Lewis Cornay Announced as New Music Theatre Award 2023 Winner

Lewis Cornay Announced as New Music Theatre Award 2023 Winner

The British Youth Music Theater in association with the New Wolsey Theater in Ipswich announce that Lewis Cornay is the winner of the New Music Theater Award 2023.

Lewis wowed the judges with her new musical Harry and Greta, a dystopian retelling of Hansel & Gretel in a future ravaged by the effects of climate change; With no home to return to and no adults to take care of them, Harry and Greta must unite the kids, save the planet and make things right.

Awardee Lewis said, “I’m thrilled to be writing a brand new musical for BYMT. As a former young member, it feels amazing to be welcome back. I know how formative and inspiring this experience can be and I look forward to creating in such a nurturing environment. My play – Harry & Greta – is a dystopian retelling of the classic story of Hansel & Gretel. Basically, what happens after our protagonists escape the witch? In the future, children must band together to find new ways to thrive in a world ravaged by climate change. I can’t wait to work with the young people and work together on innovative approaches to climate justice!”

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Chosen from a shortlist of ten shows, the final four were presented to a panel of judges consisting of Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul, Consultant Rachel Victor-Sampson, BYMT Young Company members Amelie Lloyd and Cherry Kwan, BYMT alumnus Luke Bayer and BYMT employees. The judges were impressed by the inventive brilliance of all the teams, but unanimously agreed that Harry & Greta is the perfect show and artist for the occasion. The show will be in development through 2023 and will be staged at The New Wolsey, Ipswich in early August 2023. Lewis is a composer, lyricist and librettist and will be working with a dramaturge and arranger to create the show, which will also be directed by BYMT with Young Company in the spring.

Douglas Rintoul, Wolsey’s new Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said: “The caliber of entries for this award and the level of creativity on display were deeply inspiring. This award is vital in supporting new voices in musical theater and providing a platform for the concerns and investigations of a new generation of musical theater creators. We can’t wait to host this incredibly exciting, stimulating and unique project here at the New Wolsey Theater in Ipswich.”

The New Music Theater Awards finds and supports exciting new writers, lyricists, composers, music producers and creators under the age of 30 based in the UK or Ireland and provides them with a platform to develop a brand new play to full production with young staff from BYMT company .

The last NMTA winners in 2021 were Jack Godfrey and Martha Geelan and their show Babies which received a full production at the New Wolsey Theater in Ipswich before being licensed and developed by a commercial theater company with a view to future professional production.

British Youth Music Theater (BYMT) is the leading new musical theater company for young people, working with West End professionals across the UK and Ireland to provide unique opportunities and quality education. Since 2003 they have trained over 8,000 young people, including alumni such as Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Lauren Samuels, Charlotte Ritchie, Jack Bence, Lucy Griffiths, Luke McCall and Bradley Jaden.

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