Participants attend a special weekend-long symposium featuring seminars on fundraising, marketing, industry outreach, and self-producing, led by industry professionals. The writing teams are introduced to potential collaborators, supporters and producers, and receive dramaturgical support from professional literary managers and dramaturgs. Finally, each Next Link show receives financial support in the form of a $5,000 subsidy toward its production in the Festival.
Any work that has not been produced professionally in New York City may be submitted by authors (with or without industry representation), but scripts should be ready for developmental production and the widespread exposure NYMF provides. All entries undergo double-blind evaluations by several members of NYMF's reading team, with finalists referred to a grand jury of celebrated industry professionals. This year’s jury includes Susan Birkenhead (lyricist), Jean Doumanian (producer), Christopher Gattelli (director/choreographer), Ann Harada (actor), Stephen Oremus (musical director/orchestrator), John Rando (director), and David Thompson (book writer).
Since its inception in 2004, The New York Musical Theatre Festival has premiered more than 300 new musicals - more than 70 of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters in almost every state, and in 16 countries worldwide. NYMF alum Next to Normal won three 2009 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama during its Broadway run, and recently concluded a national tour. The more than one dozen NYMF shows to have enjoyed off-Broadway productions include the long-running hit Altar Boyz, [title of show] (which also enjoyed a Tony-nominated Broadway production), The Great American Trailer Park Musical, In Transit, Rooms, The Shaggs, and Yank! Other shows like Meet John Doe, Nerds: A Musical Software Satire, The Mistress Cycle, and Kingdom have enjoyed award-winning productions around the country.
The New York Musical Theatre Festival was recently awarded a grant by the Theater Subdistrict Council to support shifting the festival from the fall to the summer; this year’s festival will run from July 9 – July 29th.
NYMF also welcomed a new chairman of the board this year: former vice-chair Martin Grant, a principal at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He will lead the board as it prepares for the Festival’s upcoming ninth season. Departing chair Sharon Fallon, who helmed the board for five seasons, has taken a leave of absence to pursue other projects but remains on the Festival’s advisory committee.
“It has been quite a year for NYMF, and we have been delighted by the Next Link musical submissions this year,“ said NYMF Executive Director & Producer Isaac Robert Hurwitz. “With the help of the many directors, producers, designers, and performers who will ultimately join us as part of this year’s Festival, we are looking forward to giving life to these shows. We really feel it is paramount to keep the musical theater art form moving forward and are excited to welcome audiences as our festival moves to the summer. We also want to thank Sharon Fallon for her years of exceptional service as Chairman of the Board and welcome Martin Grant.”
Memberships are on sale now, and members can start booking tickets on May 15th. Single tickets will go on sale beginning June 15th. To purchase a membership, please phone the NYMF office at 212-664-0979, Monday-Friday, 10:30am-6pm, or visit www.nymf.org/member.
A complete list of the 2012 Next Link Project Musicals follows....
A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK
By Jerry James (Book), Laura l. Kramer (Music) and Ellen M. Schwartz (Lyrics)
Based on the short story “A Letter To Harvey Milk” by Lesléa Newman
What can a retired kosher butcher and a young lesbian writing teacher possibly have in common? More, perhaps, than either imagines. And it all begins when Harry writes an impassioned letter to his late friend Harvey Milk. With plenty of advice from his dead-but-combative wife – and surprisingly, from Harvey himself – Harry grapples with the hidden truths of his long-buried past and the promise of a surprising future in this deeply emotional and funny new musical.
ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT
By Frances Limoncelli (Book) and George Howe (Music/Lyrics)
Arnie, a lovable chocolate-covered doughnut with sprinkles, is the happiest pastry in the bakery when he’s finally selected to be taken home by a new owner. But when mild-mannered Mr. Bing tries to eat the unsuspecting Arnie, both are in for the surprise of their lives. Embark upon a hilarious quest to redefine human/doughnut relations in this unexpectedly original new musical based on the whimsical book by Laurie Keller.
By Matthew Hardy (Book & Lyrics) and Randy Klein (Music)
Joseph Christiansen wants to be a great Maitre d' like his father who was tragically killed in a freak flaming Bananas Foster accident. Against the wishes and warnings of his pill-pushing psychiatrist mother, young Joe leaves the safety of his small hometown and journeys to New York City to make it big in the glamorous world of food and beverage service. Will Joe succeed… or will he end up flambéed like his father? Find out in this quirky tale of drugs, dreams and flaming desserts!
Brett Boles (Book, Music & Lyrics)
What if you could live forever? On New Year's Eve in 1625, Will Timeson and Jack Mercer discover the secret of immortality – an elixir that will grant them the gift of eternal life. But is it a gift? When the two men fall in love with the same woman -- a beautiful, young woman with a dark, painful secret – the stage is set for a grand, musical epic about friendship, love, betrayal and redemption spanning several tumultuous centuries and set to a sweeping, romantic score.
HE’S NOT HIMSELF
By Marc Silverberg (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Mild-mannered police officer Gene Bauer is having a really bad day. His job is to protect a priceless diamond… the same one he’s apparently been hired to steal. He’s met the love of his life, and attempted to kill her several times. His fellow policemen are hunting him, and he keeps getting knocked unconscious. And to top it all off… he has no idea that any of this is happening! A new-fangled, crazy-tuneful, slapstick-wacky musical comedy about a man forced to face the most dangerous nemesis imaginable: himself!
LIVING WITH HENRY
By Christopher Wilson (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Michael is HIV positive, but it’s not a death sentence -- not anymore. Michael just has to learn to live with it... but that’s not as simple as it sounds. A musical drama that explores the fears, complications and realities of coping with a complex, chronic condition that affects every day, every relationship, every breath, Living With Henry is sometimes comic, sometimes heartbreaking, but always passionate, bold and stunningly honest.
MY OHIO: A SWING STATE DUET
By Dana Yeaton (Book & Lyrics) and Andy Mitton (Music)
God wants Bonnie to save the souls of her 23 Ohio Kindergarten students, and if that means risking her job or even the occasional excruciating back pain – well, so be it. Bonnie’s new chiropractor, Neil, sees things differently; in fact, as a gay new-ager and a recent transplant from Brooklyn, Neil sees most everything differently. And when his first treatment proves to be a miracle cure, Bonnie starts to feel things she hasn’t felt in years. Her response: “Put me back the way you found me.” But can he really “un-heal” her?
PRISON DANCER: THE MUSICAL
By Romeo Candido (Book, Music & Lyrics) and Carmen DeJesus (Book)
The lives of eight Filipino maximum-security prisoners are changed forever when a video of their dance-based rehabilitation program becomes a viral Internet sensation on YouTube. As the dark prison suddenly finds itself in the worldwide spotlight, these hardcore criminals are given a second chance to find love and happiness in the most challenging circumstances. A modern inspired-by-a-true-story about how fears can hold us captive – and dreams can set us free to dance!
By Mitch Magonet and Joey Miller (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Twelve year-old Pipio hunts for his lost mother among the street-kids, gangs and drug-lords that rule Rio’s favelas – the toughest slums in the hottest place on Earth. The boy’s search for identity becomes a struggle for survival in this re-invention of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist set in modern-day Brazil – a colorful, character-filled Carnaval tale presented by the Escola de Samba Foltando!
By Riley Thomas (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Moving on is never easy, as six strangers discover when they are trapped between stations on the subway. When tension builds, colorful characters clash as they recognize pieces of themselves emerging in one another. This poignant, contemporary musical will take you on a humorous and heartfelt ride as it explores exactly what it means to be Stuck.
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Now entering its ninth year, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theater culture by discovering and promoting new musical theater artists, producers and projects; nurturing a
vibrant and innovative artistic community; and connecting one of America's greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.
For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org