NEW YORK CITY: The American Theatre Wing has announced the recipient of the 2015 Jonathan Larson Grants: Sam Willmott, Max Vernon, and the writing team Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne. Each recipient or team will be awarded $10,000; the grants totaled $30,000.
“The Jonathan Larson Grants give us the opportunity each year to support exciting new theatremakers and invest in the changing landscape of the American musical, one writer at a time,” Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, said in a statement.
The grants are given annually to emerging composers, lyricists and book writers, and are named after late composer/lyricist Jonathan Larson. The grants will be presented in a private event on March 23 at WNYC Greene Space.
Composing team Rosser and Sohne, who will share their $10,000 prize, have written The Boy Who Danced on Air, The Profit of Creation and the short musical Political Speeches. Their music has been performed at 54 Below, Birdland and Joe’s Pub in New York City. The two are 2014–15 Dramatist Guild Fellows.
Sam Willmott is a composer/lyricist whose works include Bhangin’ It (written with Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew), Yo, Vikings! (with Marcus Stevens), the mini-musical Scarlet Takes a Tumble and Standardized Testing—The Musical!!!! His grant also includes a week-long residency at Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab.
Max Vernon is a composer/lyricist, playwright and performer. His work include The View UpStairs and WIRED. He is currently developing musicals at Ars Nova , Theatreworks USA, the Civilians and Ma-Yi Theater Company.
Both Vernon and Willmott’s work will be featured in an evening of performances at Adelphi University’s Larson Legacy Concert Series in late 2015/early 2016.
This year’s winners were selected by a panel that included lyricist Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), composer Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and Ted Chapin (President and Executive Director of Rodgers & Hammerstein publishing company).
Past recipients of the Larson Grants include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story), Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) and Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody).