Merrily We Roll Along Rooftop Writers Initiative Will Send 100 Young Writers to the Broadway Revival | Playbill

Education News Merrily We Roll Along Rooftop Writers Initiative Will Send 100 Young Writers to the Broadway Revival

Find out how to submit yourself for consideration.

Lindsay Mendez, Jonathan Groff, and Daniel Radcliffe in Merrily We Roll Along Matthew Murphy

Broadway's Merrily We Roll Along is partnering with The Stephen Sondheim Foundation and the American Theatre Wing's Jonathan Larson Grant to launch the Rooftop Writers Initiative, a project that will select 100 young writers to get a pair of free tickets to the starry Sondheim revival for February 29. The special performance will be followed by a post-show discussion with the cast.

The production is also donating a percentage of proceeds from a special Merrily We Roll Along pen (sold at the revival's merchandise stands) to the Stephen Sondheim Foundation and the Larson Grant.

For more information on the contest and how to submit, visit

The Sondheim Foundation was established following the composer-lyricist's 2021 death, and is the largest single beneficiary of royalties from Sondheim's body of work. Following Sondheim's wishes, the foundation works to aid emerging theatre writers with financial assistance.

The new initiative is inspired by the lead characters of Merrily We Roll Along, all three of whom are writers who meet early in their career on a Manhattan rooftop. The current revival stars Daniel Radcliffe as Charley Kringas, Jonathan Groff as Franklin Shepard, and Lindsay Mendez as Mary Flynn. They're joined by Krystal Joy Brown as Gussie Carnegie, Katie Rose Clarke as Beth Shepard, and Reg Rogers as Joe Josephson.

The production began at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2012, later playing the West End, Boston, and Off-Broadway before making its Broadway debut. Maria Friedman directs, with choreography by Tim Jackson and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. Scenic and costume design are by Soutra Gilmour, with lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, sound design by Kai Harada, hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan, music supervision by Catherine Jayes, music direction by Joel Fram, associate music supervision by Alvin Hough, Jr., and music coordination by Kristy Norter.

With a book by George Furth—adapted from the George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart play of the same name—and a score by Sondheim, the musical tracks the lives of three friends navigating the entertainment industry over three decades in reverse chronological order. Sondheim's score includes such songs as "Old Friends," "Now You Know," "Franklin Shepard, Inc.," "Good Thing Going," and "Not a Day Goes By."

The work was not a success on its first Broadway outing, running just 16 performances and ending the string of genre-defining collaborations between Sondheim and director Hal Prince. Together with the popularity of the show's original Broadway cast album, a revised version of the show has transformed the work into a cult favorite. This current production was originally staged at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2012 and later transferred to the West End, where it won an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. Huntington Theatre in Boston gave the staging its North American premiere in 2017.

Sonia Friedman Productions, David Babani, Patrick Catullo, and Jeff Romley lead the producing team for the Broadway bow.

Take a Look at Production Photos of Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway

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