The Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation honored five musical theatre writers and three organizations for its 2002 awards. The winners were given their awards at a Feb. 14 luncheon in New York City.
The five individuals — selected from over 150 applicants — receiving unrestricted cash gifts between $4,000-$15,000 are composer-lyricist Debra Barsha (composer and co-lyricist of the Public Theatre's upcoming Radiant Baby and ASCAP Popular Songwriter's Award winner for every year from 1995-2001); composer Peter Jones (writer composer of One and One Make Two; the first-ever librettist honored, Julia Jordan (who contributed the one-act, Mice, to 3hree); librettist-lyricist Michael Korie (Doll, the upcoming Meet Mister Future and The Grapes of Wrath); composer-librettist-lyricist Peter Mills (The Taxi Cabaret and The Flood).
Institutions receiving $2,500 each are Signature Theatre (Arlington, Virginia), The Lark Theatre Company (NYC) and Page Seventy-Three Productions (NYC).
The Feb.14 luncheon for the Jonathan Larson Foundation Awards included performances of works by 2001 Larson winners John Bucchino (3hree), Mindi Dickstein and Daniel Messe (Little Women), Robert and Willie Reale (Once Around the City), Scott Richards (Cobb) and Amanda Yesnowitz. Performers on hand to honor this year's winners were Raul Espárza, Molly Ringwald, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Scott Burkell, and Gilles Chiasson.
The foundation and awards are named for the late composer-lyricist who died prematurely of a misdiagnosed heart ailment in 1996 prior to the Off-Broadway opening ofRent. The show went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and the Best Musical Tony Award and has enjoyed international success. — by Ernio Hernandez
and Kenneth Jones