Benjamin Scheuer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Benjamin Scheuer is an American songwriter, guitarist, playwright, performer and recording artist, based in London and New York City.



Benjamin Scheuer (pronounced “SHOY-er”) wrote and performed The Lion,[1] a one-man autobiographical musical. The Lion premiered off-Broadway in 2014 at the Manhattan Theatre Club, directed by Sean Daniels. It has since enjoyed critically acclaimed runs off-West End in London, again off-Broadway in New York, and at theatres around the United States.[2] The Los Angeles Times writes that in The Lion, "the vibe of casual, unrehearsed immediacy masks the narrative complexity of a novel or an opera." [3]

In 2015 Scheuer and The Lion won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.[4] In 2015 the Huffington Post called The Lion "the best new musical this year"[5] The show's first version, called The Bridge, ran in the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Scheuer has given more than 500 performances THE LION at theatres including DC's Arena Stage, San Francisco's ACT, Portland Center Stage in Oregon, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and San Diego's The Old Globe. Scheuer gave the final performance of THE LION at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles on February 19, 2017.

In 2007 Jihad! The Musical, for which Scheuer wrote the music and lyrics, was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in 2010 it transferred to Jermyn Street Theatre in London.[6][7]

Benjamin Scheuer is an alumnus of the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Workshop, and has been writer-in-residence at the Goodspeed Theatre, The O'Neill Theatre Center the Weston Playhouse, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Scheuer toured the UK with Mary Chapin Carpenter in 2014, and has performed at such venues as the Royal Albert Hall in London and New York's Lincoln Center.

Music Videos[edit]

I Am Samantha was released on March 31, 2020, to coincide with International Transgender Day of Visibility.[8] The video features a cast of 27 transgender performers, including Monica Helms, and is directed by T Cooper. Scheuer wrote the song for his friend Samantha Williams, a transgender woman.[8]

In February 2019, Scheuer released a lyric-video for his song Hibernate With Me, with artwork from his children's-book of the same title.[9]

Working with UK-based animator Peter Baynton (Radish Pictures) Scheuer has produced animated music videos for the songs "Weather The Storm, “The Lion,” “Cookie-tin Banjo,” and “Cure.” [10] "Cure" follows a body as it deals with cancer and chemotherapy. The video, according to the NYTimes, "depicts the chemicals striking like lightning, as if to shock the body or map it with bombed roadways, tracking a jagged terrain. The speed of the tattooing brings to mind the words “invasive” and “systemic.” We are looking at a representation of cancer treatment, but the video evokes terror at the disease’s malevolent capacity to spread quickly." [11][12]

Baynton's four videos have featured at various international animation and children's film festivals, and have won awards at the Annecy Film Festival, The British Animation Awards, The Crystal Palace Festival, and the Encounters Film Festival.[13]

Music Releases[edit]

"I Am Samantha" was released, alongside a music video, on March 31 2020 by Atlantic Records.[14] Scheuer wrote the song for a transgender friend of his. The music-video was directed by T Cooper, who is transgender, and features a cast of 27, all of whom are transgender.

Scheuer released the songs "Hibernate With Me" and "Hundred Feet tall" in 2019 & 2020 to coincide with the release of his children's books of the same names.[15]

In April 2018, Scheuer's songs "Hello Jemima" and "Silent Giants were released digitally, and as a limited-edition 7" vinyl, with artwork by Jemima Williams (Scheuer's wife, about whom the song "Hello Jemima" was written.) (ADA/Paper Music.) [16]

Scheuer's debut album "Songs from THE LION" was released on June 3, 2016 (ADA/Paper Music.) [17] Produced by Geoff Kraly, the album features Scheuer on guitar and vocals; drummer Josh Freese, drummer Josh Dion, vocalist Jean Rohe, bass player Chris Morrissey, with Kraly programming synthesers and also playing bass. The album was engineered and mixed by Pat Dillett, with additional mixing by Kevin Killen. The album's liner notes are written by Mary Chapin Carpenter.


Scheuer has written two children’s picture-books, Hundred Feet Tall and Hibernate With Me, both illustrated by Scheuer's wife, Jemima Williams.[18]

In 2011 Scheuer, who was at the time twenty-eight years old, was diagnosed with – and successfully treated for – stage IV Hodgkins lymphoma. Seeking to gain some control and with the ethos of creating art from all aspects of life, Scheuer and photographer Riya Lerner undertook a photographic project documenting his year of chemotherapy. Along with diary excerpts and quotes, the 27 black-and-white photographs have been made into a book, Between Two Spaces,[19] with 50% of proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Scheuer was nominated as the LLS’s 2018 Man of the Year in New York City.

On June 7, 2016, Lerner and Scheuer hosted a one-day exhibition of the photographs at the Leslie Lohman Prince Street Gallery in New York City.[20] The New York Times wrote: “The youthful vulnerability of Benjamin Scheuer makes both the video [Cure] and the photographs moving….The poignancy of Mr. Scheuer’s and Ms. Lerner’s images arises from the implacable effect that estranging clinical spaces impose on previously secure domestic places.”[11]

Scheuer has been a guest speaker CSU Long Beach Medical School and San Diego University's Medical School on the topic of "Making Good Things Out of Bad Things". [21] Scheuer spoke at the TEDxBroadway conference on the same topic.


Scheuer is the recipient of the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, a 2015 Theatre World Award for The Lion,[22] the 2014 Off West End Award for Best Musical, the 2013 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award for songwriting,[23] and the 2013 Musical Theatre Network Award for Best Lyrics.[24] Scheuer has been nominated for a 2017 Helen Hayes Award,[25] a 2015 Lucile Lortel Award and two 2015 Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics.[26]


Scheuer is married to Welsh illustrator Jemima Williams. The two met at the 2014 British Animation Awards.[27]


  1. ^ "The Lion".
  2. ^ "at Geffen Playhouse - Best Live Shows and Theatrical Performances in Los Angeles". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ Gray, Margaret. "The one-man musical 'The Lion' leaps to the L.A. stage with songs of regret and hope". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  4. ^ Gordon Cox. "2015 Drama Desk Awards Winners (FULL LIST): 'Hamilton' Takes 7 – Variety". Variety.
  5. ^ "Theater: The Lion Roars (With Pride); Tupac Doesn't Bloom on Broadway in Holler". The Huffington Post.
  6. ^ Times, The New York (6 August 2007). "'Jihad: The Musical' Draws Protests". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via
  7. ^ Billington, Michael (15 January 2010). "Jihad! The Musical - Theatre review". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via
  8. ^ a b Wong, Curtis M. (March 31, 2020). "Singer Benjamin Scheuer Marks Transgender Day Of Visibility With Powerful New Video". HuffPost.
  9. ^ "About The Book". Simon & Schuster.
  10. ^ Scheuer, Benjamin. "Cure". Retrieved 13 January 2019 – via
  11. ^ a b Gubar, Susan (2 June 2016). "An Artist Takes On Cancer". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Watch The New Video For Benjamin Scheuer's "Weather the Storm"". Playbill.
  13. ^ "Award Winners 2015".
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Benjamin Scheuer". Atlantic Records.
  16. ^ "Song premiere: 'Hello Jemima' by Benjamin Scheuer". AXS. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  17. ^ "All New Album Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Hundred Feet Tall, Benjamin Scheuer, illus. by Jemima Williams". Publishers Weekly.
  19. ^ "between two spaces".
  20. ^ Desk, BWW News. "THE LION's Benjamin Scheuer Teams with Photographer Riya Lerner to Benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Tonight". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  21. ^ Schroeder, Shayne (23 January 2017). "Scheuer Brings Talent To CSULB Feb. 8". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Alex Sharp, Sydney Lucas, Ruth Wilson & More Among 2015 Theatre World Award Winners".
  23. ^ "The ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award".
  24. ^ "Musical Theatre Network Awards revealed".
  25. ^ "Nominations for the 2017 Helen Hayes Awards". The Washington Post. February 6, 2017.
  26. ^ "Drama Desk Awards: 2015 nominations announced".
  27. ^ Menza, Kaitlin (April 13, 2018). "A Colorful Wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden". The Cut.