Theater News

American Theatre Wing Announces 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipients

Four artists will receive $10,000 grants to continue their work.

César Alvarez has been named one of the 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients.
César Alvarez has been named one of the 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients.

The American Theatre Wing has announced that the 2016 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients are César Alvarez (book, music and lyrics), Nikko Benson (music and lyrics), Carson Kreitzer (book and lyrics), and Sam Salmond (book, music, and lyrics). Four grants of $10,000 each will be presented on Monday, March 21, at a private event at the WNYC Greene Space. The event will feature special performances of the recipients’ work.

"The Jonathan Larson Grants give us the opportunity each year to support exciting new theater makers and invest in the changing landscape of the American musical, one writer at a time," said Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing.

This year’s recipients were selected by an expert panel consisting of composer, lyricist, and past Larson Grant recipient Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), producer Kristin Caskey (president of Fox Theatricals and producer of Fun Home), and director Kristin Marting (artistic director of HERE Arts Center).

The Jonathan Larson Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists, and book writers, are given to artists to recognize and showcase their work with no strings attached, except to put it to the best use possible to help further the artists' creative endeavors.

César Alvarez, Nikko Benson, and Sam Salmond are also receiving the Saw Island Foundation Recording Grants, a new addition to the Jonathan Larson Grants for 2016. The Saw Island Foundation seeks to provide artists with additional support to help arrange for the production of new demo recordings to more fully represent the musical theater writer’s vision.

Carson Kreitzer is receiving a residency at Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab’s Writer’s Retreat, while Adelphi University Performing Arts Center is awarding both César Alvarez and Sam Salmond with an evening of performance featuring their work as part of their Larson Legacy Concert Series. The series celebrates the next generation of creative artists at the college home of Jonathan Larson, class of ’82, to carry on his legacy.

Other past recipients of the Larson Grants include Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer), John Bucchino (A Catered Affair), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy: The Musical), Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), Sara Cooper and Zach Redler (The Memory Show), and Shaina Taub (The Daughters).