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Larson Grants

The Jonathan Larson Grant Recipients

The Jonathan Larson Grants were established in 1997. The grants have recognized and supported nearly one hundred composers, lyricists, bookwriters, and organizations to honor emerging talent and infuse the musical theatre community with new work.

Redler and Cooper Sara Cooper and Zach Redler
$12,500 grant, performance at the April 7th event in NYC, and a week-long residency at Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab.

Sara Cooper is a bookwriter, lyricist, and playwright. With composer Zach Redler, Sara wrote The Memory Show, which was produced Off-Broadway by Transport Group and won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2013, and Loving Leo, which had its first workshop production this past summer at Weston Playhouse after winning the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award in 2012. The Memory Show was developed at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University and also ran in Seoul, South Korea, was in the NAMT Festival of New Musicals, and had its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company as a part of William Finn's Musical Theatre Lab.

Sara and Zach have also written several opera pieces and are currently writing their third full-length musical together, Putting Off Goodbye. Sara's other musicals have appeared in the NYMF Next Link Project, in the New York International Fringe Festival, and at Theater for the New City. Sara's play Things I Left On Long Island has had several readings Off-Off-Broadway in the past year after winning a grant from the Queens Council on the Arts. As an educator, Sara has taught for organizations including New York University, City College, Theater for the New City, and Lincoln Center

Zach Redler is a composer, pianist, vocal coach, music copyist, musicologist, a member of ASCAP and Local 802 and a graduate of Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, at which he met bookwriter/lyricist Sara Cooper. Zach's research and study of Auschwitz victim Marcel Tyberg's life and music has culminated in eight world premieres and two distinguished grants. Zach is currently preparing and editing Tyberg's entire body of works for Boosey and Hawkes. In addition to vocal coaching at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education, Zach is adjunct faculty teaching courses at both the Tisch School of the Arts and Steinhardt. Zach's first musical, Perez Hilton Saves the Universe written with Tim Drucker and Randy Blair, won Best Musical Fringe Festival 2008 and Best Musical in the Talkin' Broadway 2008 Summer Theatre Festival Citations.

Zach and Sara Cooper's first musical together, The Memory Show, began as their thesis project at Tisch in 2009. After the world premiere production at Barrington Stage (2010) and a nine-month run in Seoul (2012), last spring Transport Group produced it at the Duke Theater in New York for which they won an NEA Grant. Readings with the Adirondack Theater Festival (2010), Sharon Playhouse (2011) and Contemporary Traditionalists (2011) helped shape Zach and Sara's Loving Leo.

In 2012, Loving Leo won the Weston Playhouse Award and The Weston Playhouse produced its first workshop production this past summer. Zach and Sara's operatic works include a set of six monodramas (Windows) and four chamber operas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Male Identity) that were created in part at the Virginia Arts Festival (2011), NYU (2012) and through a two year Van Lier residency with American Opera Projects (2011-13). Zach has also written many sets of art songs with texts by 19th century American poets. This spring, Opera Memphis will premiere his and librettist Jerre Dye's monodrama Movin' Up in the World (part of Ghosts of Crosstown) and an excerpt from Zach and librettist Mark Campbell's new opera about Susan Smith will be performed at the Virginia Arts Festival. Currently, in addition to writing their third musical, Putting Off Goodbye, Zach and Sara are crowd sourcing for The Memory Show cast album that grammy nominated Michael Croiter of Yellow Sound Label will produce this summer.

Kamala Sankaram Shaina Taub
$12,500 grant, performance at the April 7th event, and a week-long residency at Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab.

Raised in the green mountains of Vermont, Shaina Taub is a songwriter and performer. Her band, the Shaina Taub Trio, plays regularly in New York. Shaina was Ars Nova's 2012 Composer-in-Residence, and her debut album, What Otters Do, was featured on NPR/WNYC's Best of 2011 list. She's currently writing the scores for two new musicals: There's A House, with playwright Kim Rosenstock, commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Robin, with playwright Jen Silverman, commissioned by Ars Nova. She recently signed a publishing deal with Razor & Tie and Ghostlight / Sh-K-Boom records, as the first artist in their new joint venture to represent songwriters that fuse theatrical and pop music. Her original soul-folk opera, The Daughters, has been developed by the Yale Institute of Music Theatre and was a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award. She recently played Princess Mary in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, and is currently performing in A.R.T.'s upcoming new production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Yaddo Colony and the Sundance Institute, and is an alum of NYU'S Tisch School of the Arts.

Read the Press Release here >>



Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, and Kamala Sankaram
Watch highlights from the 2013 Grants presentation on YouTube >>
Meet the 2013 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients (words and music) >>


Dan Collins and Julianne Wick Davis
Watch highlights from the 2012 Grants presentation on YouTube >>


Joshua Cohen and Marisa Michelson
Michelle Elliott and Danny Larsen
Jack Lechner, Andy Monroe and Michael Zam


Peter Lerman
Daniel Maté
Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond


Mark Allen
Dave Malloy
Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore
Ryan Scott Oliver


Gaby Alter
Susan DiLallo
Jordan Mann
Jeff Thomson
Joel New
Jason Rhyne
City Theatre
   for An Infinite Ache by Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda


Matt Gould
Melissa Li and Abe Rybeck
Robert Maddock
J. Oconer Navarro
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Mike Pettry
St. Ann's Warehouse
   for Must Don't Whip 'Um by Cynthia Hopkins


Andrew Gerle and Eddie Sugarman
Lance Horne
Joseph Iconis
Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk
Alison Loeb
Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda
New York Shakespeare Festival
   for Passing Strange by Mark Stewart and Heidi Rodewald


Neil Bartram
Nathan Christensen and Scott Murphy
Michael Cooper and Hyeyoung Kim
Steven Lutvak
Glenn Slater and Stephen Weiner
Lark Play Development Center
   for Barnstormer by Doug Cohen and Cheryl Davis


Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer
Mark Campbell
Amanda Green
Cynthia Hopkins
Gihieh Lee
Raw Impressions Theatre
Village Theatre
   for Feeling Electric (now Next to Normal) by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey


Nell Benjamin
John Didrichsen
Jeffrey Stock
Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller
New Georges Theatre
   for Magic Kingdom by Jake-ann Jones and Bruce Purse
Vineyard Theatre
   for Miracle Brothers by Kirsten Childs


Debra Barsha
Peter Jones
Julia Jordan
Michael Korie
Peter Mills
Lark Theatre Company
   for Normal by Cheryl Stern, Tom Kochan and Yvonne Adrian
P73 Productions
Signature Theatre Company
   for The Unknown by Janet Allard, Jean Randich and Shane Rettig


John Bucchino
Mindi Dickstein and Daniel Messé
Laurence O'Keefe
Robert Reale and Willie Reale
Scott Davenport Richards
Amanda Yesnowitz
Children's Theatre Company
   for The Snow Queen by Ruth Mackenzie


Beth Blatt and Jenny Giering
Chad Beguelin and Matt Sklar
Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel
David Kirshenbaum
John Mercurio
David Simpatico
Adobe Theatre Company
   for A Fish Story by Erin Purcell, Gregory Jackson and Michael Garin
American Music Center
Musical Theatre Works
   for The Girl Most Likely to... by Zina Goldrich, Marcy Heisler, Denis Markell and Douglas Bernstein
O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference


Kirsten Childs
Sam Davis
Peter Foley
Ricky Ian Gordon
Steven Lutvak
Musical Theatre Works
San Diego Repertory Theatre
   for The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea by Karole Foreman and Andrew Chukerman
Seattle Childrens Theatre
West Coast Ensemble Theatre
   for The Vanishing Point by Rob Hartmann, Scott Keys and Liv Cummins


Paul Scott Goodman
Jeffrey Lunden and Arthur Perlman
Adirondack Theatre Festival
Vineyard Theatre


52nd Street Project Theatre

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