The musicals honored this year include Kirsten A. Guenther and Ryan Scott Oliver's Alive at Ten, Aaron Jafferis and Ian Williams' Kingdom and Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias' See Rock City & Other Destinations. All three musicals will be given staged readings in Manhattan in 2008.
Alive at Ten, which is loosely based on real events, concerns "Kimberly Sharp, high school teacher, housewife and murderess with ambitions for TV stardom, who'll stop at nothing to achieve her dreams." Kingdom tells the story of two men, "one homeless and both jobless, who face the complexities of choices and struggles in a world of drug-dealing and gang warfare." See Rock City & Other Destinations is a collection of short musicals "set at various American tourist spots; each landmark introduces a new set of characters struggling to move past their fears and expectations to finally connect with their fellow travelers."
Winners were chosen by a six-member jury, under the chairmanship of Stephen Sondheim. The jury also included Lynn Ahrens, John Guare, Sheldon Harnick, Richard Maltby Jr. and John Weidman.
The Richard Rodgers Awards were endowed by the famed composer and are administered by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The awards, according to press notes, "provide financial support for productions, studio productions, or staged readings by nonprofit theatres in New York City."