February 22, 2016
With Theatre in Our Schools Month just around the corner, get a head start on the festivities with an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who discussed his theatre education experiences in the March issue of Dramatics. Before taking home the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, the Hamilton star and creator sat down with Howard Sherman to talk about his early experiences in theatre and the educators who encouraged him along the way.
“We had an extraordinary music teacher at my elementary school who started the tradition of the sixth grade play,” Miranda told Sherman. “The entire school would watch."
Miranda also gave particular credit to his eighth grade English teacher Rembert Herbert. "He really got me engaged as a student first," recalled Miranda. Dr. Herbert encouraged Miranda as a writer, director, and performer, and was thanked in Miranda's Tony Award acceptance speech.
Despite his status as a Broadway star, theatre education is never far from Miranda's mind.
"For me, a show I write becomes real when a high school gets to do it. Because I know there are kids who had their first kisses as Benny and Nina [in Miranda's In the Heights]...ladies who are going to be friends for life because they were Daniela and Carla together. I had that experience with my friends on the shows we worked on. That’s what I love most about being on this side of the process now, being the one who makes the musicals.”
Read the entire interview here, and in March's Dramatics. More information on the Theatre in Our Schools program is available here.