Lin-Manuel Miranda career timeline: From 'In the Heights' to 'Hamilton' to Hollywood
Learn about all the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning phenomenon's projects, from stage to screen and beyond.
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 in Connecticut, where they workshop the show.
2007 – In the Heights opens off Broadway
The musical runs at the 37 Arts Theater from February 8 to July 15, 2007. 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 February 14, 2008 to January 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
Miranda performs an excerpt from Hamilton at the White House for the first time, which will eventually become the musical’s opening number, “Alexander Hamilton.”
2009: West Side Story revival
2012: Bring It On: The Musical
Miranda works on the songwriting team for Bring It On: The Musical, which runs at the St. James Theatre on Broadway for a limited run.
2012: 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
Miranda wins an Emmy for the musical number “Bigger” performed at the 67th Tony Awards.
2014: 21 Chump Street
Miranda’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 off Broadway at The Public Theater and later on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the same year, winning 11 Tony awards. The show also set a record high for Tony nominations with 16. 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 upcoming 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.
Miranda executive produces Fosse/Verdon, an FX miniseries about the relationship between two Broadway icons: choreographer Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and performer Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams). The show, and Miranda as producer, was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series.
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, an improvised Broadway show featuring Miranda's FLS troupe, opens at the Booth Theatre for a limited run; Miranda appears at select performances. The show plays an encore run in 2021.
2021 (and beyond): Hollywood projects
The film adaptation of In The Heights was released on June 11, and Miranda cameo stars as Piraguero, the Piragua Guy. He also makes his his directorial debut with a film adaptation of tick, tick… BOOM! on Netflix.
Additional projects include 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 ballad “Dos Orugitas.”