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This Kansas City native plays all of your favorite characters in the 'Hamilton' national tour

Bryson Bruce, who grew up performing in theater productions around the Kansas City area, is an understudy for a group of lead and supporting characters in the touring act of "Hamilton."
Carlos Moreno
Bryson Bruce, who spent his early years performing in theater productions around the Kansas City area, is an understudy for a group of lead and supporting characters in the touring act of "Hamilton."

Bryson Bruce, a graduate of Lee's Summit West High School and the University of Missouri, grew up performing in plays and musicals around the Kansas City area. Now he's a touring cast member in one of the most popular musicals of our time: "Hamilton."

Years after participating in theater and choir at Lee's Summit West High School and majoring in theater at the University of Missouri, Bryson Bruce is living his dream.

For the last five years, he has performed as a touring cast member for the highly acclaimed musical "Hamilton." He works as an understudy for many of the show's most important roles, including Aaron Burr, Marquis de Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, King George III and even Alexander Hamilton himself.

Bruce says at any given time before or during a show, he could be called upon to take on any of those roles.

"The pulse rate does quicken when you get a text or a call and you look down and you say, 'That's my stage manager... what do they need?' You pick up the phone and they say, 'Bryson, we need you on for Burr. Wardrobe is already on their way to you, where are you at right now?'"

Bruce estimates that, across his various roles, he's able to speak up to 70% of the lines in the show. While memorizing a large number of lines could be difficult for him as a kid, he says, with a show like "Hamilton" he's able to study it whenever he likes.

"It's easy to replay the (Hamilton) album, because luckily most, if not all of the lines are in there. Some musicals, there are a lot of internal scenes that are outside of the albums, but with Hamilton I can play from start to finish and feel like I'm almost seeing it. So, I can rewind and say, 'Oh, I kind of missed that. What was my next line?'"

Bryson Bruce joined KCUR's Up To Date to talk about growing up in Kansas City's local theater community and achieving his dreams onstage.

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