2014 NYMF Announces Next Link Project Selections

The 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) today announced the Next Link Project musical selections. The 10 musicals were announced as part of the 11th edition of the Festival, which will take place from July 7 to July 27 at locations around midtown Manhattan in New York City, including The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street).

One of NYMF's flagship programs, the Next Link Project is open to any writer - produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation. The program receives hundreds of submissions from all over the world each fall, and every script and demo recording is reviewed by numerous members of NYMF's Reading Committee, and then by a Grand Jury of leading musical theatre artists and producers. Finally, 10 shows are awarded production spots in the Festival.

This weekend (February 21-23), the selected Next Link Project show teams will gather for the first time at NYMF in New York City to begin preparing their shows for the 2014 Festival. You can follow the action live on Twitter @NYMF using hashtag #nextlink.

Dan Markley joined NYMF as Executive Director & Producer last year and Mary Kate Burke is Director of Programming. A Grand Jury panel of industry experts helped to curate the musical lineup of the Festival.

This year's Grand Jury included Abrams Artists agent Beth Blickers, OBIE and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, Tony Award- and Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated actor Hunter Foster, Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Amanda Green, Tony Award-nominated director Thomas Kail, Associate Producer of the Old Globe Eric Louie, Outer Critics Circle-nominated director and choreographer Josh Prince, Tony Award and Drama Desk-nominated actor and writer Tony Sheldon, and two-time Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris.

"This is a terrific lineup of new musicals that ensures 2014 will be one of the best Festivals ever. We are especially grateful to all the readers and members of the Grand Jury for their dedication and passion throughout the selection process," said Dan Markley, Executive Director & Producer of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. "Identifying and supporting the Next Link Project writers is enormously gratifying for the entire staff. It's pretty amazing that in less than five months our audiences will be able to see fully realized premieres of each of these shows."

The 2014 Next Link Project selections come from all over the globe, and all 10 will be making their New York premieres. Two of this year's selections come from last year's NYMF Developmental Reading Series, highlighting NYMF's role as an incubator for new musicals, and giving the writing teams the time they need to develop their shows through various stages.

"The Next Link Project is the cornerstone of NYMF's mission to identify and nurture the best talent in musical theatre," said Director of Programming Mary Kate Burke. "The blind submission process ensures that two talented undergraduates who attend NYU and Northwestern are afforded the same consideration as the composer and lyricist of Kenny Chesney's 'Somewhere With You,' all of whom will have shows this summer at NYMF thanks to the Next Link Program. The writers this year represent a broad range of musical styles but are similar in their unique and imaginative storytelling."


Book and Lyrics by Becca Anderson & Dan Marshall; Music by Julian Blackmore

Following your dream is never a trivial pursuit.

It's the National High School Quizbowl Championship! Dreamy-eyed brainiac Maggie McCutter hopes to win a scholarship so she can escape her controlling mother. Maggie's world is hilariously turned upside down when she falls for Tyler O'Neil, a football-obsessed slacker from the rival Walla Walla Walruses. As she's torn between the family she's got and the friendship she's found, will Maggie's trivial pursuits be in jeopardy? ACADEMIA NUTS is the uproarious nerd-rock musical everyone will be buzzing about!

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