Nathan Tysen and Arthur Perlman Win 2014 Kleban Prizes for Musical Theatre

The Kleban Foundation just announced that the 24th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre lyricist has been awarded to Nathan Tysen and the 24th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist has been awarded to Arthur Perlman.The 2014 prizes will be presented on Monday, June 23, 2014, in a private ceremony (by invitation only) hosted by ASCAP and BMI.

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. The 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. The judges making the final determination this year were Theatre World Award winning actor Jason Danieley (Next to Normal, Curtains, The Full Monty, Candide), Colleen Jennings-Roggensack (Executive Director of Arizona State University Gammage and Assistant Vice President for Cultural Affairs) and award-winning Broadway cast recording Executive Producer turned playwright Bill Rosenfield (original cast recordings of Chicago, Avenue Q, The Last Five Years, Cabaret, Ragtime,and more).

"For over two decades, The Kleban Prize has recognized and honored the American Musical Theatre's brightest developing talents," says Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr., President of the Kleban Foundation. "The Kleban Prize is unique in that it is bestowed not just for an artist's previous achievements, but for the promise of creativity to come. In Ed Kleban's experience, young composers always seemed able to support themselves in the theatre, but promising lyricists and librettists often had to struggle. This Prize was Kleban's attempt to help promising writers when they needed support most -- when starting out."

Previous recipients of the annual Kleban Prize include 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).

NATHAN TYSEN (2014 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre lyricist)is a Brooklyn-based songwriter and performer. Musical theatre work with composer Chris Miller includes lyrics forThe Burnt Part Boys (2009 Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best New Musical), and Fugitive Songs(2008 Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Revue), both of which have cast albums available on Yellow Sound Label. Current projects include lyrics for an adaptation of the popular novel Tuck Everlasting (Book by Claudia Shear, Music by Chris Miller, Direction by Casey Nicholaw), as well as Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amelie (Book by Craig Lucas, Music by Dan Messe, Direction by Pam McKinnon). He also is writing the book and lyrics to the rock theatre piece Stillwater with his band Joe's Pet Project. Other work with Miller includes two circuses for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, and an adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's picture book The Mysteries Of Harris Burdick(Boston Globe Top Ten Pick of 2008). Nathan was a contributing lyricist to the musical revue Stars Of David, and has written material for the Broadway Inspirational Voices and BC/EFA's Gypsy of the Year. An accomplished writer and performer of children's music, Nathan has penned tunes for "Sesame Street" (2012 Daytime Emmy Award), and "The Electric Company." With composer Ryan McCall, he wrote the book and lyrics to the family holiday musical Noah's Art. They also co-developed a unique hands-on musical theatre songwriting workshop that has been presented to high school thespians at both state and international levels. Nathan has worked for over a decade writing and directing with the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts, helping to create over a dozen new musicals with young adults. He applies for many awards and grants and sometimes even wins. Thank you Richard Rodgers, Jonathan Larson, Frederick Loewe, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Daryl Roth, ASCAP, and the NEA. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. MFA: NYU GMTWP, BFA: Missouri State Univ. Nathan is originally from Salina, KS.

ARTHUR PERLMAN (2014 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre librettist)has written book and lyrics (with music by Jeff Lunden) for Wings, based on Arthur Kopit's play (Goodman Theatre in Chicago - Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work; Public Theater in New York - Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical); Another Midsummer Night, a modern adaptation/sequel of the Shakespeare play (Goodman Theatre, American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, California); Once On a Summer's Day, based on the life and work of Lewis Carroll (Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York); and The Devil In The Flesh, adapted from Raymond Radiguet's World War I novel (commissioned by the Shubert Organization - won a Richard Rodgers Development Award). Art has written five family musicals and two plays for Theatreworks USA, including adaptations of The Little Prince, Huckleberry Finnand Oliver Twist; his musical, The Civil War, was produced last summer at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. He did the script adaptation for the Tony nominated revival of Finian's Rainbow and, with composer Louis Rosen, he was a co-librettist for A Child's Garden, produced by The Melting Pot Theatre Company in New York. Current projects include adaptations of Laura Esquivel's novel,Swift As Desire, with Jeff Lunden, and John Steinbeck's The Pearl with Louis Rosen. Awards include the $25,000 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award, a Jonathan Larson® Theater Grant, as well as numerous ASCAP Awards. Art is a graduate of Brown University and the inaugural class of the MFA program in musical theater at NYU. He and his wife, Claire Gutekunst, are the proud parents of Jason and Jeremy.

Submission guidelines and an application for the 2015 Kleban Prize are available on the New Dramatists website,

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