Musical theatre writing team Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams were honored with the 2023 Fred Ebb Award at a November 27 ceremony in the Penthouse Lounge of Broadway's American Airlines Theatre. The honor, given in memory of the Cabaret and Chicago lyricist by the Fred Ebb Foundation in association with Roundabout Theatre Company, was presented by Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth. See photos from the invite-only event below.
The annual award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting for those who have not yet achieved significant commercial success. The prize includes a $60,000 award plus a one-night showcase of the winner's work produced by the Foundation. Past winners have included John Bucchino, Adam Gwon, Shaina Taub, Michael R. Jackson, and Julia Riew.
This year's winner was chosen by a selection panel comprising Ebb Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard, Adam Chanler-Berat, David Loud, and Meghan Picerno.
U.K.-based Smith and Williams are the writing team behind Ride, a new musical that will have an American debut run at The Old Globe in 2024 following productions at Leicester Curve, Southwark Playhouse, Charing Cross Theatre, and the Garrick Theatre in London's West End. The pair were previously joint winners of The Chamber Musical Prize and were finalists for the Cameron Mackintosh Composer Residency, the Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize, and the MTI Mentorship Award. Their work also includes The Limit and a song cycle titled Part A.
Each year, the Foundation also makes a donation to Broadway Cares.