By Matthew Blank
25 Jun 2013
Maté received the Kleban Prize for promising musical theatre lyricist, while Gordon is the recipient of the most promising musical theatre librettist honor. Each writer receives $100,000 over the next two years to support his work.
The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward Kleban, the late Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line.
The 2013 judges included award-winning composer Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls, Side Show, The Tap Dance Kid), Tony Award-winning actress Michele Pawk (Giant, Crazy For You, Hollywood Arms, Cabaret) and director of the Theater Wing at the Kaufrman Center, Sean Hartley.
Previous recipients of the annual Kleban Prize include David Lindsay-Abaire, Jason Robert Brown, John Bucchino, Gretchen Cryer, Michael Korie, Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez, Michael John LaChiusa, Glenn Slater, John Weidman, Marcy Heisler, Andrew Gerle and Matt Schatz.
Maté received the Jonathan Larson Grant and the ASCAP Foundation's Cole Porter Award in 2010 for his music and lyrics. With composer Will Aronson, he wrote lyrics and co-wrote the book for The Trouble With Doug, a comedic musical inspired by Kafka's "The Metamorphosis." Doug was featured at the 2010 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival of New Musicals with direction by Tony-winning performer Victoria Clark, and has since been developed at Royal & Derngate (UK) and Theatreworks Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, CA). Maté and Aronson are currently working with book writer Hannah Kohl on a family musical commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Daniel's song cycle The Longing and the Short of It has been presented at Barrington Stage, the Disney-ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop and Playwrights Horizons. He also wrote book, music, and lyrics for The Story Of Jo-Beth, a modern-day American retelling of the Book of Job. As a teaching artist, he has composed original musicals with and for young performers, including Middle School Mysteries at Two River Theater (Red Bank, NJ).
Gordon wrote the book and lyrics to two full-length musicals with composer Mark Sutton-Smith. The Usual had its premiere at the Williamston Theatre in Michigan in 2012, receiving eight Pulsar nominations from the Lansing City Pulse, and a special Wilder Award from Encore Michigan. Girl Detective received a Citation for Special Merit from the Academy for New Musical Theater, was this year's selection for Western Kentucky University's Before Broadway program, and a selection of the Stages New Musical Program in Chicago. He recently completed The United States of Us with composer Joy Son. Alan is also an essayist and fiction writer. Eight of his "Fools' Guild" mystery novels have been published by St. Martin's Minotaur Books, and have been translated into five languages. Gordon is a two-time StorySlam winner at The Moth, and supports all of these activities as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in NYC.