BMI congratulates the seven members of the Tony-honored BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, who were winners of its annual Musical Theatre Awards, which consist of the Jerry Harrington Awards for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Musical Theatre, the Jean Banks Award, and the Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Literary Merit in Lyric Writing. The awards were presented by BMI Director of Musical Theatre and BMI Foundation Board Member Pat Cook during a ceremony on June 13, 2016, at BMI’s New York office.
The 2016 award winners are:
• Eric Allen - Second Year Workshop, Jean Banks Award for “Mr. Lemon”
• Laurel Haines - Second Year Workshop, Jean Banks Award for “Mr. Lemon”
• Mary Liz McNamara - Advanced Workshop, Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Literary Merit in Lyric Writing
• Jessica Penzias - Librettists Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Alex Ratner - First Year Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• George Steel- Second Year Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
• Clay Zambo - Advanced Workshop, Jerry Harrington Award
The Jerry Harrington Awards were established in 2000 by BMI Foundation Board Member Evelyn Buckstein in honor of her late friend and colleague Jerry Harrington, who was an avid supporter of musical theatre. Awards totaling $2,600 are presented annually for the works judged “most outstanding” in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, a program that is widely regarded as the premiere training ground for emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists.
The Jean Banks Award was created by the BMI Foundation in 2012 to honor the legacy of former BMI Senior Director of Jazz and Musical Theatre and BMI Foundation Secretary Jean Banks. A $500 prize is presented each year for the best ten-minute musical written in the Musical Theatre Workshop.
Established in 2015, the Ellen Schwartz Award commemorates the life and career of the late songwriter, Ellen Schwartz. A $1,000 award is given annually to a Second or Third Year Workshop participant whose lyric writing demonstrates exceptional literary merit.