Artistic director Eric Schaeffer announced the news on June 11. Rosenblum's credits include Einstein's Dreams and Fermat's Last Tango; Schmidt's acclaimed musicals include Adding Machine and A Minister's Wife. Details about the writers' full productions, including the collaborators and dates, will be announced in the future.
In December 2011, Rosenblum and Schmidt were awarded "honoree grants" and shared selections from projects in development at a special performance held at Signature Theatre. Now, they are commissioned writers in The Next Generation program for emerging musical writers.
"After a [2011-12] season that featured five world-premiere productions, Signature is proud to announce two new musical commissions for our future seasons," Schaeffer said in a statement. "It is a testament to our commitment to the future of the American musical. We're thrilled to add these wonderfully gifted artists to the writers working with Signature."
The AMVP was founded in 2006 with a grant from The Shen Family Foundation, the not-for-profit which supports ambitious musical theatre in the tradition of the works of Stephen Sondheim. The AMVP is the largest single musical-theatre commissioning and producing initiative of any U.S. theatre. It has commissioned 14 works to date — nine under "The Next Generation" umbrella, which supports emerging composers.
"We could not be more pleased with how the American Musical Voices Project has grown since its inception just six years ago," Mary Jo and Ted Shen said in a statement. "With programs such as this, Signature continues to be a national leader in supporting new voices and innovative works, ensuring a rich future for the art form that is the American musical." Earlier Next Generation commission recipients were Matt Conner, Adam Gwon, Gabriel Kahane, Peter Foley, Marisa Michelson, Chris Miller and Scott Davenport Richards. In August 2011, the AMVP Next Generation came to fruition with full productions in the AMVP Repertory Series — Conner's The Hollow and Gwon's The Boy Detective Fails, in rotating repertory. The AMVP Repertory Series — billed as the first of its kind in the American theatre — launched Signature's 22nd season.
For more about AMVP, visit signature-theatre.org.