If you like Broadway musicals or Disney songs, you must have heard the name Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you haven’t, let me introduce you to this remarkable man. He is a new yorker born in 1980 to Puerto Rican parents. He grew up in a Hispanic neighborhood full of Latin sounds and music that he always loved, especially hip-hop. When he was seven years old, he watched his first musical called “Les Misérables”. After this, he started to get into musical theater at school. Later in college, his major was theater and after his graduation, he worked as an English teacher.
Although Miranda was from New York, his Latin roots stayed with him. We can see this clearly in his first musical, which he wrote during college, “In the Heights”. This musical is set in Washington Heights and features many Latin actors and sounds; t debuted in 2008, and after running for two years, the musical won four Tony Awards.
During these years, Miranda read the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, which inspired him to create a chronicle musical of Alexander Hamilton’s life. The first presentation of the musical was in the first-ever Evening of Poetry & Spoken Word that was held at the White House in 2009. The full musical debuted in 2015, and months later, it went on Broadway featuring a Black and Latino cast.
In 2016, the musical “Hamilton” won the Pulitzer Prize for drama; it was nominated for 16 Tony Awards, breaking the record of the most nominees on the history of Broadway, and won eleven of those. Moving away from musical theater, Miranda has worked on different Disney movie soundtracks such as Moana and Encanto. The last one uses, once again, Hispanic sounds to bring stories to life. Lin – Manuel Miranda isn’t just a songwriter; he is also a director, not just for musical theater but also in movies. His most recent one is “Tick, tick… Boom” on Netflix.
Miranda has brought light and honor to the Hispanic community with his songs, movies, and musicals. He is making history, just like he said: “History is subjective. The teller of it determines it”. So, let’s take his example and rewrite history, let’s change how the Latin community is perceived.