Just hours before Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda cemented his status as one of America’s greatest living playwrights by winning a Pulitzer Prize, he accepted the inaugural Fairy Godfather Award from “Girl Be Heard,” an all-female theater troupe looking to change the world. The non-profit group only produces original work, written and performed by girls between the ages of 12 and 21 and focuses on social issues ranging from bullying to police brutality. On Tuesday, its members honored Lin-Manuel along with his father, community advocate Luis A. Miranda, for their lifelong commitment to social justice and equality.
“Since its founding in 2011, Girl Be Heard has used theater to inspire activism and shed light on social justice issues,” the group’s co-founder and executive director Jessica Greer Morris said in a press release. “It’s beyond our wildest dreams to celebrate two NYC heroes, Luis Miranda and his son Lin-Manuel, the ‘young, scrappy and hungry’ Shakespeare of our time.” The girls performed Hamilton-inspired pieces throughout the ceremony, focusing on the immigrant experience, black womanhood and female representation in theatre. During her performance, Girls Be Heard member Veronica Marks said, “When I thought theater was 20 years behind, Hamilton pushed it 50 years ahead … Hamilton proved that theater is for all the people who have never seen themselves in it. I realized that not only is theater filled with possibility but that it IS possibility. Not only that it demands reinvention but that WE have the power to reinvent it.” Accepting the award, Lin-Manuel said he had been overwhelmed and humbled by the girls’ performances, which made him feel “the tide was coming in.”