2016 Festival Submission Requirements, Process and Application


STEP 1: Is Your Show Eligible?STEP 2: Compile InformationSTEP 3: Work SamplesSTEP 4: Supporting MaterialsSTEP 5: The Selection ProcessSTEP 6: If You're Selected

Submission Deadlines by Endorser Type:

Festival of New MusicalsNOTE: All deadlines are a few weeks earlier than they have have been in the past. Full applications and all support material must be uploaded by 10pm (ET) on the dates listed below.

December 22, 2015: Non-NAMT member professional theatre organizations & theatrical agents ($70 fee)
January 5, 2016: Late submissions for Non-NAMT Members ($85 fee)
January 12, 2016: NAMT member theatres, associate members (with $30 fee) and Festival Alumni Writers
January 26, 2016: Late submissions for NAMT members, associate members and Festival Alumni Writers ($30 late fee)

NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals is the cornerstone of NAMT’s mission to nurture the creation, development and production of new musicals.  We present eight musicals in 45-minute presentations before an audience of over 600 industry professionals. We look for musicals at all stages of development from first reading up to and through having multiple regional productions.
In the short run, the Festival’s goal is to connect producers with writers, so that our shows can continue their development trajectory. The long-term goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire, bringing new musical theatre to audience members around the world.

Our 28th Annual Festival of New Musicals will take place on October 27 and 28, 2016 at New World Stages in New York City. 

The objectives of the Festival are to:

  • Showcase new musicals that are diverse in ethnicity, subject matter, style and concept
  • Encourage future productions of new musicals
  • Promote new works and new voices
  • Nurture composers, lyricists and book writers
  • Stimulate networking opportunities for NAMT Members and theatre professionals
  • Provide a forum to spark new collaborations and ventures

We never take any royalties from our writers or ask them to pay for their participation in the Festival. The Festival is funded solely through sponsorships, grants and donations contributed by government agencies, foundations, organizations and individuals.

NAMT will be holding three Information Sessions in November and December for anyone interested in applying to or has questions about the Festival.  You can register for any of the sessions by clicking here.  

  • Online Information Session (Recorded)

  • Information Session #1 (CANCELED): Thursday, November 19 from 4pm-5pm, at 520 8th Avenue (3rd Floor, Studio B) in NYC
  • Information Session #2: Tuesday, December 1 from 12:30pm-1:30pm, at 520 8th Avenue (3rd Floor, Studio B) in NYC

Step 1: Is Your Show Eligible?

Any new musical can be submitted for consideration as long as it meets the criteria below. (click image to see full-sized, printable version)


Fest 16- submission eligibility flow chart



The musical must… 

  • Be complete and ready for readings, workshops and/or productions.
  • Have a demo that is an accurate representation of the music and style of the show.
  • Have full underlying rights clearance of any pre-existing material used (music, source material, etc.) in the script.
  • Be ready for readings, workshops and/or productions at the time of submission and available for performance in October 2016 at the Festival.

The musical cannot…

  • Already be licensed through one of the licensing house.
  • Have been produced on Broadway. [Shows that have had readings, workshops and/or productions (including regional or Off Broadway) are still eligible.]
  • Have already been submitted to the Festival three times. Each show can only be submitted three times for review by the committee. [Note: To be eligible for a third review, a NAMT member must endorse the show or written by a Festival Alumni writer.]
  • Have been presented as one of our main presentations at a Festival (excludes shows presented as part of our complimentary programming including concerts and showcases).


Step 2: Compile Information

You will need information on the writers, agents, production/development history and more. The document below will outline everything you will need to fill out the application but you should read this entire webpage before prepping your materials as there is vital information throughout.


Gather the information you will need

Additionally, you will need someone to endorse your show. Your endorsing organization can be any of the following:

  • A NAMT member or Associate Member
  • Any professional theatre company (a company that has been actively producing theatre for at least 2 years and compensates its artists/staff)
  • Theatrical literary agent
  • Commercial producer (any producer with a proven track record of producing musical theatre)

Shows written by Festival Alumni Writers do not need an endorser.

Everyone—with the exception of NAMT Festival Alumni Writers who may submit on their own—must have a Letter of Endorsement; a writer/writing team cannot submit a show on his/her/its own.  Festival Alumni Writers are only those who were selected to present their show at past Festivals as part of our main selections and does not include writers from any of our showcases or concerts.

The endorsing organization will have neither an obligation to support the presentation financially nor any right of ownership of or control over the presentation if selected for the Festival.

Endorsing organizations should only endorse shows that they have fully read, listened to and are willing to advocate for as a show on par with the best shows they have ever seen at the Festival. 

Based on type, each endorsing organization, agent or producer has a cap on the number of applications it can endorse each year. Here is a chart that outlines the due dates, fees and submission caps by organization (click on the chart for a larger version):

Fest 16 Website Chart


The fee can be paid upon completion of the online application by credit card or a check can be mailed in.  The payment does not need to come from the endorsing organization. A new endorsement must be sent in for each year of submission, either from a new organization or from an organization that has endorsed the show in the past.

Thanks to our new system through Submittable, you can now save and return to your application with out having to complete it all in one sitting. 


Step 3: Fill Out the Online Application- Work Samples

Thanks to our new system through Submittable, you can now save and return to your application without having to complete it all in one sitting. 

The link to the online application is at the bottom of this page. Please read this entire page thoroughly before filling out the application.

You will be asked to upload a PDF of your script when you fill out the online application.  All script submissions must adhere to the following or your application could be rejected:

The script must include:

  • Title page (which should only have the title on it and absolutely no other information)
  • Brief synopsis (1/2 page or less)
  • Character breakdown (1 page or less)
  • Track listings for the CD included
  • Unattributed author’s note, if applicable (1/2 page or less)
  • Numbered pages
  • Demo track numbers must be embedded in the script where each track is to be played when reading (see page 4 of the sample script).
  • The complete script (all scenes, songs and lyrics are on the page)

The script must not include:

  • Writer information
  • Agent information
  • Production history
  • Previous cast information
  • Award information

The script must be a PDF and uploaded during the application process.

View a sample script to get a sense of our suggested layout of the first few pages and examples of how to embed track numbers that correspond to your demo. You DO NOT need to match the exact formatting of this script in order to submit to the Festival.


You will be asked to upload individual tracks (up to 20) to the application matching the sequence of the script. You will also be asked to upload a zip file of the demo.  These two versions are for the ease of use of the committee. If you have more than 20 tracks, please upload the first 20 and we will pull the rest from the zip file. Please take your name and your performers names off of any tracks, when possible.

The recording should be a significant representation of the songs in the show that accurately highlights the scope and depth of the score and lyrics. At least 50% of the songs in the musical (not including reprises and recitatives) are recommended.

The demo should be a good quality recording with a clear piano (or appropriate instrumentation) and clear vocals. We also recommend that the singers on the recording are the appropriate vocal types/genders for the show.


Do NOT e-mail any music. Do NOT submit: DVDs, press clippings, marketing or other promotional materials

Step 4: Fill Out the Online Application- Supporting Materials

You may need to upload the following items to your application in order to complete it!


  • If the endorser is a NAMT Member or Associate Member, the member can send an email to Branden Huldeen with a list of the shows they will be endorsing.
  • If the endorser is not a NAMT Member, the letter must be on organizational letterhead and uploaded as part of your application. This letter should state why this organization is endorsing this show and state that the organization recognizes that this their sole submission.


  • If the musical contains any copywrighted material, please submit a signed letter from the authors and underlying rights representative stating that underlying rights have been secured.
  • If the musical is wholly original, please submit a signed letter from the creators that the musical is original.
  • If there is material that is now in the public domain, please submit a signed letter stating when the work entered the public domain.

Submission date does not have any effect on the evaluation of your application and all submissions must be fully submitted online by 10pm(ET) on the following dates

Submission Deadlines by Endorser Type: 
December 22, 2015: Non-NAMT member professional theatre organizations & theatrical agents ($70 fee)
January 5, 2016: Late Submissions for Non-NAMT Members ($85 fee)
January 12, 2016: NAMT member theatres, associate members (with $30 fee) and Festival Alumni Writers
January 26, 2016: Late Submissions for NAMT members, associate members and Festival Alumni Writers ($30 late fee)


Step 5: The Selection Process

Note: Only the “Application Primary Contact” will be notified of the results via email no later than late May.

Festival 15 Flow Chart copy 2


To evaluate the submissions each year, NAMT assembles a committee of its members from across the world.  The committee uses a blind evaluation process. Committee members are given no additional information beyond the title of the show, the script and the demo. The information you provide in the application is seen by the NAMT office only, not the selection committee. Our process is based on the art of the submitted piece rather than who wrote it, the history of the piece or the awards it has won.

Selection Process – Round 1 (January-March):

  • 3 members of Festival Screening Sub-committee listen to the full demo & read the first 20 pages of script
  • Committee fills out online evaluations for each show
  • About one third of the shows move forward to the next round (roughly about 70 shows)

Selection Process – Round 2 (March-May):

  • Round 2 selections are each read (full script and full demo) by 4 members of Festival Committee
  • Committee selects 20 shows that will advance to Round 3 (finals)
  • If selected as a finalist, shows will be notified in mid-May

Selection Process – Round 3 (May-June, Final Round):

  • Every Festival Committee member reviews all 20 scripts and CDs
  • Committee selects 8 Festival shows
  • Festival is announced in early July

Notification will be sent to all (finalists and non-finalists) in late May.

Due to the volume of submitted material, we will be unable to provide feedback regarding why a particular piece was or was not selected for the Festival.


Step 6: If You Are Selected

The 8 shows selected each year to be presented at the NAMT Festival are given the full support of the NAMT office to ensure a quality presentation and experience for everyone involved. The NAMT office takes on the full burden, financial and administrative, of producing the Festival.

We expect writers to be hands-on throughout the entire process, from casting through sound check and the presentations.  Being part of the NAMT Festival as a writer is a time-consuming, intensive process, and writers who participate need to be able to commit fully and enthusiastically. The NAMT Festival process is not at its core a development process but many of our writers find our process of cutting down and focusing the show to be very helpful.

Writers are expected to be at rehearsals (starting about 10 days out) and at all related events happening around rehearsals and the Festival so they can maximize their experience and exposure.

Each writer will be given an honorarium in appreciation of their talent and time and to help cover any related personal expenses. Writers will neither pay fees to NAMT, nor does NAMT take any percentage of future royalties.

After the Festival, each writer will become a NAMT Festival Alumni Writer, joining a group of over 400 past Festival writers, and will receive invitations to future Alumni events like roundtables and conferences. The writers will also continue to receive assistance from the NAMT office whenever possible to help further develop their musicals and their careers.


If you have any further questions about the Festival or of the submission process, please contact Festival Producing Director Branden Huldeen at branden@namt.org or 212-714-6668 x14.



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