The American Theatre Wing is pleased to announce that the 2020 Jonathan Larson® Grant recipients are The Bengsons (Music and Lyrics), Anna K. Jacobs (Music and Lyrics), Rona Siddiqui (Music and Lyrics) and Benjamin Velez (Music and Lyrics). Each recipient will receive an unrestricted grant of $10,000 as well as additional support in the form of residencies, concerts and recording grants. The grants will be presented to each recipient by the American Theatre Wing at a private event in New York City on Monday, March 23 that will feature special performances of their work.

“Each year our panel of judges takes on the difficult task of choosing, from among hundreds of applicants, the artists who best embody Jonathan’s creative spirit and have the potential to take musical theatre to new heights,” said American Theatre Wing President & CEO Heather Hitchens. “Over the years, Larson Grant winners have gone on to garner 41 Tony Nominations, 6 Tony Awards®, 10 Obie Awards®, 6 Grammys, and 2 Oscars so we make this announcement with particular pride and excitement each year knowing the impact that Jonathan Larson and his legacy grant recipients will have on our industry.”

To continue the Tony Award-winning composer’s dream of infusing musical theatre with a contemporary, joyful, urban vitality, the Jonathan Larson Grants honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers. 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 their creative endeavors.

This year, all four 2020 Jonathan Larson Grants recipients will receive a $2,500 Saw Island Foundation Recording Grant. In addition, the Wing has partnered with The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University and the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center each providing opportunities such as residencies and concerts featuring the recipients’ work.

Recipients were selected by an expert panel consisting of Composer/Lyricist/Playwright César Alvarez (2016 Larson Grant recipient), Playwright/Composer/Lyricist Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop; 2017 Larson Grant recipient), Composer/Lyricist for theatre and film Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; two-time Larson Recipient 1999 and 2005), President and CEO of MANM Productions Terry Nardozzi, CEO of the Princess Grace Foundation Brisa Trinchero, Producer Lia Vollack (Almost Famous, MJ The Musical), CEO of Zuckerberg Media and Producer/Investor Randi Zuckerberg (The Inheritance; Hadestown; Oklahoma!).

Since the program’s launch in 1997:

  • More than 150 artists have been served.
  • Over $730,000 in direct support has been distributed.
  • Recipients have written nearly 600 new musicals and over 12,000 new songs.
  • Recipients have won a Pulitzer, Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, Oliviers, Tonys and Obies.

Previous grant recipients include Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Prom, Elf), Shaina Taub (The Devil Wears Prada), Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land), Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde: The Musical), Joe Iconis (Be More Chill), Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), and many more.