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The Spark of Collaboration

October 17 - 18, 2015

TKP New York Conference Center, 109 West 39th Street, New York, NY

NAMT’s Fall Conference is the musical theatre networking event of the year, bringing NAMT members together to discuss important issues pertaining to the business of new work development and the future of musical theatre. At this year’s Conference NAMT members and experts will discuss collaboration of all kinds — within and between organizations, in communities, with technology — to explore ways to make our theatres stronger and create great new musicals.


Executive management, artistic directors, new works directors and staff, board members, commercial producers and anyone at your theatre involved with new work development and production. NAMT conferences can also be a great perk for engaged donors who are interested in learning more about how things work behind the scenes! All employees of a member organization are NAMT members!


Your Fall Conference registration will include:

  • Two full days of panels, speakers,  sessions, brainstorming and networking!
  • Meals
    • Breakfast, lunch and breaks are included on both conference days.
    • A networking cocktail party on Saturday night (suitable for pre-theatre dinner if you’re catching a show)
Detailed Schedule


  • The NAMT Fall Conference is open to NAMT members in good standing and invited guests. If you are not a NAMT member (or are unsure of your membership status) and would like to attend the Fall Conference, please email Membership Director Adam Grosswirth  or call (212) 714-6668 x15.
  • The more people you bring, the more you save!
    • Member early registration rates are $495 – $525 per person.
    • Additional options are available for single day rates, Associate Members and invited non-members.
  • Registration must close on October 9.


We are very grateful to the sponsors and exhibitors of the 2015 Fall Conference. Please click here for information on supporting NAMT and the benefits of sponsoring or exhibiting at our events.

Sponsor or Exhibit at the Conference

Educational Resources Committee
Phil Santora, TheatreWorks (CA), Chair
Michael Ballam, Utah Festival Opera (UT)
Wayne Bryan, Music Theatre Wichita (KS)
Kathy Evans (NY)
Mark Fleischer, Pittsburgh CLO (PA)

2015 Fall Conference Committee
Joshua Blanchard, Lake Dillon Theatre Company (CO)
Elise Dewsberry, New Musicals Inc. (CA)
Donna Lynn Hilton, Goodspeed Musicals (CT)
Seena Hodges, Theater Latté Da (MN)
Robb Hunt, Village Theatre (WA)
Greg Nobile, Seaview Productions (CT)
Frank Ventura, CAP21 (NY)


Saturday, October 17, 2015
9:00 - 9:30 amCheck-in and Continental Breakfast

Check-in in Reception area.
Breakfast will be served in Empire A

Breakfast will be served until 10:30 am.

Breakfast sponsored by The Marriott Theatre.

9:30 - 9:45 amWelcome Remarks

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

9:45 - 10:45 amKeynote Collaboration: Katie Newsom Pastuszek

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Outward Bound is the leading experiential education organization in the United States, with a national network of regional schools across the country. Unique and powerful because of its focus on the interplay among character, leadership and service, Outward Bound has a rich history of inspiring productive collaboration.

Katie Newsom Pastuszek is Executive Director of Philadelphia Outward Bound where she has worked since joining as its sole staff member in 1999. Today, Katie leads a full-time staff of 8 with more than 30 instructors, overseeing a program that annually serves more than 4,200 students, teachers, business leaders and community members from across the greater Philadelphia region, and the states of NJ and PA.

One of the features of any Outward Bound course is that you never know what’s coming next; that will be true when Katie speaks to us on Saturday morning as well.  We can guarantee, though, that in the tradition of experiential learning, this Outward Bound “talk” will be as much about doing as it is about listening.

10:45 - 11:15 amNetworking Coffee Break
11:15 am - 12:00 pmArtistic Programming by the Numbers

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Data and artistic programming: you might think the two go together about as well as a bicycle and a fish. However, looking at the transactional behavior of audiences, alongside information about the type of programming they come to, can tell you a great deal. The musicals that you choose have a great impact on who attends and the best way to cultivate those patrons into lifelong supporters of your theatre. When you follow the data, you can stop guessing and start to make sound, patron-centric artistic programming decisions. Lindsay Anderson will present TRG Arts’ brand new data on how programming correlates with loyal audience behavior.

Lindsay Anderson (TRG Arts)

12:00 - 12:30 pmMeet the New Theater & Musical Theater Director at the NEA

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Greg Reiner, newly appointed Theater & Musical Theater Director at the National Endowment for the Arts, will share some news about funding opportunities and answer questions.

12:30 - 1:00 pmCollaboration Case Study: Public Works

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Director Lear deBessonet will speak about Public Works, a major new initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Working deeply with partner organizations in all five boroughs, Public Works invites members of diverse communities to participate in workshops, take classes, attend performances at The Public, and, most importantly, to join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.

1:00 - 2:30 pmLunch and Annual Membership Meeting

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center
(Buffet service in Bryant Park Room)

Lunch sponsored by Music Theatre International and The Hollywood Pantages

2:30 - 3:15 pmBreakout Sessions

Chelsea, Madison and Tribeca Rooms

Concurrent Breakout Sessions:

How To Look At Lyrics
Madison Room

Using both familiar examples and some new work, this session will help you better understand how lyrics work in a song and in a musical.  This is an ideal session for anyone who works directly with writers or wants a better understanding of how they work.

Led by Branden Huldeen (NAMT) and Sarah Schlesinger (NYU GMTWP)

The Risks and Benefits of Producing Recent Broadway Titles
Chelsea Room

A discussion about how producing a title that your audiences may be very familiar with — and may have recently seen in New York, on tour, or on the Tony Awards — can be beneficial, and how it can be risky.

Led by Michael Baron (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma)

Transmedia Storytelling
Tribeca Room

A presentation on how to use the “Internet-of-Things” to relocate the early steps of creative development of new musicals into the digital domain. This presentation offers practical and scalable solutions for creative teams to best show their evolving new work in the digital space as a complementary strategy to more commonly practised approaches to getting new projects off the ground. The presentation will additionally show practical examples of the techniques and tools presented, and place the application of these tools in the hands of creative teams without any prior knowledge of working in the digital sphere.

Presented by Kevin Purcell

3:15 - 4:15 pmCollaborating With Unions

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Representatives from theatrical unions will discuss the challenges of creating new work within the strictures of union contracts. How can we establish free environments in which to create while being fair to our artists and other labor?

Moderated by Jeff Loeb (The Hollywood Pantages), with Randy Anderson (Stage Directors and Choreographers Society) and Ralph Sevush (The Dramatists Guild).

4:15 - 5:00 pmCollaboration Case Study: LMNOP

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

A look at how the new musical LMNOP has been developed at multiple NAMT member theatres of different sizes, using commercial enhancement at non-profit institutions.

Moderated by Bob Alwine (Goodspeed Musicals), with John Breckenridge (Theatre Under the Stars), Scott Burkell (Bookwriter/Lyricist), Joe Calarco (Director), Paul Loesel (Composer), Matt Schicker (Third Coast Creative) and Deborah Stavis (Third Coast Creative).

5:30 - 7:30 pmNetworking Cocktail Party

Glass House Tavern
252 West 47th Street

Sponsored by Samuel French, Inc. and Pittsburgh CLO

Sunday, October 18, 2015
9:30 - 10:00 amNetworking Continental Breakfast

Breakfast will be served in Empire A

Breakfast will be served until 10:45am.

Sponsored by CAP21.

10:00 - 10:45 amCollaborating Across Types of Organizations

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Case studies of collaborations between organizations, such as universities and professional theatres, and not-for-profit and commercial producers.

Moderated by Marsha Brooks (Brooks and Distler), with TJ Dawson (3-D Theatricals), Elise Dewsberry (New Musicals, Inc.), Chris Herzberger (Universal Stage Productions), Marilyn Plotkins (Boston Music Theatre Project at Suffolk University), Aaron Thielen (Marriott Theatre) and Frank Ventura (CAP21).

10:45 - 11:15 amNetworking Coffee Break
11:15 am - 12:15 pmAccessibility and Inclusion

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

Continuing the conversation we began at last year’s conference, we’ll explore issues of accessibility and inclusion in staffing, casting and audience development. Are there barriers to entry for new audiences that are physical, cultural or economic? How does what you program and who you cast affect who attends? How does a culture of inclusion extend from your staff to your audience?

Moderated by Joshua Blanchard (Lake Dillon Theatre Company), with Renee Blinkwolt (Ars Nova), Seena Hodges (Theater Latté Da), Mark Hoebee (Paper Mill Playhouse), DJ Kurs (Deaf West Theatre) and Kevin Moriarty (Dallas Theater Center).

12:15 - 1:45 pmLunch and Post-Festival Collaboration Meeting

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center
(Buffet service in Bryant Park Room)

Lunch sponsored by Disney Theatrical Productions and Theatre Under The Stars

2:00 - 2:45 pmAffinity Breakout Sessions

Chelsea, Madison, Nolita and Tribeca Rooms

A chance to talk with fellow members about issues that face organizations similar to your own. Choose the group that you think suits your theatre best — or eavesdrop on a different session and learn something new!

Seasonal Theatres
Tribeca Room

Musicals Only
Madison Room

Mixed Plays and Musicals
Chelsea Room

Academic Institutions
Nolita Room

2:45 - 3:30 pmCollaborations With Technology

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

New technology can bring collaborators closer together even when they’re further apart. Skype, Dropbox, Garage Band and more make working together — as artists and producers — easier in some ways and more challenging in others. We’ll explore case studies of recent collaborations and processes that have used these tools.

Moderated by Branden Huldeen (NAMT), with Michael Cassara (Casting Director), Douglas Cohen (Composer/Lyricist) and Elise Dewsberry (New Musicals, Inc.).

3:30 - 4:15 pmFundraising For New Works

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

How can you get donors excited for something they’ve never seen — or you’ve never seen? How can writers help your development department in this process? What challenges does this raise for collaboration within your organization? How can the Artistic department help Development and vice versa?

Moderated by Robb Hunt (Village Theatre), with Michael Baron (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Mark Fleischer (Pittsburgh CLO) and Paige Price (Theatre Aspen).

4:15 - 4:30 pmClosing Remarks

Empire Ballroom, TKP Conference Center

As of 10/9/15. SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Directions and Discounts