The Oscar Micheaux Project Named Inaugural Winner of Michael Friedman Award for New Composition | Playbill

Awards The Oscar Micheaux Project Named Inaugural Winner of Michael Friedman Award for New Composition

Pipeline Arts Foundation's award includes a $20,000 cash prize.

Michael Friedman Heather Weston

The Pipeline Arts Foundation has named The Oscar Micheaux Project the inaugural winner of the Michael Friedman Award for New Composition, given in honor of the late composer-lyricist.

Micheaux’s legacy as America’s first major Black filmmaker comes to syncopated and soulful life in the new musical, which features music by Alphonso Horne, lyrics by Jesse L. Kearney Jr. and Peter Mills, a book by Kearney Jr. and Cara Reichel, and additional music by Mills.

READ: Pipeline Arts Foundation Awards Over $100K to 6 New Musicals

The Oscar Micheaux Project follows groundbreaking cinematic pioneer Micheaux from silent pictures to the talkies as he battles the racism of Hollywood to bring Black stories to the silver screen.

Friedman was an Obie Award-winning composer and lyricist as well as a founding associate artist of The Civilians, the investigative theatre company. Among his credits were Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (music and lyrics); Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play; The Fortress of Solitude; Unknown Soldier; Gone Missing; In the Footprint; The Great Immensity; Paris Commune (co-written with Steve Cosson); (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch; and This Beautiful City.

Friedman’s sister, Marion Friedman Young, said in a statement, “I'm thrilled to partner with the Pipeline Arts Foundation on this award and grateful for their commitment to honoring Michael's legacy with the Michael Friedman Award for New Composition. Their unique support and recognition of the complex pathways in new musical development is inspiring and one Michael would have applauded. The Oscar Micheaux Project is a fitting and beautiful first awardee for this recognition, using an extraordinary score to explore our complex American history.”

Pipeline is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to moving musical theatre forward, providing support to early- and mid-career artists as they develop boundary-pushing work.

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