FROM THE ROAD: A Coast to Coast Summer
One of my favorite parts of my job is getting the chance to visit our members around the country. There is no better way to take the pulse of the industry and help discover new ways for us to serve our members than to meet them on their home turf, see their shows and meet their staffs. Summer is the busiest travel time for the NAMT staff because it is when the number of shows skyrocket in our member theatres. My summer was filled with 10 productions (7 of them premieres), 2 workshops and 6 readings from New York to California, from Vermont to Tennessee. We a few Festival shows and National Fund for New Musicals (NFNM) grant recipients along the way.
Here is the quick rundown (NAMT member theatres and Festival shows are bolded blue):
Los Angeles, CA- World premiere of Los Otros at Center Theatre Group
San Diego, CA- World premiere of Nobody Loves You (NAMT Fest ’12, past NFNM Project Development Grant) and Scottsboro Boys at The Old Globe, world premiere of Hands on a Hardbody at La Jolla Playhouse, and the chance to sit in on a rehearsal for Harmony, Kansas (NFNM Production Grant, past Writers Residency Grant) at Diversionary Theatre.
New York, NY- World premiere of February House (past NFNM Project Development Grant) at The Public Theater, reading of Suprema (NFNM Writers Residency Grant) at Ars Nova and Speargrove Presents (NFNM Writers Residency Grant) at New York Theatre Barn
Connecticut- Readings of When We Met and String at The O’Neill Theatre Center, production of Mame at Goodspeed Musicals
New York, NY- Production of Triassic Parq (by Festival alumnus Marshall Pailet) produced by Amas Musical Theatre and New Musical Development Foundation at SoHo Rep
East Haddam, CT- Final dress of Carousel at Goodspeed Musicals
Poughkeepsie, NY- Workshop of Murder Ballad (by Fest alumna Julia Jordan) at Vassar Powerhouse
Rhinebeck, NY- Reception for Beatsville (NAMT Fest ’08) at Rhinebeck Writers Retreat
Palo Alto, CA- TheatreWorks Festival of New Works with readings of Being Earnest and Triangle (NAMT Fest ’12) and a developmental production of The Trouble With Doug (NAMT Fest ’10)
New York, NY- Reading of notes to MariAnne (NAMT Fest ’11) at New York Theatre Workshop
Weston, VT- World premiere of Pregnancy Pact (NAMT Fest ’11) at Weston Playhouse Theatre Co.
Crossville, TN- Regional premiere of Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (NAMT Fest ’11) at Cumberland County Playhouse
New York, NY- Broadway Bound concert at Merkin Hall featuring songs from Watt?!? and The Dogs of Pripyat, both from the 2011 Festival
And I am pretty sure I am missing a few.
I got a lot more out of these trips than a wallet full of receipts and slight confusion as to my time zone. I was fortified in my belief that our members and alumni are creating, producing and exploring the best musical theatre in the country. They are continually engaging, challenging and building audiences through their great work. They are not resting on their laurels but pushing forward.
It is very hard to find a show today that does not have the NAMT stamp somewhere on it…and that makes me very proud to be just a small part of any show that adds to the crazy tapestry of musicals across the country. The great work continues all over the country, and I’m the lucky one who gets to take in at least a fraction of it.
New Works Director