But the catalogue of American musicals is far broader than the dozen or so holding down residence on Broadway marquees, and often the development of new musicals travels a much more winding path than that from the movie house to the playhouse. Instead, they are created by emerging artists with an excitement for the creative process and the hope for a wider audience.
Every year a handful of these organic musicals arrive in New York at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Annual Festival of New Musicals for a short staged reading and showcase in the hopes of support, funding, and most of all a path down which they may continue the journey of their creative process. One such show at this year’s festival, THE CIRCUS IN WINTER, is on a most unique journey. Its creation began not in a movie theater or as a time-tested show, but in an undergraduate classroom at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana where fourteen students and one theater professor spent a semester together writing a musical.