Stacey Luftig writes lyrics and book for musical theater. She also writes plays, operettas, and the occasional television show.
In 2016, Stacey won the Kleban Prize for most promising theater lyricist based on her lyrics from My Heart Is the Drum and for lyrics from her musical in progress, The Tooth Fairy Versus El Ratón Pérez. In 2015, she and composer Phillip Palmer won the 2015 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theater songwriting with work from My Heart Is the Drum.
My Heart Is the Drum (bookwriter, Jennie Redling) had its world premiere at Village Theatre in March 2016, with direction by Schele Williams (Motown the Musical). Originated at the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Drum was presented by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and further developed at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, followed by a developmental production at Kent State University.
Stacey's play Jinxed, an O'Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist, won first place and audience favorite at Dayton Playhouse FutureFest. Inspired by the little-known story of the friendship and conflict between Amelia Earhart and pilot Jacqueline Cochran, this full-length play is now being adapted into a musical called Saving Amelia [working title], with composer Phillip Palmer. Saving Amelia has been developed at the BMI Workshop, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, and NY SongSpace, and Stacey was awarded the 2018 BMI Harrington Award for her work on the libretto.
Her operetta, Story of an Hour, was awarded the inaugural Salzman-Gramercy Opera Advancement Prize. The operetta is set in 19th-century England and based on the Kate Chopin short story by the same name. It premiered with the Portland Chamber Orchestra. The Christmas carol from the operetta was performed by the choir at
St. Patrick’s Cathedral on three occasions, including Christmas mass.
As one of several lyricists for That’s Life, an off-Broadway revue about Jewish life in contemporary America, Stacey was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. Her work on the show was singled out by several publications, including The New York Times and The New York Post.
She has also written book and lyrics for Understood Betsy, a family musical. Based on a novel published in 1916 that is even more timely a century later, Understood Betsy tells the story of a timid, overprotected young girl who learns to think and act for herself. Produced at Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida, Understood Betsy was the winner of the National Children’s Theatre Festival Award and the Jackie White National Children’s Playwriting Award.
Stacey is the lyricist for The Tooth Fairy Versus El Ratón Pérez, with book by Susan Murray and music by Mary Feinsinger. This family musical, written partially in Spanish, is based on an award-winning book by René Colato Laínez. Crash Course, a one-act play written with poet and fiction writer Enid Shomer, was presented as part of the Raymond J. Flores Short Play Festival at Repertorio Espanol in New York City.
Other writing includes episodes of the animated TV show Pinky Dinky Doo, produced by the Sesame Workshop and Noggin Network. Stacey is also the editor of The Joni Mitchell Companion and The Paul Simon Companion, anthologies published by Schirmer Books.
Stacey is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She is a five-time fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a member of the BMI Librettists Workshop, the Dramatists Guild, and ASCAP. She lives in New York City.
She also happens to be a great-niece of Irving Cohn, who wrote the music for the 1923 hit song "Yes, We Have No Bananas."