. I hope that we will see more "interactive visualizations" of other plays and musicals, since I do think they'd be interesting if done correctly. It'd be pretty interesting to see themes or motifs in a play laid out in such an organized way (not in this case though).