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October 19 - 20

New World Stages 340 W 50th Street, New York, NY

The 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals was held in New York City on Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at New World Stages for a select audience of NAMT members, producers and other musical theatre industry professionals.

NAMT’s Festival is the premiere industry event, which brings together theatre industry leaders to discover eight new musicals in 45-minute staged readings.  According to American Theatre Magazine, “It’s an industry-only event, and it happens for only two days, but it makes a major impact in the world of musical theatre.”

Festival Program


Band Geeks!

Gordon Greenberg

Jill Abramovitz, Aaron Albano, Marie-France Arcilla, John Bolten, Alex Brightman, Adam Chanler-Berat, Dwayne Clark, Jared Gertner, Kyle Matthews, Lindsay Mendez, Patti Murin and Katherine Palardy

Genre & Style:


Band Geeks! is a high-stepping tribute to high school marching bands and misfits everywhere.  With just nine members and dwindling funds, the Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers are close to extinction.  When a troubled athlete is relegated to their ranks, Elliott, the tuba-playing band captain and Laura, his best friend, must find a way to unite the band, overcome their pride and embrace their inner geek.

More about Band Geeks!

Factory Girls

Music Director
Matt Hinkley

Steel Burkhardt, Kayce Cummings, Alison Cusano, Kate Ferber, Tom Ford, Molly Hager, David Larsen, Carrie Manolakos, Kate Rockwell, Dana Steingold and Nicole Weiss

Genre & Style:


At the dawn of the American Industrial Revolution in 1844, Sarah Bagley leaves her New Hampshire farm to work, socialize, and write with thousands of young women in the growing textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts. When conditions deteriorate, Sarah risks everything they have gained to fight the “soulless corporation.”

More about Factory Girls

Hostage Song

Jeb Brown and Susan Goodwillie

Genre & Style:


Bound and blindfolded in a war-torn country, two hostages take refuge in music, memory and each other in this new indie-rock musical. But the further into their fantasy world the two of them reach, the more the space between reality and escape blurs.

More about Hostage Song

How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?

Kent Nicholson

Carey Anderson, Jeffrey James Binney, Gideon Glick, Emma Hunton, Melissa Menezes, Derrick Trumbly and Price Waldman

Genre & Style:


After-school detention becomes an adventure when a stranger shows six students the power of a good story. The Tortoise and the Hare, The Ant and the Grasshopper, Androcles and the Lion… Aesop’s timeless fables take an entertaining turn in this new musical that reveals universal truths through simple, appealing, age-old allegories.

More about How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?

Iron Curtain

Cara Reichel

Fred Applegate, Maria Couch, David Foley, Jr., Liz Larsen, Lisa Mindelle, Aaron Ramey, Dara Seitzman, Doug Shapiro, Robby Sharpe, Jim Stanek and Betsy Wolfe

Genre & Style:


New York, 1954: madcap farce about two hapless songwriters kidnapped by the KGB, brought to Moscow, and forced to “fix” a Communist Propaganda musical. Filled with divas and dominatrixes, secrets and spies, mishaps and misdirects as our heroes desperately try to get back home.

More about Iron Curtain

It Shoulda Been You

Fred Berman, Jeremy Ellison Gladstone, Joe Grifasi, Colin Hanlon, Harriet Harris, Lisa Howard, Debra Monk and Michael Tucker

Genre & Style:


In a world where nothing is what it seems – religions collide, plots are hatched, pacts are made, and secrets exposed – hope is found when you least expect it. Is it Iran? Is it Iraq? No, it’s just the Steinberg Wedding.  Come see the truth unveiled.

More about It Shoulda Been You

Memory Show, The (fka Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom)

Catherine Cox and Leslie Kritzer

Genre & Style:


A two-person comic tragedy about the troubled relationship of a woman who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her estranged daughter who moves back home to take care of her.

More about Memory Show, The (fka Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom)


Jen Babiak, Cyrilla Baer, Neal Benari, Michael Kadin Craig, Joan Hess, Liz McCartney, Eric William Morris, Rob Richardson, Ivan Rutheford, Elena Shaddow, Katie Thompson and Bruce Winant

Genre & Style:


In this Victorian thriller, the PennyWise Music Hall is home to an illusionist who saws women in half while real murders are taking place on the streets outside. Reporter Chester Talbot sets out to unravel the story, but what he sees may not be what it seems.

More about Ripper

Songwriters Showcase

THE AVERAGEACHIEVERS CLUB by Benji Goldsmith & Jonathan Karpinos
CRAZY, JUST LIKE ME by Drew Gasparini
POP! by Maggie-Kate Coleman & Anna K. Jacobs
SOUTHERN COMFORT by Dan Collins & Julianne Wick Davis
WHILE I WAIT by Deborah Abramson & Amanda Yesnowitz
VENICE by Eric Rosen & Matt Sax, with additional music by Curtis Moore

Writers & Artists

Mark Allen

Music, Band Geeks!

Broadway: Gettin’ The Band Back Together (music & lyrics) with Ken Davenport (Belasco Theatre; John Rando, dir.) Regional: Tinyard Hill (music) with Tommy Newman (NAMT Festival 2007, Human Race Theatre 2008, Theatreworks, Palo Alto 2008, Goodspeed Musicals), Band Geeks! (music) with Newman, Gaby Alter, and Gordon Greenberg (NAMT Festival 2009, Goodspeed Musicals 2010) and The Joker’s Game (music) with Louis St. Louis and Jim Racheff (Beijing, China 2010). Mark has also has created award winning music for TV, Film and dozens of TV commercials. Mark is a past recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant (2009), Frederick Lowe Award (2007) and ASCAP Max Dreyfus Award (2005).

Gaby Alter

Lyrics & Music, Band Geeks!

GABY ALTER is the recipient of a Jonathan Larson Grant, both the San Diego and San Francisco Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Original Score, an ASCAP Plus Award in Musical Theater, and the ASCAP Composer’s Spotlight at the LA Film Festival. He is a two-time NAMT alum: BAND GEEKS (music and lyrics) which later premiered at Goodspeed Musicals and is now licensed by MTI, and NOBODY LOVES YOU (music and lyrics) with Tony award winner Itamar Moses, which was produced at Second Stage and was a Critics’ Pick at both the New York Times and TimeOut New York. Other works include STARS OF DAVID (Daryl Roth Theatricals), produced Off-Broadway at the DR2 theater; THIS SHOW IS MONEY, developed at The Civilians’ R&D group; and the song “The Frigate That Flies” for the Disney animated feature TINKERBELL AND THE PIRATE FAIRY, sung by Tom Hiddleston; music for PBS and MTV.

Barbara Anselmi

Music, It Shoulda Been You

The Orphan Train (book and lyrics by Susan Nanus published by Samuel French).  She also composed the music for an adaptation of A Christmas Carol for The Acting Company Salon Series. A proud participant in the York Theater’s NEO 2 concert, The Songwriter’s Showcase for NAMT, Monday Night New Voices and Musical Mondays.  Her music has been performed at benefits and concerts in New York and throughout the country.  Her song “All Join Together” raised over $40,000 for the New York Times 9/11 Fund.  Member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop (advanced).

Clay McLeod Chapman

Book, Hostage Song

Clay McLeod Chapman is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session “The Pumpkin Pie Show”. He is the author of rest area, a collection of short stories, and miss corpus, a novel — both published by Hyperion books. He teaches writing at The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University.

Sara Cooper

Book & Lyrics, Memory Show, The (fka Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom)

Sara Cooper is a Playwright-Lyricist. Highlights: Perpetual Sunshine & the Ghost Girls, Richard Rodgers Award (2022), Rhinebeck Writers Retreat (2021), New York Theatre Barn New Works (2021), 5X15, Beck Center/Baldwin Wallace (2021), NAMT 15-Minute Challenge (2020); ASCAP Foundation Lucille and Jack Yellen Award (2021); HoT, Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals (2022), Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove (2020); The Memory Show, LAMB Theatre (2022), New Bard, London (2016), Transport Group (2013), WaterGateMedia, Seoul (2012-2013), Barrington Stage Company (2010), NAMT (2010); Barrington Stage Spark Grant (2020); Elevator Heart, Moxie Arts (2019), Tisch (2016); Jonathan Larson Grant (2014). MFA GMTWP, NYU. Dramatists Guild, ASCAP. http://saracooper.me

Susan DiLallo

Book, Iron Curtain

Wrote book/lyrics for original musical comedy ONCE UPON A TIME IN NEW JERSEY (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, licensed by TRW, produced worldwide); book for IRON CURTAIN (NAMT 2009), developed at Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, Hudson Guild Theater NYC, and regional; revised libretto for A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, the classic Arthur Schwartz/ Dorothy Fields/George Abbott musical (Theatre at St. Clements, NYC); book/lyrics for FANCY NANCY (Vital Theatre Company NYC, national tour), original cast CD released by Ghostlight Records; BARBIE LIVE! IN FAIRYTOPIA (book/lyrics), a Mattel/ Clear Channel production (national tour); libretto for NOBLE FAMILY musical (Chinese TV show being adapted for the stage); lyrics for film THE SOPRANO STATE: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption. Also co-authors books with James Patterson. THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, a romantic thriller, was #1 on the NY Times best-seller list, and was on the NY Public Library’s list: The 10 Most Popular Books of 2018.

Gordon Greenberg

Book & Director, Band Geeks!

Directing/Writing includes: Working (Drama Desk Award, 59 E 59, Old Globe, Broadway in Chicago, Asolo), Jacques Brel… (Zipper Theatre, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Award nominations), Band Geeks! (co-writer, Goodspeed, Human Race Theatre Co., NAMT Fest ‘09), Pirates! (Huntington, Paper Mill, Goodspeed, MUNY), The Baker’s Wife (Goodspeed, Paper Mill), Disney’s Believe (Disney Creative Entertainment), Happy Days (First National Tour). Current projects include: Scramble Band! (co-writer, Disney Channel), Rags (Roundabout), Guys & Dolls (Chichester Theatre Festival UK 2014), Johnny Baseball (Williamstown) and developing new musicals for Universal Pictures and the pop group Fun. Education: Stanford University, NYU Film School, Lincoln Center Directors Lab. www.gordongreenberg.com

Brian Hargrove

Book & Lyrics, It Shoulda Been You

Brian Hargrove was a writer on the television shows Dave’s World, Caroline in the City, Holding The Baby, and Maggie.   He co-created the show Titus, which ran over three years on Fox, where he also executive produced Wanda at Large.  He created the sit-com Nora for TBS.  He wrote the book My Life as a Dog a mock-ography of Moose, the dog that played Eddie on Frasier – which he later turned into a television movie for NBC. He also co-wrote a new narration for Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnivale of the Animals, performed at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Creighton Irons

Book & Lyrics & Music, Factory Girls

CREIGHTON IRONS’ musicals have been on stage at ACT (San Francisco), Goodspeed, NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals, Boston Conservatory, Pace University, and more. His show FACTORY GIRLS (with Sean Mahoney) was recently produced by Amuse, Inc in Kyoto and Osaka, Japan; another work, THE MOON AND THE SEA (with bookwriter Douglas Lyons), will be produced at Adirondack Theater this summer. His latest show, LOST LETTERS (book by Jonathan Karpinos), received its world premier at Bloomington Playwrights Project in December 2019. He also performs with his wife, singer/songwriter Dawn Landes; their collaborations include a musical (BOOMTOWN, TN), a daughter (Callan), and beloved mutt (Scout). Irons lives in Chapel Hill, NC and received an MFA from NYU/Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.

Kyle Jarrow

Lyrics & Music, Hostage Song

Kyle Jarrow is a Brooklyn-based writer who creates work for the stage, film and TV. His work includes A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant (OBIE Award), Hostage Song (NAMT 2010), Love Kills, Whisper House (also with Duncan Sheik), as well as the upcoming Fallout (with Nick Blaemire) and Ana and the American Dream (with Josh Schmidt). Kyle wrote the film Armless which was an official selection of Sundance Film Festival. Kyle plays in the rock band Sky-Pony alongside his wife, actress Lauren Worsham. They’ll be releasing their album Beautiful Monster (Knitting Factory Records) in November. www.landoftrust.com.

Michael Mahler

Book & Lyrics & Music, How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?

Michael Mahler is the Chicago-based composer/lyricist of How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back? (with Alan Schmuckler) and Knute Rockne: All-American (with David H. Bell and Buddy Farmer). He has contributed to The American Dream Songbook (Next Theater); What U Will (La Red Productions) and others. His musical reviews 5 to 9 and Moving Forward, Looking Back have been performed at The Beechman in NY, Northwestern University, and St. Olaf College. His songs have been featured in NAMT’s 2005 New Works Summit and 2007 Songwriters’ Showcase, in MAC/ASCAP songwriter showcases in NY and Chicago, in The New Composer Project at CCM in Boston, in Ballads. Also, Uptempos at Ars Nova, and in Chicago’s Monday Nights, New Voices series. Projects in development include an adaptation of The 9/11 Report (with Jessica Redish) for La Red Music Theatre; and Boyfred, a musical TV series (with Alan Schmuckler, Jarrod Zimmerman and Blake Silver). www.michaelmahler.com

Sean Mahoney

Book & Lyrics & Music, Factory Girls

SEAN MAHONEY is a musical theater writer, guitarist, and DJ based in Telluride, CO. His show Factory Girls (co-book writer; co-wrote music and lyrics with Creighton Irons) was a part of NAMT ’09 and has since received multiple workshops and productions, including its recent international debut in Tokyo, Japan (2019). Current projects include: Sweetwater (music; book and lyrics by Patricia Noonan), Prep School Musical (music; co-book with Sam Forman), and The Invincible Three and the Great Telluride Bank Robbery of 1889 (book, music, and lyrics). His work has been performed at Birdland, Symphony Space, Goodspeed Opera House, Joe’s Pub, the Duplex, Ars Nova, ACT-SF, Lincoln Center, and New World Stages. MFA, NYU-Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing.

Peter Mills

Lyrics, Iron Curtain

Peter Mills is a composer/lyricist whose shows include ILLYRIA, THE TAXI CABARET, THE FLOOD, and GOLDEN BOY OF THE BLUE RIDGE. He wrote lyrics for IRON CURTAIN, with composer Stephen Weiner and bookwriter Susan DiLallo. Peter has won the Kleban Prize, the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, the Cole Porter Award, a grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, the Donna Perret Rosen Award, and received two Drama Desk Award nominations for his show THE PURSUIT OF PERSEPHONE (Best Music, Best Orchestration.) He received a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy to develop his show, DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES. He is a member of ASCAP and a graduate of NYU’s Musical Theater Writing Program. He teaches musical theater writing at Princeton University and New York University. His most recent show, THE HELLO GIRLS, premiered off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in December 2018.

Duane Nelsen

Book & Lyrics & Music, Ripper

Duane Nelsen worked as composer-in-residence for off-Broadway’s Equity Library Theatre before starting his own music production company in 1988, scoring national TV spots for McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Disney, Pillsbury and many others. Ripper was presented at the 2004 STAGES festival, and received it’s first commercial reading in New York in March 2007. Other shows include The Last Charade, Division Street and the new musical comedy Spa. His concert music has been performed by orchestras here and abroad. Professional affiliations: ASCAP, SAG, Dramatists Guild. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Catherine Hug, and their two sons. www.ripperthemusical.com

Tommy Newman

Book & Lyrics & Music, Band Geeks!

TOMMY NEWMAN is a 2013 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award Winner and a 2014 Kennedy Center ACTF National Musical Theatre Award Winner. Three of his shows have participated in the annual NAMT Festival. He is a recipient of an Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Grant. Productions include: The Single Girl’s Guide with Gordon Greenberg (NAMT 2013), Band Geeks! (NAMT Fest ‘09), Tinyard Hill with Mark Allen (NAMT Fest ‘07). Off Broadway: We the People: America Rocks (Theatreworks, USA, NY Times Critic Pick, Lortel Nomination 2010), The Yellow Brick Road with Jaime Lozano (Theatreworks USA, NY Times Critic Pick) and 29 with Gaby Alter. Recent works: The Teacher from the Black Lagoon (Theatreworks USA), Savage, El Otro Oz, Jenny’s Damned Ex, With Bells On. He holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch. Tommy is a professor with Troy University’s Department of Theatre and Dance in Troy, AL. www.tommynewman.com.

Zach Redler

Music, Memory Show, The (fka Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom)

Zach Redler is an active composer, pianist, arranger, copyist, musicologist and musical director in and out of New York City.  Recent productions: Memory Is The Mother Of All Wisdom (reading, Barrington Stage Company); May Day (GMTWP Reading); Adeyele (short musical, GMTWP Reading); Perez Hilton Saves the Universe(Best Musical Fringe Festival 2008 and Best Musical in the Talkin’ Broadway 2008 Summer Theatre Festival Citations).  He is a member of ASCAP, Local 802 and recent graduate of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Alan Schmuckler

Book & Lyrics & Music, How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?

Alan Schmuckler has contributed music and lyrics to What U Will (La Red Productions); Plus One (Duplex); and The Out-of-Towners and Performers for Peace (Triad). His songs have been featured in NAMT’s 2005 New Works Summit and 2007 Songwriters’ Showcase, and in Chicago’s Monday Nights, New Voices series. Projects in development include The Emperor’s New Clothes (with David Holstein) for Chicago Shakespeare Theater; an adaptation of Charles L. Mee’s Summertime (with Jessica Redish) for La Red Music Theatre; and Boyfred, a musical TV series (with Michael Mahler, Jarrod Zimmerman and Blake Silver).

Stephen Weiner

Music, Iron Curtain

STEVE WEINER (music): Wrote the music to The Honeymooners, based on the classic television series, book by Bill Nuss and Dusty Kay, lyrics by Peter Mills. And Rocket Science, the 2010 Richard Rodgers Award winning musical, an adaptation of the HBO film by Jeff Blitz with book by Patricia Cotter and lyrics by Jason Rhyne. Other credits include The Hudsucker Proxy with book and lyrics by Glenn Slater; Once Upon a Time in New Jersey with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo; and Iron Curtain, book by Susan DiLallo, lyrics by Peter Mills, which won the New York Innovative Theater Award. Concert and cabaret work includes Music of Stephen Weiner: Songs of Love and Aggravation at NYMF, a recent stint at the New Voices Concert Series hosted by Scott Alan, and venues around the city, including Sardis, The Russian Tea Room, and The York Theater.

This page was last updated on 07/18/2018. Some musical and writer information may be more recent.