Congratulations to BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop members David Arthur, Jeffrey Lodin, David Spencer, Daniel S. Aquisto, Sammy Buck and William G. Squier, who are among the composers, lyricists and librettists chosen to showcase their new works at the 2006 Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre. This unique event takes place Nov. 3-5 in the city of Cardiff in the south of Wales.
BMI musicals About Face, The Fabulist, Like You Like It and Top of the Heap, all developed in the BMI Workshop, were selected from over 300 entries by the Global Search for New Musicals, an initiative that aims to discover the best in new musical theatre writing and provides an arena for bringing new works to the attention of producers, directors and the general public.
Judges for this year's Global Search for New Musicals included Julia McKenzie, Billy Rosenfield, Donna Soto-Morettini, Chris Grady, Caroline Underwood, Susie McKenna and Sally Rapier, some of the foremost voices in the U.K. theatre industry.
ABOUT FACE: Music by Jeffrey Lodin, book & lyrics by David Arthur. About Face is a musical based on Much Ado About Nothing. David Arthur is a long standing member of the BMI Workshop and the recipient of the BMI Foundation's 2003 Jerry Harrington Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre. Jeffrey Lodin, the first composer to have two musicals chosen to be presented in the Global Search, was awarded a 2004 Meet the Composer Grant by the New England Foundation for the Arts. He also wrote the music for A Hundred Years into the Heart, which won seven Spirit Awards, including best production and best score, and is currently optioned for Off-Broadway next spring.
THE FABULIST: Music & lyrics by David Spencer. The Fabulist is an epic fable of Aesop. Composer/lyricist David Spencer, a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, is the winner of the 2000 Kleban Award for Excellence in Theatre Lyrics and has worked with composer Alan Menken on the musical Weird Romance.
LIKE YOU LIKE IT: Music by Daniel S. Aquisto, book & lyrics by Sammy Buck. Like You Like It is a musical based on Shakespeare's As You Like It. Daniel S. Aquisto and Sammy Buck are the winners of the 2004 National Musical Theatre Network and the Theatre for American Musicals' inaugural New Voices Prize.
TOP OF THE HEAP: Music by Jeffrey Lodin, book & lyrics William G. Squier. Top of the Heap charts a friendship tested by the darker aspects of show business in the 50s and is written in the heightened style of a 1950s television drama. Squier won an Emmy Award for writing WKYC-TV's Unusual Phenomenon. He has also been awarded a 2003 Connecticut Artist Fellowship, the Coleman A. Jennings Award, the Jackie White Memorial Award, and the 11th Annual National Children's Festival's New Script Award.
Deemed "the Harvard of musical theatre" by The New York Times, the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop was founded in 1961 by the late Lehman Engel, dean of American musical theatre, to create a setting where new writers could learn their craft. It is the birthplace of such musicals as A Chorus Line, Nine, Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast and Avenue Q. Included among the prestigious honors the Workshop has received are a special 2006 Drama Desk Award "for nurturing, developing and promoting new talent for the musical theatre," and the 2005 Drama League Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre.
Now celebrating more than 65 years in business, BMI is an American performing right organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers, and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of more than 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.