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Alumni Show Update: Fall of '94

This month, we chatted with with Ellen Fitzhugh (Paper Moon, Fest ’95), Joseph Thalken (Was, Fest ’03; Harold and Maude, Fest ’03) and Ashley Robinson, the writers of Fall of ’94. The show is about to receive a reading at Red Mountain Theatre Company’s Human Rights New Works Festival. We chatted about the musical’s development and what they’re looking forward to learning through their participation in the Human Rights New Works Festival.
Fall of ’94 is a very personal coming-of-age story of five 12-year-old children in rural Union, South Carolina. Set during the unfolding of the Susan Smith tragedy, the eyes of the world were on this small mill town. While the kids focus on perfecting their annual Halloween spook house, the excitement of a media frenzy consumes everyone around them and brings the town’s dark secrets to the surface. Just down the hill from where they are building their spook house, the answers to the Nation’s questions lay in John D. Long Lake. Fall of ’94 asks what effect events of violence and an atmosphere of racial tension have on children and young people.

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We are thrilled to announce 18 awards granted from the National Fund for New Musicals, and five awards granted from the Innovation & Exploration Grant program. Now in its tenth year, this year the Fund is providing grants totaling $58,000 to organizations across the country. The Innovation & Exploration (I&E) Grant program, now in its second cycle, is providing grants totaling $7,000 to organizations nationwide.
NAMT Executive Director Betsy King Militello stated: “We are honored and excited to support our member theatres both as they work to develop innovative and provocative new musicals, and as they explore ideas to create new best practices in the field. With these grants, we have now awarded 135 grants totaling $481,000 to NAMT members across the country. These projects will join a growing list of important new musicals and initiatives supported by NAMT’s granting programs.”

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Festival Show Update: Sam's Room

This month, we caught up with the Sam’s Room writing team to find out what work the group has been doing on the show since October and to find out more about their reading at NAMT member Red Mountain Theatre Company’s inaugural Human Rights New Works Festival. Sam’s Room was featured in the 2017 Festival and the writing team is made up of Dale Sampson, Trey Coates-Mitchell, Caitlin Marie Bell and Marc Campbell. 

What has the post Festival response to Sam’s Room been like?
The response has been extremely positive and broadly helpful and we were confident in the presentation. What we weren’t expecting were so many opportunities from different angles. The Sam’s Room story and the way we tell it happens to involve eclectic communities outside of the theatre, such as the pop music industry, the National Speech and Debate Association, and the special needs community. NAMT not only catapulted us into the business side of the project, but gave us wonderful introductions into these other worlds as well.

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