Jump to:

It's a Hard-Knock Life: New Works in Tough Times

October 17, 2009 1:00 - October 18, 2009 9:00 pm

New York, NY

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre is very excited to announce its 2009 Fall Conference, It’s a Hard-Knock Life: New Works in Tough Times, at The Westin New York Hotel in Times Square.

This Conference will focus on the challenges of taking chances on and finding funding for new musicals during an economic downturn, and how we can pool resources and plan for the future to insure long-term health and continued innovation at our theatres. Attendees will also get a sneak peek at the shows being presented at the 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals, and ample networking opportunities.

We look forward to welcoming you to New York City in October!


Executive management, artistic directors, new works developers, development directors and Board members. Brainstorm with your colleagues about maintaining institutional health, learn about ways to partner with other theatres and academic institutions, discover opportunities for commercial enhancement and raising money for new works, network with other musical theatre producers and developers, and spend a weekend in the heart of New York City!


  • The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded NAMT a special grant to subsidize the travel expenses for NAMT members attending the Fall Conference.  The first 40 registrants for the Fall Conference (only one grant per organization), will receive up to $250 to reimburse travel expenses, upon receipt of an expense report form provided by NAMT and corresponding receipts.  The grant will reimburse travel costs only – airfare, train, bus, etc.  Subsequent registrants will be put on a waiting list, in the event that funds remain after the first 40 grants are awarded. You may apply by checking the appropriate box on the registration form. Instructions on how to submit your receipts will follow via email after you have registered.
  • Full Conference registration includes a Networking Cocktail Party (full bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres) on Saturday, October 17th. Lunch will be served at the Conference on Sunday, October 18th.
  • See below for a special “early-bird” rate on guest rooms at the Westin New York.
  • Discounts on tickets to Memphis, Next to Normal, Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival.


Brett Bernardini (The Spirit of Broadway Theater), co-chair
Kate Galvin (Walnut Street Theatre), co-chair
Meredith McDonough (TheatreWorks)
Stacey Mindich (Stacey Mindich Productions)
Richard Parison (Barrington Stage Company)
Mark Ramont (Ford’s Theater)
John Sparks (Academy for New Musical Theatre)

Ordinary Days

The Ordinary Days special performance is underwritten with generous support from Stacey Mindich.



Saturday, October 17

1:00 – 1:30 pm Check-In
Westin Times Square, Ambassador Foyer
1:30 – 2:15 pm Welcome Remarks
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Denny Reagan, President
Kathy Evans, Executive Director
I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here: 30-Second Success Stories
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2A NAMT tradition to start things off on a positive note and get to know your fellow attendees! A representative from each organization has 30 seconds to introduce him/herself and other staff members in attendance, and announce any particular successes or challenges overcome from the past season, or exciting upcoming projects.
2:15 – 3:00 pm Keynote Speaker: Ben Cameron
Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
New Imperatives for New Times: A Look at the Future of the Arts
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2In a world of ever-accelerating change, the live performing arts face special challenges. Join Ben Cameron for a look at the shifting national landscape for the arts and the special possibilities for the musical theatre field.
3:00 – 3:30 pm Networking Coffee & Dessert Break
Westin Times Square, Ambassador FoyerSponsored by The 5th Avenue Theatre
3:30 – 4:15 pm Tomorrow: How Partnering with an Academic Institution Can Cut Your Costs and Help the Next Generation of Theatre Artists
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Theatre companies and commercial producers are partnering with colleges and universities to develop new work, providing writers with an under-the-radar production or reading, and students with a professional experience. How do these relationships work? What’s in it for each institution, and the writers? How do you get the school’s and the producer’s agendas in line with each other? NAMT members will discuss two different models for these partnerships that have proven to be very successful.Moderated by John Sparks (Academy for New Musical Theatre), with Henry Fonte (The Hartt School), Donna Lynn Hilton (Goodspeed Musicals), Heather Schmucker (American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University) and Tara Smith (Playing Pretend)
4:15 – 4:30 pm Sponsorship Presentation:

Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Travelzoo is a global Internet media company which publishes travel and entertainment offers from more than 1,000 advertisers from around the world.  Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best travel and entertainment deals and confirm their true value.John Coppola and Jason Sheets
4:30 – 5:15 pm Daddy Warbucks: Funding New Work
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Finding sponsors, donors and patrons of the arts willing to take a chance on unknown writers or titles.  What are the benefits and expectations for the patron when there’s no monetary return on the investment?  How does a theatre build audience and donor relations to encourage giving?Moderated by Mark Ramont (Ford’s Theatre), with Keith Cromwell (Red Mountain Theatre Company), Robb Hunt (Village Theatre), Michael Jenkins (Dallas Summer Musicals), Joan Liman (Amas Musical Theatre and LimanAde Productions), Stacey Mindich (Stacey Mindich Productions), and others to be announced.
5:30 – 7:30 pm Networking Cocktail Party
Glass House Tavern
252 West 47th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
www.glasshousetavern.comSponsored by Samuel French and The Muny
Open EveningClick here for theatre discounts and recommendations

Sunday, October 18

9:15 – 9:45 am Continental Breakfast and Check-In
Westin Times Square, Ambassador FoyerSponsored by Dallas Summer Musicals
9:45 – 10:45 am Not-So-Easy-Street: Institutional Health in a Downturn and the “New Normal”
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 3Small group discussion based on members’ concerns and challenges about “the new normal,” as described by you on your registration forms: raising contributed income, adapting to changes on a dime, tightening our belts without diluting our product, ticket pricing and attendance, and avoiding budget surprises.  Share war stories and ideas in intimate groups of your peers, followed by reports from each section to all assembled.Moderated by Richard Parison (Barrington Stage Company), with group leaders Elisbeth Challener (ZACH Theatre), Jim Mercer (Pittsburgh CLO), Kevin Moore (Arizona Theatre Company), Peter Rothstein (Theatre Latté Da) and Phil Santora (Theatreworks).
10:45 – 11:15 am Networking Coffee Break
Westin Times Square, Ambassador Foyer
11:15 am – 12:00 pm Something Was Missing: Commercial Enhancement
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Your show is ready to produce, but you need a theatre. Your theatre is ready for a show, but you can’t afford to go it alone. A frank discussion of pros and cons of commercial enhancement from both sides.  How do not-for-profits find enhancement, how do commercial producers find the right fit at a not-for-profit, and how do the relationships work once you’re there? Our panelists will talk about their specific experiences with Vanities, Spring Awakening and more.Moderated by Nancy Gibbs (321 Theatrical Management), with Don-Scott Cooper (Second Stage Theater), Sue Frost (Junkyard Dog Productions), Andrew Hamingson (The Public Theater and Atlantic Theater Company) and Tom Hulce.
12:00 – 12:45 pm You Won’t Be An Orphan For Long: Co-Productions
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Co-productions can be a great way to share costs in tough times. But they can be logistically challenging as well. How do these deals get made? Who covers what? Are both parties a producer or is one presenting another’s work? What happens if the show you agree to produce changes dramatically during its first engagement? NAMT members will discuss various models and methods for co-productions, including Daddy Long Legs and Memphis (opening on Broadway this weekend), and share what worked for them…and what didn’t!Moderated by Rick Boynton (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), with Randy Adams (Junkyard Dog Productions), David Armstrong (The 5th Avenue Theatre), Christopher Ashley (La Jolla Playhouse; director of “Memphis”), Kent Nicholson (Playwrights Horizons), and Phil Santora (TheatreWorks).
12:45 – 1:00 pm Sponsorship Presentation: SenovvA
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2What the heck is SenovvA? Find out about the company that is part of Broadway, off-Broadway, the Oscars, the Ellen show, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, and shows up at California Summer Musicals, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Berkeley Rep and La Mirada. You have to see the video to believe it!Arianna Knapp and Jon Kimbell
1:00 – 2:15 pm Lunch
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 3Sponsored by Broadway/LA and Goodspeed Musicals
2:15 – 3:00 pm New Deal: Partnering with Your Community to Build Success
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Forming alliances and partnerships with community-based businesses and organizations for cross-promotional programs, corporate programs, community festivals and more! How can we use the resources already in the community to raise or save money and expand our audiences?Moderated by Brett Bernardini (The Spirit of Broadway Theatre) and Kate Galvin (Walnut Street Theatre), with Ken Dingledine (Samuel French, Inc.), Thomas Morrissey (ReVision Theatre), Peter Rothstein (Theatre Latté Da), and Steve Stettler (Weston Playhouse Theatre Company).
3:00 – 3:15 pm Sponsorship Presentation: TheaterMania
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Using Technology to Drive Ticket Sales. Harness the power of web-based and digital technologies to reach a mass audience and increase your income.Gretchen Shugart
3:30 – 4:15 pm 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals Finalists
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2Get a sneak peek and the inside story on the selection process for the shows you’ll be seeing over the next two days at the 21st Annual Festival for New Musicals, as well as the other musicals that made the Top 21.With Branden Huldeen (NAMT New Works Director) and the Festival of New Musicals Committee.
4:15 – 5:15 pm Meet the Festival Writers
Westin Times Square, Ambassador 2NAMT members’ first chance to meet the 2009 Festival writers before any other Festival attendees.Moderated by Victoria Bussert (Baldwin Wallace College) and Donna Lynn Hilton (Goodspeed Musicals), co-chairs of the Festival Committee.
7:00 pm

Ordinary Days – Special NAMT Fundraising Performance
Roundabout Underground, 111 West 46th Street (btwn 6th & 7th Aves)


Come see New York City’s first full production of the 2008 Festival show Ordinary Days, by Adam Gwon…and support NAMT!  Thanks to generous underwriting support from Stacey Mindich, all proceeds go to NAMT, and your contribution is tax-deductible.


Attendees included executives from…

1113 Productions Inc.
321 Theatrical Management
42nd Street Moon
The 5th Avenue Theatre
Academy for New Musical Theatre
Adirondack Theatre Festival
Amas Musical Theatre
American Music Theatre at Northwestern University
Arizona Theatre Company
AWA Touring
Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music
Barrington Stage Company
Boston Music Theatre Project at Suffolk University
Brigham Young University
The Broadway Rose Theatre
Brooks & Distler
Attorneys at Law
Cabrillo Music Theatre
CAP 21
Center Theatre Group
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
John Cossette Productions
Dallas Summer Musicals
The Danish Academy of Musical Theatre
and New Works Development Center Uterus
Do More Productions Inc.
East of Doheny
Flat Rock Playhouse
Florida State University College of Music
Music Theatre Program
Ford’s Theatre
Goodspeed Musicals
Gorgeous Entertainment Inc.
The Hartt School
The Lake Company Inc.
Las Positas College
Light Opera Works
Maine State Music Theatre
Mercury Musical Developments
Millikin University
Department of Theatre and Dance
The Muny
Music Theatre International
Music Theatre of Wichita
Musical Theatre West
National Endowment for the Arts
New York Theatre Barn
North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Ogunquit Playhouse
The Old Globe
P2 Creations
Pack the House Productions
Pantages Theatre
Penn State NU Musical Theatre Festival
Pittsburgh CLO
Pittsburgh Musical Theater
Playing Pretend Productions
Red Mountain Theatre Company
Relevant Theatricals
ReVision Theatre
(Genesius Guild Inc.)
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization
Royal & Derngate UK
Samuel French Inc.
Sharon Carr Associates
Small Pond Entertainment
Snap Two Productions
SpeakEasy Stage Company
The Spirit of Broadway Theater
Stacey Mindich Productions
Stage Aurora Theatrical Company Inc.
Theater Latté Da
Theater of the Stars
Theatre Building Chicago
Theatre Under The Stars
Uptown Players
Van Hill Entertainment
Village Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre
Weston Playhouse Theatre Company
Woodminster Summer Musicals
ZACH Theatre

This page was last updated on 02/23/2015