Alumna Rehana Lew Mirza '07 Wins Kleban Prize

BY Robbie Armstrong, February 27, 2020

The 30th Annual Kleban Prizes for Musical Theatre were presented earlier this month, honoring the work of musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists. The prize for most promising musical theatre librettist was awarded to alumna Rehana Lew Mirza ’07 and Mike Lew. The Kleban Prizes were hosted by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop at the ASCAP headquarters in New York City


Previous Kleban Prize winners include Shaina Taub (The Devil Wears Prada), Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Jason Robert Brown (Parade), Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), and Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q).


Mirza and Lew are married playwrights sharing a Mellon Foundation National Playwright residency at Ma-Yi Theater Company. Their Rodgers Award–winning musical Bhangin’ It will play at La Jolla Playhouse and McCarter Theatre in 2021. 


Aside from her collaborative work with Lew, Mirza’s plays have also found success. Hatefuck played at WP Theatre in 2019 and will play the Round House Theatre in June. Her play Soldier X premiered at Ma-Yi Theater Company in 2015 to positive reviews, being commended for bringing the topics of veteran morality and civilian disinterest to the forefront.