Fil-Am’s musical theatre songwriting team wins prestigious award
The musical theatre songwriting team of Isabella Dawis & Tidtaya Sinutoke will receive the Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical theatre songwriters at the Fred Ebb Foundation’s 17th annual award ceremony on Jan. 3, 2022.
Isabella Dawis is a Filipina American playwright, performer and librettist who is a 2021-23 Composers and the Voice Fellow with the American Opera Project. The Fred Ebb Award, which includes $60,000, recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success. It is meant to encourage and support aspiring songwriters to create new works for the musical theatre.
Dawis was a 2019-2020 Rockwell Scholar at the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts. Her writing has also been featured/supported by the Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook, Musical Theatre Factory, 24 Hour Viral Musicals, New York Theatre Barn, Coalition of Asian American Leaders, Broadway Buskers, Central Square Theater, the Skeleton Rep, and the Schubert Club.
As a singer and actor, Dawis has performed with Theater Mu (peerless, opposite sister Francesca), the Center for Contemporary Opera (Sweat), the New York Philharmonic Biennial (soprano soloist), the Minnesota Opera, and more. She holds a B.M. summa cum laude in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, with additional vocal study at New England Conservatory.
Named in honor of the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb, the awardwill be presented on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, at a by-invitation-only ceremony at Birdland Jazz Club. Additional details about the event will be announced at a later date. The Fred Ebb Foundation is funded by royalties from Ebb’s vast catalogue of work.
The selection panel is comprised of Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard, actress Ann Harada, music director David Loud, and actress Amy Spanger. Each year, the Foundation also makes a donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Dawis’ work with composer Tidtaya Sinutoke includes Half the Sky (Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award, 5th Avenue Theatre Digital Radio Play/First Draft Commission, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Theater Mu’s New Eyes Festival, Theater Latté Da’s NEXT Festival, Richard Rodgers Award Finalist, O’Neill NMTC Finalist) and Sunwatcher (The Civilians’ R&D Group, Goodspeed’s Johnny Mercer Writers Grove, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Global Forms Festival, Ancram Opera House Summer Play Lab, Tofte Lake Center’s National Emerging Artists Program).