Stage and screen favorite Tituss Burgess, Six creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Tony-nominated composer Andrew Lippa, and Time Out New York Theater Critic Adam Feldman will judge the June 21 finale concert of the Times Square Alliance’s songwriting challenge, Songs for Our City.
The series features 26 Broadway performers and composers sharing new original songs, vying for a spot in the finale, including Tony winner Alice Ripley, Tony nominee Ethan Slater, musical theatre composers Rob Rokicki and Drew Gasparini, and Broadway alums Lauren Elder, Jennifer Sánchez, and Marcus Paul James.
Songs for Our City kicks off June 15, featuring nightly concerts beginning at 7:05PM ET, immediately following the collective applause for essential workers in NYC. The performances will live stream on the Alliance's website here.
Audiences will vote to send one participant from each of the initial six concerts into the finale, and for their favorite finalist to receive the Audience Choice Award in the final concert. The judges will select the overall winner. Finalists receive a cash prize with stipends distributed to all participating songwriters in order to directly support artists and foster creative energy during this time.
“One thing we consistently turn to in times of great adversity is music,” said Burgess. “I’m eager to hear what has been brewing in the souls of these composers and I can’t wait for the world at large to be introduced to a new wave of creatives that will share unique lyrical and sonic perspectives.”
Check out the full schedule and list of performers below:
June 15: Jaime Cepero, Donnie Kehr, Rob Rokicki, Jennifer Sánchez, and Mike Wartella
June 16: John Arthur Greene, John Krause, Janet Krupin, and Heath Saunders
June 17: F Michael Haynie, Anthony Norman, Alice Ripley, and Starbird & the Phoenix
June 18th: Lauren Elder, Max Sangerman, Dru Serkes, and Ethan Slater
June 19th: Marcus Paul James, Molly and the Memphis Thunder, Alexander Sage Oyen, and Tim Young
June 20th: Leslie Becker, Drew Gasparini, Will Taylor, Will Van Dyke & Jeff Talbott, and Joel Waggoner
June 21: Finale
Songs for Our City was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting artists and engaging audiences. In light of the recent protests and activist calls for equality in the theatre industry, funds raised will support both Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Each concert will also include a highlight on how audiences can take action to combat racial injustice by listening, growing, volunteering, and supporting.
All artists participating in the songwriting challenge are previous performers from the Broadway Buskers concert series, which showcases Broadway performers’ original music through summer concerts in the Times Square pedestrian plazas as part of the Alliance’s annual free public programming. The Songs for Our City series will be hosted by Broadway Buskers host and curator Ben Cameron.