Composer-Lyricist Gwon to Receive Fourth Annual Fred Ebb Award

By Andrew Gans
November 25, 2008

The Fred Ebb Foundation in association with the Roundabout Theatre Company announced Nov. 25 that composer-lyricist Adam Gwon, whose musicals include Ordinary Days, Bernice Bobs Her Hair and Ethan Frome, has been awarded the fourth annual Fred Ebb Award.

The by-invitation-only award presentation and cocktail reception will take place Dec. 1 at 6 PM at The American Airlines Theatre's Penthouse Lounge (227 West 42nd Street).

Five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman will present Gwon with his award. The award is named in honor of the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb, who died in September 2004.

The Fred Ebb Award, according to press notes, "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 selection panel includes Mitchell S. Bernard, Sheldon Harnick, David Loud, Marin Mazzie, Tim Pinckney and Arthur Whitelaw.

The prize includes a $50,000 award. The Fred Ebb Foundation is funded by royalties from Ebb's vast catalogue of work. Ebb's Broadway shows include Curtains, Cabaret, Chicago, The Zorba, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink, The Act, Woman of the Year, The Happy Time, Steel Pier; Flora, the Red Menace and 70, Girls, 70.

In addition to the monetary prize, the Fred Ebb Foundation will produce a one-night-only showcase of Gwon's work in spring 2009.

Gwon's Ordinary Days had its world premiere at Pennsylvania Centre Stage and its U.K. premiere at the Finborough Theatre in London. He is currently working on an original musical with playwright Sarah Hammond, commissioned by Broadway Across America, and an adaptation of Joe Meno's "The Boy Detective Fails," commissioned by Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. Gwon was a 2006-07 musical theatre fellow at the Dramatists Guild and is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

For more information visit www.fredebbfoundation.org.