Weston Announces New Musical Award Winner

By: Feb. 06, 2019

Weston Announces New Musical Award Winner

The writing team of Jenny Giering (music), Adam Gwon (lyrics) and Karen Hartman have won the 13th Annual Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award for their new musical, ALICE BLISS.

The only award of its kind in the country, the Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award brings the creators of a promising new project together with a small ensemble of actors to rehearse, perform, and record selections from the winning score in Weston, in New York, and in the studio with Grammy winner Kurt Deutsch of Ghostlight Records.

Nominated by Kathy Evans of Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, ALICE BLISS is based on Laura Harrington's acclaimed novel. It follows Alice, a young teenager whose father is deployed to Iraq, as she navigates the challenges of growing up in a family touched by the effects of war. This musical tells the story of the family left behind and the cost of war to those who are not on the front lines.

With ALICE BLISS, says Executive Artistic Director Susanna Gellert, Giering, Gwon, and Hartman have created a beautiful study of the American family. Not only is ALICE BLISS a stunning and heart wrenching new musical, it is also a detailed and compassionate exploration of an oft overlooked story of contemporary life. We are thrilled to welcome Giering and Gwon back to Weston and to provide this opportunity to an exciting new writing team.

Jenny Giering has received the Clifton Artist in Residence at Harvard University, the Dramatists' Guild Jonathan Larson Fellowship, Constance Klinsky Prize from Second Stage Theatre, a Meet the Composer grant, and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award. She is the composer of CROSSING BROOKLYN, ALICE UNWRAPPED, THE MISTRESS CYCLE and SAINT-EX which received its world premiere at Weston in 2011.

Adam Gwon was named one of 50 to Watch by The Dramatist magazine and has received the Kleban Award, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers award, the Frederick Loewe Award, the Second Stage Theatre Donna Perret Rosen Award, the ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and the MAC John Wallowitch Award. He was awarded the Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award in 2014 for STRING. Other works include ORDINARY DAYS, OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, CAKE OFF, CLOUDLANDS, THE BOY DETECTIVE FAILS, and BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR.

Karen Hartman is a Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington, a New Dramatists alumna and past Core Member of the Playwright's Center. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the National Endowment for the Arts, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, the Helen Merrill Foundation, Space at Ryder Farm, Hedgebrook, the MacDowell Colony, the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, a Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, a Joseph A. Callaway Award from New Dramatists, a Jerome Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship. Her work includes ROZ AND RAY; THE BOOK OF JOSEPH; PROJECT DAWN; SUPERTRUE; GOLDIE, MAX, AND MILK; GUM; GOLIATH; LEAH'S TRAIN; GIRL UNDER GRAIN; and TROY WOMEN.

ALICE BLISS was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons and Stacey Mindich Productions and has been developed in part through the Weston Writers' Retreat and the Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Opera House.

Two free public concerts of ALICE BLISS will be held at the Walker Farm at Weston Playhouse on Saturday, March 2 at 4pm and 7pm. Weston Executive Artistic Director Susanna Gellert will direct the concert reading, and Kurt Deutsch of Ghostlight Records will produce the free demo recording.

Reserve your free tickets to the performances on March 2nd by visiting:


The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is a non-profit organization supported in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and an ever-growing family of individuals and organizations who believe in the impact that the performing arts makes on its community.


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