Daniel Henri Emond, Julian Hornik, The Kilbanes, Larry Owens, Veronica Mansour, and The Songwriting Team Of Jacinta Clusellas, Tatiana Pandiani and Melis Aker

The American Theatre Wing (ATW) is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2023 Jonathan Larson® Grant, the esteemed annual prize awarded to exceptional emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists, or writing teams.

This year’s winners are: singer and composer Daniel Henri Emond (Kill The Whale: A Musical Odyssey); composer, lyricist and librettist Julian Hornik (Tenn); composing and performing team The Kilbanes (Weightless); performer, writer and director Larry Owens (Larry Owens’ Sondheimia); composer and lyricist Veronica Mansour (Lighthouse); and the songwriting team of Jacinta Clusellas, Tatiana Pandiani and Melis Aker (Azul). Each will receive an unrestricted grant of $12,500 and a $2,085 Saw Island Foundation Recording Grant. In addition, the Wing has partnered with The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University to provide opportunities such as residencies featuring the recipients’ work.

A special concert, showcasing the past four years of Jonathan Larson® Grant winning artists, will be held on March 25 at Florence Gould Hall (55 E 59th Street). Joining this year’s recipients in the concert program are: 2022 grant winners Christie Baugher (The Fitzgeralds of St. Paul), Paris Ray Dozier (Last Stop on Market Street), and Jaime Lozano (The Yellow Brick Road); 2021 recipients Grace McLean (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, In The Green), Kit Yan (Interstate, Miss Step), Shayok Misha Chowdhury & Laura Grill Jaye (Blood Oleander), The Lazours (We Live in Cairo), and Zeniba Now (The Loophole); and 2020 recipients Anna K. Jacobs (Teeth), Benjamin Velez (Kiss My Aztec, Borderline), The Bengsons (Hundred Days), and Rona Siddiqui (Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan). Tickets are currently sold out. Please email Melissa@americantheatrewing.org to be put on the waiting list in the case of cancellations.

“This year’s recipients are a dynamic group of artists – reflecting a breadth of life experience, creativity, and ingenuity,” says Heather Hitchens. “Our panel of artists & industry professionals went through hundreds of worthy applicants, and these recipients exhibited astounding talent and skill. We’re also thrilled to present a special concert this March, showcasing the new class of recipients – in addition to those from 2022, 2021, and 2020, who won their grants during a time of uncertainty for this industry, in the wake of a global pandemic.  These incredible artists are the next generation of theater and culture-makers, and we cannot wait to see their work on stage!  It will be a night to remember.”

The 2023 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients were selected by an expert panel consisting of: Talent Agent and Partner at Artists and Representatives, Ben Sands; Writer, Composer, and Performer Eisa Davis; Talent and Literary Agent at Creative Artists Agency Kevin Lin; Tony Award-nominated director Leigh Silverman; and Tony Award-nominated Broadway actress Shoshana Bean. In addition to this year’s winners, the judges distributed Honorable Mentions to five finalists who will receive $1,000 each.

Honorable Mentions went to:

Rise and Grind (Eric Cross)
Christine Toy Johnson 
Preston Max Allen 
Ethan Lipton
Miller & Harlow (Ciera Miller and Emma Harlow)

The American Theatre Wing’s Jonathan Larson® Grants are awarded annually to exceptional, emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists, or writing teams. Recipients are given a platform to amplify stories, and free rein in the application of the grant – which serves as pivotal support to take their professional development to the next level and, in many cases, their work from creative concept to stage. The grants – named for seminal composer Jonathan Larson, who posthumously won a Pulitzer Prize and four Tony Awards – regularly serve as an indicator of who will be the next great theater-makers and culture-shapers. Past recipients include such luminaries as: Pasek & Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land), Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), Shaina Taub (Suffs), Chad Beguelin and Matt Sklar (The Prom, Elf), Amanda Green (Bring it On, Mr. Saturday Night), Nell Benjamin (Mean Girls, Legally Blonde), Matt Gould (Lempicka, Invisible Thread), Laurence O’Keefe (Heathers, Legally Blonde), Dave Malloy (…The Great Comet), Nathan Tysen (Paradise Square), Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide …), Glenn Slater (Sister Act, School of Rock), Joe Iconis (Be More Chill), Kait Kerrigan (The Great Gatsby), Bree Lowdermilk (The Mad Ones), and more. 

2023 Jonathan Larson Grant Winners 

Artists Websites: