The Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre

Edward Kleban
Edward Kleban

Edward Kleban, the lyricist of A Chorus Line and other extraordinary works, created the Kleban Prize in his Will, which is given annually to writers of extraordinary promise – to a librettist and a lyricist, repectively. Kleban designed the prize based on his personal experience as a promising writer. He was acutely aware that, though composers and musicians may often work within the theater, lyricists and librettists generally have to work outside the theater in order to support their writing. He wanted a prize of sufficient size to allow promising writers the time to simply write; his creation of the prize flowed from his desire to help other worthy artists like himself.

The prize is administered by New Dramatists on behalf of the The Kleban Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors. To ensure a robust and equitable adjudication, applications (including work samples) are submitted and reviewed blind by an independent panel of musical theatre artists and industry leaders. The Kleban Foundation Board sets the amount of the Prize annually. In recent years, a sum of $100,000 in each category has been paid in two annual installments to Prize recipients.

Eligibility

Kleban’s instructions, as interpreted by the Board, specify that applicants must meet either of the following criteria: 1) The applicant must previously have received a production of one of their works on a stage or in a workshop performance; or 2) The applicant must be or have been a member or an associate of a professional musical workshop or theater group, i.e., ASCAP, BMI Theater Workshop or the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program.

  • Any individual whose work has been performed on the Broadway stage for a cumulative period of two years prior to the opening of the application window is not eligible. In the case of multiple Broadway productions, the sum of the lengths of the runs must not exceed two years.
  • If the material is co-written (written by more than one lyricist or more than one librettist) all writers must apply as a team. (This does not include the composer unless s/he has also contributed lyrics or text.) Each applicant must be eligible in their own right to apply.
  • Applicants may apply in both categories, but must submit a separate application for each category and may win in only one such category.
  • Applicants may only apply once per category per year.
  • Applicants may win in only one category.

 

Application Materials

Submissions are coded and reviewed blind. The name(s) of the writer(s) must NOT appear on any submission materials. Failure to meet this requirement may render the applicant ineligible. Only work from musical theater will be considered. Materials must be in English.

Lyricist Category

  • Submissions must include lyrics for a minimum of five and a maximum of eight songs.
  • The lyrics may be from one or various shows.
  • Submission files must be in either word or PDF formats.
  • MP3 recordings of each song are strongly encouraged but are not necessary.

 

Librettist Category

  • Submissions may consist of a full-length musical book, or one act from two separate shows.
  • Lyrics should be included in the libretto even if they were written by someone other than the librettist.
  • Submission files must be in either word or PDF formats.

Application Step-by-Step

To begin, click on the “Begin Your Kleban Prize Application” button below. You will be prompted to create an account by entering your email address and password. You will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to log in, if you wish to save and return to your application. From this point forward, you will be guided through a simple process collecting all of your admissions materials in five easy steps:

1. Click "my account" or log in at the top right of your screen. Choose the link for the category you are applying.

2. You will be asked to confirm you are eligible to apply. In the text field you must provide details substantiating your eligibility. Optionally, upload a resumé.

3. Fill in your full name, address, phone number and email address. To add another author, click the ‘Add another Author’ button at the bottom of the form and fill in their full name, address, phone number and email address. For any additional authors, click the ‘Add another Author’ button for each and fill in their contact information.

4. For a Lyricist application, upload your Lyrics text file. Optionally you may upload up to 8 audio files. For a Librettist application, upload your Musical text file. If you are submitting two acts from separate musicals they must be combined into one file.

5. Review your application, check the box that you have read and agree to our Privacy Policy, and click “Submit Your Application” to complete the process. You will receive an email confirming your application has been received.

If you are applying in a second category, while logged in click on the My Account link (at the top right of any page on the New Dramatists website) and select the 'Kleban Prize Application' link.


The Kleban Prize Application Window is Closed