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Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award

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

The Weston-Ghostlight 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.




2020 Winner: HALF THE SKY

The writing team of Tidtaya Sinutoke (music) and Isabella Dawis (book & lyrics) have won the 14th Annual Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award for their new musical, Half the Sky. It follows Aurelie, who sets out to fulfill her childhood dream of summiting Mount Everest, together with a group of hopeful mountaineers from around the world and a precocious teenage Sherpa. As she grapples with the grueling demands of the mountain, Aurelie finds she must also confront her Thai American family's past and the rift that separates her from her younger sister. Borders between countries and cultures, past and present, and waking and dreaming begin to blur. Half the Sky was an inaugural 2019 First Draft Commission by the 5th Avenue Theatre, with additional development at Theater Mu's New Eyes Festival and Theater Latté Da's NEXT Festival.

Two FREE public concerts of Half the Sky will be held at Walker Farm on Saturday, March 7 at 4pm and 7pm. Reserve your tickets now!


The creators, a music director, and up to five Equity/AFTRA actors travel to Weston for 3 - 4 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 (Vermont travel, housing, and meals) are covered. The creators receive 100 copies of the resulting 30-minute CD.


From nominations only by the American Music Theatre Project, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellows, 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)


  • 2020 Tidtaya Sinutoke & Isabella Dawis, Half the Sky
  • 2019 Jenny Giering, Adam Gwon & Karen Hartman, Alice Bliss
  • 2018 Aryanna Garber & Benjamin Velez, Borderline
  • 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