Sondheim-Inspired Lobby Project Finalists Announced!

July 5, 2017 by New York City Center

We’re thrilled to announce the Encores! Off-Center Assassins Lobby Project finalists!

Congratulations to Sebastian Durfee, Taylor Ferrera and Bob FerreraDeepali Gupta and Jess Newman.
These five talented songwriters and composers have each created original works inspired by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Assassins. Come to the Lobby Project on July 13 at 6:30pm, July 14 at 7pm, or July 15 at 7pm to hear them perform their work live. The Lobby Project takes place in City Center’s Grand Tier lobby one hour before select performances and is free for that evening’s ticket holders.

This year's judging panel included Michael Friedman (Artistic Director, Encores! Off-Center), Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Creative Director, 54 Below, The Untold Stories of Broadway), Ben Wexler (Composer, The Insurgents, Speech and Debate), Darren Biggart (Creative Director, A Broader Way), Helen Handelman (Producer, The Lobby Project), and Jenny Koons (Curator, The Lobby Project).

When we put out the call for original songs inspired by Sondheim's "The Gun Song," we had no idea what an impressive array we would receive. In this moment of increased conversation around gun control and the Second Amendment, the songs we received were topical, passionate, and thoughtful.

Nearly 90 entries were submitted from 15 states and 5 countries, ranging from instrumental compositions to musical theater opening numbers to complex counterpoint orchestrations. From these entries our judging panel selected 4 finalists, 7 semi-finalists, and 9 honorable mentions. These songs represent an in-depth and continued conversation with the questions raised in Sondheim and Weidman's musical.  


The Gun Song - Sebastian Durfee

If Only Lincoln Had a Gun - Taylor and Bob Ferrera

How Many Guns - Deepali Gupta

All You Have to Do (The Gun Song) - Jess Newman


A Good Guy With A Gun - Eli Bolin & Mike Pettry
Walking with Ghosts - Nick Coburn
Black Ops 2 - Daniel & Patrick Lazour
In Stock - Matthew McCollum
The Stress Song - Angela Sclafani
Hand/Gun - Jason SweetTooth Williams
I Hate This Gun - Lev Zhurbin


O Happy Gun! - Garrett Bell
One Little Phone - Brendan Dalton
Give - Adam Ikner
Gotta Give a Guy a Gun - Skip Kennon
Let Me Have a Gun - Zhailon Levingson
I Play With Words, Not Guns - Joel B. New
Shoot Me!!! - Steven Silverstein & Andrew Zachary Cohen
Ammunition - Robert Vuichard
Change the World - Michael Wysong