Composers Angela Sclafani and Benjamin Velez will receive the 2019 Fred Ebb Award, which recognizes excellence in aspiring musical theatre creators. Tony nominee Kate Baldwin will present the award from the Fred Ebb Foundation in association with Roundabout Theatre Company at an invite-only ceremony, to be held at the American Airlines Theatre December 2.
This year’s selection panel for the award was comprised of Montego Glover and Kirsten Scott, songwriter Sheldon Harnick, music director David Loud, and Foundation trustee Mitchell S. Bernard.
A 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant finalist, Scalfani has developed numerous song cycles, the most being Passion Project (vol.1), which premiered at The Green Room 42 this past September. Her first full-length musical, The Other Side of Paradise, premiered in 2017 as a part of Ars Nova's ANT Fest.
Velez was also a Jonathan Larson Grant finalist in 2017 and an Ebb Award finalist back in 2012. He has written several musicals, including Borderline, recently workshopped at the 2019 O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, and Kiss My Aztec, which he wrote alongside John Leguizamo, Tony Taccone, and David Kamp, ran earlier this year at La Jolla Playhouse.
The foundation is named for celebrated Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb, who along with composer John Kander, wrote the scores for musicals such as Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman. Previous recipients of the Fred Ebb Award include songwriting team Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen, Adam Gwon, and Shaina Taub.