Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American playwright, actor, composer, and performer. His 2007 play In the Heights helped to launch his career and shoot him to stardom. He became best known, however, as the creator of the critically acclaimed and popular musical Hamilton, for which he received various awards, including two Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2018, he costarred in the Disney live-action musical Mary Poppins Returns. He then signed on to star in the adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy novel series His Dark Materials, scheduled for release on HBO in 2019.
Early Life and Career
Lin-Manuel Miranda was born on January 16, 1980, in the Manhattan borough of New York City. He attended Wesleyan College in Connecticut, where he honed his passion for the theater and planted the seeds for his first big hit In the Heights. Miranda wrote In the Heights during his sophomore year. He applied for the school's Second Stage theater. Once accepted, he began putting together his play. In an interview with Broadway.com, Miranda said "I barely slept, I barely ate; I just wrote. I put in all the things I'd always wanted to see onstage: propulsive freestyle rap scenes outside of bodegas, salsa numbers that also revealed character and story. I tried to write the kind of show I'd want to be in."
Miranda's enthusiasm for In the Heights, and his work paid off with commercial and critical success. The Wesleyan production of the show broke school box-office records in 1992 and earned him an opportunity to produce the show professionally with Back House Productions, a fledgling production company composed of Wesleyan graduates.
In addition to writing and acting in his own plays, Miranda worked with Tom Kitt and Amanda Greene to compose the music and lyrics for Bring It On: The Musical. Bring It On finished a second national and international tour in 2014. Miranda also formed and performed in the rap-comedy group Freestyle Love Supreme, which toured festivals and comedy venues worldwide and debuted on television on Pivot in 2014.
Miranda also appeared on television shows such as House, The Sopranos, and Sesame Street. He lent his voice to the audiobook recordings of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Found Success with Hamilton
In 2015 Miranda created a show based on founding father Alexander Hamilton. In Hamilton, for which Miranda wrote the book, music, and lyrics and performed in as the lead, Miranda posits the idea that Alexander Hamilton arrived in America as an immigrant on foreign soil. He uses hip-hop and a variety of musical styles to tie together Hamilton's colonial immigrant experience with the modern immigrant experience. Miranda set up a partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation to perform more than a dozen matinee shows for twenty thousand New York City public school students. The producers charged just $10 per ticket while the rest was subsidized by the foundation.
The play debuted to sold-out crowds Off-Broadway in February of 2015 and was an instant hit. It debuted on Broadway in the summer of 2015 to equally rave reviews. Hamilton received 16 Tony Award nominations and won 11 of them, including two for Miranda himself. It also earned Miranda the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama among other awards. Miranda performed in the show throughout 2016, and Hamilton continued to run throughout 2017 in both the United States and London. Miranda continued to work on other ventures and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.
Miranda was cast in the 2019 Disney reboot Mary Poppins Returns, which premiered in 2019. His performance earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for best performance by an actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy. He then joined the cast of HBO's adaptation of the Philip Pullman series of novels titled His Dark Materials, set to premiere in late 2019.
Addresses: Web site--linmanuel.com.
Won Drama Desk Award for outstanding ensemble performance for In the Heights, 2007; Tony Award for best original score written for the theatre for In the Heights, 2008; (shared) Grammy Award for best musical theater album for In the Heights, 2009; (shared) Primetime Emmy for outstanding original music and lyrics for Bigger, 2014; MacArthur Genius Award, 2015; Drama Desk Award for outstanding book of a musical, outstanding lyrics, and outstanding music for Hamilton, 2015; (shared) Grammy Award for best musical theater album for Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording), 2016; Tony Award for best book of a musical and best original score written for the theatre for Hamilton, 2016; Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Hamilton, 2016; Grammy Award for best song written for visual media for the song "How Far I'll Go" from Moana.
- "Composer, Lyricist, Actor," Lin-Manuel Miranda Official Web Site, http://www.linmanuel.com/bio (July 10, 2017).
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda," IBDB, https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/lin-manuel-miranda-459893/#broadway (July 10, 2017).
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda," IMDb, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0592135 (April 18, 2019).
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda," MacArthur Foundation, https://www.macfound.org/fellows/941/ (October 29, 2015).
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda: Scaling the Heights," Broadway.com, http://www.broadway.com/buzz/6213/lin-manuel-miranda-scaling-the-heights/ (October 29, 2015).
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda Will Receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame," Playbill, http://www.playbill.com/article/lin-manuel-miranda-will-receive-a-star-on-the-hollywood-walk-of-fame (July 10, 2017).