How to Cite Hamilton: An American Musical

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Published October 23, 2020. Updated October 5, 2021.

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Hamilton: An American Musical is one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed Broadway shows ever, earning $3.3 million in one week in 2016. So what do you do if you want to cite a show like Hamilton in your research paper? This guide can help!

How you experienced Hamilton will affect the formatting of your citation. For example, if you saw the show in person, your citation will be different than if you read the play or listened to the soundtrack.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the most frequently used formatting options. Please note that these examples are not comprehensive, and you should always check with your teacher if you have any questions about how to make your citations.

To cite a play or musical properly, identify as many of the following pieces of information as possible or applicable to your citation:

  1. Playwright
  2. Name(s) of the main performer(s)
  3. Play Title (italicized)
  4. Publication Title (italicized)
  5. Editor
  6. Publisher
  7. Record Label/Studio
  8. Publication Year
  9. Publication City
  10. Page Number (p.) or Page Numbers (pp.)

A. How to cite Hamilton from a publication:

MLA Format (9th edition)

Use the following structure to cite a published play in MLA format:

Playwright last name, First name. Play Title. Publication Title, edited by Editor First and Last name, Publisher, publication year, page numbers.

Here’s how the above example looks in MLA format:

Miranda, Lin-Manuel. Hamilton: An American Musical. Hamilton: The Revolution, edited by Jeremy McCarter, Grand Central Publishing, 2016, pp. 23-26.

Here’s how the above example would be cited in an in-text citation:

(Playwright Last Name page #)

(Miranda 25)

APA Format

Use the following structure to cite a published play in APA format:

Playwright last name, First initial. (Year published). Play title. In Editor first initial. Last name (Ed.), Publication Title (Page numbers). Publisher.

Here’s how the above example looks as an APA citation:

Miranda, L. (2016). Hamilton: an American musical. In J. McCarter (Ed.), Hamilton: the revolution (pp. 23-26). Grand Central Publishing.

Chicago Format

Use the following structure to cite a published play in Chicago format:

Playwright Last name, First name. “Play Title.” In Publication Title. Edited by Editor Name. Publication City: Publisher, Publication date.

Here’s how the above example looks in Chicago format:

Miranda, Lin-Manuel. “Hamilton: An American Musical.” In Hamilton: The Revolution. Edited by Jeremy McCarter. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2016.

 

B. How to cite Hamilton as a live performance:

MLA Format (9th edition)

Use the following structure to cite a live performance in MLA format:

Playwright First Name Last Name. Performance Title. Directed by Director First Name Last Name, Theater Company, Date Seen, Theater Name, City, State.

Here’s how the above example looks in MLA format:

Miranda, Lin-Manuel. Hamilton: An American Musical. Directed by Thomas Kail, The Public Theater, 21 Apr. 2016, Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York, NY.

Here’s how the above example would be cited in an in-text citation:

(Playwright Last Name)

(Miranda)

APA Format

Use the following structure to cite a live performance in APA format:

Playwright Last Name, First Initial (Writer), & Director Last Name, First Initial (Director). (Date Seen). Performance title. Live performance at Theater Name.

Here’s how the above example looks in APA format:

Miranda, L. (Writer), & Kail, T. (Director). (2016, April 21). Hamilton: an American musical. Live performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Chicago Format

Use the following structure to cite a live performance in Chicago format:

As live performances cannot be referenced directly by the reader, only a reference within the text and a supporting footnote is sufficient in Chicago style. You do not need an entry in the bibliography.

Here is an example of a reference within the text and a footnote for Hamilton:

In a performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York…

  1. Hamilton: An American Musical, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, dir. Thomas Kail, Richard Rodgers Theatre, New York, NY, February 2, 2016.

 

C. How to cite the Hamilton soundtrack:

MLA Format (9th Edition)

Use the following structure to cite a soundtrack in MLA format:

Soundtrack Title. Performers’ Names, Record Label/Studio, Year Released.

Here’s how the above example looks in MLA format:

Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording). Performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, and Jonathan Groff, Atlantic Records, 2015.

Here’s how the above example would be cited in an in-text citation:

(Shortened Soundtrack Title)

(Hamilton)

APA Format

Use the following structure to cite a soundtrack in APA format:

Performer Last Name, First Initial. (Year Released). Soundtrack title [Format of recording]. Record Label/Studio.

Here is how the above example looks in APA format:

Miranda, L. (2015). Hamilton: an American Musical [MP3]. Atlantic Records. 

Chicago Format

Use the following structure to cite a soundtrack in Chicago format:

Performer Last Name, Performer First Name. Soundtrack Title. Record Label, Year Released, Format of Recording.

Here is how the above example looks in Chicago format:

Miranda, Lin Manuel. Hamilton: An American Musical. Atlantic Records, 2015, MP3.


 

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How do I cite a musical?

To cite a song from a musical in APA and MLA styles, it is important that you know basic information such as the name of the lyricist, the name of the composer, the title of the song and musical, the theater company name, and performance date.

APA reference list entry template and example:

Writer Surname, F.M. (Writer) & Composer Surname, F.M. (Year). Title of the song. [Type of work]. In Title of musical. Production Company. Location or URL.

Ebb, F. (Writer) & Kander, J. (2014). Mein Herr [Live performance of a song in a musical]. In Cabaret. Roundabout Theatre Company. Studio 54, New York.

MLA works-cited-list entry template and example:

To cite a song from a musical seen in person, list the name of the person who wrote the lyrics in the author slot. If that person did not also write the music, include “lyricist” after their name. Include the song’s title for the source and the musical’s title for the container. If others contributed to the project, list their name and contribution, followed by the theater company, the date, and the location.

Lyricist’s Surname, First Name, lyricist. “Song Title.” Musical Title, music by Composer First Name Surname, Theater Company, Day Month Year, Location.

Ebb, Fred, lyricist. “Mein Herr.” Cabaret, music by John Kander, Roundabout Theatre Company, 24 Apr. 2014, Studio 54, New York.