The Max K. Lerner Fellowship

The authors selected for each Lab season are the recipients of Max K. Lerner Playwriting Fellowship, which provides financial, logistical and artistic support to our playwrights. Max K. Lerner was special council and a senior advisor to the Shubert Theatre Organization for over 30 years. During his tenure there, new writers and plays were strongly fostered, including such pieces as: Amadeus, Children of a Lesser God, City of Angels, Dreamgirls, A Few Good Men, Glengarry Glen Ross, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, "Master Harold"...and the Boys, 'night, Mother, The Real Thing, Sunday in the Park with George, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Max was always a passionate advocate for both new and emerging writers in the theater, and this Fellowship honors his lifelong commitment.

"Here are a few things I learned from my father and his boundless excitement for life. I hope you can benefit from Max's wisdom as much as I have.

Don't focus on the negative. "It'll get you every time," he used to say. When you find yourself spiraling, stop it.

Go forward, not backward. "Straight ahead" was his favorite phrase, cropping up on cards and letters as well as in conversation. In fact, several members of our family now sign off this way.

Keep your sense of humor. We would often find Max whistling and talking at the same time, even up until the end. At parties, he would dance and sing along to the music (his favorite move being "the cha-cha-cha"). He also used his creative side to produce a few records and off-Broadway shows.

Be a mentor. Dad was always looking to offer help to those around him, and young people would flock to him in search of his advice."

— Helene Lerner
Her tribute on The Huffington Post