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New Musical Award

2017 New Musical Award Winner Announced

Writer/composer Zack Zadek's DEATHLESS has been chosen for the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company's 11th annual New Musical Award. Nominated by Jennifer Ashley Tepper of Feinstein's/54 Below, DEATHLESS follows the road trip of a grieving family who are asking questions about life and death in the modern age in the face of the development of a pill that can prevent natural death. Tepper describes DEATHLESS as "an intimate, meaningful new musical driven by its original voice, moving score, and knowledge of the human heart." Developed in part at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Goodspeed Musicals, Signature Theatre, and Merry Go Round Playhouse, DEATHLESS is slated for a developmental production at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in June.

The only award of its kind in the country, the Weston New Musical Award brings the creator or creators of a promising new musical together with a small ensemble of actors to rehearse and record selections from the winning score. A free public concert of DEATHLESS will be held at the Weston Playhouse Saturday, March 4 at 8pm. Weston Associate Artistic Director Michael Berresse will direct the concert reading and Kurt Deutsch of Sh-K-Boom and Ghostlight Records will produce the free demo recording.

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The only honor of its kind in the country...

Weston's New Musical Award supports the creation of a 30-minute demo CD of a new or substantially revised full-length musical. Preference is given to emerging or established composing teams of exceptional promise who lack the resources to create a professional demo.

Details

The creators, a music director, and up to five Equity actors travel to Weston for three days of rehearsal and a free public concert, followed by an invite-only concert in NYC and a recording session with Kurt Deutsch of Sh-K-Boom and Ghostlight Records. All artists are paid on union agreements and all travel expenses are covered. The creators receive 100 copies of the resulting 30-minute CD.

Selection

From nominations only by the American Music Theatre Project, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, New York Music Theatre Festival, O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, the Playwrights’ Center, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and Sundance Institute Theatre Program.

How to describe The Weston Playhouse New Musical Award experience? In one sentence: a chance to work with gifted performers and a superb music director in a gorgeous environment while being supported by a savvy, gracious, welcoming theater and theater community. In one word: SUBLIME. - Kirsten Childs (Bella: An American Tall Tale)

Recipients

  • 2017 Zack Zadek, DEATHLESS
  • 2016 Kirsten Childs, Bella: An American Tall Tale
  • 2015 Katya Stanislavskaya, Resident Alien
  • 2014 Sarah Hammond & Adam Gwon, String
  • 2013 Ryan Scott Oliver & Brett Ryback, Darling
  • 2012 Sara Cooper & Zach Redler, Loving Leo
  • 2011 Gordon Leary & Julia Meinwald, Pregnancy Pact
  • 2010 Sean Barry & Jenny Giering, Saint-Ex
  • 2009 Aron Accurso & Jill Abramovitz, The Dogs of Pripyat
  • 2008 Liz Duffy Adams & John Hodian, The Listener of Junk City
  • 2007 Kyoung-Ae Kang & Sean Keogh, Be Like Joe