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Festival of New Musicals


In 1989 the Festival of New Musicals was created to provide a forum to celebrate the new musicals that were being produced and presented around the country. Since then, the Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 220 musicals and 420 writers from around the world. More than 85% have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions, tours; been licensed and/or recorded on cast albums as a direct result of the Festival! 

Held over two days in New York City every fall, the Festival produces 45-minute presentations of eight new musicals before an industry-only audience with the experience and resources to move the work forward.

Past Festival presentations include Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days; Don McKellar, Bob Martin, Greg Morrison and Lisa Lambert's The Drowsy Chaperone; Richard Morris, Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori's Thoroughly Modern Millie; Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias' See Rock City and Other Destinations;Stephen Schwartz and John Caird's Children of Eden; Kirsten Childs' The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin; George Stiles and Anthony Drewes' Honk!; Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World; Hunter Foster and David Kirshenbaum's Summer of '42; and Gaby Alter and Itamar Moses' Nobody Loves You.


The purpose of the Festival is to create a nurturing environment for discovery, development and advancement of the musical theatre art form. NAMT seeks to do this with a focus on quality, diversity and new voices.

Objectives and Goals:

  1. Showcase new musicals that are diverse in ethnicity, subject matter, style and concept
  2. Encourage future productions of new musicals
  3. Promote new work and new voices
  4. Nurture composers, lyricists and book writers
  5. Stimulate networking opportunities for NAMT Members and theatre professionals
  6. Provide a forum to spark new collaborations and ventures

The Festival of New Musicals has received a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  

Dramatists Guild

The Festival is also supported in part by The Dramatists Guild Fund and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.



Festival Alumni Say...

"Bringing all of the industry together in such a way to see your show is an experience you can’t find anywhere else, especially when it’s a challenge to get theatres, producers, to see and read your work.  Your show can sometimes get lost on a desk piled high with scripts and demos, but NAMT brings your musical to the forefront and puts a spotlight on it.  Thank you!"
-Julianne Wick Davis, Southern Comfort (2012)

"If there were a list of non-profit arts organizations who encouraged new works and brought that work to the attention of people that can foster it and get it produced, then the National Alliance for Musical Theatre should be at the absolute top of that list. NAMT has been essential in providing the next step for us and our musical."

- Brian Hargrove, It Shoulda Been You (2009)

"The NAMT festival was an amazing opportunity to showcase my work to industry members who otherwise would not have seen it.  It was an audience hungry to support new musicals – not only did I get calls from theaters and producers who wanted to put on my show, I got offers from theaters across the country who wanted me in residence to create new work.  I can’t imagine a better scenario for a young writer looking to build his career."

- Adam Gwon , Ordinary Days (2008)

"The contacts we made at [the Festival] have led to nearly every new professional opportunity we've had since then. A world of opportunities has opened up for us, and we have NAMT to thank for all of it."
- Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn, Striking 12 (2004)

"The NAMT Festival was a huge step in the development of Princesses... The Festival staff was extremely cooperative and nurturing and helped us with everything from casting to the sound issues that were unique to our presentation. The Festival audience included a Who's Who of Broadway and Regional producers and theaters, (profit and non) and as a result we found ourselves in the enviable position of choosing among offers to move our show forward."
- David Zippel, Pamela's First Musical (2008), Princesses (2003)

"Since Kingdom seemed a dangerous and difficult show to produce - a violent, tragic hip hop musical about a real gang - we couldn't find any theatres willing to take a chance on it. Then we got into NAMT... Our relationship with [The Old Globe], which started at NAMT in 2007, resulted in our dream production: a collaboration between The Old Globe and a San Diego neighborhood high school struggling to cope with gang violence that culminated in a wonderful run of Kingdom at the school and The Globe's main stage... and a model for how Kingdom can be produced at a regional theatre in a way that mobilizes the community around the themes of the show."
- Aaron Jafferis and Ian Williams, Kingdom (2007)

"Often writing musical theater is a solitary process done in a room with a piano and one’s writing partner.  NAMT opens the door to our writing room and... creates a space for us to move on to the next level - to 'make theater,' and not just 'write shows.'"
- Tom Mizer and Curtis Moore, The Legend of Stagecoach Mary (2008)

Read longer testimonials from NAMT writers about their experiences during and after the Festival.