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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.

Festival Program


Bleeding Love

Stephen Brackett

Music Director
Jason Wetzel

Damon Daunno, 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

Genre & Style:

Dark Comedy


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

Sam Buntrock

Music Director
Kim Grigsby

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

Genre & Style:


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

Victoria Bussert

Music Director
Matthew Webb

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

Ideal Cast Size: 7 Principal, 6-8 Chorus

Ideal Band Size: 6

Style: Folk Rock Musical

Genre & Style:


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

Jerry Dixon

Music Director
Steve Marzullo

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


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

Michelle Tattenbaum

Music Director

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

Genre & Style:


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

Rebecca Taichman

Music Director
Brad Haak

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

Genre & Style:

Magical-Realism Fairy-Tale Comedy


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

Tom Caruso

Music Director
Emily Otto

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

Genre & Style:


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


Meredith McDonough

Music Director
James Sampliner

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

Genre & Style:


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 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.

Arthur Lafrentz Bacon

Music, Bleeding Love

ARTHUR LAFRENTZ BACON (Composer). Arthur had just completed composing the music for A HERO’S TALE which was in rehearsals for its world premier at The Fredericia Theater in Denmark in April 2020 when the production had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. He composed the music for BLEEDING LOVE, available as a podcast on The Broadway Podcast Network (NAMT Winner 2012 Festival of New Musicals). BLEEDING LOVE premiered in 2015 at The Fredericia Theater. Other musicals Arthur composed include the rock/R&B musical SALVAGE (O’Neill NMTC Finalist) and BILLY SLEEPYHEAD (Center Stage). Arthur has written hit songs for Joey Lawrence, Marion Raven, and the Latin supergroup CD9. Arthur has appeared on TV as a member of the “Groovy Little Band” on The Caroline Rhea Show on NBC. He also has written music for over 100 national television and radio commercial spots and has won two Clio Awards for Best Original Music.

Kirsten Childs

Book & Lyrics & Music, Funked Up Fairy Tales

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin Obie, Kleban, Audelco, Richard Rodgers, Gilman Gonzalez-Falla awards; Rockefeller and Jonathan Larson Grants; Lortel, NAACP, Drama Desk nominations. Bella: An American Tall Tale Frederick Loewe Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize Finalist, 4 Audelco Awards. Fly with Rajiv Joseph, Bill Sherman and director Jeffrey Seller. Washington Square with Ben Wexler. Edge of Night radio play, Soundstage, Playwrights Horizons. 2021 Vineyard Theater commission. New Group commission with Gordon Greenberg. Funked Up Fairy Tales. Miracle Brothers. Lucky Boy Penn State Commission. NEA, Larson grants. American Songbook series. New Electric Company. Disney’s Believe and Disney’s Wishes. Guggenheim Museum Works & Process. Songwriter for Dianne Reeves (with Billy Childs).

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 is a NAMT alumni for BLEEDING LOVE, developed at Goodspeed and produced in Fredericia. He was shortlisted for the Independent Spirit Awards’ for his award-winning feature film BEAUTY MARK. He made the short THE STORY OF MILO & ANNIE featuring Alysia Reiner and Cathy Moriarty and produced Dave Solomon’s PHOTO OP starring Randy Harrison. Screenplays: ATTICUS BROWN IS STILL HERE (Sundance, Tribeca Sloan finalist), COG (Nicholl quarterfinalist), IN THE WAKE (Austin semifinalist), et al. Harris produced and wrote the political concert BROADWAY BLUE WAVE FOR NY directed by Rachel Chavkin, starring Taylor Shilling, Edie Falco, Laura Benanti. He wrote the musical SALVAGE, pop songs including “Falling Away”(#1 European Billboard), and the series “I LOVE YOU BUT I LIED” (Lifetime). As an actor Harris has been seen in projects ranging from Broadway to TV to indies. Harris is a professor at Columbia University (MFA Film). Training: Juilliard.

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 is a music teacher (voice, keyboards and occasionally mandolin, guitar, bass, or drums as the need arises). In his former life he toured in a rock band called GrooveLily for about 15 years, and wrote a lot of musicals which were produced in NYC and at regional theatres around the country. He also has songs in live shows running at Disneyland, Disney World, and Disneyland Paris. in four movies about Tinker Bell (Disney). Awards: Jonathan Larson, ASCAP/Richard Rodgers, LA Ovation (best musical, best music direction), LA Drama Critics Circle (best score of a musical), LA Stage Raw (best musical). Proudest productions: sixteen-year-old Mose, five-year-old Arlen, and 3-year old Rory.

Tom 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 uplifts and connects with people through her unique combination of gorgeous vocals and electric violin, heartfelt musical storytelling, and fierce buoyancy. Her epic life journey has taken her: around the world on rock tours with Cyndi Lauper, Joe Jackson, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and her own indie band GrooveLily; to New York as an award-winning writer and performer in multiple hit musicals; and into the hearts of millions as a prolific Disney songwriter.
With the acclaimed show STRIKING 12, Val and her indie bandmates became pioneer “actor-musicians”; she has continued to carve her own creative path, partly thanks to the discipline she learned both at Princeton and as a lieutenant in the US Army. Awards include: Jonathan Larson, LA Ovation (Best Musical: SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES), ASCAP Richard Rodgers, and Off-Broadway Alliance (Best Musical: ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES ME). Val lives in LA with her son Mose.

Julianne Wick Davis

Music, Southern Comfort

Julianne Wick Davis; Jonathan Larson 2012; Billie Burke Ziegfeld, 2018; Fifty Women to Watch 2020; 2020 Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook Series Award. TREVOR (music), with Dan Collins (book and lyrics) Writer’s Theatre, Jefferson Award Outstanding New Musical; off-Broadway 2021. SOUTHERN COMFORT with Collins, The Public Theatre, NY Times Critic’s Pick, Lortel, Outer Critics Circle Nominations Outstanding Musical; 2012 NAMT; Barrington Stage; reading at Playwrights Horizons; CAP21 (GLAAD Media Award, TimeOut NYC, NY Times Critic’s Pick). THE PEN, Inner Voices with Collins, NY Times Critic’s Pick. WHEN WE MET (music & lyrics), O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, York NEO Development Series, Broadway Bound Concert Series, CAP21. THE WILLARD SUITCASES (book, music, & lyrics) American Shakespeare Center 2019, Top Ten 2019 Theatrical Events by the Washington Post, Broadway Bound Concert Series. LAUTREC AT THE ST. JAMES (music) John Dietrich (book and lyrics), NAMT 2019 Conference, Applause Concert Series, Olney Theatre Center in 2021.

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

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