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Stacey Luftig and Daniel Goldstein Honored with 2016 Kleban Prize Today

The Kleban Foundation recently announced the winners of its 26th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre lyricist -- Stacey Luftig -- and its 26th annual Kleban Prize for the most promising musical theatre librettist -- Daniel Goldstein.

The 2016 prizes will be presented today, February 8, 2016, in a private ceremony (by invitation only) hosted by ASCAP and BMI at ASCAP.

Since its inception, Kleban Prize winners have been selected by judging panels comprised of the theatre's most respected artists and administrators. The judges making the final determination this year were two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey, Michael Price (Former Executive Director, Goodspeed Musicals), and Andrew Zerman (Casting Director and Vocal Coach).

The Kleban Foundation was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tonyand Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line. Kleban's will made provisions for two annual prizes, which in recent years have totaled $100,000 each, payable over two years, to be given to the most promising lyricist and librettist in American Musical Theatre. For 26 years, The Kleban Prize, which has recognized and honored some of the American musical theatre's brightest developing talents, is unique in that it is bestowed not just for an artist's previous achievements, but for the promise of creativity to come.

Over the past 26 years, the annual Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has awarded approximately $5,000,000 to 62 artists who collectively have garnered four Tony Awards (with nearly 30 Tony nominations), 59 Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, nine Outer Critic Circle Awards, four Obie Awards, two Olivier Awards, and two Pulitzer Prizes. The list of previous Kleban Prize winners includes Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak(A Gentleman's Guide To Love and Murder),David Lindsay-Abaire (Shrek), Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years), John Bucchino (A Catered Affair, It's Only Life), Gretchen Cryer (I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road, The Last Sweet Days of Isaac), Michael Korie (Grey Gardens, Happiness), Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), Michael John LaChiusa (Giant, See What I Wanna See, The Wild Party), Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid) and John Weidman (Pacific Overtures,Road Show, Assassins). For a complete listing of the last 26 years of Kleban Prize winners, see the list at the end of this document.

"For over 26 years, The Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre has been one of the theatre's most distinctive honors," says Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr., President of the Kleban Foundation. "While so many theatre awards recognize the best of the past season, The Kleban Prize distinguishes itself by looking to the future. With a uniquely generous endowment, The Kleban Prize celebrates and supports some of the theatre's most promising writers. The Kleban Foundation is proud to carry Ed Kleban's legacy into the 21st century, having fostered over 60 emerging artists when they need support the most -- when starting out."

STACEY LUFTIG (2016 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre lyricist) is a New York City-based lyricist, librettist, playwright, and occasional television writer. Along with composer Phillip Palmer, she received the 2015 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theatre songwriting; their musical, My Heart Is the Drum (book by Jennie Redling), will have its world premiere at Village Theatre in 2016, with previous development at the BMI Workshop, NAMT, the Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, and Kent State University. Stacey is currently writing lyrics for a family musical, partially in Spanish, based on the award-winning book The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez, written by René Colato Laínez (book by Susan Murray, music by Mary Feinsinger). Previous work includes a monologue and lyrics featured in the long-running Off-Broadway revue That's Life (music by Carolyn Sloan), which was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and toured nationwide. She wrote book and lyrics for Understood Betsy (music by Mary Feinsinger, additional music by Robert Elhai), which won the Jackie White Memorial National Children's Playwriting Award and the National Children's Theatre Festival Award and was produced at the Actors' Playhouse. Her operetta Story of an Hour (music by Michael Valenti) premiered with the Portland Chamber Orchestra; the carol from the piece debuted at Christmas mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. Her play Jinxed, about Amelia Earhart and Jackie Cochran, was an O'Neill NPC Finalist, won first place and audience favorite at Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, and had staged readings at the Abingdon Theater, Penguin Rep, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. She has also written animated television episodes for Pinky Dinky Doo, produced by the Sesame Workshop. Stacey is an alumnus of the University of Virginia and the BMI Composer-Lyricist Workshop; a five-time fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and a member of the BMI Librettists Workshop, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild.
DANIEL GOLDSTEIN (2016 Kleban Prize winner, most promising musical theatre librettist) is a writer and director based in Brooklyn. His musicalUnknown Soldier (written with Michael Friedman)played a sold-out run at Williamstown Theater Festival during the summer 2015 season. It received development at MTC, The National Musical Theater Conference at The O'Neill Theater Center, McCarter Theater and The Huntington Theater Company, which originally commissioned the piece as the inaugural Stanford Calderwood Commission for New American Plays. He received (with Dawn Landes) a Public Theater/Joe's Pub New York Voices Commission for Row, a musical based on A Pearl in the Storm, Tori Murden McClure's memoir about becoming the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Row has been developed at The Orchard Project and Tofte Lake Center. As a director, his work has been seen on and off-Broadway, around the US and internationally. He recently completed his first short film, No She Wasn't, written by Ethan Sandler and starring Katie Lowes. He is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. in Performance Studies.
For more information about The Kleban Prize visit:

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