Dahling, Who’ll Win the Noël Coward Prize?


NoelCowardCourtesy of Phil Haas, marketing manager at the York Theatre Company, comes word of a new award for triple-threat musical-theater writers called the No√´l Coward Prize. Terrific idea (although you’ll see, in the information below, it is not clear what you get if you win this award, other than an “honorarium” and a one-night-only staged concert of his or her musical and the distinction of winning the No√´l Coward Prize).

The Clyde Fitch Report would, however, like to remind the York Theatre Company that while it’s mission may be only musical-theater oriented, and while the No√´l Coward Prize obviously has the endorsement of the No√´l Coward Foundation, is it running the risk of disenfranchising Coward in the popular imagination as a playwright, too? Perhaps the likes of Ken Davenport, late of Blithe Spirit producing on Broadway as well as alarmingly hyperactive efforts to generate as much flattering press as possible in order to blush, might have something to say about that. (Not that I’d expect Ken to dis the York. Nor am I, actually — I’m suggesting that one mustn’t let the world think dear No√´l was a one-trick triple-threat pony.)

Story continues below.

Here’s the 411:


The award-winning York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director) announces the administration of a new award celebrating musical theatre talent: The Noël Coward Prize.

In honor of the talents of Sir No√´l Coward, who often served as the writer/composer/lyricist for his musicals, the York Theatre Company – with the endorsement of the No√´l Coward Foundation – will be administering the No√´l Coward Prize to a promising librettist/composer/lyricist whose work best exemplifies the “triple threat” standards set by Coward. The winning artist will receive an honorarium and a special one-night-only staged concert of the musical submitted to the contest produced by The York Theatre Company.

After receiving submissions, an esteemed panel of industry professionals will select the winning entry. The panel includes Nancy Ford, John Kander, Richard Maltby, Mel Marvin, Brian Murray, Susan H. Schulman, Joseph Stein and Tony Walton. The winner will be announced November 17, 2009, and will receive the award at a concert celebrating Noël Coward on his birthday, December 17, 2009.

Submission Guidelines:
Only musicals will be considered
Applicant must have written the book, music and lyrics in their entirety for the musical
Musicals must be at least one act (at least 45 minutes in length)
Any rights for the material (if an adaptation) must be received prior to submission; proof of rights must be submitted with the initial application
Submissions will be accepted through Friday, August 28, 2009 at 6 PM

To be considered, please submit the following:
A cover letter introducing yourself
A resume, including complete contact information (phone, address, email address)
Proof of rights (if applicable)
One copy of the following:
A one page synopsis of the musical
The complete script of the musical
Any sheet music for the score
A CD recording of songs (preferably at least half of the songs, in show order)

Please note, there is no application fee for the Noël Coward Prize; all administrative costs have been covered by the generous support of the Noël Coward Foundation.

Send all materials to:
Brian Blythe
York Theatre Company
619 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Attn: Noël Coward Prize

The Noël Coward Prize is made possible through a generous donation by The Noël Coward Foundation. For more information, visit www.yorktheatre.org.

And for inspiration, here are videos for your delectation: