As NAMT’s de facto webmaster, I’m lucky enough to get to poke around in programs and services that aren’t strictly “my department.” We recently streamlined and revamped the Festival of New Musicals section of the site, including a pretty major overhaul of the Festival History, Photos and Success Stories (formerly three separate sections, now conveniently all in one place).
I’ve been at NAMT since 2008, so I’m very familiar with the 32 show we’ve presented while I’ve worked here, along with a handful from earlier in the 2000s. But since 1989, the Festival has showcased 273 new musicals by 493 writers, and I’ve simply never had the opportunity before to spend quality time with the entire list. Wow! I knew the “big” titles of course, but there were lots of writers I hadn’t realized were alumni (my favorite tidbit: Angelo Badalamenti, composer of many film scores for David Lynch, was in the first year of the Festival, shortly after the Twin Peaks pilot was shot — I’m a TV nerd as well as a musical theatre nerd). There are years when nearly every show went on to have a robust life, which make me very proud to be part of the NAMT team, even if I wasn’t here then.
Unfortunately, there are gaps in the post-Festival stories of these shows. Through office moves, staff changes and the simple fact that hardly anyone had email in 1989 (and I’m betting those CompuServe addresses don’t work anymore), we’ve lost track of Alumni Writers from the early years, and they’ve lost track of us. As part of this web redesign, we’re stepping up our efforts to reconnect with alumni and fill in the blanks. If you happen to be an alumnus/a of the Festival (or know one), please click here to fill out an update form with your contact info, any updates on your show or other shows you’ve written. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d really love to hear from you — and let you know what we’re up to, too!
And whether you’re an alum or not, please do take a look at the Festival history. I’m not bragging when I say it’s an impressive read.