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October 23 - 24

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

NAMT’s Festival is the premiere industry event, which brings together theatre industry leaders to discover eight new musicals in 45-minute presentations.  The Festival is only open to theatre industry professionals and major donors to NAMT.

Festival Program

The 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals was held in New York City on Thursday, October 23 and Friday, October 24, 2014 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 presentations.

“On behalf of the Festival Committee, we are honored to present such an exciting mix of shows at our 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals and to advance the field through the introduction of these pieces to the Industry. From over 230 submissions, we carefully selected this year’s eight shows in celebration of the richness and diversity of the modern American musical. We know that they will join the musical theatre canon, already greatly enriched by the Festival and NAMT over the last quarter century.”

-Kelley Kirkpatrick
Festival Committee Co-Chair

The Festival is only open to theatre industry professionals and major donors to NAMT. We define an industry member as anyone currently working professionally in the theatre who can aid in the development of the shows or writers we present.

NAMT was honored to return to New World Stages for our 11th consecutive year!


Beautiful Poison

David Armstrong

Music Director
Ian Eisendrath

Terence Archie, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Sarah Rose Davis, Michelle Duffy, Allen Fitzpatrick, Laura Griffith, Michael Lanning, Corey Mach, Jesse Nager, Brandon O'Neill and Chelsea Packard

Ideal Cast Size: 13 actors
Ideal Band Size: 13 instruments
Style: Contemporary Gothic Romance

Genre & Style:

Romantic thriller

More about Beautiful Poison


Kent Nicholson

Music Director
Jerome Korman

Adesola Osakalumi, Amirh Vann, Javier Muñoz, Sekou Alaje, Eugene Barry-Hill, Janet Dacal and Doreen Montalvo

Ideal Cast Size: 6 to 10 performers
Ideal Band Size: 4 to 7 instruments
Style: Romance

Genre & Style:


Cubamor is the contemporary story of two couples that fall in love across the American-Cuban political, historical and social divide. They are guided and challenged by the spiritual forces of the island, its incredibly diverse music and cultural heritage, and ultimately the power of love.

More about Cubamor

Great Wall

Sarna Lapine

Music Director
Marco Paguia

Cindy Cheung, Carrie Cimma, Josh Dela Cruz, Danielle Herbert, Jared Joseph, Francis Jue, Jimmy Kieffer, Jaygee Macapugay, Hansel Tan and Moses Villarama

Ideal Cast Size: 10 to 16 actors
Ideal Band Size: 4 to 7 instruments
Style: Drama

Genre & Style:
More about Great Wall

How To Break

Tamilla Woodard

Music Director
Jon Spurney

Kacie Sheik, Chris Sullivan, Vladimir Versailles, Madison Welterlen and Amber Williams

Ideal Cast and Band Size: 4 actors (one of whom plays guitar) and a beatboxer
Style: Comedy/Drama

Genre & Style:

Hip-Hop Traumedy

More about How To Break

Mary Marie

Daniella Topol

Music Director
Nathan Dame

Kevin Earley, Ruth Gottschall, Colin Hanlon, Mamie Parris and Emerson Steele

Cast Size: 5 actors
Ideal Band Size: 4 instruments (piano, violin, viola, cello)
Style: Family

Genre & Style:


It’s 1921, and despite the shocked whispers, Mary Marie is surprisingly philosophical about her parents’ divorce. In fact, she can’t wait to observe, first hand, their inevitable new romances. But after months of being shuttled between them, what she observes is that Mother is different. Could Father, who has always been as distant as the stars he studies, be changing too?

More about Mary Marie

The Noteworthy Life Of Howard Barnes

Lonny Price

Music Director
Andy Einhorn

Andi Alhadeff, Courtney Balan, Jenni Barber, Todd Buonopane, Natalie Charlé Ellis, Josh Grisetti, Mitch Jarvis, Lesli Margherita, Joel Perez and Sergi Robles

Ideal Cast Size: 12 actors
Ideal Band Size: 5-7 instruments
Style: Musical Comedy about Musical Comedy

Genre & Style:


Howard Barnes is a perfectly average, if emotionally repressed, man in his early thirties. That is, until the day that he wakes up to discover that his life has become a musical. Desperate to escape from the show, and get his normal life back, Howard teams up with Maggie, an aspiring actress who works in his office. Together, the two embark on a fantastical quest through the realm of musical theater. Along the way, Howard discovers that he must let go of the past and open himself up to the possibility of love. In doing so, he learns to embrace the music. Equal parts satire, romantic comedy, and love letter to the American musical, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes is intended for people who love musical theater, and their spouses who hate it.

More about The Noteworthy Life Of Howard Barnes


Marc Bruni

Music Director
Matt Castle

Heidi Blickenstaff, Mallory Hawks, Orville Mendoza, Kenita Miller, Adam Overett, Geoff Packard, Margo Seibert, Q. Smith, Katie Thompson and Eugenio Vargas

Ideal Cast Size: 10 to 14 actors
Ideal Band Size: tbd
Style: Comedy/Drama

Genre & Style:


A workaholic Greek goddess gets tangled up with a security guard in the basement of the tallest building in the world. One mistake leads to another (a lost pair of scissors, a kiss, a stolen string) and soon Atropos is breaking her own rules to offer forever to an ordinary man. Can the fabric of the universe stand a flaw? An original musical about the three Fates in the modern city.

More about String

Stu For Silverton

Andrew Russell

Music Director
Meg Zervoulis

Russell Arden Koplin, Annaleigh Ashford, Lewis Cleale, Celisse Henderson, Kevin Kern, Jeigh Madjus, Don Daryl Rivera, Mary Testa, Melanie Vaughan and Nick Wyman

Ideal Cast Size: 12 to 24 actors
Ideal Band Size: 4 to 14 musicians
Style: Traditional Musical Comedy (with a bit of edge)

Genre & Style:


Based on the true story of America’s first transgender mayor and the town that elected him, Stu for Silverton celebrates a new American folk hero from Silverton, Oregon. This heartwarming, all-American new musical blends Our Town and The Rocky Horror Show, testing the boundaries of tolerance as a small community adjusts to big changes.

More about Stu For Silverton

Songwriters Showcase

COSTS OF LIVING by Timothy Huang
ISLAND SONG by Samuel Carner and Derek Gregor
OCTOBER SKY by Michael Mahler and Aaron Thielen
STORYVILLE by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Julia Jordan and Lisa de Spain

Writers & Artists


Lyrics & Music, Stu For Silverton

Breedlove is one of the most distinctive singer-songwriters in New York?s downtown performance scene; he has toured several times with Semi Precious Weapons and his collaborators include Bootsy Collins, Lady Starlight, Darian Darling and Lady Gaga (for whom he is currently the opening act on the European leg of her ArtRave: The ArtPop Ball Tour). Having completed production on his first album with mega-producer Chew Fu (Gaga, Rihanna) an EP of their collaboration will be available soon on iTunes. Born and raised in San Francisco, he is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College.

Charles Vincent Burwell

Lyrics & Music, Cubamor

A multi-instrumentalist and composer in both theatrical and dance worlds, organizations that Charles has worked with include the Lincoln Center Institute, Urban Bush Women, the Katherine Dunham Institute, Trenton Educational Dance Institute, National Dance Institute, Festival del Caribe Santiago de Cuba, Ile Aiye Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, the Bates Dance Festival and the Jacob?s Pillow Dance Festival; Cairo Egypt Opera House Ballet, and a longtime member of the faculty at Alvin Ailey. His music was featured in the HBO documentary Jacques D’Amboise in China. Vince was also a member of the 2018 Musikmarathon in Austria, the 2016 Art Saves Lives Musical Theater Lecturer on St. Maarten Island, and received a Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Fellowship for “Pushers,” and a Brooklyn Arts Council grant recipient for his work with Renegade Performance Group’s Afrofuturism Series. He is currently on faculty at Berklee College of Music at Boston Conservatory.

Christopher Dimond

Book & Lyrics, The Noteworthy Life Of Howard Barnes

Peter Duchan

Book, Stu For Silverton

Adam Gwon

Lyrics & Music, String

Musicals include Ordinary Days (NAMT Fest ?08, Roundabout, London’s West End, and more), Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory), The Boy Detective Fails(Signature Theatre) and Bernice Bobs Her Hair (NAMT Fest ?11).His songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald and Kelli O’Hara. Honors include the Kleban, Ebb, and Loewe Awards, Second Stage Theatre’s Rosen Award, ASCAP’s Harold Adamson Award, the MAC John Wallowitch Award, and commissions from Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, SCR, Signature, and Broadway Across America. Adam is proud to be making his third appearance in the NAMT Festival.

Sarah Hammond

Book, String

Sarah just completed a seven-year playwriting residency at New Dramatists. Her play Green Girl was produced in SPF at the Public. Other works have been developed at BAPF, Williamstown, Geva, Trustus, South Coast Rep, the O’Neill, Broadway Across America, the Royal National Theatre, and beyond. Recipient of the Heidemann Award, the Loewe Prize and the Weston New Musicals Award. At NYU GMTWP, she wrote book and lyrics for Barefoot Persephone, a full-length musical; ?Cloud & Goat,” a puppet musical; and the ten-minute musicals, “People Are Dancing” and “Jack + Jill,” which were both produced at Barrington Stage Company.

Rebecca Hart

Music, How To Break

Rebecca Hart is a performer, composer and writer based in NYC. On stage: ‘SWEAT’ (Public Tour), The Revolutionists (CT Critics Circle Award), Midsummer (TheatreWorks Hartford – CT Critics Circle Nom), Rimbaud in NY (The Civilians @BAM), Microcosmos (The Civilians), and frequent gigs with her six-piece altfolk band. Writing/composing credits include: Microcosmos and Rimbaud in NY (Civilians), GLORIA (Woolly Mammoth—Helen Hayes Nomination), The Cabaret at the End of the World (NY Innovative Theatre Award), Aaron Jafferis’ How to Break (NAMT 2014), Iron John (2019 O’Neill Semifinalist, NYU staged workshop), and her album The Magician’s Daughter. Civilians Associate Artist, MFA NYU GMTWP. www.rebeccahart.net

Aaron Jafferis

Book and Lyrics, How To Break

Stuck Elevator at ACT (SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, NEA, Creative Capital, NEFA National Theatre Project, Edgerton New American Play Award);Kingdom at The Old Globe (NAMT Fest ’07, Richard Rodgers Award, NYMF Most Promising New Musical); Shakespeare: The Remix (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Capital Rep, Zach Scott). Musicals developed by the Public Theater, Sundance Theatre Lab, Atlantic Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and many others. A former Open Rap Slam champion at the National Poetry Slam Championships, Aaron teaches poetry at a children?s hospital in his hometown of New Haven. BA: UC Berkeley. MFA: NYU GMTWP.

Carl Johnson

Music, Mary Marie

Michael Kooman

Music, The Noteworthy Life Of Howard Barnes

Kevin Merritt

Book, Great Wall

As the owner of One Foot Productions, Kevin splits time producing live television, theatre, music and animation for shows and networks such as Tony Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, VH1, IFC, Presidential Inaugurations, HBO’s Def Poetry and many others. With his business partner Amanda Back, he is developing a new original music series for the Apollo Theatre. He directed season 2 of The CW cartoon ?GoGoRiki? and was Associate Director of the tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt. He serves on the Board of the non-profit Music2Life. Finally as a musician himself he has performed on, arranged and produced numerous indie albums and ?played for food? many times!

Brendan Milburn

Music, Beautiful Poison

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.

Duane Poole

Book, Beautiful Poison

A Christmas Memory (Larry Grossman, Carol Hall); Dorian (James Mellon, Scott DeTurk); Love Makes the World Go ‘Round (Bob Merrill); Scrooge in Love! (Larry Grossman, Kellen Blair); Pasadena Playhouse tributes to Sondheim, Schwartz, Jones & Schmidt; a dozen plays; over fifty television movies, series, and features, including the final two screen appearances of Kate Hepburn. His film, Shattered Image, was an official selection at the Venice, Montreal and Toronto Film Festivals. He has written for performers as varied as George Clooney, Cheyenne Jackson, Glenn Close, Anthony Quinn, Gwen Verdon, Jack Lemmon, Michael Feinstein, Fred Flintstone and Johnny Depp.

Yako 440 Prodis

Music, How To Break

YAKO 440 is a musician, beat maker, graffiti writer and graphic designer- a true school multi-media Hip Hop artist. His skill set includes human beatbox, turntables, bass, guitar, keys and drums. On 6 continents, this sonic arsenal has been put to use performing both as a duo with MC/beatboxer Baba Israel and with their 7-piece new rare groove band Soul Inscribed, sharing the stage with Afrika Bambaataa, Doug E. Fresh and KRS-1. In theater, Yako has toured and created original music for Baba?s shows Boombap Meditations and The Spinning Wheel Keeps Turning and is well traveled with the improvisational Hip Hop theater troupe Playback NYC. He is also a scholar and teaching artist with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College (USA) and experienced leading music and visual art workshops with all age groups since 2000 throughout the NYC area and cities all over the world.

James D Sasser

Book and Lyrics, Cubamor

With a performance career spanning Broadway, off-Broadway, and stages around the world, James has been involved in the development of dozens of new musicals as an award winning writer, actor, and producer with organizations ranging from Riverdance to Sundance, Jesus Christ Superstar to Forbidden Broadway, at the O?Neill, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, Goodspeed, The Vineyard, and many more. He is the bookwriter for Looking For Christmas with country music legend Clint Black (The Old Globe, San Diego 2018), and working with Irish folk supergroup The High Kings on a new musical. James is also a Puffin grant recipient, and a few others. As part of Burwell & Sasser (2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalists?, and Uncharted Artists at Ars Nova), their musicals include Bottle Shock ?(based on the hit cult movie) with director Kent Nicholson, and CUBAMOR? (Village Theatre?s Beta Series (2016); NAMT (2014); TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (2013); conceived at NYU-GMWTP).

Kevin So

Lyrics & Music, Great Wall

Kevin So has earned the respect of Keb’ Mo’, Billy Bragg and playwright David Henry Hwang, and has built a loyal fan base around the world for the past 20 years. He has performed more recently at Carnegie Hall and The Ryman in Nashville. Kevin was also recipient of the 2007 NYC Fringe Festival Award (Best Music & Lyrics) for Great Wall. His songs have been recorded by India Arie (“Crush On You”), Keb’ Mo’ (“Talk”) and Shemekia Copeland (“Sounds Like The Devil”). He currently lives in Nashville with his dog Monk.

Valerie Vigoda

Lyrics, Beautiful Poison

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.

Chana Wise

Book & Lyrics, Mary Marie

Chana Wise (lyrics) has written book and lyrics for Mary Marie (NAMT Festival, 2014, Richard Rodgers Award finalist, 2014, TRU Voices finalist 2019), Bagels! the musical (JETfest, 2016, Neil Simon Playwriting Contest finalist 2015, TRU Voices finalist, 2019), Tinseltown Christmas, and The Coffee Quintet, all with music by Carl Johnson. She wrote lyrics for The Max Factor Factor, (music-Joe Blodgett, book-Adrian Bewley) produced by NMI, in August, 2014, Earthbound, (book-Adam Hahn, music-Jonathan Price) and The Island, (book/music by Jonathan Price), produced by SkyPilot Theatre in June 2012, and July 2013, and for Cardinal Sins, produced by Centerstage Theatre in Washington, May, 2017. www.chanawise.com

Selection Process

Kelley Kirkpatrick (Center Theatre Group, CA) and Mara Isaacs (Octopus Theatricals, NJ), co-Chairs
Kevin Moriarty (Dallas Theater Center, TX), Chair Emeritus
Bob Alwine (Goodspeed Musicals, CT)
Carlos Armesto (Theatre C, NY)
Victoria Bussert
(Baldwin Wallace University, OH)
Amy Corcoran (Dallas Summer Musicals, TX),
Stephanie Cowan (Playing Pretend, NY)
Christine Denniston (Mercury Musical Development, UK)
Elise Dewsberry (New Musicals, Inc., CA)
Dana Harrel (formerly of La Jolla Playhouse, CA)
Robert Lee (NYU- Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, NY)
Søren Møller (Fredericia Theatre, Denmark)
Paige Price (Theatre Aspen, CO)
Greg Schaffert (Greg Schaffert Productions, NY)
John Simpkins (Sharon Playhouse, CT and NYU-Steinhardt, NY)