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BWW Interviews: Talking MERRILY with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Although he has been mentored by Sondheim, Miranda does not consider himself a protégé of the legendary composer’s. “What people don’t realize is that he was taught by Oscar Hammerstein II, and his main lesson is to encourage younger artists through various committees he’s on,” he says. “This is what he does. He encourages younger work. He influences the next generation. I’m one of many people who have gotten encouragement, and I’m unbelievably grateful for it. I’m one of many and I’m very proud to be a part of that.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been a longtime fan of Merrily We Roll Along, but the first time he saw the musical produced was when he went back to visit his old high school last year. “To see ‘Our Time’ performed on my high school stage was unbelievably overwhelming,” he recalls. “That’s the site where I figured out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. To see these kids singing ‘Our Time’ and facing their own world of possibilities on that stage where everything felt possible—it was very overwhelming. ‘Our Time’ will be tough to get through,” he chuckles. “I can still connect to it in a very visceral way.”

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Jena Tesse Fox Jena Tesse Fox is a lifelong theatre addict who has worked as an actress, a singer, a playwright, a director, a lyricist, a librettist, and a stage manager. While a student at Wells College, she also wrote for and edited the student newspaper, reviewing books, movies, and local theatre. By the time she graduated, Tesse knew that she was destined to be a theatre journalist, and so she is very excited to join the team of BroadwayWorld.com.