The Thespian Thoughts blog posts are meant to be a college student’s point of view on various topics in the world of theater to educate all on what encompasses this particular area of the arts
I can’t talk about theater without talking about the man who is perhaps Broadway’s current biggest and brightest star: Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you yourself are not a huge theater person like I am, you may not recognize this name, but you have probably heard of a popular show by the name of Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda is the writer, composer and original lead actor of Hamilton as well as his other musical In The Heights. Both shows won the Tony for best musical.
But what makes this Linnamon roll so sweet? In other words what is is about Miranda as a creator that makes his shows such a success and why is he so beloved by fans? Here is what I, as a fan, have observed to be a few of the reasons why.
He embraces diversity: Miranda’s first Broadway hit In The Heights takes place in New York’s Washington heights and highlights the different cultures of its predominantly Latin American community and examines the issues they face today. Hamilton famously casts actors of color as America’s founding fathers and mothers and in doing so shows America then as it looks now and utilizes music styles created by these communities such as hip hop and rap.
He provides motivation to fans: If you do not follow Lin-Manuel on social media I would highly suggest you start. Where most celebrity Facebook and Twitter accounts only post about upcoming projects or the occasional funny comment or photo to stay relevant, Miranda posts messages of motivation and inspiration daily and nightly for his followers. He is aware of the weight his words can carry and, like Alexander Hamilton himself, uses them to remind his fans that they are worthy and should pursue their greatest aspirations.
His work empowers the youth through education: Hamilton isn’t just a musical, it is an educational experience. Knowing this, Miranda has partnered with The Rockefeller Foundation to provide 20,000 NYC students each year with tickets to the show and New York’s Gilder Lehrman Institute to create the Hamilton Education Initiative also known as #EduHam, that educates students on the figures represented in the play and has them write their own performance pieces. They have also made tickets for eleventh graders only ten dollars (the very bill on which Hamilton resides). By doing this, Miranda makes the show about inspiring youth to learn and make history rather than money and spectacle.
Although I could name 96,000 more, these are in my opinion, the most important reasons why Miranda is and should be celebrated. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be jamming out to Weird Al Yankovic’s Hamilton Polka.
Reminder: We still have our Dramatic Works contest running from now until midnight April 8th. See our Facebook page or website post for details!