Ryan Scott Oliver – Times Square Chronicles

We talked about the Kleban Awards with Richard Maltby Jr. and Maury Yeston and then with Brian Stokes Mitchell. We move onto the winners and started with Book Writer winner Ethan Lipton. Today we move on to 2023 Kleban Prize winner, for most promising musical theatre lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver.

Singing for Ryan first was Alex Brightman (Beetlejuice, School Of Rock) who along with Lindsay Mendez has sung for Oliver before.

Alex Brightman

The it was Lindsay Mendez (Merrily We Roll Along, Carousel).

Lindsay Mendez

T2C was thrilled to talk to this lyricists/composer, as we have been fans of his for years.

Oliver was called “the future of Broadway… a major new voice in musical theatre” (Entertainment Weekly) and is “shaking up musical theater with his dark, twisted and genius work … [Oliver] could very well be musical theater’s answer to an auteur filmmaker or a gothic novelist” (Huffington Post).

Ryan Scott Olivier, Lindsay Mendez and Brian Stokes Mitchell Photo by Magda Katz

Oliver wrote the score for 35mm: A Musical Exhibition (based on photographs by Matthew Murphy); Jasper in Deadland (co-book with Tony Award-nominee Hunter Foster); as well as Darling; Havana! (with director Warren Carlyle); Otherbody, a brief musical allegory; Mrs. Sharp (read at Playwrights Horizons July 2009 starring Jane Krakowski, dir. by Michael Greif); We Foxes (commissioned by Broadway Across America); Tethered with Adam Chanler-Berat (commissioned by Grove Entertainment); and a contemporary “marriage play,” Three Points of Contact. Both Jasper in Deadland and 35mm: A Musical Exhibition are licensed worldwide by Concord Theatricals, and have cast recordings on the Ghostlight/Sh-k-boom label.

Oliver is currently at work on Party of the Century, a musical based on Truman Capote‘s Black and White Ball (for Fourth Wall Theatrical, book by Kirsten Guenther), plus an original musical commission, Tomorrow, The Island Dies, and several adaptations of psychological horror queen Shirley Jackson‘s work (including the EPs Future Demons and Past Demons) and more. Oliver is also the recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant, Richard Rodgers Award, commissions by Disney Theatricals and Universal Theatricals, a Lortel Award nomination, plus numerous ASCAP awards, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, a guest lectureship at Harvard University, as well as residencies at Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, 5th Avenue Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Weston Playhouse, Cap 21, the York Theatre, The Johnny Mercer Colony at Goodspeed Opera House, Running Deer Ranch, Pace University, Harvard University, San Diego State University, Weber University, Michigan State University, Playwrights Horizons and more. M.F.A. Musical Theatre Writing NYU; B.A. Music Composition, UCLA. Songbooks and sheet music available at Ryanis represented by Di Glazer at CAA. His morbidly optimistic musings may be followed on all platforms @ryanscottoliver.

The Kleban board, singers and winners

You can stream the presentation of the 33rd annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre on the Broadway On Demand SmartTV channel beginning, Friday February 10th at 8PM EST. The event is viewable on the free ad supported tv channel through February 16.

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