NYMF's 2015 NEXT BROADWAY SENSATION Competition Kicks Off in December

By: Nov. 23, 2015
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has announced details for the 2015 NYMF's NEXT BROADWAY SENSATION competition.

Produced by NYMF with support from the ASCAP Foundation, this talent competition seeks to find the newest musical theatre star. The winner of the competition will receive a special solo concert presented by NYMF as part of its 2016 Festival.

Competition hopefuls attended two days of auditions, from which 20 contestants were chosen to take part in the competition. Ten contestants will perform at each of two competition heats, with four performers selected from each evening to move on to the Finals. Two finalists from each heat will be selected by a panel of industry judges, with one additional finalist chosen by live audience votes, and the fourth selected by an online vote at nymf.org/sensation.

This year's judging panel will include Michael Cassara, Aaron Glick, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Cesar Rocha, West Hyler, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Jamie Harris and Jen Bender, with more to be announced. In addition to casting votes, the judging panel will offer live performance advice to the contestants.

Heat 1 Contestants: Erin Wegner Brooks, Wonu Ogunfowora, Crystal Kellogg, Sarah Kleist, Anna Landy, Ross Brown, Gilbert D. Sanchez, Alex Gibson, Zal Owen and Reggie D. White

Heat 2 Contestants: Emma Davis, Serena Berman, Jessica Crouch, Katharine Bragg, Kris Roberts, Brian Keith Graziani, Gerry Vega, Ryan Bloomquist, Richard Lisenby and Israel R. Hillery

As a highlight of the competition, NYMF will once again partner with the ASCAP Foundation to present THE FINALE CONCERT at which contestants partner with ASCAP Foundation composers, and the winner will be announced.

All performances will take place at Stage 72 at the Triad Theater (158 W. 72th St.).


Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. ($12 in advance, $15 at the door)

Host: Emily McNamara

Judges: Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Jamie Harris, Jen Bender


Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. ($12 in advance, $15 at the door)

Host: Emily McNamara

Judges: Rebecca Naomi Jones, Cesar Rocha, West Hyler


Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm ($12 in advance, $15 at the door)

This is it! The final battle between the Next Broadway Sensation finalists. The winner will be announced at ASCAP PRESENTS: THE FINALE CONCERT.

Host: Emily McNamara

Judges: Michael Cassara, Aaron Glick and special guest

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 7:00 pm ($20)

NYMF partners with The ASCAP Foundation to present a concert featuring all eight Next Broadway Sensation finalists for 2015, performing the works of some of the hottest contemporary ASCAP musical theatre composers, and the 2015 Next Broadway Sensation will be announced!

ASCAP Composers, Lyricists, and Writing Teams:

Julianne Wick Davis (Composer/Lyricist)

Ty Defoe (Lyricist) and Tidtaya Sinouke (Composer)

Jenny Giering (Composer) and Sean Barry (Lyricist)

Amanda Green (Lyricist)

Michael R. Jackson (Composer/Lyricist)

Anna K. Jacobs (Composer)

Max Vernon (Composer/Lyricist)

Zack Zadek (Composer/Lyricist)

"NYMF'S NEXT BROADWAY SENSATION is a unique experience with the spirit of Broadway in its heart. It combines a rare opportunity along with a fun competition in an entertaining and truly rewarding way," said Dan Markley, NYMF Executive Director & Producer. "We are thrilled to once again partner with the ASCAP Foundation for The Finale Concert. This incredible partnership provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our contestants, and a not-to-be-missed evening of entertainment for anyone who loves musical theatre."

Past contestants have gone on to appear in numerous Broadway shows, including Newsies, Aladdin, The Last Ship, Violet, American Idiot, Once, The Phantom of the Opera, Hair, Les Miserables, South Pacific, West Side Story, and more.

Tickets are now on sale for all rounds of the competition at nymf.org/sensation.