The American Theatre Wing announced that the 2018 Jonathan Larson Grants recipients are Jay Adana (music and lyrics), Andrew R. Butler and Andrew Farmer (music, lyrics, and book), Emily Kaczmarek and Zoe Sarnak (music, lyrics, and book), and Mark Sonnenblick (music and lyrics).
The grants, named for the late, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Rent, are given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists, and book writers. This year's recipients, who will receive unrestricted grants of $10,000 each, as well as additional support in the form of residencies, concerts, and recording grants, will be honored March 19 at the WNYC Greene Space. The private event will feature performances of the recipients’ work.
The selection panel included two-time Tony-winning actor Patti LuPone, HERE Arts Center Artistic Director Kristin Marting, and two-time Tony-winning producer Scott Sanders.
"Nothing in this world thrills me so much as new music. When that music is as accomplished, relatable, enjoyable, and eminently singable as what these composers and lyricists have delivered, well—let’s just say the future of the American musical is secure in the hands of such exemplary young artists,” said LuPone in a statement.
“The Jonathan Larson Grants are an integral part in the early development of some of Broadway’s youngest and brightest theatre makers—from Tom Kitt to Dave Malloy to Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. The enhanced wrap-around support these grants offer—including residencies, concerts, and additional recording grants—ensure these artists’ work will continue to enrich the lives of theatre lovers for years to come,” added Heather Hitchens, president & CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
All four recipients will also receive a $2,000 Saw Island Foundation Recording Grant.
The American Theatre Wing, in partnership with Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, is awarding Adana and Kaczmarek and Sarnak with an evening of performance featuring their work as part of their Larson Legacy Concert Series; Butler and Farmer will receive a fully produced reading of their show via the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University.
Past recipients of the Larson Grants include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer), Daniel Messe and Nathan Tysen (Amelie), Michael Korie (War Paint, Grey Gardens), Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), Shaina Taub (Twelfth Night), and Max Vernon (The View Upstairs).