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The Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove Continues New Musical Salons In Nashville With New Musical Theater Nashville

JMF's and NMTN's goal is to help establish and grow the musical theater writing community in the Nashville area.

The Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Grove Continues New Musical Salons In Nashville With New Musical Theater Nashville

 

The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is continuing to work with New Musical Theater Nashville (NMTN) running monthly gatherings for songwriters and playwrights in the Nashville area writing new musicals.  Based on the successful JMF Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals, the evening salons are a peer-to-peer program. JMF’s and NMTN’s goal is to connect and grow the musical theater writing community in the Nashville area. 

The salon style evenings are akin to Nashville guitar pulls but focuses on theater. Originally created by JMF Executive Vice President and Writer/Producer, Jonathan Brielle, in partnership with Goodspeed Musicals, the JMF Writer Salon gives professional writers an opportunity to get feedback on new materials from their peers of emerging and award-winning writers.  Past alums include award winning writers Michael R. Jackson (A STRANGE LOOP) and the team of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss (SIX).    

“Nashville is home to so many great storytelling songwriters, that it’s a natural fit to write for theater,” says Jonathan Brielle.  “And since Douglas Waterbury-Tieman is a JMF Writers Grove alum, he, together with Kira Stone, create the right vibe for the salon setting.”

Douglas Waterbury-Tieman attended Belmont University as a Musical Theatre major from 2008-2012. After graduation he moved with his wife Annabelle Fox, to NYC to pursue theater careers, which were paused by Covid in 2020 when they both returned to Nashville their home. “Given that country music is as much a story driven genre as musical theater, Nashville is a natural setting for the synthesis of the two musical worlds,” according to Douglas.

Positive feedback from the first three trial sessions has encouraged the approval of six more months of meetings.  Here is what inaugural members are saying about their experience.

 “More than a forum for sharing, it's the only organization that connects the community of musical theatre writers in Nashville with each other, creating spontaneous collaborations and unexpected friendships from each week's in-person gathering. NMTN meets a need and both serves and builds a community that would otherwise not have a way to connect."

 - Chris Rayis

“It was so wonderful to meet like-minded musical theatre writers in Nashville and share our work together. I had no idea there were so many of us! These meetings provided not only helpful artistic feedback but also belonging and support that I think we're all needing.”

-Natalie Rebecca Lovejoy

“Finding writers specifically interested in Musical theatre is incredibly difficult and these sessions have been a chance to connect and learn from others in a way that I never got a chance to do in college. It was an open space with amazing writers willing to share their knowledge and wisdom openly and without fear of judgement.

-Mitch Beard 

The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed. JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate its goals including: the Johnny Mercer Writers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals; Accentuate the Positive Programs (New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta); the Musical Theater Program at New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Georgia State University

Fellowship Program; the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University. In addition, JMF also supports the Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Youth and Adult Choirs). Please visit the Johnny Mercer Foundation website

New Musical Theatre Nashville’s mission is to actively support the creation of musical theater in Nashville by creating space for an all-embracing community of musical theatre writers. 

JMF and NMTN monthly meetings will be held at TMP Studios, owned and operated by choreographer, Tosha Marie, located at 630 Rundle Ave, Nashville, TN 37210. 

For scheduling and participating please write to: jdwtieman@gmail.com.  Writers are encouraged to attend and/or participate on a first come, first serve basis.  Meetings are held the third Tuesday of every month with dates scheduled for January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16 and June 20.



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