Theater launches Musical Voices Project

The Signature Theater in Arlington, Va., will establish the American Musical Voices Project thanks to a $1 million grant from the Shen Family Foundation.

Musical theater composer grants will go to Ricky Ian Gordon (“My Life With Albertine”), Michael John LaChiusa (“See What I Wanna See”) and Joseph Thalken (“Harold and Maude”). Each gets $25,000 a year for four years.

Meanwhile, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, composer Adam Guettel (“The Light in the Piazza”), performer and new music devotee Audra MacDonald and director-music director-orchestrator Ted Sperling will receive the inaugural musical theater leadership awards. Each draws a one-time grant of $25,000.

The Signature also has committed to a development schedule for the work of the three recipients of the composer grants. Between the 2006-07 and 2009-10 seasons, the theater will first workshop and then fully produce a new musical from each of the three tunesmiths.

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