2019-2020 Frank Young Fund for New Musicals and Innovation & Exploration Fund Grants Announced

We are thrilled to announce 11 awards granted from the Frank Young Fund for New Musicals (formerly known as the National Fund for New Musicals), and six awards granted from the Innovation & Exploration Fund. Now in its 11th year, this year the Frank Young Fund for New Musicals (FYFNM) is providing grants totaling $70,000 to organizations across the country. The Innovation & Exploration Fund (I&EF) is providing grants totaling $12,000 to organizations nationwide.

NAMT Executive Director Betsy King Militello stated: “We are honored and excited to support our member theatres both as they work to develop innovative and provocative new musicals, and as they explore ideas to create new best practices in the field. With these grants, we have now awarded 162 grants totaling $563,000 to NAMT members across the country. These projects will join a growing list of important new musicals and initiatives supported by NAMT’s granting programs.”

Frank Young Fund grants of $5,000 to $10,000 to support full productions have been awarded to:

Ars Nova (New York, NY) for Oratorio for Living Things by Heather Christian with funding from The Hollywood Pantages, a Nederlander organization.
Barrington Stage Company, Inc. (Pittsfield, MA) for Falls Springs by Niko Tsakalakos and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb with funding from The Hollywood Pantages, a Nederlander organization. Fall Springs was featured in NAMT’s 2017 Festival of New Musicals.
Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival (Auburn, NY) for Loch Ness, A New Musical by Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo with funding from The Hollywood Pantages, a Nederlander organization. Pailet and Penedo are both Festival Alumni for The Chocolate Tree (Fest ’07).
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK) for Distant Thunder by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Shaun Taylor-Corbett and Chris Wiseman.
Music Theatre of Madison (Madison, WI) for Hephaestus by Nathan Fosbinder. 
Playwrights Horizons (New York, NY) for A Strange Loop by Michael R. Jackson with funding from The Alhadeff Charitable Foundation.
The Public Theater (New York, NY) for a production to be announced.

Frank Young Fund grants of $2,000 to $5,000 to support a workshop or reading have been awarded to:

Diversionary Theatre (San Diego, CA) for Something Blue by Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald with funding from The Hollywood Pantages, a Nederlander organization. Leary and Meinwald are both NAMT Festival Alumni for Pregnancy Pact (Fest ’11) and The Loneliest Girl in the World (Fest ’16).
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, CA) for That’s Our Girl by Lynn Rosen, Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses with funding from The Hollywood Pantages, a Nederlander organization.
Transport Group (New York, NY) for SPLIT by Michele Lowe and Zoe Sarnak with funding from The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund.
Village Theatre (Issaquah, WA) for Hart Island by Michelle Elliot and Danny Haengil Larsen with funding from The Alhadeff Charitable Foundation. Elliot and Larsen are both NAMT Festival Alumni for The Yellow Wood (Fest ’08).

The recipients were selected by a distinguished panel, moderated by Gigi Bolt, the former Director of Theater and Musical Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts. The panelists were César Alvarez, composer, lyricist, playwright and performance maker; Harmony France, Founder and Artistic Director at Firebrand Theatre; Jamil Jude, Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company; Cody Lassen, Producer at Cody Lassen & Associates; Kevin Moore, Artistic Director and Founding Member of Human Race Theatre Company; and Daniella Topol, Artistic Director of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

Additionally, the Frank Young Fund for New Musicals has awarded each of the following member organizations $500 to $1,500 for Writers Residency Grants over the past year:

Ars Nova (New York, NY) for DEFINITION by Whitney White.
Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield, MA) for Fall Springs by Niko Tsakalakos and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. Fall Springs was featured in NAMT’s 2017 Festival of New Musicals.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicago, IL) for The Monster by Michael Mahler, Chelsea Marcantel and Alan Schmuckler. Mahler and Schmuckler are both Festival Alumni for How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back? (Fest ’09).
Goodspeed Musicals (East Haddam, CT) for Johnny and the Devil’s Box by Douglas Waterbury-Tieman.
Penn State Musical Theatre (University Park, PA) for The Lucky Boy by Kirsten Childs. Childs is a NAMT Festival Alumna for The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Fest ’98) and Funked Up Fairy Tales (Fest ’12).
Philadelphia Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA) for The Tattooed Lady by Max Vernon and Erin Courtney.
Pittsburgh CLO (Pittsburgh, PA) for Game On by Marcus Stevens and David Dabbon. Stevens is a NAMT Festival Alumnus for Mythic (fka Persephone, Fest ’17).
The Public Theater (New York, NY) for Noise by César Alvarez.
SDSU MFA Musical Theatre Program (San Diego, CA) for ’Til Death Do Us Part by Bobby Cronin and Caroline Prugh.
University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL) for Savage by Tommy Newman and Jaime Lozano. Newman is a Festival Alumnus for Tinyard Hills (Fest ’07), Band Geeks (Fest ’09) and Single Girls Guide (Fest ’13).

The Frank Young Fund for New Musicals has supported the development of many musicals over the last 11 years, including Renascence by Dick Scanlan and Carmel Dean at Transport Theatre Group; The Band’s Visit by David Yazbek and Itamar Moses at Atlantic Theater Company; When We’re Gone (fka Mortality Play, NAMT Fest ’16) by Alana Jacoby and Scotty Arnold at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; Bella: An American Tall Tale by Kirsten Childs at Playwrights Horizons and Dallas Theater Center; Ordinary Days (NAMT Fest ’08) by Adam Gwon at Adirondack Theatre Festival, which is now licensed through Rodgers & Hammerstein; Far From Heaven by Michael Korie, Scott Frankel and Richard Greenberg at Playwrights Horizons; The Circus in Winter (NAMT Fest ’12) by Ben Clark, Hunter Foster and Beth Turcotte at Goodspeed Musicals; and Southern Comfort (NAMT Fest ’12) at all three grant levels, at Playwrights Horizons, CAP21 and Barrington Stage Company; among many others.


Innovation & Exploration Fund grants of $1,000 to $3,000 have been awarded to:

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Theatre Company (Colorado Springs, CO) to support the development of the Fine Arts Center’s Production Apprenticeship Program.
Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) to support “Fostering the Fulton Community,” a program that will establish, cultivate and retain Fulton audiences.
The Public Theater (New York, NY) to support the implementation of Gala Pro at The Public’s free Shakespeare in the Park.
Theater Latté Da (Minneapolis, MN) to support “Program Notes Performed: A Dramaturgical Cabaret,” a lecture-concert series.
Theatre Aspen (Aspen, CO) to support audience and content development during their summer 2019 season.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, CA) to support the expansion of sensory sensitive performances in their season.

This is the third round of grants awarded from the Innovation & Exploration Fund in a program funded in part by the Alhadeff Charitable Foundation. The recipients were selected by a distinguished panel, moderated by NAMT Member Services Director, Adam Grosswirth. The panelists were Lori Fineman, Executive Director of Transport Group; Melissa Huber, Founding Member and Managing Director of Prospect Theater Company; Michelle Paul, Managing Director of PatronManager; Michelle Preston, Executive Director of SITI Company; Eugenio Vargas, actor and music director; and Kyle Wright, Digital Projects Director at The Shubert Organization.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Our mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals, and to provide a forum for musical theatre professionals to share resources and exchange information. Our 240 members, located throughout 32 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers. Among the over 250 musicals launched by NAMT’s annual Festival of New Musicals are Benny & Joon, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Children of Eden, Come From Away, The Drowsy Chaperone, Honk!It Shoulda Been You, LempickaStriking 12, Ordinary Days, Thoroughly Modern Millie, We Live In Cairo and many others, representing almost 500 writers.

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs: The Alhadeff Charitable Foundation, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York Creative Space Grant, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, The Austin Community Fund, BMI Foundation, The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, The Hargrove Pierce Foundation, The Hollywood Pantages, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, The Ted Snowden Foundation, and Anonymous donors.

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