A Note from the Director
Lin-Manuel Miranda is everywhere these days. His work has risen beyond the world of theatre alone, and has transcended pop culture. He was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People last year, and his new hit musical, Hamilton, is only the second musical in history to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He and his work have spoken to audiences of all ages, races, and backgrounds, and he continues to break new ground with each project he undertakes. In the Heights was the first show that he won a Tony Award for, and I was in the Broadway audience for the show before it won the Tony for Best Musical in 2008. When I bought my ticket to the show, I really had no idea what to expect. "Go see In the Heights," a friend had told me. "It has rap in it, I think you'll dig it." That's all I had going in. Walking out though, I had been changed. It had broken every expectation I had about what a Broadway musical could be....and I knew I had to work on the show one day.
Flash forward ten years, and I am finally getting the chance to direct this wonderfully beautiful show about "Home, family, and finding where you belong." In the meantime, I have experienced a lot of life, had two young men who I taught and directed end up in Lin's shows on Broadway, co-founded a professional theatre company, worked with scores of students in helping to develop their love of the theatre, and watched my own two children grow into the most amazing young people I could ever imagine (and both HUGE fans of this show, and Lin too.) All things in their time, I believe, and I am thrilled in my new position as Director of McAdory Theatre, to have the opportunity to mount this show with this group of young performers. I feel like everyone associated with this project has been transformed in some way by it, and it has been a fantastically challenging, and rewarding, production for our growing department. Since my arrival at McAdory, it has been our goal to continue to raise the bar in terms of what our audiences can expect when they come to our theatre, and to also raise the bar for what we expect from ourselves and the impact we want to make on our community. With In the Heights, we have taken another huge step forward in making our goals a reality for McAdory Theatre. We are here to make magic, and to never stop growing in our pursuit of theatrical excellence.
I am so proud of all the students involved in this show, both onstage and behind the scenes. It has been a huge undertaking and has definitely been a labor of love. This show is TOUGH, ladies and gentlemen, and McAdory's student thespians have done a remarkable job in bringing it to life. We hope that you will share with us in the message of In the Heights - that sometimes, what you need is right in front of you, and that home, family, and finding where you belong, are what life is all about. As a teacher, and a father, I cannot imagine a better story to tell with my students. We all want to find "our island," that special place where we can know that our life matters, and that the people surrounding us are on our side, ready to stand with us through all the crazy ups and downs life can throw our way. Together, working on this show, we have all found those very things. A place to belong. A family. A home. Now, we share that with all of you. Thank you for being an important part of this journey with us through "a couple days in the life of what it's like in Washington Heights." I think you'll enjoy it. I am sure it will touch your hearts, and that there is something for each of us to take with us from this story. Please carry us with you when you go. Take the message of our show, this story, and the magic we are making at McAdory out into the world and share it with everyone you know. Big things are happening here at McAdory Theatre, and we are so grateful that you are all here - HOME - with us.
All the Best,
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