New Member: Karey Kirkpatrick
By Etan Rosenbloom • November 21, 2016
Though nearly 20 years in the making, the hit 2015 musical Something Rotten! seemed to come out of nowhere. It was created by three Broadway first-timers: new ASCAP member Karey Kirkpatrick, his co-songwriter (and brother) Wayne and co-book writer John O’Farrell; an early workshop run went so well that they scrapped a planned test run in Seattle, and launched onto Broadway after just a month of previews. Two months later, the show was nominated for 10 Tonys (including Best Book & Best Score nods for Kirkpatrick), and would earn a Grammy nod for Best Musical Theater Album.
Before Kirkpatrick’s Broadway success, he had decades of experience as a screenwriter. He wrote screenplays for Disney titles like The Rescuers Down Under, James and the Giant Peach and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and DreamWorks projects The Road to El Dorado, Madagascar and Chicken Run.
Kirkpatrick is making the most of his new status as a Broadway hitmaker. He’s currently collaborating with Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori on a new musical, and recently joined the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop as a guest mentor, alongside Wicked and Pippin creator Stephen Schwartz.
“The fact that ASCAP’s founders included Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern suggested to me that the organization, from the outset, had the artists’ well-being at heart,” Kirkpatrick says about his decision to join ASCAP. “That spirit still exists today. I can already tell this is an organization that doesn’t just collect royalties but fosters and nurtures the art of music and those who create it. I couldn’t be happier.”