MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Music

The Kleban Foundation Honors New Talent

The Kleban Foundation Honors New Talent

The Kleban Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 29th Annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre. The judges declared a tie in the most promising musical theatre lyricist category between Sarah Hammond and Shaina Taub.

Charlie Sohne

Charlie Sohne

The Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist has been awarded to Charlie Sohne. The 2019 prizes will be presented on Monday, February 4, 2018, in a private ceremony (by invitation only) hosted by ASCAP and BMI at ASCAP. 

Since its inception, Kleban Prize winners have been selected byjudging panels comprised of the theatre’s most respected artistsand administrators. The judges making the final determination this year wereTony©nominated actorAlison Fraser,(The Secret Garden; Romance, Romance),Tony©nominated composer lyricistAmanda Green(Hands on a Hardbody,Bring It On The Musical),and Artistic Director of The Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA and Tony©nominated directorEric Schaeffer(Follies).
The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist of the musicalA Chorus Line.Kleban’s will made provisions for annual prizes, which in recent years have totaled $100,000 each, payable over two years, to be given tothe most promising lyricist and librettist in American Musical Theatre.For 29 years, The Kleban Prize, which has recognized and honored some of the American musical theatre’s brightest developing talents, is unique in that it is bestowed not just for an artist’s previous achievements, but for the promise of creativity to come.
Over the past 29 years, theannual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre hasawardedapproximately $6,000,000 to66 artistswho collectively have garnered four Tony Awards(with nearly 30 Tony nominations), 59 Emmy Awards,three Grammy Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, nine Outer Critic Circle Awards, four Obie Awards, two Olivier Awards, and two Pulitzer Prizes. The list of previous Kleban Prize winners includes Lisa Kron (Fun Home),Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder), David Lindsay-Abaire (Shrek), Jason Robert Brown (Parade,The Last Five Years), John Bucchino (A Catered Affair,It’s Only Life), Gretchen Cryer (I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road,The Last Sweet Days of Isaac), Michael Korie (Grey Gardens,Happiness), Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), Michael John LaChiusa (Giant, See What I Wanna See,The Wild Party), Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid) and John Weidman (Pacific Overtures,Road Show,Assassins). For a complete listing of the last 29 years of Kleban Prize winners, see the list at the end of this document.
“For nearly three decades, The Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has been one of the theatre’s most distinctive honors,” says Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr, President of the Kleban Foundation. “Ed Kleban recognized that theatrical wordsmiths had the hardest time supporting themselves while honing their craft, and so the Kleban Awards are specifically for librettists and lyricists. While other theatre awards recognize the best of the past season, The Kleban Prize celebrates work yet to be done. With a uniquely generous endowment, The Kleban Prize  identifies, celebrates and supports the most promising writing talent in the theatre, just when emerging writers need help the most. The Kleban Foundation is proud to carry Ed Kleban’s enlightened legacy into the 21st century, and to continue fostering the work of new writers, as well as supporting writers who have already begun to establish themselves. Kleban Prize winners are the  artists who are going to define the art form for years to come.”

In addition to this year’s winners, Sarah Hammond (the most promising musical theater lyricist, tie), Shaina Taub (the most promising musical theater lyricist, tie), and Charlie Sohne (the most promising musical theater librettist),  this year’s attendees include Sheldon Harnick (Tony Award and Pulitizer Prize-winning lyricist – Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me),  Jenn Colella (Come From Away), Tony nominated actor Alison Fraser (The Secret Garden; Romance, Romance), Richard Maltby, Jr. (Tony Award-winning director, conceiver, lyricist – Ain’t Misbehavin’, Baby, Miss Saigon), John Weidman (Tony-nominated librettist – Contact, Anything Goes, Assassins, Pacific Overtures), Maury Yeston (Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist – Nine, Titanic), Michael Winther (Mamma Mia!) and more.

 Sarah Hammond 

Sarah Hammond

Sarah Hammond  (2019 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre lyricist) is a playwright and musical theatre writer. Sarah wrote the book for the musical String (Village Theater World-Premiere 2018; Richard Rodgers Award; NAMT) and the book and lyrics for Theatreworks USA’s Pete the Cat (Off-Broadway, four national tours). She has been honored to receive a seven-year residency at New Dramatists, the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award, an Ars Nova Uncharted residency, commissions from Broadway Across America and EST/Sloan, and multiple MacDowell Colony residencies. Her plays include Green Girl (SPF ’08 at The Public); House on Stilts (South Coast Rep Commission); Kudzu (Trustus); and others. Current projects are Wind-Up Girl (Ars Nova Uncharted; St. Louis Rep’s Ignite Festival), a new musical about René Descartes, and Jenny Talks to Aliens (EST/Sloan commission). Sarah is an MFA graduate of playwriting at the University of Iowa and of musical theatre writing at NYU. She grew up in Hong Kong, Belgium, and South Carolina, and now lives in Queens.

 
Shaina Taub

Shaina Taub

Shaina Taub (2019 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre lyricist) is a Vermont-raised, Brooklyn-based songwriter and performer. She has the won the Jonathan Larson Grant, the Fred Ebb Award, the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, and the ASCAP Lucille and Jack Yellen Award. Taub has starred in her musical adaptations of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and As You Like It at the Public Theater’s Delacorte in Central Park, commissioned and produced for their Public Works initiative. Both musicals are receiving current and upcoming productions regionally and around the world, most recently at London’s Young Vic. She’s currently writing a musical about Alice Paul and the American women’s suffrage movement and she’s writing lyrics for the upcoming Broadway musical of The Devil Wears Prada, with music by Sir Elton John. Taub’s work was featured in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook concert series and she recently made her Carnegie Hall debut performing her music with the New York Pops. She wrote the score for and co-starred in Bill Irwin and David Shiner’s Old Hats, directed by Tina Landau at the Signature Theatre and A.C.T. Her songs have been performed by Audra McDonald and Sutton Foster, and she wrote the theme song for Julie Andrews’ Netflix series Julie’s Greenroom as well as many songs for Sesame Street. She co-wrote the opening number for the 2018 Tony Awards. She earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination as Mary in the off-Broadway run of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, and appeared in the original cast and on the cast album of Hadestown at New York Theatre Workshop. She has an ongoing concert residency at Joe’s Pub and her two solo records, Visitors and Die Happy are available at www.shainataub.com.

 
Charlie Sohne (2019 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre librettist),along with composer Tim Rosser, received a 2015 Jonathan Larson Award, ASCAP’s 2015 Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award and the 2016 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Original Score. Their show, The Boy Who Danced on Air (NAMT 2013) had its world premiere at The Diversionary Theatre and its Off-Broadway premiere at the Abingdon Theatre (directed by Tony Speciale, choreographed by Nejla Yatkin).  The show’s cast album was released by Broadway Records, featuring a bonus track performed by India.Arie. Their pilot, Truth Slash Fiction (directed by Daniel Schloss), won best comedy at SeriesFest and ITVFest, and their song cycle, With The Right Music, made its premiere with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra in February of 2018. They’re currently working on a musical adaptation of the novel Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and developing a new show commissioned by New York City Children’s Theater, Talk To Me. Tim and Charlie were also 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Fellows, members of The Civilians’ R&D Group and writers at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project and the Yale Institute for Music Theatre. Their songs have been seen at their sold-out 54 Below show, Birdland, Contemporary Classics at Seattle Rep, Cutting Edge Composers at Joe’s Pub, ALNM at Rockwell in Los Angeles, Above The Arts in London, a sold out show at Broadway au Carre in Paris, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  They are the songwriting team behind India.Arie’s single, High Above.
 
THE KLEBAN FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
André Bishop     Elliot H. Brown     Sheldon Harnick     Richard Maltby, Jr.
 
Richard Terrano    John Weidman     Maury Yeston
 
 
 
THE KLEBAN PRIZE – LIST OF WINNERS AND JUDGES
 
 
1991
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MARK CAMPBELL
Most promising musical theatre librettist: GRETCHEN CRYER
Judges: JERRY HERMAN, STEPHEN SONDHEIM, JOSEPH STEIN
 
1992
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: CRAIG CARNELIA
Judges: LEE ADAMS, MARY ROGERS, STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
 
1993
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: BARRY KLEINBORT
Most promising musical theatre librettist: LANIE ROBERTSON
Judges: JERRY BOCK, BETTY COMDEN, GRETCHEN CRYER
 
1994
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: (tie) JOE KEENAN and JIM MORGAN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: WILLIAM STRZEMPEK
Judges: SUSAN BIRKENHEAD, CRAIG CARNELIA, JACK VIERTEL
 
1995
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MARK WALDROP
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JOHN JILER
Judges: SHELDON HARNICK, CHARLES STROUSE, WENDY WASSERSTEIN
 
1996
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: GLENN SLATER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JOHN WEIDMAN
Judges: CAROL HALL, WILLIAM FINN, JONATHAN TUNICK
 
1997
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MICHAEL KORIE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: BRIAN CRAWLEY
Judges: MARTIN CHARNIN, JAMES FREYDBERG, DAVID SHIRE
 
1998
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: SARAH SCHLESINGER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) LISSA LEVIN and LUIS SANTEIRO
Judges: ELLEN FITZHUGH, JOHN MORRIS, JOHN WEIDMAN
 
1999
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: KIRSTEN CHILDS
Most promising musical theatre librettist: MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA
Judges: LYNN AHRENS, JOHN JILER, JOHN KANDER
 
2000
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: (tie) MARION ADLER, CHAD BEGUELIN,ROBERT LOPEZ/JEFF MARX and DAVID SPENCER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: STEPHEN COLE
Judges: FRED EBB, HENRY KRIEGER, WILLIAM RUSSELL
 
2001
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: (tie) JOHN BUCCHINO and PATRICK COOK
Most promising musical theatre librettist: CHARLES LEIPART
Judges: NAN KNIGHTON, MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA, GLENN SLATER
 
2002
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: JASON ROBERT BROWN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: LORI MCKELVEY
Judges: JEROME COOPERSMITH, MARVIN HAMLISCH, MARSHA NORMAN
 
2003
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: NELL BENJAMIN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: SUSAN DILALLO
Judges: ARTHUR KOPIT, CHARLES LEIPART, FRANK WILDHORN
 
2004
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: LAURENCE O’KEEFE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JULIA JORDAN
Judges: SUSAN DILALLO, WILLIAM GOLDSTEIN, LONNIE PRICE
 
2005
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DAVID JAVERBAUM
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) CHERYL L. DAVIS and KEN STONE
Judges: JULIA JORDAN, MICHAEL JOHN LACHIUSA, JEFFREY SWEET
 
2006
Most promising musical theatre lyricist (tie): ALISON LOUISE HUBBARD
and ROBERT L. FREEDMAN/STEVEN LUTVAK
Most promising musical theatre librettist:  
LAURENCE HOLZMAN/FELICIA NEEDLEMAN
Judges: CHERYL L. DAVIS, SUSAN DRURY, KEN STONE
 
2007
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: JOE ICONIS
Most promising musical theatre librettist: JEREMY DESMON
Judges: RICK ELICE, CAROL HALL, CHARLES KOPELMAN
 
2008
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) LAURA HARRINGTON
and BILL SOLLY/DONALD WARD
Judges: BETH BLICKERS, LINDA KLINE, GILBERT PARKER
 
2009
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: BETH FALCONE
Most promising musical theatre librettist: KAIT KERRIGAN
Judges: SHELDON HARNICK, THOMAS Z. SHEPARD, SHERMAN YELLEN
 
2010
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: PETER MILLS
Most promising musical theatre librettist: BARRY WYNER
Judges: CRAIG CARNELIA, SUSAN DRURY, JEFFREY SWEET
 
2011
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: ADAM GWON
Most promising musical theatre librettist: MICHELLE ELLIOTT
Judges: STEPHEN FLAHERTY, MICHAEL KORIE, DAVID ZIPPEL
 
2012
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: MARCY HEISLER
Most promising musical theatre librettist: (tie) ANDREW GERLE and MATT SCHATZ
Judges: MARSHALL BRICKMAN, TED CHAPIN, DEBRA MONK
 
2013
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DANIEL MATÉ
Most promising musical theatre librettist: ALAN GORDON
Judges: SEAN HARTLEY, HENRY KRIEGER, MICHELE PAWK
 
2014
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: NATHAN TYSEN
Most promising musical theatre librettist: ARTHUR PERLMAN
Judges: JASON DANIELEY, COLLEEN JENNINGS-ROGGENSACK, 
BILL ROSENFIELD
 
2015
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: SAM WILLMOTT 
Most promising musical theatre librettist: SAM CARNER
Judges: KERRY BUTLER, WILEY HAUSAM, DAVID SHIRE
 
2016
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: STACEY LUFTIG 
Most promising musical theatre librettist: DANIEL GOLDSTEIN
Judges:JUDITH IVEY, MICHAEL PRICE, ANDREW ZERMAN
 
2017
Most promising musical theatre lyricist: DANIEL ZAITCHIK
Most promising musical theatre librettist: LISA KRON
Judges: KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ & ROBERT LOPEZ, 
MARY TESTA, IRA WEITZMAN
 
2018
Most promising musical theatre lyricist:
(tie) ALAN SCHMUCKLERand AMANDA YESNOWITZ
Most promising musical theatre librettist:CHRISTIAN DUHAMEL
Judges: MARIN MAZZIE, DAVE MALLOY, LAURENCE MASLON
 
2019
Most promising musical theatre lyricist:
(tie) SARAH HAMMOND and SHAINA TAUB
Most promising musical theatre librettist: CHARLIE SOHNE
Judges: ALISON FRASER, AMANDA GREEN, ERIC SCHAEFFER

 

 

Music

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

More in Music

Ute Lemper Channels Marlene Dietrich

Genevieve Rafter KeddySeptember 20, 2019

Inside American Songbook Association To Life! Celebrating Sheldon Harnick With Lifetime Achievement Award

Genevieve Rafter KeddySeptember 18, 2019

Most Popular Country Lyrics, Chords and Tabs in One Place

WriterSeptember 16, 2019

Music Lyrics and Song Lyrics Finder as Remedy from Earworms

WriterSeptember 16, 2019

Jason Danieley is Young and Foolish

Suzanna BowlingSeptember 15, 2019

Nicole Henry Gives Us One Moment In Time

Suzanna BowlingSeptember 15, 2019

Kea Chan and Mao Zhang Thrill at The National Coalition To End Domestic Violence (NCADV) Fund Raiser

Suzanna BowlingSeptember 14, 2019

In Conversation With Nicole Henry and Will Nunziata

Suzanna BowlingSeptember 13, 2019

In Conversation With Jason Danieley

Suzanna BowlingSeptember 13, 2019