Lin-Manuel Miranda Career Timeline: From ‘In the Heights’ to ‘Hamilton’ to Hollywood
Lin-Manuel Miranda is basically a modern day William Shakespeare. The multi-award-winning writer may be best known as the creative brains behind Hamilton. But he’s been creating and starring in musicals for over 20 years; Lin-Manuel Miranda is a tour-de-force who’s changed the face of theatre forever.
With Miranda having a banner film year with In the Heights, tick, tick… BOOM, and Encanto — putting an EGOT within reach — and with Hamilton continuing to take the globe by storm, we’re taking a look back at how Lin-Manuel Miranda established himself in the Broadway scene before becoming a global superstar.
2000: In the Heights debuts
Lin-Manuel Miranda debuts the first version of In the Heights at Wesleyan University, when he is a sophomore in college.
2002: Meet Tommy Kail
Director Tommy Kail joins the project, and they start workshopping In the Heights together.
2003: Freestyle Love Supreme
Miranda co-founds Freestyle Love Supreme, an improv hip-hop troupe that performs around the world. Other founding cast members in Freestyle Love Supreme include Christopher Jackson and James Monroe Iglehart.
2005: Work on In the Heights continues
Miranda and his collaborators take In the Heights to the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, where they workshop the show.
2007 – In the Heights opens off Broadway
The musical runs at the 37 Arts Theater from Feb. 8 to July 15, 2007. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays the role of Usnavi, and the musical wins two Drama Desk Awards.
2008: In the Heights Broadway premiere
In the Heights opens on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The musical wins four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score. In the Heights plays over 1,100 performances, running from Feb. 14, 2008 to Jan. 9, 2011.
Miranda contributes new songs to a revised version of Stephen Schwartz’s musical Working, which premieres at Asolo Repertory Theatre.
2009: Hamilton at the White House
Lin-Manuel performs an excerpt from Hamilton at the White House for the first time, what will eventually become the musical’s opening number “Alexander Hamilton.”
2009: West Side Story revival
Lin-Manuel translates some lyrics to Spanish for a revival of West Side Story, which opened at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. The cast recording won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.
2012: Bring It On: The Musical
Lin-Manuel works on the songwriting team for Bring It On: The Musical, which runs at St. James Theatre on Broadway for a limited run.
2012: Merrily We Roll Along
Lin-Manuel stars as Charley in a Encores! Production of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.
2013: Hamilton at New York Stage and Film
Hamilton, then called The Hamilton Mixtape, premieres at New York Stage and Film.
2014: Emmy win
Lin-Manuel wins an Emmy for the musical number “Bigger” performed at the 67th Tony Awards.
2014: 21 Chump Street
Lin-Manuel’s 14-minute one-act musical, 21 Chump Street, premieres at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
2014: Tick, Tick… Boom!
He stars as Jonathan Larson in the Encores! revival of Tick, Tick… Boom!
2015: Hamilton opens off Broadway, then Broadway
Hamilton opens at the Public Theater and later on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the same year, winning 11 Tony awards. Hamilton is still enjoying its Broadway run, and is considered to be one of the most successful musicals of all time.
2016: Disney time
Miranda writes music for the Disney film Moana, earning an Academy Award nomination. Songs include “How Far I’ll Go,” “You’re Welcome,” “Shiny,” and “I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors).” He also signs on to write new songs for the live-action The Little Mermaid with Alan Menken.
2018: Mary Poppins Returns
Miranda stars in the Disney film Mary Poppins Returns as Jack the lamplighter alongside Emily Blunt in the title role. He’s nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance.
2019: Hamilton in Puerto Rico
He reprises role of Alexander Hamilton for two-week run in Puerto Rico.
2019: Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway
Freestyle Love Supreme opens at the Booth Theatre for a limited run; Miranda appears at select performances.
2021 (and beyond)
The film adaptation of In The Heights was released on June 11, and Lin-Manuel cameo stars as Piraguero, the Piragua Guy.
Other recent projects include: the film of tick, tick… BOOM! on Netflix, which marks his debut as film director; the animated feature Vivo, in which he plays the title character: a singer-musician “honey bear”; and the new Disney animated film, Encanto, for which he wrote new songs including the viral hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and the Oscar-nominated “Dos Orugitas.”