Playwright, composer, and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, 35, has been named one of 2015’s MacArthur Fellows. The MacArthur Foundation’s website noted that he reimagines “American musical theater in works that fuse traditional storytelling with contemporary musical styles and voices. Well-versed in the structure and history of musical theater, Miranda expands its idiom with the aesthetic of popular culture and stories from individuals and communities new to Broadway stages.”
His critically lauded Hamilton (2015) explores the potential of hip-hop to reframe history. This further develops musical work he delved into with his Tony-winning production In the Heights (2007).
Lin-Manuel Miranda received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2002. His other theater credits include co-composer and co-lyricist of Bring It On: The Musical (2011); actor in revivals of tick, tick…BOOM! (2014) and Merrily We Roll Along (2012); new original music for a revival of Working (2012); and the mini-musical, “21 Chump Street,” for This American Life (2014). He is also a member of the improv hip-hop group, Freestyle Love Supreme.
Learn more about Miranda on the MacArthur Foundation’s website.
Mimi Lien, a set designer for theater, opera, and dance who worked on Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 among other immersive sets, was also among this year’s round of 24 fellows.
There are three criteria for selection of fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award which comes with a stipend of $625,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years. The foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship.
(–from the MacArthur Foundation’s website)