But how did Emma and composer-lyricist Paul Gordon get to TheatreWorks? Dig back a bit deeper, you’ll find an association of organizations that make up the National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT). Emma got its start in NAMT workshops and a festival, as did another popular Playhouse production, Ace, which had a good run here, in St. Louis and at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego.
I learned more about NAMT in a recent telephone interview with the organization’s director, Kathy Evans, and producer Sue Frost of Junkyard Dog Productions, who is part of the team pointing a NAMT cultivated musical version of the late 1970s drama Vanities toward a run in New York City. NAMT was founded in 1985 and is dedicated exclusively to musical theater. It has 140 members in 31 states and eight countries. Members range from theaters and presenting organizations (like Dayton’s Human Race Theatre Company) to universities (including UC’s College-Conservatory of Music and the theater program at Wright State University) and individual producers.