2021 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipients Announced

This year's recipients include Grace McLean, Zeniba Now, Kit Yan, Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Laura Grill Jaye, and The Lazours.

By: Feb. 11, 2022

The Jonathan Larson Grant is an unconditional annual investment in individual talent. The grant is awarded to musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists, or writing teams, early in their career, to support artistic endeavors and safeguard long-term music writing careers.

The 2021 recipients have been announced. Learn more about them below!

Grace McLean

Grace McLean is a performer, writer and composer. Broadway: Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Off-Broadway and Regional include New Group, MCC, LCT3, The Public, Vineyard, La MaMa, BAM, Weston Playhouse, ART, Williamstown Theatre Festival. TV: The First Lady (Showtime), The Other Two (HBO Max). Her first musical In The Green earned her a Richard Rodgers Award for her writing and a Lortel for her performance. Grace McLean & Them Apples performed in the 2015 and 2016 seasons of Lincoln Center's American Songbook, and Grace toured Pakistan and Russia as an artistic ambassador with the US State Department. Writer-in-residence at Lincoln Center, one of Broadway Women's Fund's Women to Watch ('21), Civilians R&D Group ('19-'20), MacDowell Fellow ('18), Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award ('17). The original cast recording for In The Green and EPs Make Me Breakfast and Natural Disaster are available now.

Kit Yan

Kit Yan is a transgender Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Kit is a 2021 Kleban Prize recipient for Libretto, a 2021 Sundance IDP Fellow and grantee, a Vivace Award recipient for big ideas in musical theater, a former Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, Playwright's Center fellow, Company One/Pao Arts Fellow, Lincoln Center Writer in residence, Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and MacDowell Fellow.

Their films have been shown at OUTfest, CAAMfest, The LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, and The Asian American International Film Festival among many others.

Kit's works include INTERSTATE and MISS STEP two queer and trans musicals written with Melissa Li, and QUEER HEARTACHE a solo show in poetry, among many others.

Kit's forthcoming productions and commissions include work with Playwrights Horizons, OSF, East West Players, and San Diego Repertory Theater.

Their work has been supported/produced by the American Repertory Theater, MCC, Keen Company, the Smithsonian, NAMT, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Mixed Blood, and Diversionary Theater.

Shayok Misha Chowdhury & Laura Grill Jaye

Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a many-tentacled writer, director, and music-maker based in Brooklyn. Currently: Misha is writing PUBLIC OBSCENITIES (Soho Rep, NAATCO), a new bilingual play, and RHEOLOGY (HERE Arts), a concert-memoir-physics-symposium. Recently: BROTHER, BROTHER (New York Theatre Workshop) with Aleshea Harris; MUKHAGNI (Under the Radar) with Kameron Neal; HOW THE WHITE GIRL GOT HER SPOTS AND OTHER 90s TRIVIA (Joe's Pub, Ars Nova) with Laura Grill Jaye. Misha and Laura have written many musicals together; their current collaboration, BLOOD OLEANDER, reimagines a century-old Bengali drama in Tennessee coal country. Misha is also the creator of VICHITRA, a series of sound-driven, cinematic experiments including IN ORDER TO BECOME (Bushwick Starr), which he is developing into a queer Carnatic opera. He was a soloist and collaborator on the Grammy-winning album CALLING ALL DAWNS and has been awarded fellowships from Sundance, Fulbright, NYSCA/NYFA, Jerome, New York Theatre Workshop, and Kundiman. MFA: Columbia.

Laura Grill Jaye is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, improviser, educator, performer, and music director. She is half of the musical-writing duo "Grill and Chowder" with Shayok Misha Chowdhury. Their work has been seen or developed at Ars Nova, New York Theatre Workshop, SPACE on Ryder Farm, NYMF, HERE Arts Center, and Joe's Pub @ The Public Theater. With the Laura Grill Band, Laura has written and produced two records, NEVER BEFORE and TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS, and toured nationally. The Boston Globe called her original music "jump jazz, barroom rock, chamber folk, and downright infectious." She has collaborated with Jacob Collier, Audra McDonald, Luciana Souza, and Jason Moran. Laura received her MM in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory and her BM in Jazz Voice and Composition from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She is on faculty at Meridian Academy in Boston and MIT's Music and Theater Arts program.

The Lazours

Daniel and Patrick Lazour are brothers, musicians, and music theatre writers. Their musical We Live in Cairo premiered at the American Repertory Theater in May 2019 directed by Taibi Magar; and an album of its music Flap My Wings (Songs from We Live in Cairo) was, by the grace of G-d, recorded in quarantine and features major activist-songwriters from the Arab world. They're developing Night Side Songs-a sing-along about cancer treatment, patients and caretakers-with the American Repertory Theater and Harvard University. Their movie musical Challenger: An American Dream is about the 1986 shuttle explosion and the Republican fallacy, and their 60-minute epic song Romulus & Remus, is based on Rome's foundation myth. They are working with Ritesh Batra to adapt his film The Lunchbox for the stage. They thank Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Goodspeed, MacDowell, UCross, Dramatists Guild Foundation, and Yaddo for giving them space to work. They thank their friends at New York Theatre Workshop and are grateful to be Teaching Artists with Lincoln Center Theater. They also thank anybody who listens to their music-the most generous of those being their parents, Paul and Nel. @frereslazour

Zeniba Now

Zeniba Now is a musical storyteller and artscientist from Los Angeles, CA. Her work aims to inspire magic and possibility in human consciousness. Along with this brilliant honor, Z is also the winner of the 2020 Richard Rodgers Award, the 2021 Vivace Award, a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow, 2017 Alumni Residency Writer for #BARS at The Public, and West High's Funniest Senior. Zeniba is a highly collaborative artist working in a variety of mediums. You can connect with her productions, performances, and releases by visiting her website

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