Adams Prize for Musical Theatre

Congratulations to the 2024 Prize Winners!

First Place:

Boy Boy and the Magic Drum (Chantal Forde and Jewelle Blackman)

Chantal Forde is a writer, director, educator, and performer in the GTA. From challenging and thought-provoking plays, to light-hearted, family-friendly shows, she loves to be a part of creating theatre and film/tv of all genres. Chantal and her husband, Tim Cadeny, are currently in rehearsal for the 11th annual pantomime they co-create, produced every December at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts. Her plays Lacuna, Table 7, Grey, and Perceptions of Love in the Pursuit of Happiness all had Toronto Fringe/NSTF premieres between 2015 and 2021, with Grey going on to the One More Night Festival, becoming a semi-finalist in the Austin Film Festival playwright’s division, and garnering the Critic’s Pick Award for Outstanding Ensemble.  Recent directing includes new musical Curious K Explores the Paleozoic (Kenton and Lise), Jay and Shilo: Nightmare Neighbour and Jay and Shilo: Props Catastrophe (Goldenberg Productions), RENT (BOTG), Drew’s Story (Shadowpath Theatre Productions), Disenchanted - At Home! (Poison Apple Productions), Statue of Limitations (Kingston Fringe), Monkey Wrench ( Ergo Arts Pink Fest), And Then … She Did! (Goldenberg Productions). She is currently developing The Complex, a hybrid digital and in-person immersive theatre experience with collaborators Mandy Roveda and Jessie Fraser, which got its first production in the 2022 Next Stage Theatre Festival. Chantal’s other passion is inspiring next generation and new-in-art theatre-makers and theatre lovers. She does this on faculty at Sheridan College, as an instructor at Centre Stage Theatre School, as well as teaching workshops for Shadowpath Theatre Productions.

Jewelle Blackman is a Canadian actor, singer-songwriter, violinist and playwright. Jewelle most recently starred as Persephone on Broadway in the Tony & Grammy Award winning Best Musical “Hadestown.” The same show were she where made her Broadway debut as part of the original cast and originated the role of “Fate.” Other theatre credits include the Canadian companies of Hadestown; The Lion King; We Will Rock You; Caroline or Change; Dreamgirls; Crowns and three seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Television: “The Coroner” “Kim’s Convenience”, “Frankie Drake,” “Private Eyes” and “Shadowhunters.” Film: “Nine Lives” and “Crossword Mysteries”. Jewelle is also a playwright, composer and lyricist. You can listen to her most recent musical “ROOTED: A musical Poem” as a podcast on APPLE and SPOTIFY which was created with the support of Sheridan College and the Musical Stage Company. She is also developing her musical “Tar” with Musical Stage Company

Second Place:

The Pig that Killed Our Baby (Eudes La Roche-Francoeur and Russel Niessen)

Third Place:

From the Wreckage (Blank Page Productions)

Honorable Mentions:

Apothecary (Laura Piccinin and Allison Wither)
The Gray (Anthony (Ani) Palermo)

Prize Information

Applications for the 2024 Adams Prize are now closed.

Sponsored by the Pat and Tony Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts, the Adams Prize for Musical Theatre is an annual juried contest for composers/playwrights with a new, previously unproduced musical. This prize was previously named the Paul O’Sullivan Prize.


The winner of the 2024 Adams Prize for Musical Theatre will receive a free performance slot in the upcoming Toronto Fringe Festival as well as a bursary ($3500). 

Application Fees

$10/20/30 application fee including HST, paid by credit card through the online application form.

(*Non-Sufficient Funds: If fee is returned the applicant will be informed and have 24 hours to pay the fee as well as any service fees incurred)

The application fee contributes towards the administrative costs of these contests. If this fee presents a barrier to you, please reach out to us via email at

Contest Terms & Conditions

  1. All applicants must be a permanent resident of Canada.
  2. More than one entry per playwright/composer is permitted.
  3. All works must be submitted in English.
  4. All entries must be original, unproduced works. Works that have had a workshop for the purpose of creation and development are eligible.
  5. The playwright/composer may have received funding to create or workshop this piece.
  6. All plays/musicals must have a performance time of 90 minutes or less.
  7. Playwrights/composers who enter a contest may also enter the Fringe lottery.
  8. If selected, the winner must produce the play/musical that was submitted to the corresponding contest for the next soonest Toronto Fringe Festival. It is understood that the piece will be subject to revisions/dramaturgical changes in the usual course of continued development.
  9. The winning production will also be required to recognize the Toronto Fringe on all their marketing materials (program, posters, brochures, press release, website, etc). Specific details of this recognition to follow.
  10. The winning production will also be required to recognize all sponsors/partners of the competition on all their marketing materials (specific details of this recognition to follow).
  11. The winner must provide a short post-festival report on the contest, production, and festival experience.
  12. The winning plays will be announced each year at the Fringe Festival Lottery Party held in December.

Application Materials

The application consists of a short, online form where you can upload materials and pay the application fee. If an alternative application method is required, please email

  1. Complete script with tracks - please include all music links in the body of your script.
  2. The first phase of the assessment process is anonymous, please ensure that the author's name is not on the script, or visible on any of the music links.
  3. Proof of rights.
  4. Estimated running time (a maximum of 90 min)
  5. Brief statement about your producing experience, producing team and why your musical would be a hit at the Toronto Fringe. (only visible to the assessment committee on phase 2 of the adjudicationprocess)
  6. An application fee of either $10, $20 or $30, paid by credit card through the online application form.

Selection Process

This contest is adjudicated by approximately four assessment committee members and undergoes two rounds of adjudication. Due to the specific requirements of a slot in the upcoming Fringe Festival, the second adjudication round will not be anonymous and producing experience will also be considered by the assessment committee. Round 1 will be adjudicated anonymously and be based on the script and music samples provided.

Round 1: All applications are divided equally between the jurors. Each juror selects a shortlist of which applications to advance to round 2.

Round 2: Each application in the shortlist is reviewed by every committee member, and they come together in a final meeting to select the winning application. To give the winning piece the best possible chance of success, in this round, the committee will take into consideration the whole company experience behind the show.

Each application is assessed against the following criteria:


The Toronto Fringe is committed to equality, diversity, and prioritizing accessibility. We warmly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities, 2SLGBTQ+ identified persons as well as Deaf, Mad and disability-identified persons.

If you require any accommodations, please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne Wilkie (

Past Winners

"Dancer" by Jim Betts (2023)
"As You Lay Sleeping" by Amelia Izmanki (2021, Digital Adams Prize)
"Statistics" by Shreya Jha (2020, deferred to 2022)
"The Break-Up Diet" by Tamara Williamson (2019)
"The Preposterous Predicament of Polly Peel" by Kevin Wong and Julie Tepperman (2018)
"Seeking Refuge" by Rick Jones (2017)
"Life After" by Britta Johnson (2016)

2024 Adams Prize Jury