The MacArthur Foundation announced its twenty four 2015 MacArthur Fellows, commonly called “genius grants,” and among them are playwright/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda, set designer Mimi Lien, choreographer/tap dancer Michelle Dorrance and puppetry artist Basil Twist. Each $625,000 grant is paid out over the next five years.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is the creator of the ground-breaking hit Broadway musical Hamilton and the equally acclaimed In the Heights, last produced here in 2013 by Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Mimi Lien designed the ultra-realistic swimming pool deck for Red Speedo at Studio Theatre in 2013. DC audiences had a chance to see Twist’s puppetry in 2012 when Shakespeare Theatre Company, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company collaborated to produce The Basil Twist Festival.
“These 24 delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all.”
“I think of the set design as an envelope for the whole production.” Set designer Mimi Lien
“Anything is possible in puppetry.” Puppeteer Basil Twist.
“Tap dance is the first American dance form.” Dancer/choreographer Michelle Dorrance.
“I’m always thrilled when theatre gets off the Arts page and into our common conversation.” Lin-Manuel Miranda.