BWW TV: The Latest Lyricists- Meet the 2018 Winners of the Kleban Prize

The Kleban Foundation just presented the 28th Annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre. Adjudication in the 2018 Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre lyricist category resulted in a tie between Alan Schmuckler and Amanda Yesnowitz, and the 2018 Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist has been awarded to Christian Duhamel.

Since its inception, Kleban Prize winners have been selected by judging panels comprised of the theatre's most respected artists and administrators. The judges making the final determination this year were Tony-nominated actress Marin Mazzie(The King & I, Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime, Passion),Tony-nominated composer and lyricist Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), and author and professor Laurence Maslon (American Musicals; Broadway: The American Musical, Associate Chair/Arts Professor, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts).

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 musical A Chorus Line. Kleban's will made provisions for two annual prizes, which in recent years have totaled $100,000 each, payable over two years, to be given to the most promising lyricist and librettist in American Musical Theatre. For 28 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 28 years, the annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has awarded approximately $5,000,000 to 63 artists who 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 (War Paint, Grey Gardens), 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 28 years of Kleban Prize winners, see the list at the end of this document.


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