Plan Summary 2011-2016

In the five years following our last strategic plan, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre has solidified its commitment to its membership – professional producers of musical theatre – and to the development of new work. We have improved our programs (conferences, new works summits, online resources), increased membership from 130 to 150 organizations, and launched a new granting program supporting producers and writers in the development and production of new musicals – National Fund for New Musicals – that awarded 31 grants totaling nearly $150,000 in its first three years.

Working together, NAMT’s Board of Directors and staff have created a five-year strategic plan that provides a valuable framework for decision making, resource development and organizational growth.

The Board remains committed to NAMT’s mission, which is to advance musical theatre by:

  • Nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new and classic musicals
  • Providing a forum for the sharing of resources and information relating to professional musical theatre through communications, networking and programming
  • Advocating for the imagination, diversity and joy unique to musical theatre

The planning process incorporated valuable input from many stakeholders. John McCann of Partners in Performance was engaged as our consultant, and a Steering Committee was formed comprised of five Board members to provide guidance to every phase of the process – Chair Marilynn Sheldon, Randy Adams, Rick Boynton, Stacey Mindich and Mark D. Sylvester. Partners in Performance conducted surveys with the Board and the membership (over 50% participation rate); and conducted several in depth interviews with funders, members and potential members. With this information, the staff and Steering Committee developed three Key Goals, which incorporate the stakeholders’ desires that NAMT become a primary resource for best practices among musical theatre producers; make a bold commitment to growing our funding programs; and evaluate and strengthen our programs in ways that assure even greater impact.

At a two-day retreat in San Diego, the Board reviewed and affirmed their united commitment to these Key Goals and developed strategies to support them. After the retreat, the staff and Steering Committee consolidated and fine-tuned the goals and strategies, received more board feedback, and arrived at the five-year plan, a summary of which follows. The plan represents several fundamental shifts for NAMT including:

  • Raising significant funds – $1 to $3 million – to support new work as well as creating a new granting program supporting innovative practices in producing all forms of musical theatre
  • Changing Board structure by adding nine At-Large members to bring outside expertise and financial resources to NAMT
  • Adding staff resources (personnel and technology) to meet fundraising and program goals

The Board and staff are highly committed to the plan’s successful implementation and the impact it will have on the future of the American musical theatre.

This strategic plan is supported by generous contributions from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff Charitable Foundation, and Stacey Mindich Productions.


Key Goal 1

Be the recognized resource for professional producers of musical theatre.

Over the next five years, working with member organizations and experts across the field, NAMT will facilitate the discovery, exploration, advocacy and dissemination of innovative and effective approaches to musical theatre development and production.


  • Gather information, success stories and best practices for musical theatre producers
    • Assess the assets and expertise within the NAMT membership
    • Research corollary best practices in other fields which can be translated to musical theatre producing
  • Launch the Musical Theatre Producers Resource Center on our website, including webinars, an online resource library and videos of successful practices
  • Host a Musical Theatre Symposium for producers (non-members and members) to discuss successes, challenges and solutions to the problems facing professionals producing musical theatre


Key Goal 2

Conduct a major fundraising campaign for the dual purpose of substantially growing the National Fund for New Musicals as well as introducing a new granting program for “Musical Theatre Innovation.” Raising a total of between $1 and 3 million, NAMT will provide between $60,000 and $200,000 annually in grants.

Over the next five years, NAMT’s National Fund for New Musicals will continue to provide grants for development and production; and also begin providing support for Festival of New Musicals shows as well as supporting theatres’ collaboration on new work development. In addition to the National Fund for New Musicals, NAMT will introduce a new grant program to support the discovery, development and implementation of innovative business practices for all forms of musical theatre, in areas such as audience development, production, education, technology and multimedia.


  • Build Board fundraising capabilities, by bringing three Board Members-At-Large onto the Board for the first three years of the plan, culminating with a board of 27 — nine At-Large and eighteen NAMT members.
  • Build staff fundraising capabilities by hiring a Development Director and upgrading databases
  • Hire outside professional to conduct fundraising diagnostic, to identify how our fundraising campaign will be categorized and conducted; make our case for support, and conduct a feasibility study for sources of funding
  • Establish guidelines for new granting programs — innovation, Festival show development and collaboration on new work among two or more theatres; raise money for pilot program on innovation grant. Once money is raised, launch new granting programs.
  • Continue National Fund for New Musicals granting for current programs each year.


Key Goal 3

Ensure high quality member services, high participation rates and strong awareness for NAMT

Over the next five years, NAMT will eliminate its least helpful programs, strengthen its remaining programs and implement new programs. Marketing improvements will help NAMT programs reach more staff members in organizations, increase participation throughout the year, build NAMT’s stature in the industry, increase awareness of its impact and attract more members.


  • Analyze all current programs–assessing the impact, quality, short term and long term value, and staff time devoted to them, in order to determine which programs should be maintained; which should be refined and how; and which should be abandoned
  • Form task force to conduct similar analysis and review all programs every 2 years
  • Improve member experience by improving the mentor program for new members and finding more opportunities for member staff at every level to participate in programs
  • Reposition NAMT in the field through a rebranding and brand awareness campaign
  • Develop internal capabilities to meet membership needs, including securing new office space, technological tools, NAMT staff professional development and restructuring staff in support of strategic plan goals.