Sarah Schlesinger Death, Obituary – Sarah Schlesinger has passed away untimely and unexpectedly leaving friends, loved ones, family, and the entire community heartbroken and in grievance, according to a social media sharing. arah Schlesinger, who was an award-winning lyricist and librettist and who mentored swathes of composers and lyricists through her position as a faculty member at New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, passed away on December 14 due to an illness. She was a mentor to a multitude of composers and lyricists.
The information on her passing was verified by the GMTW program. Ms. Schlesinger has been honored with the Richard Rodgers Award, the Richard Kleban Award for Best Lyricist, a Gilman-Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award, and Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best Original Musical for her musical The Ballad of Little Jo, which was written in collaboration with Grammy winner Mike Reid. In addition, she has received the Gilman-Gonzalez Falla Theatre Foundation Award. Ms. Schlesinger and Mr. Reid worked together on the musicals The Last Day, Casanova Returns, Prairie Songs, A Wind in the Willows Christmas, and In This House. In addition to The Ballad of Little Jo, these five musicals were written by Ms. Schlesinger and Mr. Reid. Ms. Schlesinger also worked with David Evans, Mindi Dickstein, Mel Marvin, Jonathan Bernstein, and Bruce Adolphe in addition to working with Jonathan Bernstein and Mel Marvin.
She was the lyricist as well as the librettist for both Love Comics and Swing Shift, both of which had their world premieres at the George Street Playhouse and the Manhattan Theatre Club, respectively. In the years leading up to her demise, she was working on the book and lyrics for a new musical that was based on Turgenev’s A Month in the Country as well as the lyrics for a musical called Blueberry Pie, which was a musical about the National Guard in Iraq. Ms. Schlesinger was awarded the David Payne-Carter Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award, and the NYU Millennium Award in honor of Emerging Musical Theatre Artists for a New Century, which she received alongside her collaborator Mike Reid. All of these honors were bestowed upon Ms. Schlesinger. Following the sad news that Ms. Schlesinger had passed away, the GMTW show issued the following memorial tribute.
The GMTWP went from being a program that admitted 14-17 students every two years to becoming a program that now has two concurrent classes of 30-36 students each. Sarah played an important role in this transition. While she was in charge of the program, it was able to cultivate an enormous alumni network of artists from all over the world. These artists are now at the forefront of every aspect of musical theater activity, including as creators, instructors, academics, and business leaders. She had an unwavering faith in the transformative potential of cooperation, viewing it as the world’s fundamental organizing principle. In the spring, there will be a celebration of Ms. Schlesinger’s contribution that will be held both in-person and virtually; the specifics of this event will be announced at a later time. She left a legacy that is carried on through the work of many hundred artists that came after her.