Musical “Far From the Tree” Wins Richard Rodgers Award

Mar 03, 2024 Musical “Far From the Tree” Wins Richard Rodgers Award

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announces the two recipients of the 2024 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater. Both winning musicals will receive funds toward their presentation at nonprofit theaters in New York City. The members of this year’s jury were David Lang (chair), Lynn Ahrens, Mindi Dickstein, Amanda Green, Michael R. Jackson, Richard Maltby, Jr., and John Weidman.

The Richard Rodgers Awards were created and endowed by Richard Rodgers in 1978 for the development of the musical theater. These awards subsidize full productions, studio productions, and staged readings by nonprofit theaters in New York City of works by composers and writers who are not already established in this field. The winners are selected by a jury of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Former award recipients include Jonathan Larson for Rent; Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley for Violet; Dave Malloy for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1898; and Anaïs Mitchell for Hadestown.

Far From the Tree by Justin Warner (libretto), Robert Maggio (music), and Kristin Maloney (lyrics) has won a 2024 Richard Rodgers Studio Production Award. Based on the award-winning nonfiction book by Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree weaves several stories of parents raising profoundly different children with Solomon’s own atypical journey toward parenthood. The musical explores what happens when the self your child inhabits is beyond your recognition or understanding.

Lighthouse by abs wilson (book/lyrics/story) and Veronica Mansour (music/story) has won a 2024 Richard Rodgers Staged Reading Award. Lighthouse is a pop-country musical following Bus, an 18-year-old girl who wants nothing more than to escape her small Minnesota town–and herself, and everything she fears she could become. Lighthouse explores anxiety and OCD, the lives of women in rural, conservative communities, and what it means to be yourself for the rest of your life.

The Richard Rodgers Awards will be presented alongside the architecture, art, literature, and music awards at Arts and Letters’s annual Ceremonial in May.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society of artists, architects, composers, and writers who foster and sustain interest in the arts. Its 300 members distribute over $1.2 million in awards annually; fund concerts and new works of musical theater; purchase and commission contemporary art for donation to museums across the country; and present exhibitions, talks, and events for the public at our historic buildings in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.