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ENTERTAINMENT

What is ‘Hamilton’ writer, actor, director and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda up to these days?

The Emmy Award-winner is a prolific creator but has taken some time away from the world of musicals to focus on other passions this year.

Update:
Lin-Manuel Miranda branches out from songwriting
BloombergGetty

The award-winning creator of Hamilton and In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda, gave a talk at the fifth annual L’Attitude conference in downtown San Diego this week. He offered writing and creative advice to the audience and compared composing music to the process behind starting a small business.

Of course, Miranda’s composition credentials are unquestionable, but what exactly does he know about entrepreneurship?

Last year the 42-year-old and a group of friends took over the Drama Book Shop in Manhattan, an iconic store selling all things theater. Rent increases had threatened to put the independent store out of business but Miranda wanted to resurrect the fortunes of the building where he had written, found inspiration and met friends.

“It’s about collaboration. You cannot make theater alone, you cannot have a small business survive alone,” Miranda said. “We really rely on our community to keep us alive. And that’s been a lesson that I sort of take forward into the world of small business.”

What next for Lin-Manuel Miranda?

Miranda is best known for his theatrical and film-making exploits, most notably the movies In the Heights and Tick, Tick… Boom!, and the Broadway sensation Hamilton.

He has continued his prolific work rate this year and is heavily involved in the upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid. Disney’s reimagining of the classic is due to be released in 2023 and Miranda agreed in 2016 to be a songwriter alongside Alan Menken. It has since been announced that Miranda will also co-produce the film with Marc Platt and Rob Marshall.

If you can’t wait until next year for his next piece of work, make sure you catch the upcoming parody biography Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. The film is set to be released on The Roku Channel from November charts a fictionalised account of Weird Al Yankovic’s journey to the top of the charts, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda in an as-yet unspecified role.

But perhaps his most important role to date came in response to Hurricane Fiona and the damage caused to Puerto Rico. Miranda is of Puerto Rican heritage and has frequently called for greater federal support for the nation.

“For many Puerto Ricans, there is an understandable fear of ‘here we go again,’” Miranda said in a Washington Post op-ed, referencing the experience of Hurricane Maria in 2017 which brought “unprecedented devastation” and caused close to 3,000 deaths.

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