Photo Coverage: Sam Carner and Sam Willmott Receive 2015 Kleban Prizes!
The 25th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre lyricist has been awarded to Sam Willmott and the 25th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist has been awarded to Sam Carner. The 2015 prizes were presented yesterday, June 22, 2015, in a private ceremony hosted by ASCAP and BMI at ASCAP. BroadwayWorld was there for the presentation and you can check out photos below!
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 actorKerry Butler (Clinton The Musical, Xanadu, Hairspray); multi-arts presenter, artistic director, creative consultant, theater producer and manager Wiley Hausam (Stanford Live, Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University) and Oscar winner and Tony Award nominated composer David Shire (Baby, Big, Closer Than Ever).
The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tonyand 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 twenty-five 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 25 years, the annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has awarded approximately $5,000,000 to 62 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 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 25 years of Kleban Prize winners, see the list at the end of this document.
"For 25 years, 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. "At a time of year when so many theatre awards recognize the best of the past season, The Kleban Prize distinguishes itself by looking to the future. With a uniquely generous endowment, The Kleban Prize celebrates and supports some of the theatre's most promising writers. The Kleban Foundation is proud to carry Ed Kleban's legacy into the 21st century, having fostered over 60 emerging artists when they need support the most -- when starting out."
Photo Credit: Jessica Fallon Gordon