2015 Festival Submission Requirements, Process and Application

Submissions for our 2015 Festival are closed.

While the Festival submission process changes slightly from year to year, the instructions below provide a good general guide to the process and will help you plan your submission to the 2016 Festival or check on the status of a submission you have already made for 2015. Please check back in late fall, 2015 for the final requirements and application form for the 2016 Festival.


STEP 1: Is Your Show Eligible?STEP 2: Compile InformationSTEP 3: Fill Out The ApplicationSTEP 4: Complete Your SubmissionSTEP 5: The Selection ProcessSTEP 6: If You're Selected

festivalSubmission Deadlines by Endorser Type: (not postmark)

January 8, 2015: Non-NAMT member professional theatre organizations & theatrical agents ($65 fee)
January 22, 2015: Late Submissions for Non-NAMT Members ($80 fee)
January 29, 2015: NAMT member theatres, associate members (with $25 fee) and Festival Alumni Writers
February 12, 2015: Late Submissions for NAMT members, associate members and Festival Alumni Writers ($25 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. 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 27th Annual Festival of New Musicals will take place on October 15 and 16, 2015 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.


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)



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 2015 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 production (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.]
  • 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):


The fee can be paid upon completion of the online application by credit card or a check can be mailed when you submit the demo and supporting materials (outlined in Step 3).  The payment does not need to come from the endorsing organization.

You have to fill out the application in one sitting; it cannot be saved and returned to later.


Step 3: Fill Out the Online Application

The application needs to be filled out in one sitting; please make sure you have everything ready, as listed in Step 2.

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
  • CD 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 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.

An email confirmation will be sent to the primary contact listed on your application.

Step 4: Complete Your Submission

After you successfully complete the online application, please submit the following by mail or in person by the drop-off deadline. Single packages are preferred, but the Letter of Endorsement may arrive under separate cover if necessary. Details on where and how to submit the materials will be sent in the confirmation email to the primary contact.


  • 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 mailed on organizational letterhead and preferably sent in with the other materials listed below.


  • 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.


  • 4 CD demos with the sequence of the recording matching the sequence of the script. 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. Only submit single CDs, double disc sets will not be accepted.
  • All copies of the CD should be sent in with only the name of the show and, if possible, a track listing on the CD and the jacket/liner. No writer or performer information should be included anywhere on the CD.
  • CD track numbers must be included in the script, corresponding to each song on your CD. If possible, please include a list of tracks with the CD on the jacket or in the case.
  • Do NOT email any music.
  • Do NOT submit: DVDs, press clippings, marketing or other promotional materials

Due to the large volume of submitted material, NAMT is unable to return any materials or provide feedback.

Submission date does not have any effect on the evaluation of your application and all submissions must be in the NAMT office by 6pm on the following dates:

Submission Deadlines by Endorser Type: 
January 8, 2015: Non-NAMT member professional theatre organizations and theatrical agents ($65 application fee)
January 22, 2015: Late Submissions for Non-NAMT Members ($80 application fee)
January 29, 2015: NAMT member theatres, associate members (with $25 fee) and Festival Alumni Writers
February 12, 2015: Late Submissions for NAMT members, associate members and Festival Alumni Writers ($25 application fee)

Submissions for our 2015 Festival are now closed.


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.  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.

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 the 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.

2014 Festival Application Information Webinar

(Some information may have changed slightly.)