Richard Rodgers Winners (left to right): Ross Baum, Anglelica Chéri, Helen Park, and Max Vernon
Two GMTWP alumni writing teams received the 2018 Richard Rodgers Development Award for their new musicals:
KPOP, with songs by Helen Park & Max Vernon (both Cycle 22) and book Jason Kim and Woodshed Collective was one and GUN AND POWDER by Angelica Chéri and Ross Baum (both Cycle 24) was the other.
Gun & Powder is inspired by the true story of creator Angelica Chéri’s great-great-aunts, Mary and Martha Clarke, African-American twins who passed for white and were notorious outlaws. Set in Post-Emancipation Texas, the musical follows Mary and Martha’s journey of defying racial boundaries and seizing what rightfully belongs to them, until a little romance shakes everything up.
KPOP is an immersive musical set in a Korean pop music factory where stars are made—or broken. It tells the story of solo legend MwE, epic boy band F8, glamorous girl group SpecialK, and the label behind the pop madness, JTM Entertainment.
Richard Rodgers, who was elected to the Academy in 1955, endowed these awards in 1978 to nurture talented composers and playwrights by enabling their musicals to be produced in New York City. Former award recipients include Maury Yeston, for Nine; Jonathan Larson, for Rent; Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal for Juan Darien; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty for Lucky Stiff; Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley for Violet; Scott Frankel, Michael Korie, and Doug Wright for Grey Gardens; and Dave Malloy for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. The Richard Rodgers Awards are the Academy’s only awards for which applications are accepted.
The members of this year’s jury were David Lang (chairman), Mindi Dickstein, Sheldon Harnick, Richard Maltby, Jr., and John Weidman.