NAMT Announces Selectees & Finalists for the 36th Annual Festival of New Musicals

October 24-25, 2024

Nearly 800 Producers & Presenters Anticipated to Attend Festival at New World Stages following NAMT Fall Conference

New York: National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) is excited to reveal the roster of new musicals for their 36th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, which is slated to take place on Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, 2024, at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).

Betsy King Militello, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, noted, “As NAMT Festival musicals from past years go into further development and production around the globe, we are thrilled to introduce another eight, new, extraordinary projects to the musical theatre field this October. We look forward to supporting the relationships cultivated among writers and producers that invariably emerge from the Festival. In 2023, over 780 industry attendees joined us in New York City to celebrate brilliant writing teams from all corners of the country. We anticipate that 2024 will be our biggest year ever, reflecting the investment by our colleagues in new works and the enduring, passionate demand for programs like the Festival of New Musicals.”

Registration for industry members is now open at All industry members must select a professional affiliation (i.e. NAMT, the Broadway League, TCG, many more) to register. Industry members may upgrade their Festival passes for priority admission and access to supplemental events, including the Festival Closing Night Party, through a donation to NAMT. Free General Standby passes are available to industry members only and may provide seating at Festival presentations on a first come, first served basis as available after all other passholders have entered. The general public may also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT.

Now in its 36th year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is an industry-only professional development event offering the chance to discover eight new musicals presented in 45-minute concert presentations over two days to hundreds of producers, presenters artistic & executive directors, investors, donors, developers and creative administrators in Regional Theatre, Broadway, Music, Film & TV from all around the globe. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations, sponsorships and contributions which underwrite all production costs.

The FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, which was created to celebrate the new musicals that were being produced and presented around the country, has introduced musical theatre producers to 300 musicals and 575 writers from around the world. More than 85% have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions and tours; been licensed; and/or recorded on cast albums as a direct result of the Festival. Past Festival shows include Come From Away, Lempicka, The Drowsy ChaperoneLizard Boy, Teeth, Gun & Powder, King of Pangea, Benny & JoonDarling Grenadine, Ordinary Days, It Shoulda Been You and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others.

This year, a committee of 23 theatre professionals selected eight new musicals out of 583 submissions—marking a record-breaking submission season for the second year in a row. The musicals chosen for the 36th Annual Festival of New Musicals are:

The Brass Teapot (Book by Tim Macy & Ramaa Mosley, Music & Lyrics by Chaz Cardigan, Co-conceived by Erik Kaiko), Dear Ex (Book, Music & Lyrics by Be Steadwell), Helsinki (Music & Lyrics by Barrett Riggins, Book & Lyrics by Graham Techler), In Clay (Music & Lyrics by Jack Miles, Book & Lyrics by Rebecca Simmonds), Lewis Loves Clark (Book and Lyrics by Mike Ross, Music by Dylan MarcAurele), Lighthouse (Book, Lyrics & Story by abs wilson, Music & Story by Veronica Mansour), Medusa (Book, Music & Lyrics by Parisa Shahmir), Proud Marys (Book and Lyrics by Jennifer Paz, Music & Lyrics by Anthony Fedorov).

Casting for each musical and further programming details will be announced soon.

20 musicals were selected as finalists for the 36th Annual Festival of New Musicals. This season’s finalists also included:

Alice Bliss (Book by Karen Hartman, Music by Jenny Giering, Lyrics by Adam Gwon), Charlotte Lucas is 27 and NOT Dead (Book & Lyrics by Jessie Field & James Martinez Salem, Music by James Martinez Salem), CRASHLIGHT (Book, Music & Lyrics by Celeste Makoff), The Doctor is Dead (Book, Music, & Lyrics by é boylan), fuzzy (Music & Lyrics by Will Van Dyke, Book & Lyrics by Jeff Talbott), HALF MAN || HALF BULL (Written & Created by Phil Grainger, Oliver Tilney & Alexander Wright), The Hometown Tour (Book, Music And Lyrics by Alex Petti), Last Coffee in Rockville (Book, Music & Lyrics by Julián Mesri), The Miraculous Matters of Mr. Mercado’s Fishbowl (Book by Sarah Lina Sparks, Music by Samuel Perlman, Lyrics & Additional Book by Mitchell Huntley), Oy Band (Book, Music & Lyrics by Bonnie Gleicher), Regretting Almost Everything (Book & Lyrics by Lauren Taslitz, Music by Danny Ursetti), Six Guns Runnin’ (Book, Music & Lyrics by Beaufield Berry).

The 36th ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS is overseen by NAMT New Works Director Frankie Dailey. The Festival leadership team also includes Festival Producers Joey Monda, Skye Cone Ivey and General Manager Greg Kamp. The Festival Casting Director is Michael Cassara, CSA.

The 2024 Festival Committee is co-chaired by Sharon Fallon of Sharon Fallon Productions, Inc. (NY) and Matt Morrow of Center Repertory Company (CA), with Chair Emerite Brannon Bowers of American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University (IL). 2024 Committee members include:

Elissa Adams, Theater Latté Da (MN); Dev Bondarin, Prospect Theater Company (NY); Anika Chapin, Signature Theatre (VA); Maggie-Kate Coleman, Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals (PA), Rick Edinger, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (PA); Michael Fling, Goodspeed Musicals (CT); Branden Huldeen, Barrington Stage Company (MA); Adam Immerwahr, Village Theatre (WA); Nicole LaFountaine, Straighten Your Crown Productions (NY), Monique Midgette, Director, Playwright, Casting Director, Producer (MD); Tom Morrissey, Theatre Now New York (NY); Tegan Summer, Tegan Summer Theatricals (NY/UK); Alexander Tom, Montclair State University (NJ), Claudia de Vasco, Miller Outdoor Theatre (TX); Emily Wells, Human Race Theatre Company (OH); Brad Willcuts, Michigan State University (MI); Neen Williams-Teramachi, The 5th Avenue Theatre (WA); Kathleen Wrinn, Syracuse University (NY); Chris Youstra, Olney Theatre Center (MD); and Jill Abramovitz (Alumni Writer Representative: The Pack fka The Dogs of Pripyat, Fest ’11).

Meet the selected writers & musicals:

The Brass Teapot

Book by Tim Macy & Ramaa Mosley
Music & Lyrics by Chaz Cardigan
Co-conceived by Erik Kaiko

Based on the 2012 indie cult film, The Brass Teapot is a magical, mischievous dark musical comedy with a driving alt-pop-rock score that asks: how far would you go to hurt the ones you love, if it meant you and they would want for nothing?

The Brass Teapot is adapted from the 2012 indie cult film of the same name. The creative team began working on the musical stage version in 2019 and held an informal Zoom reading of the first draft in June 2021. After a writing retreat in 2022, major structural changes were implemented, and further improvements were made. The piece was named a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Center’s 2023 National Music Theater Conference, as well as the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University. The third complete draft was accepted to NAMT’s 36th Annual Festival of New Musicals in 2024.

Tim Macy (Book) is an author, screenwriter and playwright. His work has been performed at The Kennedy Center, and two of his stories have been adapted into films. Currently, he has two feature films in pre-production. Tim lives in Kansas with his wife and two children. MFA University of Kansas.

Ramaa Mosley (Book) is a filmmaker and activist who directed her first documentary at the age of 16. Since then, she has directed feature films and hundreds of award-winning commercials and is a director and showrunner on premium television series. Ramaa has been named one of Shoot Magazine’s top 10 Female Directors and is the founder of the youth-focused advertising agency Adolescent Content. A vocal advocate for girls’ and women’s rights around the world, she is also known for launching the U.S. social media campaign behind Bring Back Our Girls.

Chaz Cardigan (Music & Lyrics) is a versatile creator who has thrived in the age of algorithms. He’s created music for the YouTube Audio Library, had a top 15 Alternative radio hit with “Not OK!” in 2020, contributed “As I’ll Ever Be” to the NETFLIX film To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and has amassed 24+ million streams across all platforms. Cardigan composed the upcoming musical The Brass Teapot — a timely and magical dark comedy.  Cardigan’s original score takes influence from show tunes and alternative rock, opening a new chapter of his career.

Erik Kaiko (Co-conceiver, Producer) is a creative producer with over a decade of professional experience in theatre management and arts marketing. With a background as a dramaturg, company manager, general manager, marketing director and producer, he is proud to be leading The Brass Teapot’s musical development team. Chicago: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Filament Theatre, Writers Theatre, Token Theatre. New York: Joey Parnes Productions, Invisible Wall Productions, Snug Harbor Productions, New York Theatre Workshop. B.S. Northwestern University, MFA Columbia University.

Dear Ex

Book, Music & Lyrics by Be Steadwell

Dear Ex is all about the big break up. In Dear Ex, the protagonist Be writes letters to her ex as she stumbles through the stages of breakup grief. This Black, queer falling-out-of-love story comes to life through the pop and soul music of musician Be Steadwell. Featuring an all BIPOC, queer and trans cast, Be Steadwell’s musical tells the story of heartbreak in a series of letters, scenes and songs. Dear Ex explores self-love, addiction, twerking, sex, life and death through the lens of a heartbroken, queer Black woman.

From 2018 to 2019, this musical sold out three workshop runs at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, MD and Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Be Steadwell (They, She, He, Be) (Book, Music, Lyrics) is a queer pop composer and storyteller from Washington DC.  Be’s original music features earnest lyricism, unabashed corniness and affirming queer content.  Be’s goal as a musician is to make other black girlies, introverts and weirdos feel seen and loved. Be earned a BA in Black Studies from Oberlin College and an MFA in film from Howard University. In 2019, Be wrote and directed A Letter to My Ex, the musical. A Letter to My Ex imagined a queer black woman’s experience of healing after a breakup. In 2021 Be released their latest album, Succulent. In 2023, Be joined the cast of Parable of the Sower the Opera by Toshi Reagon and Dr Bernice Johnson Reagon. Be currently works as a full-time musician and part-time lecturer at Howard University’s School of Communications.


Music & Lyrics by Barrett Riggins
Book & Lyrics by Graham Techler

A down-on-her-luck waitress and down-on-his-luck factory worker spark a shy love affair that’s put to the ultimate test by the economically (and emotionally!) depressed landscape of 1990s Finland. Helsinki is an absurdly deadpan, achingly romantic dark comedy that asks if life’s losers can find (and keep!) the love they deserve.

Helsinki was developed in part at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project before receiving a workshop at Brooklyn’s Brick Aux in 2023. Semifinalist; 2023 and 2024 O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, 2023 American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University, Finalist; 2024 Normal Ave NAP Series.

Barrett Riggins (music/lyrics) is a Brooklyn-based actor and songwriter. The New York Times once called him “very funny.” He composed and orchestrated original music for The Panic of ‘29 (59E59). His studio albums Smoke Machine and Good Ol’ are available on all streaming platforms. His song “More Than an Apology” was released by Audible as part of You Are Here: An Evening with Solea Pfeiffer, recorded live at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Barrett is a proud member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. BFA: University of Michigan.

Graham Techler’s (book/lyrics) plays include The Panic of ’29 (59E59), The Tycoons! (Less Than Rent), and Trust Fund (Finalist; O’Neill). He’s developed work with Fresh Ground Pepper, The Brick, Adult Film, New Jersey Rep, Playwrights Downtown, Urban Stages, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he’s a member of the Obie-winning playwrights collective Youngblood. He contributes humor writing to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, performs monthly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and writes songs for Stage Time with PJ Adzima (The Slipper Room) and Barrett Riggins. He lives in Brooklyn. BFA: University of Michigan.

In Clay

Book & Lyrics by Rebecca Simmonds
Music & Lyrics by Jack Miles

Based on a true story, In Clay is a one-woman musical told from a Parisian apartment in 1938. Ceramist Marie Cazin awaits her estranged childhood friend, and now celebrated artist, Henrietta Tirman. Her imminent arrival pushes Marie to reflect on the joys and sorrows of a life devoted to making art.

After workshops in late 2022, In Clay premiered with a sell-out run at VAULT Festival 2023, where it was nominated for Show of the Week and an Off-Fest Award. ‘Talent’ was also nominated for the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize 2023. It played in concert at The Other Palace on the main stage in August 2023, and then ran from 13 March – 7 April 2024 at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate. The run was a critical success, garnering 14 five-star reviews and 7 Off West End Award nominations, including Best New Musical and Best Musical Production.

Jack Miles (Music & Lyrics) is an Offie-nominated composer/lyricist from Suffolk with a Master’s degree with Distinction in Musical Theatre Writing from Goldsmiths University, London, where he is based. In Clay is his first show with writing partner Rebecca Simmonds. His other work includes St. Anne Comes Home (The Actors’ Church), and The Problem with Fletcher Mott (Drayton Arms/Tristan Bates Theatre). He is currently developing new musicals Chocolate, Lust & Lies, and Why Do We Return Here? with Millie Gaston. Jack is also an associate artist of Profugo Arts, as well as an Iris Theatre Platform Artist.

Rebecca Simmonds (Book & Lyrics) is an Offie-nominated book writer/lyricist with a master’s degree in Musical Theatre Writing from Goldsmiths University, London, where she is based. She is a Selladoor New Writers Programme alum; a Book, Music & Lyrics Advanced Group member; and has previously directed and produced Edinburgh Fringe productions with Bedlam Theatre, EUSOG & For the Fans Productions. In Clay is her first show with writing partner Jack Miles. She is also currently developing a new musical, entitled The Sesh with composer Rob Gathercole, which received a first reading at The Other Palace Theatre in May 2024.

Lewis Loves Clark

Book & Lyrics by Mike Ross
Music by Dylan MarcAurele

Lewis Loves Clark is a funny, fast-paced epic about the famous Corps of Discovery expedition. Combining bluegrass, folk and pop, this tragicomedy follows Meriwether Lewis (a depressed closeted alcoholic), William Clark (just breathtakingly oblivious), Sacagawea (permanently exasperated), and York (would rather be birdwatching) as they grapple with the not-so-great unknown.

Lewis Loves Clark was first developed through the 2020-21 Dramatists Guild Fellowship. Thanks to further funding from DGF, Lewis Loves Clark was developed and revised throughout 2021 and 2022 in collaboration with dramaturg DeLanna Studi, culminating in a reading held in June 2022. Most recently, Lewis Loves Clark received the 2023 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, providing funds for a staged reading at a non-profit theatre—funds which the writers have yet to utilize.

Mike Ross (Book & Lyrics) is an award-winning New York-based lyricist/librettist, dramaturg and author for young readers. His musical work includes original tragicomedy Lewis Loves Clark (Book & Lyrics; 2023 Richard Rodgers Award; 2020-21 Dramatists Guild Fellowship), Kerrigan-Lowdermilk’s The Bad Years (Additional Lyrics; dir. Stephen Brackett); and family musicals The Land of Forgotten Toys and The Mystery of Custodia (Book and Additional Lyrics; Broadway Licensing). Plays include Sorry (Harvard Playwrights Festival) and Space: Four Stories in Boston. He has five books out for young readers through Scholastic; they have sold almost a million copies to date. BMI Advanced Workshop. Hello!

Dylan MarcAurele (Music) is a New York-based musical theatre writer and composer. His newest musical, Pop Off, Michelangelo!, was developed at the JMF Writers Grove at Goodspeed and will have its world premiere at the upcoming 2024 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Other recent musicals include MEG4N, The Real Housewives Of NYC, and Lewis Loves Clark (2023 Richard Rodgers Award; book and lyrics by Mike Ross). Last year, he wrote the song “Say Bravo!” for NBCUniversal’s inaugural Bravo Awards, sung by Andy Cohen and the cast of Vanderpump Rules. He also runs the 28K-follower musical Instagram account @rhonymusical. Harvard University, ’16.


Book, Lyrics & Story by abs wilson
Music & Story by Veronica Mansour

With graduation in the rearview mirror, Bus is desperate to run away from her Minnesota hometown and everyone in it. The only problem? She can’t outrun herself. LIGHTHOUSE is a sweeping pop-country musical that celebrates the idea that maybe, just maybe, every version of yourself is worth being.

LIGHTHOUSE was developed at NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (2022-2023). Since then, LIGHTHOUSE has also been selected for the Richard Rodgers Award (2024), Eugene O’Neill National Music Theater Conference (2024), NAMT Festival of New Musicals (2024), Rhinebeck Writers Retreat (2024), Syracuse University’s New Works, New Voices (2024), Olney Theatre Center Arts Fund finalist (2023), Write Out Loud winner for “Runaway Girl” (2023), Vanguard Theater’s New Work Festival feature (2023), NY Theatre Barn’s New Works Festival feature (2023), and recipient of a developmental production at St. Olaf College (2024).

abs wilson (Book, Lyrics & Story) is an NYC-based playwright/lyricist. She’s a Richard Rodgers Award winner (2024), Eugene O’Neill NMTC winner (2024), NAMT winner (2024), selected writer for Syracuse’s New Works New Voices program (2024), Write Out Loud winner for song “Runaway Girl” (2023), NMTC & NAMT finalist (2023), Vanguard Commission recipient (2023), THE SEVEN winner (2023), and David Einhorn Prize finalist (2022). She’s had work done at Playwrights Horizons, Paper Kraine, the Tank, the Brick, Fusion Theatre, St. Olaf College and Syracuse University, with songs performed at 54 Below and Joe’s Pub. She holds an MFA from NYU Tisch’s Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Veronica Mansour (Music & Story) is a 2024 Richard Rodgers Award Winner and Jonathan Larson Grant winner, recently nominated for a Marvin Hamlisch International Music Award, selected for DreamWorks Theatricals, MTI & NBCUniversal Emerging Writers Program (How To Train Your Dragon Jr.), and a 2023 Write Out Loud Contest Winner. Current works: LIGHTHOUSE (O’Neill NMTC Winner 2024, Rhinebeck 2024, Syracuse NWNV 2024, Olney Theatre Vanguard Arts Fund Finalist 2023, NYTB New Works Series 2023) and The Dark Lady (O’Neill NMTC Winner 2023, Syracuse NWNV Finalist, MTW New Works Festival, 2024 Johnny Mercer Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, 2024 South Carolina New Play Festival).


Book, Music & Lyrics by Parisa Shahmir

This folk-inspired, musical retelling of the Greek myth reclaims the narrative and gives Medusa the space to be the heroine of her own story. Medusa is a reclamation of our voices, our stories, our sisterhood. So, step out of the shadows, scream it at the top of your lungs, and let your story be heard.

The idea for Medusa was conceived in March 2023 while Parisa Shahmir was on tour with Fisherman’s Friends (UK) and, with the help of her London collaborators, she has been developing a concept album for the piece which continues to grow and shift as the show itself develops. Upon receiving funding from Help Musicians UK in February 2024, Parisa self-produced a showcase performance of Medusa to an industry audience in London.

Parisa Shahmir (Book, Music & Lyrics) is an actress, singer and songwriter based in London. She began songwriting in 2014 while on tour with Mamma Mia and has since been writing, recording and releasing her own music for the past 10 years. In 2021, during the development run of Fisherman’s Friends the Musical, a show where Parisa also played the leading role, she wrote a song called “The Tidal Pool” which, after being heard by the creative team, was subsequently added into the show for the UK Tour (2022-2023). This experience sparked her desire to begin writing her first original musical project, Medusa.

Proud Marys

Book & Lyrics by Jennifer Paz
Music & Lyrics by Anthony Fedorov

Three daughters shake up the strict traditions of their religious Filipino-American family when they all get knocked up out of wedlock at the same time. Proud Marys is a seriocomedy that busts wide open the myth of the model minority Asian-American family, one pop song at a time. It’s SIX meets a Fil-Am Fiddler on the Roof.

Proud Marys began as a 1/2-hour TV-pilot and won the Outstanding Screenplays TV Pilot Competition 2021 (out of 870 submissions). It received early table readings with LA-based arts organizations Cinema Sala (Oct. 2021) and Fil-Am Arts (Feb. 2022), with support from DCA Los Angeles. Awarded a 2022/23 NAMT Frank Young Fund Writers Residency Grant with a 29-hour reading with East West Players (March 2023), Proud Marys also placed as a 2024/2025 Dramatists Guild Foundation National Fellowship Finalist and received a developmental residency at Goodspeed’s Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove (Feb. 2024).

Jennifer Paz (Book & Lyrics) is an award-winning performer, writer-producer whose original screenplays have collectively earned a dozen accolades, and placements on the Coverfly all-time red list. Her original pilot “Proud Marys” won the Outstanding Screenplays TV Pilot Competition 2021, and received development at JMF Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, 2024. Paz is a 2024/25 Dramatists Guild Foundation National Fellowship Finalist. Credits: Miss Saigon (1st Nat’l, various regional), Les Miserables (Broadway), Flower Drum Song (Mark Taper Forum), Voiceover: “Steven Universe” (Lapis Lazuli). Manila-born, Seattle-raised, Paz is a recovering dead ingénue who enjoys writing subversive and quirky women-led stories trying to find their way. IG: @jenniferpazofficial

Anthony Fedorov (Music & Lyrics) is a singer-songwriter-producer-actor-activist, born in Yalta, Crimea. Song placements: SoCal Gas, Hulu’s “Future Man,” “Tet’Emcombo” (award-winning short “The German King”) co-written with producing partner Latin Grammy® Award Winner Jeeve Ducornet, “PINK AND BLUE: Colors of Hereditary Cancer,” “Enough is Enough” (Moms Demand Action), “Our Story is One” (Baha’i International Community), “The Power of a Girl” (Mona Foundation). Fedorov has independently released pop/rock and children’s music (“Auraganix”), earning TuneCore’s collective Billions Club status with over 23-million streams. Stage: Love Actually, LIVE (The Wallis), The 12 (Denver Center), RENT revival (New World Stages). American Idol season 4, 4th place finalist. IG: @anthonyfedorovmusic



The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit organization serving the musical theatre community. Its mission is to be a catalyst for nurturing musical theatre development, production, innovation and collaboration. Their 150 organizational members and 60 individual members, located throughout 31 states and eight countries 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 300 musicals launched by NAMT’s Annual Festival of New Musicals are Come From Away, Lempicka, The Drowsy ChaperoneLizard Boy, Teeth, Gun & Powder, King of Pangea, Benny & JoonDarling Grenadine, Ordinary Days, It Shoulda Been You and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others, representing 575 writers. This year, nearly 150 students from 33 states participated in the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for High School Students, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with NAMT. Discover more at

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs:The Alhadeff Family Charitable Fund, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, BMI Foundation, Capdevilla Gillespie Foundation (Wendy Gillespie), The Giving Bee Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Hollywood Pantages, Lucille Lortel Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Pearl Studios, Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Ted Snowdon Foundation, and Anonymous donors.

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