The 2015 "class" of MacArthur Fellows, which go to top achievers in a variety of fields, also includes tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, set designer Mimi Lien and puppet artist and director Basil Twist.
The fellowship, which comes with a stipend of $625,000 paid in quarterly installments over five years, awards unrestricted fellowships to individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits as well as a capacity for self-direction.
Miranda, 35, won Tony Awards for his Broadway debut In the Heights, drawing on his upbringing in the Latino Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Height. It took him more than six years to develop his current SRO hit, Hamilton, a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural take on "the ten-dollar founding father without a father," Alexander Hamilton.
Dorrance, 36, has never tapped on Broadway, but seems to have tapped everywhere else, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Cannes Film Festival, the New York City Tap Festival, The LA Tap Festival, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Israel Tap Festival and many more. A winner of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, she is the founder and artistic director of Dorrance Dance/New York.
Lien, 39, currently represented by her set to the Off-Broadway play John. She was a design assistant for two Broadway musicals, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark and The Little Mermaid. She earned Drama Desk nominations for her Off-Broadway designs for The Whale and An Octoroon. Twist, 46, is a regular at the downtown Manhattan mecca HERE Arts Center, and has designed puppets--and the onstage world for them--around the globe. He's worked on Broadway twice, both in 2010, providing materials for the musical The Addams Family and for The Pee-wee Herman Show. His latest project, Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds, begins performances Off-Broadway at the Abrons Arts Center Oct. 1.
For a complete list of winners and further info on the MacArthur Fellowships, visit the MacArthur Foundation website.