Central graduate performs in Hamilton

Grace Strayer, Editor-in-Chief of On The Prowl

From an early age, Christopher Young was familiar with expressing himself. The 2009 Central graduate began dancing at age six. Now, he’s performing “on Broadway” in San Francisco.

“I started dancing at age six because my parents thought it was important to try activities that were both artistic and athletic. I played Little League Football and baseball and danced,” Young said. 

It wasn’t until he moved to York that he began to sing. In middle school he got his start within the Select Chorus. His dancing and singing then led him to performing in high school.

“I knew it was the path for me when I got to high school and found freedom and expression in the arts. It taught me to empathize with other people through the characters I portrayed,” he said. 

During his time at Central, Young starred in shows like, “Beauty and the Beast,” “Les Miserable,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Peter Pan,” “Crazy For You” and “The Music Man.”  

Now, Young is accustomed to performing numerous roles within Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical, Hamilton. 

“Essentially I learn six different roles and if any of the six actors who portray those roles can’t perform I’ll perform the role. It changes often sometimes three roles in a week.” 

According to Young, this means he learns the choreography and vocals for each of the roles he could be pulled into. In all, it took him from six to seven months to learn the songs, choreography and vocals for all six roles. The term for this position is called a swing, since Young moves around aiding as a “multiple role understudy [or] cover.” 

2018 was where his path with Hamilton began. 

“I was cast in Hamilton, in August of 2018. I’d had four or five auditions over the course of three months. During the auditions I would learn new choreography from the show and have to sing parts from the show,” Young said. 

During this time, Young learned five dance combinations and vocal pieces. 

“My final audition was in February was a six hour day of dancing and singing for the creative team and casting team. When I found out I’d been cast in the show, I was so excited and proud of how my hard work and training paid off.”

Looking to the future, Young aspires to appear in Broadway originals, workshops and return to Hamilton in a lead role. 

From Hamilton however, Young has been able to learn so much, saying, “It’s been one of the hardest shows I’ve ever been in, so I’ve learned so much about myself and how to rise to new challenges.”

The road to his current place in Hamilton comes after appearing in multiple other productions. 

“On Broadway in NYC I’ve performed in “A Bronx Tale” the musical and the workshop of “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.” In Regional Theater, I’ve performed in “Guys & Dolls,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Wiz,” “Head Over Heels” and the Lynn Nottage play “Sweat,”” Young said. 

As for those who dream of making it to Broadway, Young has a message: “Train in as many different styles as you can, never forget that you’ll always have something to learn, performers are athletes so learn to be disciplined, and to do it because you love it and you have something to express. Perform for the people who need to see their stories told and always honor the story you’re telling.”