Fred Ebb's Will Creates Musical Theatre Awards for Rising Songwriters | Playbill

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News Fred Ebb's Will Creates Musical Theatre Awards for Rising Songwriters The late Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb, in his will, stipulated for the formation of The Fred Ebb Foundation, which will issue of yearly prize to a young composer or lyricist.

At a Nov. 15 Broadway celebration of Ebb's life and work, Ebb's nephew, Mitchell Bernard, announced that among the foundation's initiatives would be a $50,000 annual award to musical theatre writers, as well giving grants to Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS.

The newly-created prize is in the tradition of The Ed Kleban Foundation's Ed Kleban Award, created in the will of the late A Chorus Line lyricist.

The Kleban Award is presented annually to book writers and lyricists.

The Jonathan Larson Foundation's grants also support the work of musical theatre writers, in the name the late composer-lyricist-librettist Jonathan Larson, who penned Rent.

Winners of Klebans or Larsons often get extra recognition and added credibility in the theatre community, to say nothing of money in the bank — prompting some to quit day jobs and focus on creative writing. Winners are generally encouraged to use the money as they need it, whether toward readings and stagings, or to live off of while they write.

More details about the Fred Ebb Foundation are expected to be announced.

Fred Ebb wrote lyrics to John Kander's music for such musicals as Cabaret, Chicago, The Rink, Zorba, The Happy Time, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Woman of the Year, Skin of Our Teeth, Steel Pier, Flora the Red Menace and The Act. He died Sept. 11, 2004. The Nov. 15 memorial was held at Broadway's Ambassador Theatre, home of the smash revival of Chicago

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