A Strange Loop playwright-composer-lyricist Michael R. Jackson received the Richard Rodgers New Horizon Award at a private ASCAP Foundation luncheon earlier this month.
Jackson, whose musical A Strange Loop won the 2022 Tony Award for Best Musical, as well as the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was honored for his achievements in musical theatre composition.
Said Jackson: “In a cultural climate when so many have confused activism and/or being a savvy business person with artistry, it has been a brutal, lonely time to believe in making art for art’s sake. And yet, making art for art’s sake is the one life raft I’ve had since 23-year-old me first put pen to paper to begin writing A Strange Loop. Receiving the Richard Rodgers Award from ASCAP is deeply meaningful to me and gives me a much needed second wind to keep paddling the stormy high seas."
The award was presented to Jackson by ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams, Oscar, Grammy, and Tony winner Stephen Schwartz, and Tony winner Adam Guettel. Also in attendance were the Oscar and Tony winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and ASCAP's Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews.
The annual award is given to is given to promising young musical theatre composers, and is funded by the estate of Mary Rodgers, and the Rodgers Family Foundation. Previous recipients have included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pasek & Paul, and David Hein & Irene Sankoff.
Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs.