BMI composer and lyricist David Spencer, one of the winners of the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is seen here being congratulated by BMI's Jean Banks. His winning piece, entitled The Fabulist (written in collaboration with librettist Stephen Witkin, who shares the Rodgers honor), received a Development Award for a staged reading and will be performed later this year in New York City by a nonprofit theatre. Composer Andrew Gerle and lyricist-librettist Maryrose Wood also won a Rodgers Award for The Tutor. Spencer is a member of the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop's Steering Committee and is editor of the Workshop newsletter. He also won a Kleban Award for Musical Theatre in 2000 as lyricist and co-librettist for Weird Romance. His other work includes lyricist/librettist for The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, and composer, lyricist and orchestrator for Theatreworks/USA's Young Audiences versions of Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera.
photo: Dana Rodriguez
The Richard Rodgers Awards provide financial support for full productions, studio productions or staged readings by nonprofit theatres in New York City. Named for the first musical theatre composer elected to the Academy, this endowed fund encourages new talent in the field of musical theatre. The winning musicals were chosen by a committee of writers and composers, most of whom are members of the Academy of Arts and Letters.