This year, three (rather than two) musical theatre writers have been awarded the 28th annual Kleban Prize, a $100,000 reward for artists whose work shows great potential. The 2018 winners are lyricists Alan Schmuckler (Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical) and Amanda Yesnowitz (Somewhere in Time), along with librettist Christian Duhamel (My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend).
In the past, the award has been awarded to one lyricist and one librettist. The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line. Kleban’s will made provisions for two annual prizes, which in recent years have totaled $100,000 each, payable over two years.
The 2018 judging panel consisted of Tony nominees Marin Mazzie (The King & I, Ragtime) and Dave Malloy (The Great Comet), as well as author and professor Laurence Masion.
Last year’s recipients were lyricist Daniel Zaitchik (Darling Grenadine) and Fun Home librettist Lisa Kron.