NEW YORK CITY: The American Theatre Wing has announced the recipients of the 2017 Jonathan Larson Grants, which are awarded to emerging book writers, lyricists, and composers. This year’s winners are Ben Bonnema; Michael R. Jackson; Maggie-Kate Coleman and Erato A. Kremmyda; and Ty Defoe and Tidtaya Sinutoke. The writers and writing teams will each receive $10,000 at a private event on March 6 in New York City.
“The opportunity to provide significant support to promising young musical theatre creators is one that we at the Wing hold very dear,” said American Theatre Wing president Heather Hitchens in a statement. “These courageous and bold new voices are the future of our industry, and their work will continue to enrich the lives of theatre lovers for years to come.”
The recipients were selected by a panel which included Jason Eagan, Jill Furman, Jason Michael Webb, and David Zippel.
Bonnema is a composer-lyricist. Projects include Boys Who Tricked Me, One Way with Christopher Staskel, The Apple Boys with book by Jonothon Lyons, and The Lost Girl with Ariana Rose, among others. He won the 2011 ASCAP Foundation Frederick Loewe Award, and is currently serving as Marc Shaiman’s music assistant. He holds a B.A. in music composition from Whitworth University and an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Jackson is a composer, lyricist, and book writer. He is an alum of the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, the Ars Nova Uncharted Writers Group, and is a Sundance Theatre Institute Composer Fellow. He was a finalist for the 2016 Jonathan Larson Award, and is a 2016-17 Dramatist Guild Fellow. He holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting and musical theatre writing from NYU.
Defoe is a lyricist, book writer/playwright, and performer from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. He participated in the 2015 Johnny Mercer Songwriter Project, and the Robert Rauschenberg Residency program in 2016. He is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. Defoe is an alumn of CalArts, Goddard, and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Sinutoke is a composer, writer, and musician from Thailand. She participated in the 2014 Composer-Librettists Studio at New Dramatists, the 2015 Johnny Mercer Songwriter Projects, the 2015 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) IAM Mentoring Program, the 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and the 2016-2017 Etm Con Edison Composer-in-Residence. She is a proud member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. She holds a MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Defoe and Sinutoke have worked together on Clouds are Pillows for the Moon, Hart Island Requiem, Red Pine, and The Way They Live, among others.
Coleman is a playwright, book writer, and lyricist. She was a 2015 MacDowell Fellow 2015, and holds a B.A. from Ithaca College and a MFA from NYU’s Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Kremmyda is a composer from Greece, and has been a guest composer at Yale and Columbia, is a Fulbright Fellow, and an Anna Sosenko Trust grant recipient. She holds a MFA from NYU’s Musical Theatre Writing Program, and an M.M. in Film Scoring from NYU. Coleman and Kremmyda’s past projects include Field Trip: A Climate Cabaret, Hotel Mediteranee, and The Way They Live, among others. Coleman and Kremmyda are currently working on Marie in Tomorrowland with Sam Pinkleton, which has been developed through the Civilians R&D Group, The Orchard Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and Catwalk Institute.
In addition to the cash prizes, the Wing will provide resources for the artists to advance their work.
A fully produced reading of Coleman and Kremmyda’s work will be presented by the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University.
Michael R. Jackson, and Ty Defoe and Tidtaya Sinutoke’s works will be presented at Adelphia University Performing Arts Center, Jonathan Larson’s alma mater, as part of the university’s Larson Legacy Concert Series.