The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President & CEO) announced today that the 2018 Jonathan Larson® Grants recipients are Jay Adana (music and lyrics), Andrew R. Butler & Andrew Farmer (music, lyrics, and book), Emily Kaczmarek & Zoe Sarnak (music, lyrics, and book), and Mark Sonnenblick (music and lyrics). Four prestigious, unrestricted grants of $10,000 each, as well as additional support in the form of residencies, concerts, and recording grants, totaling over $48,000, will be presented on Monday, March 19, 2018 at a private event at the WNYC Greene Space. The event will feature special performances of the recipients’ work.
This year’s recipients were selected by an expert panel consisting of two-time Tony Award®-winning actor/artist Patti LuPone, HERE Arts Center Artistic Director Kristin Marting, and two-time Tony Award®-winning producer Scott Sanders.
“Nothing in this world thrills me so much as new music. When that music is as accomplished, relatable, enjoyable, and eminently singable as what these composers and lyricists have delivered, well — let’s just say the future of the American musical is secure in the hands of such exemplary young artists,” said Patti LuPone, 2018 Jonathan Larson Grants selection panelist.
“The Jonathan Larson Grants are an integral part in the early development of some of Broadway’s youngest and brightest theatre makers – from Tom Kitt to Dave Malloy to Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. The enhanced wrap-around support these grants offer — including residencies, concerts, and additional recording grants — ensure these artists’ work will continue to enrich the lives of theatre lovers for years to come,” said Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
The Jonathan Larson Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers, help to continue Tony Award®-winning composer Jonathan Larson’s dream of infusing musical theatre with a contemporary, joyful, urban vitality. Dedicated to celebrating excellence and supporting theatre, the American Theatre Wing awards the Larson Grants to artists to recognize and showcase their work with no strings attached – except to put it to the best use possible to help further the artists’ creative endeavors.
The American Theatre Wing is dedicated to also offering Jonathan Larson Grant artists industry resources to advance their work.
All four 2018 Jonathan Larson® Grants recipients will also receive a $2,000 Saw Island Foundation Recording Grant. The Saw Island Foundation seeks to empower innovative and high-impact institutions to improve existing programs; it has created this enhancement to provide artists with additional support to help arrange for the production of new demo recordings to more fully represent the musical theater writer’s vision.
The American Theatre Wing, in partnership with Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, is awarding both Jay Adana and Emily Kaczmarek & Zoe Sarnak with an evening of performance featuring their work as part of their Larson Legacy Concert Series, which celebrates the next generation of creative artists at the college home of Jonathan Larson, class of ’82, to carry on his legacy. Additionally, Andrew R. Butler & Andrew Farmer will be receiving a fully produced reading of their show via the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University.
Past recipients of the Larson Grants include Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), Chad Beguelin & Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer), Daniel Messe & Nathan Tysen (Amelie), Michael Korie (War Paint, Grey Gardens), Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), Shaina Taub (Twelfth Night), and Max Vernon (The View Upstairs).