The Shen Family Foundation Musical Theater Composers Initiative
Signature Theatre Initiative

American Musical Voices Project, 2006:

In May, 2006, Eric Schaeffer, Artistic Director of the Signature Theatre of Arlington, Virginia, announced a $1 million grant made by The Shen Family Foundation to the Signature Theatre primarily to support the launch of the Signature's American Musical Voices Project, a two-prong program consisting of Musical Theatre Composer Grants and Musical Theatre Leadership Awards.

Under the Musical Theatre Composer Grants part of the Signature's initiative, Ricky Ian Gordon, Michael John LaChiusa and Joseph Thalken were each commissioned to write a new musical to be developed and produced at Signature Theatre. Those new musicals were scheduled to be presented one each year beginning with the 2008-2009 season. In addition, each of the three composers received a four-year grant stipend plus health insurance coverage.

The Musical Theatre Leadership Awards portion of the initiative recognized four individuals for their extraordinary influence on and contribution to the advancement of new musical theatre. The recipients were: orchestrator, Bruce Coughlin; composer, Adam Guettel; singer/actress, Audra McDonald; and director, musical director and orchestrator, Ted Sperling. Each Leadership Award was presented in conjunction with a one-time grant stipend to support the artist's continued contributions to musical theatre.

Additional information can be found through the following links:

http://www.signature-theatre.org/american_voices.htm
http://www.sondheim.org/php/news.php?id=1908




American Musical Voices Project: The Next Generation, 2008:

In June, 2008, Signature Theatre announced that it received an additional $300,000 grant from The Shen Family Foundation to fund AMVP: Next Generation, its new commissioning initiative designed to help younger emerging composers create new works for musical theater. An expansion of the original American Musical Voices Project that was launched in 2006, this follow-on AMVP: Next Generation program awarded three commissions in 2008 to Matt Conner, Adam Gwon and Gabriel Kahane to write new musicals to be developed and workshopped by Signature Theatre. In addition, Signature made honoree awards to Peter Foley and Marisa Michelson to help them prepare their musical ideas in anticipation of the Next Generation commissions to be awarded in May, 2009.

The program also includes a performance component for the new works. The Next Generation commissioned artists will take part in Signature's new summer performance initiative entitled "21/24 - The Signature Lab." Beginning in July, 2009, each Next Generation commissioned musical will be given a three-week rehearsal period and two performances. "21/24" will also feature a cabaret performance highlighting the Next Generation composers.

Additional information can be found through the following link:

http://www.sig-online.org/american_voices_next_gen.htm




American Musical Voices Project, 2009:

In July, 2009, Signature Theatre announced additional awards to augment its American Musical Voices Project programs. As with all previous AMVP awards, these have been funded by The Shen Family Foundation.

As an extension of its original AMVP 2006 awards to Michael John LaChiusa, Ricky Ian Gordon and Joseph Thalken, Signature Theatre's 2009 full-production commission was made to Adam Guettel to write a new musical to be developed and produced by Signature in its 2014-2015 season.

As part of its AMVP: Next Generation initiative to support the work of younger emerging composers, Signature Theatre also commissioned new musicals from Peter Foley and Marisa Michelson for development and workshopping, and made honoree awards to Chris Miller and Scott Davenport Richards.

Additional information can be obtained through the following link:
http://broadwayworld.com/article/Signature_Theatre_Announces_3_New_Musical_Commissions
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American Musical Voices Project, 2010:

In July, 2010, Signature Theatre announced additional awards to augment its American Musical Voices Project programs. As with all previous AMVP awards, these have been funded by The Shen Family Foundation.

Adding to its prior AMVP awards to Michael John LaChiusa, Ricky Ian Gordon, Joseph Thalken and Adam Guettel, Signature Theatre's 2010 full-production commission was made to Jeanine Tesori to write a new musical to be developed and produced by Signature in its 2015-2016 season.

As part of its AMVP: Next Generation initiative to support the work of younger emerging composers, Signature Theatre also commissioned new musicals from Chris Miller and Scott Davenport Richards for development and workshopping, and made honoree awards to Joshua Rosenblum and Josh Schmidt.

Additional information can be obtained through the following links:
http://www.playbill.com/news/article/141482-Tesori-Richards-Miller-Win-Signature-AMVP-Commissions-for-New-Musicals-Schmidt-and-Rosenblum-Snag-Grants

http://www.signature-theatre.org/american_voices_next_gen.htm

http://www.signature-theatre.org/american_voices.htm