Musical, In The Heights by Sangeun Cho

The Visiting Student Program has been organizing programs to Walton Arts Center (WAC) once a semester for the past few semesters. We had 10 students who decided to join us and enjoyed the great musical, In The Heights. International Students & Scholars would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to two WAC staff: Ms. Lauren Mahony, Group Sales Concierge, and Ms. Emily Ironside, Annual Giving Manager, for arranging tickets and the special occasion for our students (You’ll know why at the end of this story!)!

Here’s a reflection by Sangeun Cho about her WAC experience!


In The Heights

I joined a program to enjoy In The Heights a few weeks ago. It was my first time to visit Walton Arts Center and also my first time to watch a Broadway musical. I can honestly say that it was absolutely wonderful!

Since Walton Arts Center provides various kinds of art performances, I always wanted to visit there. However, it was hard for me to get a chance to enjoy popular programs and shows because many of ticket prices were not affordable for me as a student. Fortunately, thanks to the program that was arranged by the International Students & Scholars office, this amazing show became available to me! I was able to enjoy watching the Tony Award-winning musical, In The Heights, at Walton Arts Center with other nine visiting students who signed up for the program.

In The Heights is a musical that is about people, family and their friends in this Dominican-American community in Washington Heights, New York City. In The Heights has been played successfully since 2008.

Sangeun in NY!

I thought the show had very unique characteristics comparing to other musicals.

First of all, the unique, Latin cultural influenced atmosphere throughout the show was interesting! From the beginning, dynamic and rhythmical Latin dance and music caught my eyes and grabbed my heart! Especially, the main actor’s rap was very impressive. Also, English that had slight accents on the stage was very delightful to me. It was different from an American accent I got used to learning back home, but I enjoyed the new sounds of the language.

Secondly, the story was very touching. It really showed heartwarming love and care among family members and people in the community. In this musical, each character faces hardship, yet each one of them has his/her dreams in their lives. The musical tells us stories of people and how they care about each other, how hard they work to make their dreams come true, and how they overcome their challenges wisely. Through stories of all characters on the stage, I felt that I was able to have a glimpse of their daily life and cultural richness in the Dominican-American community in New York. This show gave me an opportunity to think of diversity in the U.S.

After the show, I was very satisfied with this musical.

With some of cast members!

However, my story doesn’t end here! To my surprise, there was a special arrangement by staff at Walton Arts Center for a few student groups, including visiting students, to meet some of the main actors and actresses after the show!! Wow!! At this Meet and Greet, we could hear the behind-the-scene stories of In The Heights. On top of this surprise, I was very lucky on this day: We did drawing and I won a special gift, soundtrack CDs of In The Heights!

It was a wonderful evening that I will not forget. I hope other international students will be able to have wonderful experience as I did at this program while studying at the University of Arkansas!

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