The 2021 Lenya Competition Finals
28 August 2021
The Riverside Theater, NYC
28 August 2021
The Riverside Theater, NYC
First Prize: Andrew Polec
Second Prize: Victoria Okafor
Third Prizes: Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod and Charles Eaton
Rebecca Luker Award: Taylor-Alexis Dupont for “Supper Time”
Lys Symonette Awards: Kaileigh Riess for “Je suis encor tout étourdie” and Katrina Galka for “Caro nome”
Carolyn Weber Award: Max Chernin
Kurt Weill Award: Rebekah Howell
In honor of 6-time judge Rebecca Luker, the Lotte Lenya Competition has created the Rebecca Luker Award, given for an outstanding performance of a selection from a Golden Age musical. The first Luker award was given to Taylor-Alexis DuPont for her performance of “Supper Time,” from As Thousands Cheer.
Victoria Clark is a Tony-Award winning actress, director and educator. Her breadth of experience and knowledge make her a highly sought-after star and collaborator in this country and around the world. Trained at Interlochen Music Academy, Yale University, The Mozarteum (Salzburg), and New York University’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, Victoria’s experience spans across classical and contemporary idoms, encompassing both existing and new work, in plays, musicals, opera, film and television. Acting: Broadway: The Light in the Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards), Gigi (Tony, Helen Hayes nominations), Cinderella (Tony, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Sister Act (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Snow Geese, Titanic, How to Succeed..., Urinetown, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, A Grand Night for Singing, Sunday in the Park With George. Off-Broadway: When the Rain Stops Falling (Drama Desk nomination), A Prayer for My Enemy, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, The Agony and the Agony, Marathon Dancing, Follies (LA), Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, and Katisha in The Mikado, both at Carnegie Hall. International: Madame Sousatzska in Susatzska. Film: The Enchanted Forest, Archeology of a Woman, Harvest, The Happening, Tickling Leo, Main Street, Cradle Will Rock. Television: Upcoming Almost Family (FOX), Law & Order/SVU, The Good Wife, Mercy, and Carrie Mathison’s mother Ellen on Showtime’s Homeland. Directing: The Dance of Death by August Strindberg (Classic Stage Company); Scaffolding by Jeff Blumenkrantz starring Rebecca Luker for Premieres! (Barrow Group Theater); Paper Piano by Mary Jo Shen (Joe’s Pub); Hansel and Gretl and Heidi And Günther (Village Theater Festival of New Musicals); Newton's Cradle, NAMT Festival, (Best Director Award); The Trouble With Doug/Fredericia Theater, Denmark; The Impresario (Philadelphia Opera Theater); eight productions for Texas Opera Theater, the touring arm of Houston Grand Opera, introducing students of all ages to opera and musical theater; Shakin’ The Blues Away; An Irving Berlin Revue (Goodspeed Opera House). Teaching: Master teacher in U.S. and abroad; Visiting faculty, Yale University, Artist-in residence, Duke University, and Pace School of the Performing Arts, where she directed The Light in the Piazza. Board member, New York City Center and the Kurt Weill Foundation. Favorite role: Thomas Luke’s mom. Victoria resides in New York with her husband Tom Reidy and their rescue Golden Retriever Ollie.
Leading Broadway music director and conductor, Andy Einhorn, directs concerts this year with the Baltimore, St. Louis, Santa Barbara and South Dakota Symphony Orchestras. At Aspen Music Festival, Einhorn led performances of Sondheim's A Little Night Music and a concert performance of South Pacific. Einhorn returns to Blossom Music Festival to lead The Cleveland Orchestra in a concert performance of South Pacific. Most recently he served as the Music Supervisor and Musical Director for the Broadway productions of Carousel and Hello Dolly! Einhorn’s previous Broadway credits include Holiday Inn, Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Evita, Brief Encounter, The Light in the Piazza, and Sondheim on Sondheim. Since 2011 Einhorn has served as music director and pianist for Six-Time Tony Award Winner, Audra McDonald, performing with her at such prestigious orchestras as The New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. Recording credits include Audra McDonald's Sing Happy with the New York Philharmonic, Carousel featuring Renee Fleming, Hello Dolly! featuring Bette Midler, Bullets Over Broadway, Cinderella, Evita, Sondheim on Sondheim (Grammy Nom) Stage Door Canteen and McDonald’s Go Back Home. Andy Einhorn is an honors graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Mary Beth Peil is an Obie Award-winning and Tony-nominated actress who has made careers on stage and screen alike. Her winning the Metropolitan Opera National Opera Council Auditions launched her two-decade trajectory as an opera and concert soprano, during which time she originated the role of Alma in Lee Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke at Minnesota Opera. Reflecting on her experience playing the title role in a production of Kiss Me, Kate, also at Minnesota Opera, Peil realized “I was a singing actor, not an acting singer.” So began a second successful career on Broadway, where Peil portrayed Anna Leonowens opposite Yul Brynner in the national tour of The King and I (her first Tony nomination), played the role of Desiree in A Little Night Music with the Opera Ensemble of New York, and appeared in productions of Follies, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Sunday in the Park With George. In 1995, she won an Obie Award for her work in three Off-Broadway plays: The Naked Truth (WMA Theater), A Cheever Evening (Playwrights Horizons), and Missing Persons (Atlantic Theater Company.) She also appeared in The Visit and Liaisons Dangereuse on Broadway, and received her second Tony nomination for her most recent appearance as the Dowager Empress in Anastasia. Peil also has forged a career as a film and television actress, where she is known for her roles in Dawson’s Creek, The Good Wife, and Law & Order SVU, among others. Most recently she was seen as King Duncan in Macbeth at Classic Stage Company, and Martha Graham in Halston on Netflix.