By Amy Moeller | December 15, 2016 | People
This fall, the National Archives Foundation honored Hamilton creator, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, lyricist and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda; Tony-award winning film and theater director Thomas Kail; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Ron Chernow, who penned the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired Miranda, for their collective work on the acclaimed musical with the 2016 Records of Achievement Award at their annual gala. Prior to event, which included speeches by Archivist of the United States and honorary co-chair David M. Rubenstein plus a Q&A with the honorees, we caught up with Miranda on the red carpet. Here’s five things we learned.
“I’m geeking out that the West Wing cast is back together, chilling, and stumping,” Miranda told one reporter. “Tommy and I are doing our best Sam Seaborn and Toby Ziegler walking the halls.”
“One of the things we tried to do when we realized the show was going to be successful was prioritize kids,” Miranda told Eclipse Magazine. “Every person who leaves the show says, ‘You’ve got to get history students to see the show.’ So we dedicated matinees—we’ve got 20,000 students seeing our show on Broadway. The program that we built to do that with, The Rockefeller Foundation, we’re duplicating it with our tour companies. We’re trying to partner with schools on every stop the national tour makes. Every stage of Hamilton’s life, students are going to be a priority.”
“One of the things that you realize when writing the show is [that] every argument that we’re having now, everything cover[ed] in Politico, or The Hill, or your various news outlets, we’ve had a version of that fight already,” Miranda said. “The fights that we have as a country—the debates we have between left and right [and] between progressive and liberal—there’s been a version of it. And it’s sort of like family fights. The fight you have with your siblings; you’ve been having your variations on that same fight your entire lives. It actually gives you a nice dose of perspective when you read the news and think, ‘The world’s coming to an end.’ You think, ‘Oh, nope, it’s been this bad before.’”
“I basically had to opt out of pop culture for the last year and a half because my nights have been gone,” Miranda said. “I’ve had a nightly gig, so I’m looking forward to [this] season.”
“I was as terrified as I’ve ever been,” Miranda told WTOP. “I’d only previously performed it in the shower, to my girlfriend, and maybe Tommy Kail and Alex Lacamoire. The thrill was what happened that night is what was happened in real life—they laugh because it’s a crazy idea and then they get sucked into the story. I got sucked into the story when I read Ron [Chernow]’s biography—he sucked me into Hamilton’s life.”
Photography by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images