Theater News

Julia Gytri, Avi Amon, and More Among 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Recipients

Emily Gardner Xu Hall, Andy Roninson, and Ben Wexler will also receive grants from the American Theatre Wing.

Producer Alia Jones-Harvey was part of the panel selecting this year's Jonathan Larson Grant recipients.
Producer Alia Jones-Harvey was part of the panel selecting this year's Jonathan Larson Grant recipients.
(© David Gordon)

The American Theatre Wing has announced the winners of the 2019 Jonathan Larson Grants.

Julia Gytri and Avi Amon (book, music and lyrics), Emily Gardner Xu Hall (book, music and lyrics), Andy Roninson (music and lyrics), and Ben Wexler (music and lyrics) will all receive four grants of $10,000 each, as well as additional support in the form of residencies, concerts, and recording grants, totaling over $50,000. They will be presented their awards on Monday, March 19, at a private event at the WNYC Greene Space, which will also feature performances of their work.

This year's recipients were selected by a panel consisting of music director, arranger, and composer Annastasia Victory (Once on This Island); music director, arranger, and writer Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy); and producer Alia Jones-Harvey (Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations).

The Jonathan Larson Grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists, and book writers, help to continue Tony Award-winning Rent composer Jonathan Larson's dream of infusing musical theater with a contemporary, joyful, urban vitality. Dedicated to celebrating excellence and supporting theater, the American Theatre Wing awards the Larson Grants to artists to recognize and showcase their work with no strings attached. The American Theatre Wing is dedicated to also offering Jonathan Larson Grant artists industry resources to advance their work.

Previous winners of these grants include Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Joe Iconis (Be More Chill), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), and Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812).

All four 2019 Jonathan Larson Grants recipients will also receive a $2,500 Saw Island Foundation Recording Grant. The Saw Island Foundation seeks to empower innovative and high-impact institutions to improve existing programs; it has created this enhancement 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.

Emily Gardner Xu Hall will be receiving a fully produced reading of her show via the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University. Additionally, Adelphi University Performing Arts Center is awarding Andy Roninson, and Julia Gytri and Avi Amon, with an evening of performance featuring their work as part of their Larson Legacy Concert Series.