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Overview

October 11 - 12

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

The 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals was held in New York City on Thursday, October 11 and Friday, October 12, 2012, introducing a select audience of NAMT members, producers and other musical theatre industry professionals to eight new musicals in 45-minute presentations. 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.”

NAMT was honored to return to New World Stages for our 9th consecutive year to present this Festival.

Musicals

Bleeding Love

Director
Stephen Brackett

Music Director
Jason Wetzel

Cast
Damon Daunno, Nicolette Hart, Nancy Opel, William Ryall, Sarah Stiles and Robin de Jesus

Ideal Cast Size: 6

Ideal Band Size: Flexible

Style: Post-apocalyptic fairy tale in F minor

Synopsis

It’s always cold and nothing ever grows. A cloistered teen cellist must find a real live rose in order to thaw the frozen heart of the rebel punk next door. An eclectic score ranging from Broadway to classical to rock beats within this wickedly demented, post-apocalyptic fairy tale for grown-ups.

More about Bleeding Love

Bonfire Night

Director
Sam Buntrock

Music Director
Kim Grigsby

Cast
Andre De Shields, Santino Fontana, Chester Gregory, Chris Hoch, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Wade McCollum, Jeremy Morse, Bryce Pinkham, Eddie Wardel and Michael Winther

Ideal Cast Size: 10-16 men

Ideal Band Size: 6-12

Style: Dark Comedic Caper

Synopsis

A rousing band of repressed 17th-Century Englishmen, led by the radical Guy Fawkes, plot to bring their tyrannical monarch down with a bang! Inspired by the 1605 Gunpowder Treason Plot, Bonfire Night is the story of 13 Catholic radicals who conspire to blow up Parliament on Opening Day in an effort to kill King James and Britain’s entire governing body.

More about Bonfire Night

The Circus In Winter

Director
Victoria Bussert

Music Director
Matthew Webb

Cast
Marie-France Arcilla, Emily Behny, Steel Burkhardt, Derrick Cobey, Rachel Ferrara, Sutton Foster, Jonathan Jensen, Corey Mach, Pat McRoberts, Jen Noble, Kate Rockwell and Brian Sutherland

Ideal Cast Size: 7 Principal, 6-8 Chorus

Ideal Band Size: 6

Style: Folk Rock Musical

Synopsis

Meeting an elephant can change a man’s life. The Circus in Winter is based on the novel by Cathy Day, where legend and lore collide under the big-top filled with disheveled hustlers, death-defying acrobats and a dreamer named Wallace Porter searching for redemption and grace.

More about The Circus In Winter

Funked Up Fairy Tales

Director
Jerry Dixon

Music Director
Steve Marzullo

Cast
Drew Aber, Kerry Butler, Demond Green, Kenita Miller, Alysha Umphress and Emily Walton

Ideal Cast Size: 6

Ideal Band Size: 4-7

Style: Musical Comedy

Synopsis

Funked Up Fairy Tales—a collection of delightfully twisted urban fairy tales for sophisticated children and grown-up kids—welcomes you to the world of Titania, Faireetheeya and Magikwanda, teenage fairies with attitude. They wag their heads and suck their teeth as they turn things upside down to pass their Fairyland Academy exam. Will they pull through with flying colors and earn their Happy Ending Crowns?

More about Funked Up Fairy Tales

Nobody Loves You

Director
Michelle Tattenbaum

Music Director
Mike Pettry

Cast
Etai Benson, Heath Calvert, Carla Duren, Adam Kantor, Kelsey Kurz, Nicole Lewis, Lauren Molina and Phoebe Strole

Ideal Cast Size: 8 (4 men, 4 women)

Ideal Band Size: Rock Quartet

Style: Romantic Comedy

Synopsis

Filled with tuneful pop songs, Nobody Loves You takes audiences on a hilarious behind-the-scenes ride through reality television and into real life. When Jeff, a philosophy grad student, joins a dating show to win back his ex, he breaks all the rules and tries to blow the game wide open… until he meets Jenny. In a world where every kiss is staged for the cameras, can two people find a real connection?

More about Nobody Loves You

Sleeping Beauty Wakes

Director
Rebecca Taichman

Music Director
Brad Haak

Cast
Christy Altomare, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Peter Friedman, Olli Haaskivi, Nicholas Kohn, Mary Jo Mecca, Tonya Pinkins and Bryce Ryness

Ideal Cast Size: 4 men, 4 women

Ideal Band Size: 8

Style: Modern Fairy Tale

Synopsis

A young beauty is brought to a sleep disorder clinic and soon all the patients find themselves sharing a fairy-tale dream. With beguiling characters, hypnotic lyrics and a rocking score, Sleeping Beauty Wakes delves into the magical space between dreaming and waking.

More about Sleeping Beauty Wakes

Southern Comfort

Director
Tom Caruso

Music Director
Emily Otto

Cast
Allison Briner, Lizzie Hagstedt, Natalie Joy Johnson, Erik Lochtefeld, Jeff McCarthy, Annette O'Toole, Randy Redd, Robin Skye, Andy Taylor and Joel Waggoner

Ideal Cast Size: 3M, 3F plus 2M/2F ensemble/chorus/band

Ideal Band Size: 2M/2F ensemble/chorus/band and a music director

Style: Folk/Bluegrass – Drama

Synopsis

Based on the Sundance Award-winning documentary, this heartwarming musical about a group of transgender friends living in rural Georgia is, at its core, a love story between their patriarch, Robert Eads, and newcomer Lola Cola. Through a unique folk and bluegrass-inspired score, the musical chronicles a year in the lives of this unique American family as they courageously defy the odds by simply remaining on the land to which they were born, reminding us that home is where we find comfort in our skin.

More about Southern Comfort

Triangle

Director
Meredith McDonough

Music Director
James Sampliner

Cast
Carrie Cimma, Adam Heller, Bryce Ryness, Margo Seibert, Dana Steingold and Wayne Wilcox

Ideal Cast Size: 6

Ideal Band Size: 7 piece orchestra with options for smaller

Style: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

In an original mystery/romance set against the backdrop of an infamous New York tragedy, two couples from different eras—in 1911 a Jewish seamstress and her Italian foreman, in 2011 a graduate student and a free-spirited stranger—discover what it means to risk everything you believe for love.

More about Triangle

Songwriters Showcase

HARMONY, KANSAS by Bill Nelson and Anna K. Jacobs
FLY BY NIGHT by Will Connolly, Michael Mitnick and Kim Rosenstock
THE NOTEWORTHY LIFE OF HOWARD BARNES by Christopher Dimond and Michael Koomin
CARELESS LOVE by Ryan Dunkin
AMAZING GRACE by Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron
WHO’S YOUR BAGHDADDY? by Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo
PAINTED ALICE by Bill Donnelley and Michael Mahler
FIRST DATE by Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary

Writers & Artists

Gaby Alter

Lyrics & Music, Nobody Loves You

Gaby Alter’s musicals include Band Geeks! (Goodspeed Musicals 2010, NAMT Fest ‘09), now licensed by MTI, 29 (NYU Steinhardt) and Young Zombie in Love (FringeNYC). Other credits include music for PBS, MTV, the theme for NPR’s Backstory with the American History Guys and the films Nerdcore Rising (South by Southwest Film Festival) and The Muslims Are Coming by director Negin Farsad. He is the recipient of a Jonathan Larson grant, awards from the San Francisco Theater Critics’ Circle and the New York Fringe Festival, and a MAC nomination.

Arthur Lafrentz Bacon

Music, Bleeding Love

Arthur LaFrentz Bacon composed the music for the rock/R&B musical Salvage (O’Neill NMTC Finalist), Billy Sleepyhead (Center Stage) and Phenomenon, which was recently optioned for a Broadway production. He co-wrote “Stay Forever” for Joey Lawrence (Top 20 hit) and “Falling Away” for Marion Raven (#1 European Billboards), and was songwriter, arranger and keyboardist for Freddy and the Dials (Virgin Records), Kelli Price and SHANE. Arthur formed the band The Erratics (Touchwood/Zero Hour Records) and was a member of “Groovy Little Band” on The Caroline Rhea Show.  He has written music for over 100 national television and radio commercial spots and won two Clio Awards.

Kirsten Childs

Book & Lyrics & Music, Funked Up Fairy Tales

Kirsten Childs wrote The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (NAMT Fest ’98) which premiered at Playwrights Horizons, earning her Obie, Kleban, Audelco, Richard Rodgers and Gilman Gonzalez-Falla awards; Rockefeller and Jonathan Larson grants; Lucille Lortel, NAACP & Drama Desk nominations. She is currently writing lyrics for Fly with Rajiv Joseph and Bill Sherman, to be presented this season at Dallas Theatre Center.  Recently, she created Disney’s Wishes and Disney’s Believe for Disney Theatricals and Miracle Brothers at the Vineyard Theatre (NEA, Larson grants, Meet The Composer and Kitty Carlisle Hart Musical Theatre awards; Sundance Ucross).  Additional works include: American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, “The New Electric Company” (songwriter), House of Flowers (adaptation) for City Center Encores!, Wasted at George Street Playhouse, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie at Theatreworks/USA, Guggenheim Museum Works & Process compositions with poets Paul Muldoon and Dana Gioia, Doris to Darlene at Playwrights Horizons and book & lyrics for The Princess and the Black Eyed Pea at San Diego Rep.  She is also working on a commission for Playwrights Horizons with Lynn Nottage and Steve Cosson.

Ben Clark

Lyrics & Music, The Circus In Winter

Ben Clark hails from Floyds Knobs, IN. Ben has been writing music since 14 and The Circus in Winter marks his full length musical debut. He is a recent graduate of Ball State University (’11) with a degree in Musical Theatre Performance. Ben currently lives and works in Chicago as a recording artist/composer.

Dan Collins

Book & Lyrics, Southern Comfort

Dan Collins’ other works with Julianne Wick Davis include: Wood  (NYMF, starring Tony Award winner Cady Huffman), Our Lady of the Viaduct and Time to Kill (The York Theatre Company), and When We Met (co-conceived with performers Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther), which was selected for development at The O’Neill this summer. Other recent projects include book for Our Country with composer/lyricist Tony Asaro (produced at NYMF and Planet Connections Theater Festivity, where it was honored with awards for Best Book and Best Musical) and lyrics for Professor Von Awesome’s Traveling Caravan of Cautionary Warnings and Johnny 15, both with composer Nick Sula and The Serious Theater Collective. Dan’s work has been published in Plays and Playwrights 2010 (NYTE Small Press) and he was selected along with Julianne Wick Davis as a 2011-2012 Dramatist Guild Fellow. Dan holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and a B.F.A. in Playwriting from The Theater School of DePaul University.

Harris Doran

Lyrics, Bleeding Love

Harris Doran wrote book and lyrics for Salvage (O’Neill NMTC Finalist), dTension and Oliver Button, as well as the play Beautiful. He’s written for recording artists Marion Raven (Top 10 European Single), A Band Called Freddy and Shane. He was in the BMI Workshop and is a member of ASCAP.  As an actor, Harris’ credits include It Must Be Him, Reading Under the Influence, Hair, Love Jerry (NYMF Best Actor Award) and many regional productions. Film & TV: “The Black Donnellys,” “Malcolm In The Middle,” “Any Day Now,” 2+1, and the upcoming features Junction and My Best Day (Sundance 2012). www.harrisdoran.com

Hunter Foster

Book, The Circus In Winter

Justin Levine

Book & Lyrics & Music, Bonfire Night

Justin Levine works as a writer, composer and performer in and around NYC. Writing credits include Bonfire Night (book, music & lyrics), Tell Me Tomorrow (music & lyrics), Jump Jim Crow (music & lyrics), Naked Radio (music), and Pepper and Sam: Death by Vaudeville (co-creator). Musical direction: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Broadway and The Public), Missed Connections (Ars Nova), Here Lies Love (MASS MoCa, Public Theater), Murder Ballad (MTC), Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout),  Love’s Labors Lost (Public),  Mo(or)town (Choreographer: Doug Elkins), Like Water For Chocolate (Sundance). www.justinlevineonline.com

Brendan Milburn

Music, Sleeping Beauty Wakes

Brendan Milburn writes songs for theatre and film (mostly with wife Valerie Vigoda), produces records, and is a stay-at-home dad when he’s not off rewriting the opening number at some regional theatre somewhere. Musicals: Striking 12(NAMT Fest ’04, Off Broadway & regional), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (NAMT Fest ’12, CTG, McCarter, La Jolla), Wheelhouse (TheatreWorks), Toy Story: The Musical (Disney), Fantasy Faire (Disneyland), Long Story Short (regional),Midsummer Night (in development), Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (Balagan/Seattle Rep/ACT), WATT?!? (NAMT Fest ’11, Trinity Rep, Village Theatre), The Behavior of Broadus (CTG, Sacred Fools). Film: four movies about Tinker Bell (Disney). Proudest production: nine-year old son, Mose.

Thomas Mizer

Book & Lyrics, Triangle

Thomas Mizer has written lyrics and collaborated on the book for musicals including The Legend of Stagecoach Mary (NAMT Fest ‘08), The House of the Seven Gables (ASCAP Workshop) and The Bus to Buenos Aires (EST). An honors graduate of Northwestern University, he received a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant and has twice been an artist in residence at the National Music Theater Conference. In addition to his theater work, he is a copywriter at Comedy Central, edits The Broadway Blog and writes features for national travel magazines. www.thomasmizer.com

Curtis Moore

Book & Lyrics & Music, Triangle

Curtis Moore recently returned from conducting and performing in Sam Mendes’ production of Richard III starring Kevin Spacey.   With lyricist Thomas Mizer, he was awarded a Jonathan Larson Grant in 2009; together, they wrote The Legend of Stagecoach Mary (NAMT Fest ‘08) and The Bus to Buenos Aires (EST). His new musical Venice (with Matt Sax and Eric Rosen) will be produced next spring at The Public Theater in New York, where he recently composed the score for Timon of Athens.  He wrote and performed songs in the Todd Solondzʼs film Palindromes and composed the score for Clear Blue Tuesday.

Itamar Moses

Book & Lyrics, Nobody Loves You

Itamar Moses is the author of the full-length plays Outrage, Bach at Leipzig, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us, Yellowjackets, Back Back Back and Completeness, thecollection of short plays Love/Stories (or But You Will Get Used To It) and the musical Fortress of Solitude (with Michael Friedman). His work has appeared Off Broadway and at regional theaters across the country, and is published by Faber & Faber and Samuel French. Itamar has taught playwriting at both Yale and NYU. On television, he has written for both TNT’s Men of a Certain Age and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

Jason Schafer

Book, Bleeding Love

Jason Schafer wrote the acclaimed indie hit Trick (Fine Line Features), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to being a staff writer and co-producer for Showtime’s GLAAD Media Award-winning Queer as Folk, Jason has written for Warner Bros., Paramount, ABC and Fox Television.  Upcoming projects include the film Princess and a screenplay for director Carl Byrd. Works for the stage: I Google Myself (Theatre Askew) and Notes on the Land of Earthquake & Fire (FringeNYC Playwrighting Award). He holds a B.A. in Music Composition from UCLA and an MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing.

Joshua Scher

Book, Triangle

Rachel Sheinkin

Book, Sleeping Beauty Wakes

As book writer and sometimes lyricist, she has been part of the creative teams of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Striking 12 (also with Milburn/Vigoda at NAMT Fest ’04), Little House on the Prairie, Serenade and Blood Drive. She received Tony and Drama Desk Awards for the book of Spelling Bee. Rachel is interested in independent-minded musicals and loves the form when it is adventurous, inventive and nourished rather than limited by convention. She teaches on the part-time faculties of Yale School of Drama and NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Beth Turcotte

Book, The Circus In Winter

Beth Turcotte is a Professor of Theatre at Ball State University and received her MFA from Southern Methodist University.  During her tenure at Ball State University, Beth directed three productions (Company, Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar) for the American College Theatre Festival. This past January, The Circus in Winter was selected to participate in and honored by The American College Theatre Festival/The Kennedy Center with eleven awards including Outstanding New Work and Director of a New Work.  Internationally, Beth has directed and taught throughout China, Korea and Japan.

Valerie Vigoda

Lyrics, Sleeping Beauty Wakes

Valerie Vigoda, lyricist-electric violinist-singer-actor, has toured the world with Cyndi Lauper, Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Musicals: Striking 12 (NAMT Fest ’04, Off Broadway & regional), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (NAMT Fest ’12, CTG, McCarter, La Jolla), Wheelhouse (TheatreWorks),Toy Story: The Musical (Disney), Fantasy Faire (Disneyland), Long Story Short(regional), Midsummer Night (in development) and Ernest Shackleton Loves Me(Balagan/Seattle Rep/ACT). Film: Four Tinker Bell movies (Disney). Awards: Jonathan Larson (2006 & 2008), LA Ovation Award (2007), ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award (2009). Valerie lives in LA with husband/collaborator Brendan and 9-year-old son Mose.

Julianne Wick Davis

Music, Southern Comfort

Julianne Wick Davis received the 2012 Jonathan Larson Grant with Dan Collins for their work on Southern Comfort. She wrote music and lyrics for When We Met with Dan Collins (book), in collaboration with Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther, which was part of The O’Neill’s 2012 conference and also received readings at TriArts Sharon Playhouse, Williams College Summer Theatre Lab and Two River Theater.  Wood (music) with Dan Collins (book & lyrics) was part of NYMF 2008.  Other work with Dan Collins includes Our Lady of the Viaduct and Time To Kill commissioned for York Theatre’s 4@15 series.  She was also commissioned to write An Orchestra Imagined (music) with Sophia Chapadjiev (book & lyrics) for York Theatre’s 4@15, which also received a production at NYU Steinhardt.  Her musical She Would Never Leave (lyrics) with Will Aronson (music) and Rachel Jett (book) received developmental readings at Adelphi University.  Her work has been featured in the Broadway’s Future @ Lincoln Center, New Voices Concert, “Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Don’t Know But Should” at Barrington Stage, Joe’s Pub and Merkin Hall. She is a recent graduate from NYU’s Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, is a proud ASCAP member and was named a Dramatist Guild Fellow for 2011-2012.

Selection Process

Heather Schmucker (American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University, IL), Co-Chair
Kevin Moriarty (Dallas Theater Center, TX), Co-Chair
Pamela Adams (formerly of Trinity Repertory Company, RI)
Joe Barros (New York Theatre Barn, NY)
Elise Dewsberry (Academy for New Musical Theatre, CA)
Mara Isaacs (McCarter Theatre Center, NJ)
Eric Louie (The Old Globe, CA)
Søren Møller (The Danish Academy of Musical Theatre, DK)
Kent Nicholson (Playwrights Horizons, NY)
Steve Peterson (Maine State Music Theatre, ME)
Peter Rothstein (Theater Latté Da, MN)
Tara Smith (Playing Pretend, NY)
Donna Lynn Hilton (Goodspeed Musicals, CT), Chair Emerita
Steve Stettler (Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, VT), Chair Emeritus