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Overview

October 15-16

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

We are excited about our 27th Annual Festival of New Musicals which will take place at New World Stages in New York City on October 15 & 16!

This year’s Festival has shows selected from over 220 submissions sent in from around the world, representing the breadth, depth and excitement of musical theatre today:

  • from an agoraphobic man creating stories out of the sounds he hears through the walls, to a man and his former childhood imaginary friend learning what it means to be a grown-up
  • from shows that have never had an industry reading before to a show that has been seen around the world
  • from the sounds of the Depression Era south to the sounds of a post-apocalyptic theatre group creating its own sound

Join us this October for an exciting taste of what’s next in new musicals!


Musicals

Costs Of Living

Director
Marlo Hunter

Music Director
Richard Silverstein

Cast
Eric Badique, Jenni Barber, Kiet Cao, Briana Carlson-Goodman, Daniel J. Edwards, Ali Ewoldt, Raymond Lee, Kelvin Moon Loh and Marrick Smith

Ideal Cast Size: 8

Ideal Band Size: Piano, Bass, Drums

Style: Urban drama with comedic elements, for those 13 and older

Synopsis

Based on a true story, Costs of Living chronicles the lives of two immigrant cab drivers who come to New York for the American dream but instead find a nightmare scenario.  Set to a rock and pop theatre score, featuring a predominantly Asian-American ensemble.

More about Costs Of Living

Imagine Harry

Director
Brandon Ivie

Music Director
Ian Weinberger

Cast
Ben Crawford, Brad Oscar, William Parry, Preston Sadleir, Zell Steele Marrow, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Taylor Trensch and Stephanie Umoh

Ideal Cast Size: 5 M, 2 W, 1 child (M)

Ideal Band Size: 5-8

Style: Comic Drama

Synopsis

When Tucker was 8, Harry was his imaginary friend. Now Tucker’s grown up, and Harry has left the biz— two lost guys trying to figure out the little things.  Like life.  Can they help each other before it’s too late?  Imagine Harry is a musical for grown-ups about the very tricky business of growing up.

More about Imagine Harry

The Last Queen Of Canaan

Director
Peter Rothstein

Music Director
Matt Gallagher

Cast
Tina Fabrique, Chasten Harmon, Kenita Miller, Jon-Michael Reese, Margo Seibert, Q. Smith and Melvin Tunstall

Ideal Cast Size: 8

Ideal Band Size: 3-5+

Style: Drama

Synopsis

Set in 1937 rural Virginia, The Last Queen of Canaan follows Cora Skye, an uncompromising​ ​landowner, and Ginny, her restless granddaughter. When Kay, a Northern do-gooder, descends on the property to collect Cora’s story for the WPA, she unwittingly instigates a confrontation that will leave all three women forever changed.

More about The Last Queen Of Canaan

Legendale

Director
John Simpkins

Music Director
Vadim Feichtner

Cast
Gilbert L. Bailey, Jake Epstein, James Monroe Iglehart, Lauren Marcus, Emily Padgett, George Salazar, Ryan Vona and Jason "Sweet Tooth" Williams

Ideal Cast Size: 8

Ideal Band Size: 5-9

Style: Contemporary Comedy

Synopsis

Legendale is an original, contemporary comedy about the power of fantasy. Andy’s favorite way to escape his humdrum life is the online game “Legendale.” He dreams of victory in the game’s tournament, but is stuck competing as a lowly milkmaid. When the fantasy becomes real, Andy and his avatar must both discover their inner warrior. Legendale blends romance, adventure and virtual reality, over a pop-infused score.

More about Legendale

Lift

Director
Schele Williams

Music Director
Madeline Smith

Cast
Louisa Flaningam, Jonah Halperin, Adam Monley, Joel Perez, Alexandra Socha, Lauren Worsham and Rachel de Benedet

Ideal Cast Size: 11

Ideal Band Size: 1-6

Style: Magical Drama

Synopsis

In a blue collar Ohio town, 8-year old Ethan falls through the ice and is miraculously saved with no known hero. When the boy, who not long ago lost his dad, insists it was a “birdman,” his family grapples with faith and hope as the community watches the mystery unfold.   

More about Lift

Noir

Director
Chloe Treat

Music Director
Jason Hart

Cast
Jeremy Bloom, Lilli Cooper, Daniel Everidge, Kevin Mambo, John Schiappa, Emily Skeggs, Theo Stockman and Adrienne Warren

Ideal Cast Size: 7, plus Foley Artist

Ideal Band Size: 3

Style: Drama

Synopsis

A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, consoled only by the music on the radio. Through the thin walls, he hears almost every word of the couple next door—and before long, his eavesdropping becomes an obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of lust, lies, deceit and danger. Noir is a lush and mysterious new musical inspired by radio plays and classic film noir.

More about Noir

On The Eve

Director
Sam Buntrock

Music Director
Emily Marshall

Cast
George Abud, Eric Anderson, Will Connolly, Eddie Cooper, Greg Hildreth, Katie Lee Hill, Brynn O'Malley, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Ximone Rose and Sarah Stiles

Ideal Cast Size: 10

Ideal Band Size: 3

Style: Sci-fi action adventure drama

Synopsis

As bombs explode outside, a theatre company staves off impending apocalyptic doom by performing a sci-fi musical about Marie Antoinette’s first time-traveling hot air balloon. As the dictatorial Talking Man turns the story into a celebration of stereotypes, the company fights back. Soon the play bleeds into reality, reviving hope for survival.

More about On The Eve

Othello: The Remix

Director
Brian Hill

Cast
Jackson Doran, Postell Pringle, J Q and G Q

Synopsis

This fresh take on Shakespeare’s tragedy is spun out and lyrically rewritten over original beats by The Q Brothers—America’s leading re-interpreters of Shakespeare through hip-hop. Whether you’re looking for a rockin’ night of rhythm and rhyme or a new way to think about Shakespeare, Othello: The Remix delivers an intense, high energy spin like no other. 

More about Othello: The Remix

Songwriters Showcase

THE HUNTER AND THE BEAR by PigPen Theatre Co.
MORTALITY PLAY by Scotty Arnold and Alana Jacoby
THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill
ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY by Marshall Pailet and Jason Michael Snow

Writers & Artists

Jeff Bienstock

Book and Lyrics & Story, Legendale

Jeff Bienstock was born in Santa Monica, California and has a Masters in Composition from NYU.  His first musical, The Morning After/The Night Before, was produced in the 2010 Fringe Festival and won an award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics. In 2012, Jeff received a Sloan Foundation Grant to co-create The Bone Wars for the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Jeff participated in the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, where he met future collaborator Andrea Daly. He is an alumnus of the BMI Musical Theatre workshop and his work has been performed at the Laurie Beechman, Ars Nova and elsewhere.

Andrea Daly

Music & Story, Legendale

Andrea Daly is a composer, songwriter and singer based in Brooklyn. Her multi-genre output spans pop, theatre and classical, with influences ranging from Regina Spektor to Stephen Schwartz to Aaron Copland. A Michigan native, Daly received her PhD in Composition from Stony Brook University in NY, where she was honored with the prestigious five-year Graduate Council Fellowship, the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and The Ackerman Award for Excellence in Music. Andrea is an alumna of both the Goodspeed Musicals Writers Colony in Connecticut and the Mercer Songwriters Project in Chicago. She has a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell Music.

Daryl Lisa Fazio

Book and Lyrics, Lift

Daryl Lisa Fazio is a playwright and theatre graphic designer hatched in Mississippi. Her plays include Split in Three (world premiere, Florida Rep), Greyhounds (Off Broadway) and Georgia Out of My Mind (Minnesota Fringe Festival), as well as the musical POPart (NYMF) with composer Aaron McAllister. Her latest project, Free Spirits, is a commission for Horizon Theatre in Atlanta. Daryl studied Acting at Northwestern University, got her MFA in Graphic Design from the University of Memphis, is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and lives in Atlanta, GA. darylsplays.com • darylfazio.com

Michael Federico

Book & Story, On The Eve

Michael Federico has worked as a playwright and actor in Dallas, Chicago and Austin. His produced plays include Talent Show 1989Ben Franklin: A Metal Opera (co-written with Cameron Cobb & Spencer Driggers) and Propaganda!. His cosplay/dance-club version of Faust (co-written with Jeffrey Schmidt) premieres in Dallas this October. He has served as an Artistic Company Member of Dallas’s Kitchen Dog Theater since 2007 and is a recipient of multiple Dallas/Fort Worth Theatre Critics Forum Awards both as a playwright and actor. 

Timothy Huang

Book, Music and Lyrics, Costs Of Living

Timothy Huang: Composer. Lyricist. Asian dude. Recent works include: Peter and the Wall (DG Fellowship, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat), A Relative Relationship (2013 Sound Bites Festival Winner: Best Musical), Timothy Huang: Chinese or Crazy? (NYTB) and Crossing Over (NAAP). Other works include: LINES: A Song Cycle (NYMF), The View from Here (Talkinbroadway.com’s Top 10 Cast Albums of 2006) and Death and Lucky (MacDowell Fellowship). Timothy is the recipient of a 2013 Jerry Harrington Award, a 2012 Fred Ebb Award finalist and a 2012-2013 Dramatist Guild Fellow. www.timothyhuang.net

Kyle Jarrow

Book and Lyrics, Noir

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.

Seth Magill

Music and Lyrics & Story, On The Eve

Seth Magill is a co-founder of indie-rock band Home By Hovercraft, whose nationally acclaimed LP Are We Chameleons? features music from On The Eve. Seth received DFW Theatre Critics awards as a playwright and actor for his work in On The Eve. A member of the Actors’ Equity Association, Seth was last seen as “Fred” in Dallas Theater Center’s production of A Christmas Carol, as “Chase Spacegrove” in On The Eve at Theatre Three Dallas and in many memorable roles with Dallas Children’s Theater, Kitchen Dog Theater and Shakespeare Dallas. He has his BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University.

Shawn Magill

Music and Lyrics & Story, On The Eve

Shawn Magill has recently worked as composer and executive music producer for feature film Sunny In The Dark, as music director for A Christmas Carol at The Dallas Theater Center, as composer/sound designer for Nocturne at Second Thought Dallas and as composer/producer for her solo-piano album, The Imaginations of Man. Shawn is a co-founder of indie-rock band Home By Hovercraft, whose nationally acclaimed LP Are We Chameleons? features music from On The Eve. The DFW Theatre Critics Forum awarded her honors as playwright and composer/performer for On The Eve. Shawn serves as Director of Product at Chideo, The Charity Network.

Aaron McAllister

Music, Lift

Aaron McAllister is the resident musical director and conductor at The Fulton Theatre. He has musically directed and conducted more than 70 musicals around the country and is a highly sought after vocal coach/performance clinician. As a composer, Aaron has written the scores to two additional original musicals (POPart and Blackout), which have been developed around the country including Off Broadway and has contributed songs, arrangements and orchestrations to several other original theatrical works. He is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo (BA in vocal performance and conducting) and the University of Maryland (MM in conducting). 

Rebekah Greer Melocik

Lyrics, The Last Queen Of Canaan

Rebekah Greer Melocik’s current projects with collaborator Jacob Yandura include Feral (book by Victor Lesniewksi), based on John Bishop’s Borderline, and a commission from New York City Children’s Theater Wringer, based on the novel by Jerry Spinelli. Recent recognitions include: Ars Nova’s two-year UNCHARTED residency, the 2014 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, The York Theatre's NEO 2014 residency, 2013 Yale Institute for Music Theatre, the 2012-2013 Dramatists Guild Fellowship, the 2012 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Cap21’s Writers Residency and ANT Fest 2013 (The Fearful Earful). BA: University of Southern California; MFA: NYU.

Harrison Rivers

Book, The Last Queen Of Canaan

Harrison David Rivers is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award, a McKnight Fellowship for Playwrights, a Many Voices Jerome Fellowship (Playwrights’ Center), a Van Lier Fellowship (New Dramatists), an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship (New York Theatre Workshop), the New York Stage & Film’s Founders Award and has been a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. He is a Usual Suspect at NYTW and an alumnus of the Emerging Writers’ Group at the Public Theater. He received his BA from Kenyon College and earned an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University.

Duncan Sheik

Music and Lyrics, Noir

Duncan Sheik Selected theatre credits; Spring Awakening (eight 2007 Tony Awards and Grammy Award), American Psycho (2016 Broadway debut), Because of Winn Dixie (Delaware Theatre Company, 2015), Whisper House (The Old Globe, 2011), Alice by Heart (National Theatre London, 2012). Other works currently in development include Nero and The Nightingale. Recorded works: Legerdemain (Fall 2015), Covers 80s (2011), Whisper House (2009), White Limousine (2006), Daylight (2002), Phantom Moon (2001), Humming (1998), Duncan Sheik (Grammy Nomination, 1996).

Jeff Talbott

Book and Lyrics, Imagine Harry

Jeff Talbott’s play The Submission was the inaugural recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award in 2011 and was produced Off Broadway by MCC Theater; it received the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for Best New American Play in 2012.  The play was a semi-finalist for the 2010 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.  His play A Public Education was a finalist for the 2015 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.  His plays have had workshops and readings at TACT, MCC and Pioneer Theatre Co. He lives in NYC and writes musicals with Will Van Dyke (Imagine Harry and Wintersong).  They are releasing an EP of new songs called A View of the River this fall.

Will Van Dyke

Music and Lyrics, Imagine Harry

Will Van Dyke is a New York-based musical theatre writer and music director.  His compositions include Winnie The Pooh Kids (Disney), The Lion King Jr. & Kids (Disney), The Devil’s Bitch (Playbill) and The Girls I've Like Liked (Ars Nova).  Upcoming musicals include Magnificent Climb (with Rick Elice),  Wintersong (with Jeff Talbott) and Writing Kevin Taylor (with Josh Halloway).  Will orchestrated Andrew Lippa’s show The Life At The Party (Menier Chocolate Factory).  Will’s albums Chasing the DayWriting Kevin Taylor, DaylightConstant and Make The Season Bright (the last three co-written with Matt Doyle) and his single Another Time are available wherever digital music is sold.  www.willvandyke.com

Jacob Yandura

Music, The Last Queen Of Canaan

Jacob Yandura’s current projects with collaborator Rebekah Greer Melocik include Feral (book by Victor Lesniewksi) based on John Bishop’s Borderline and a commission from New York City Children’s Theater Wringer, based on the novel by Jerry Spinelli. Recent recognitions include: Ars Nova’s two-year UNCHARTED residency, the 2014 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, 2013 Yale Institute for Music Theatre, the 2012-2013 Dramatists Guild Fellowship, the 2012 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Cap21’s Writers Residency and ANT Fest 2013 (The Fearful Earful). BA: Kenyon College; MFA: NYU.

Selection Process

Festival 15 Flow Chart copy 2For our 27th Annual Festival of New Musicals, NAMT received 223 submissions from around the world. The submitted shows were at all the different stages of development, from shows that have never had more than a table reading to ones that have had multiple regional productions.  Our process to filter from the field of 223 down to the eight you will see at the Festival started in early January and was completed in mid-June. The evaluation process is carefully crafted and executed to ensure that we are able to present an exciting and varied, top-notch Festival each year.

NAMT assembles a 15-person committee composed of NAMT Members and co-chaired by two members from across the world to represent the membership and the industry in the selection of the FestivalEach member sits on the committee for 2-3 years.   The Festival selection process is overseen by the Festival Producing Director, who moderates the two committee meetings; neither he nor other NAMT staff members, however, express opinions or vote on which shows are selected for the Festival.  All committee members are required to sign a Code of Integrity that outlines expected conduct as well as  our need for confidentiality and transparency throughout the process.

Our evaluation process is blind, meaning the materials sent to the committee for review do not contain the writers’ names, agent names or development history of the project.  The committee members do not know if a show is written by someone still in high school or by a winner of multiple Tony® awards; they know only the work that is on the page and on the demo cd.  This blind process is key to the integrity of the Festival selection process, and we rigorously maintain the blind nature of the evaluation process at every step along the way.

Our evaluation process has three phases:

Round 1 (January-March)

  • A 20-page excerpt and demo is evaluated by three members of the Festival Screening subcommittee (a group of additional NAMT members brought on to help with the volume in this initial round)
  • About one-third of the shows are selected to move on, based on the scores given to them by the evaluators

Round 2 (March-May):

  • Each show sent on to this round is fully read and evaluated by four members of the Festival Committee
  • The Committee has a full-day meeting to select the shows that are the strongest contenders for the Festival, based not only on the scores on their evaluations, but also on the excitement and passion for each piece expressed by committee members at this in-person meeting.
  • Around 20 shows are selected to become semi-finalists for the Festival.

Round 3 (May-June):

  • The chair emeritus (the prior year’s senior chair) of the committee returns for this round to add a fresh pair of eyes and ears.
  • Writers are permitted to submit revisions of the script or demo for this final review.
  • All semi-finalist shows are read and evaluated by the entire committee.

The Committee has a full-day meeting to select the eight shows that will make the best Festival, including shows at all stages of development and of all shapes, sizes, styles and topics.

We continuously refine our selection process to ensure that we are always sharply focused on selecting great musicals that showcase the variety of voices writing today. Through the Festival, we look forward to welcoming more wonderful new musicals into the greater musical theatre canon. We know that you will be inspired and moved by this year’s selections, and we are excited to share with you what is next in new musicals.

The 2015 Festival Committee is co-chaired by Mara Isaacs, Octopus Theatricals (NJ) and Paige Price, Theatre Aspen (CO). Committee members include: Bob Alwine, Goodspeed Musicals (CT); Carlos Armesto, Theatre C (NJ); Amy Corcoran, Dallas Summer Musicals (TX); Keith Cromwell, Red Mountain Theatre Co. (AL); Dana Harrel, Disney Creative Entertainment (CA);  Megan Larche Dominick, The MUNY (MO); Robert Lee, NYU Tisch School of the Arts- Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (NY) and NAMT Festival Alumnus Writer; Jacob Padrón, The Public Theater (NY); Michael Rubinoff, Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College (ON); Greg Schaffert, Greg Schaffert Productions (NY); Stephanie Yankwitt, Barrington Stage Co. (MA); and chair emeritus Kelley Kirkpatrick, Center Theatre Group (CA).