Announcing the recipients of the 2021

Eric H. Weinberger Award for Emerging Librettists

Commemorating the life and work of playwright/librettist Eric H. Weinberger (1950-2017)

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Gabe Caruso and Sangwoo 'Simon' Lee

Gabe Caruso and Sangwoo ‘Simon’ Lee, 2020 graduates of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, were selected from over 48 blind submissions for their full-length musical SETTLE DOWN: A New Hip Hop Musical. which will receive development assistance from our “New Works Development Program” culminating in the work being rehearsed and performed by New York theatre professionals in an Amas Lab production.

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Fourth Annual

Eric H. Weinberger Award

for Emerging Librettists

Submissions for 2022 will open September 20, 2021

The Eric H. Weinberger Award for Emerging Librettists is a juried cash and production grant given annually to support the early work and career of a deserving musical theatre librettist. It commemorates the life and work of playwright/librettist Eric H. Weinberger (1950-2017), who was a Drama Desk Award nominee for Best Book of a Musical (Wanda’s World), and the playwright/librettist of Class Mothers ’68, which earned Pricilla Lopez a Drama Desk Award nomination.  


The winner will receive $2,000 to help with cost-of-living expenses. The winning musical will receive development assistance in the 2021 New Works Development Program of Amas Musical Theatre, culminating in an Amas Lab production with New York theatre professionals. Amas, which is administering the award, was the development home for several of Mr. Weinberger’s musicals, and which produced the World Premiere of Wanda’s World and the New York Premiere of Tea for Three. 


While the pandemic put a pause on in-person lab productions for, our award recipients of the past two consecutive years will finally take the stage in our spring 2022 Dare to Be Different Festival. 


It was our honor to nominate our 2020 winner, Cheeyang Ng for the 2021 Princess Grace Award, which he won. Ng and colleague, Eric Sorrels, received the 2020 award for their musical MĀYĀ: the story of a struggling poet in need of an awakening, not unlike India herself.

Submissions will open in September 20, 2021 and will close in November 30, 2021. All submissions must be sent through an online application that can be found HERE. Only one submission per playwright/librettist will be accepted. The winner of the award will be announced spring 2022.

Amas Musical Theatre will not ask for any fees for entry or for any fiduciary involvement

from the playwright/librettists at any point of the process.

Submission Requirements:

The musical must:

  • Be a full-length show (at least 80 minutes)

  • Have no more than seven actors  (actors may play multiple roles, if so please include a suggested breakdown of role distribution)

  • Be complete and ready for readings, workshops and/or productions

  • Have a demo that is an accurate representation of the music and style of the show (at least five songs)

  • Have full underlying rights clearance of any pre-existing material used in the script (music, source material, etc.)

  • Not have had a full production or be published in any way, even if with a different name.

What to submit

All documents must be submitted as PDF files and they should be named with the part of the submission it refers to and the title of the show in the format of PART_TITLE, i.e.: for Tea for Three; BIO_TEA-FOR-THREE, SYNOPSIS_TEA-FOR-THREE, etc.

  1. Biography and resumes of all contractually attached people such as composer, director, producer to the project

  2. History of the submission’s development, and any previous titles it has gone through (if applicable, maximum one page)

  3. Brief synopsis (maximum 150 words)

  4. Brief artistic statement on the piece itself, including all source material, inspiration, goal, message, etc. (maximum one page)

  5. Proof of rights (if applicable)

  6. Demo and track listings (Demo selections to be posted as a Dropbox link)

  7. PDF document of the full-script and sheet music, if available

 

Guidelines for Materials

All submissions must adhere to the following or your application will be disqualified before reaching our selection committee.

PROOF OF RIGHTS

If the musical contains any copyrighted material, please submit a signed letter from the authors and/or underlying rights representative stating that underlying rights have been secured.

FULL SCRIPT

The full script must include:

  1. Title page (which should only have the title on it and absolutely no other information)

  2. Character breakdown (maximum one page)

  3. The complete script with page numbers

For the anonymity of your submission, the full script and sheet music cannot include any information on playwright/ librettist or contractually attached people, previous casts, or any agents. All submissions will go through a blind evaluation process, any personal information you provide will only be available to Amas Musical Theatre staff.

Demo Tracks

  • The recording should be a significant representation of the songs in the show that accurately highlights the style and character of the score and lyrics.

  • Demo tracks should:

    1. Include at least one song from the first 25 pages

    2. Have at least five recordings available – they do not need to be professional or studio quality but they must be clear enough to hear lyrics, melody, and accompaniment

    3. Have singers of appropriate vocal types for their respective roles

    4. Be full songs only, no medleys of spliced songs

For the anonymity of your submission, tracks cannot include any personal identifiers for playwright/librettist(s), the performers recorded, or contractually attached people.

The Selection Process

Scripts will be read and evaluated through a blind submission process by Amas Musical Theatre’s literary team. A group of finalist plays will be read and evaluated by a selection committee, comprised of distinguished artists and playwrights, using a blind evaluation process. Committee members will not be given any additional information beyond the title of the show, the script and the demo tracks.

Any personal information you provide in the application is seen by the Amas Musical Theatre staff only, not the selection committee. Our process is based on the quality of the work submitted.

Round 1 (September-December)

  1. Our literary team reads the first 25 pages of the book and listens to the demo for any track related to these pages.

  2. The team fills out evaluations for each show, which determine the submissions that continue to Round 2.

  3. If selected as a finalist, the show’s application primary contact is notified via email.

Round 2 (January-March)

  1. The selection committee reads the scripts in full and listens to all demo tracks submitted.

  2. Committee members discuss the finalists to determine which one is best suited for the award.

  3. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2021

  4. The application’s primary contact is notified and a development schedule is created with the winner.

 

We will not be able to provide feedback regarding why a particular piece was or was not selected.

The Winner

  • Will receive $2,000 to help pay for cost-of-living expenses.

  • Will receive development assistance in the 2021 New Works Development Program of Amas Musical Theatre.

  • Will have the selected show rehearsed and performed by New York theatre professionals in an Amas Lab production.

  • Must be present in New York City for the development process.

  • Must give the right of first refusal for a world premiere of the selected show that will expire 90 days after

       Amas Musical Theatre presents the Lab production.

Help endow the 2021 Scholarship Award at Amas for Emerging Librettists, in commemoration of

the life and work of Wanda's World playwright Eric H. Weinberger (1950-2017).

This Award is made possible by a generous initial gift from Steve Sagman.

Donation via Credit Card