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New Date Announced For 17th Annual Fred Ebb Award Presentation

The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success.

New Date Announced For 17th Annual Fred Ebb Award Presentation

The Fred Ebb Foundation announced today a new date for the presentation of the seventeenth annual Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical theatre songwriters. The award, named in honor of the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb, will be presented to the team of Isabella Dawis & Tidtaya Sinutoke by Heidi Blickenstaff and Julia Murney on Monday May 2nd from 6-8pm at a by-invitation-only ceremony at Bond 45. The ceremony was previously postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success. The award is meant to encourage and support aspiring songwriters to create new works for the musical theatre. The prize includes a $60,000 award. The Fred Ebb Foundation is funded by royalties from Mr. Ebb's vast catalogue of work. Past winners include John Bucchino (2005), Steve Lutvak & Robert L. Freedman (2006), Peter Mills (2007), Adam Gwon (2008), Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich (2009), Douglas J. Cohen (2010), Jeff Blumenkrantz (2011), Sam Willmott (2012), Michael Kooman & Christopher Dimond (2013), Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen (2014), Stacey Luftig & Phillip Palmer (2015), Thomas Mizer & Curtis Moore (2016), Shaina Taub (2017), Will Reynolds & Eric Price (2018), Angela Sclafani and Benjamin Velez (2019), and Ben Bonnema & Christopher Staskel and Michael R. Jackson (2020).

The selection panel is comprised of Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard, actress Ann Harada, music director David Loud, and actress Amy Spanger. Each year, the Foundation also makes a donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.


ISABELLA DAWIS

is a Filipina-American playwright and performer. As a librettist, she currently holds a 2021-23 Composers and the Voice Fellowship with the American Opera Project. Her work with composer Tidtaya Sinutoke includes Half the Sky (Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award, 5th Avenue Theatre Digital Radio Play/First Draft Commission, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Theater Mu's New Eyes Festival, Theater Latté Da's NEXT Festival, Richard Rodgers Award Finalist, O'Neill NMTC Finalist) and Sunwatcher (The Civilians' R&D Group, Goodspeed's Johnny Mercer Writers Grove, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Global Forms Festival, Ancram Opera House Summer Play Lab, Tofte Lake Center's National Emerging Artists Program). Isabella was a 2019-2020 Rockwell Scholar at the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts. Her writing has also been featured/supported by the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook, Musical Theatre Factory, 24 Hour Viral Musicals, New York Theatre Barn, Coalition of Asian American Leaders, Broadway Buskers, Central Square Theater, the Skeleton Rep, and the Schubert Club. As a singer and actor, Isabella has performed with Theater Mu (peerless, opposite sister Francesca), the Center for Contemporary Opera (Sweat), the New York Philharmonic Biennial (soprano soloist), the Minnesota Opera, and more. She holds a B.M. summa cum laude in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, with additional vocal study at New England Conservatory. isabelladawis.com


Tidtaya Sinutoke

is a Thai musical theatre composer, writer, and musician based in New York City. Originally from Thailand, educated and living in America, her music reflects a life-long multicultural journey. Her writing celebrates Asian/-American women and immigrant stories, through combining contemporary musical theatre sounds with traditional world music tonality. Composition credits include Half the Sky (The 5th Avenue Theatre's First Draft Commission & 20/21 Digital Season); Sunwatcher (The Civilians R&D Group, Ancram Opera House Play Lab, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Global Forms Festival); and Dear Mr. C (NYFA's City Artist Corps Grant). She was awarded the 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant, the 2020 Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award, the 2020 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, the 2021-2023 Composers and the Voice Fellowship with the American Opera Project, and the Playwrights Realm's 2021 International Theatermakers Award. Her works have been supported by the Composer-Librettist Studio at New Dramatists, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, EtM Con Edison Composer-in-Residence, Drama League, Tofte Lake Center, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and the Kurt Weill Foundation. A proud member of ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, Maestra, MUSE, and Thai Theatre Foundation. BM: Berklee College of Music; MFA: NYU. tidtayasinutoke.com

As a writer, lyricist, composer and director, Fred Ebb made incalculable contributions to the New York theatrical community. Mr. Ebb is a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Olivier and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award winning recipient. Fred Ebb's first professional songwriting assignment came in 1953 when he and Phil Springer were hired by Columbia Records to write a song for Judy Garland called "Heartbroken." Mr. Ebb was introduced to composer John Kander in 1964 by music publisher Tommy Valando and became one of the most legendary songwriting teams in American history. The first successful collaboration was on the song "My Coloring Book," recorded by Barbra Streisand. Their second theatrical collaboration, Flora, the Red Menace, created a star out of Liza Minnelli in her Tony Award-winning Broadway debut. In 1966, their collaboration Cabaret, opened and received seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score. A 1972 movie version of Cabaret starring Liza Minnelli was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won eight awards and was nominated for nine Golden Globe Awards and won three including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. The same year, the songwriting team wrote a number of songs for Minnelli's television special "Liza With a Z," which received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Popular Music. In 1975, the two wrote the Broadway musical Chicago, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The musical was successfully revived 20 years later at City Center ENCORES! and subsequently transferred to Broadway where it is currently the longest running revival in Broadway history. In 1977, the team collaborated with Martin Scorsese on the movie New York, New York; the title song was introduced by Minnelli and later recorded by Frank Sinatra becoming the unofficial theme song of New York City. The Minnelli Broadway vehicle The Act also opened that year. After a four-year absence, Mr. Ebb and Mr. Kander returned with Woman of the Year (1981), The Rink (1984), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (1985) and Steel Pier (1997). They were honored by the Kennedy Center with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Miramax's 2002 feature film Chicago was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture and was nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards and won three, including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.

At the time of Mr. Ebb's passing, he and Mr. Kander were at work on several new musicals. Curtains, starring David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk, debuted at CTG/Ahmanson Theatre in 2006 and came to Broadway in 2007, receiving a Tony Nomination for Best Musical as well as a Best Score nomination for Kander & Ebb. In 2007, All About Us was staged at the Westport Country Playhouse. The Scottsboro Boys opened on Broadway in 2010 and received 12 Tony Nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score, and in 2016 concluded a run in the West End at the Garrick Theatre. Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes's Tony Award winning production of Cabaret returned to Broadway in 2014, with Alan Cumming reprising his role as the Emcee and Three-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams in her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles. The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and George Hearn, received a staging at DC's Signature Theatre in 2008, a concert staging in NYC in the fall of 2011, and a production in Williamstown, starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees and directed by John Doyle. In the spring of 2015, The Visit opened on Broadway and received five Tony nominations, including Best Musical and Best Score for Kander & Ebb.



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