Buddy's Tavern is by librettist Raymond De Felitta, lyricist Alison Louise Hubbard and composer Kim Oler. Rocket Science is by librettist Patricia Cotter, lyricist Jason Rhyne and composer Stephen Weiner.
The two works were awarded staged readings. The intent of the Richard Rodgers Award "is to nurture the careers of talented composers and playwrights by enabling their musicals to be produced in New York City."
Former award recipients include Maury Yeston, Nine; Jonathan Larson, Rent; Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal, Juan Darien; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Lucky Stiff; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley, Violet.
Since 1980, 68 works have received Rodgers awards.
This year’s jury included Stephen Sondheim (chair), Lynn Ahrens, John Guare, Sheldon Harnick, David Ives, Richard Maltby, Jr., Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeanine Tesori and John Weidman. Buddy's Tavern, based upon the film "Two Family House," set in the 1950s, "tells the story of an Italian-American factory worker on Staten Island, and his quest to run his own business — a bar where he can sing his heart out to his customers. Family pressures, race relations, unexpected love, and the struggle to achieve one's dreams, come alive in this new romantic musical comedy."
Rocket Science, based on the HBO movie by Jeffrey Blitz, "tells the tale of 16-year-old Hal Hefner, life-long stutterer and oddball, and his determination to risk everything for love. Hal enters the world of high school speech and debate and learns what it means to find one's true voice."
Rodgers, elected to the Academy in 1955, endowed these awards in 1978. The awards provide financial support for productions, studio productions, and staged readings of original musicals by nonprofit theaters in New York City.
The Richard Rodgers Awards are the Academy's only awards for which applications are accepted.
Applications for the Richard Rodgers Awards may be downloaded from www.artsandletters.org.