By Mayumi Herrera
From the busy streets of New York City, Lin-Manuel Miranda has become one of the greatest names in theater. The 37-year-old award-winning composer, lyricist, performer, and writer shares his fascinating creativity through various compelling works of art.
Miranda comes from a music and theater loving Puerto Rican family who immigrated to the United States in search of educational opportunities and a better life overall. He was raised in the Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights and spent several summers in Puerto Rico with his grandparents where he learned to love and embrace his roots and speak Spanish. Starting at a young age, Miranda studied piano, sang in his school’s choir, and starred in several school performances.
Early exposure to music created a symphonic environment that embedded a deep love and passion for freestyle rap, hip-hop, pop, and most of all, musical theater.
In high school and college, Miranda expanded his knowledge on diverse theatrical techniques, creative writing skills, and the overall show business that would foster new opportunities for him.
Today, Miranda is best known for the Broadway hit musicals, “Hamilton” and “In The Heights,” where he explores volatile issues such as immigration, identity, and politics that continuously shape society through a blend of freestyle rap verses, salsa numbers, and dramatic scenes.
Miranda’s dedication and courage to express a strong need for social reform among many of these issues reveals the true magic of theater that has reached a higher platform of remarkable intelligence. From idolizing Broadway to becoming one of the most iconic individuals in theater history, it seems as though Miranda’s Grammy award, Pulitzer prize, and MacArthur Foundation grant is a dream come true. However, through hard work and endless devotion, Miranda has managed to elevate pop culture by integrating the arts, self discovery, and history through musical theater that is deserving of his success.
Energized by his astonishing talents, Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) will be reviving one of Miranda’s greatest works, “In The Heights,” taking place on March 10 to 12 in Highlander Hall. The musical centers around American-Dominican characters living in Washington Heights. Taking inspiration from Miranda’s high standards, the audience can expect an enthusiastic cast with powerful performances. Hopefully GHCHS’ upcoming rendition will exceed the standards set by the legend himself and add a personal Granada Hills touch.