NEW YORK: The Fred Ebb Foundation, in association with Roundabout Theatre Company, has announced that Stacey Luftig and Phillip Palmer will be the joint recipients of this year’s Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical theatre songwriters. The award, which includes a cash prize of $50,000 and a one-night-only showcase of the winners’ work, is intended to to recognize the artistic merit of a musical theatre songwriter or songwriting team that has yet to achieve significant commercial success.
Luftig, a librettist and playwright, has written the lyrics for Story of an Hour, That’s Life, and Understood Betsy. Palmer, a composer and music director, is responsible for the music of The Weatherman and the original dance compositions Three Miniatures and Tango. As a team, Luftig and Palmer are credited as co-creators of My Heart Is the Drum, a full-length musical that have its world premiere at Washington’s Village Theatre in the spring of 2016.
Among those who participated in the selection panel for this year’s Ebb Award were lyricist Sheldon Harnick, actress Kelli O’Hara, and playwright Tim Pinkcney. Established in the memory of Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb, one half of the Kander & Ebb duo (Curtains, Chicago), the award has previously been awarded to such songwriters and songwriting teams as Sam Wilmott, Michael Kooman & Christopher Diamond, and Jeff Blumenkrantz.