CreateTheater & Prism Stage Company Announce New Works Festival 2022 Awards

The 2022 New Works Festival featured seven productions - six new musicals and one new play - from writers across the country.

By: Jun. 20, 2022

CreateTheater, under the artistic direction of Off-Broadway producer-director-dramaturg Cate Cammarata in association with Prism Stage Company, today announced the 2022 New Works Festival Awards from their first new theater festival that ran from April 15th to May 15th at Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street).

The 2022 New Works Festival featured seven productions - six new musicals and one new play - from writers across the country who had developed their work in-house through CreateTheater's resident writer company, The Expert's Theater Company (ETC). The productions in the festival were Finding Madame Curie by David Kurkowski; The Golden Cage by Deborah Henson-Conant; Fire Island: The Musical by Jarlath Jones; Sewing the Dream by Judith Estrine, music by David Kurkowski; Ocean in a Teacup by Joel Krantz, lyrics by Neil Selden; Rewind: An 80s Pop Musical by Geoffrey and Sam Rose; and the play Retraction by David Z. Gutierrez.

"The New Works Festival on Theater Row, produced by Cate Cammarata, was an exhilarating display of new work by playwrights with new voices," said Ed Levy, one of the festival adjudicators. "From the exuberant 80's rock and roll of Geoffrey and Sam Rose's Rewind to the deep philosophical reflection of Joel Krantz's Ocean in a Teacup, from the Golden-Age melodious, lyrical and comic numbers in the period musicals, Finding Madame Curie by David Kurkowski and Sewing the Dream by Estrine and Kurkowski, to the delightfully fanciful and innovative Golden Cage by Deborah Henson-Conant and the lively and beautifully choreographed Fire Island by Jacobs and Solla, the musicals were dramatic and joyful. The one straight play, Retraction, by David Gutierrez was charged with electricity, incisive and provocative. Coming after the drought of the shutdown, this festival of wonderful new works is a welcome shower of delights."

"Cate Cammarata has established a most needed and important organization in the form of ETC," said Neal Rubenstein, a veteran Broadway producer. "It is here that those aspiring to be part of the theater community, under the auspices of Ms. Cammarata, have been instructed, guided, and in many instances seen their respective projects produced for viewing."

Rubenstein also found much of the new work promising. "For me, Finding Madame Curie was especially exciting. It was an enlightening story which should be performed in elementary and/or high schools. Kerry Conte & Kyle Yampiro's voices soared! The casting brings this musical to vocal heights. Kudos to David Kurkowski for amazing music & lyrics that carry Marie Curie's story forward under the deft direction of Stas Kimiec and musical direction of Larry Daggett."

The four adjudicators for the 2022 New Works Festival are experienced theatre-makers. Steve Marsh is a playwright/director, and was a member of the nominating committee for the 2014-2015 Drama Desk Awards. Neal Rubenstein is a five-time TONY-nominated Broadway producer and member of The Experts Theater Company. Ed Levy is a librettist-lyricist, and Chris Sherman is a playwright.

"CreateTheater's New Works Festival on Theatre Row in NYC is one of the most hopeful theatrical events in recent years," says Marsh. "It has given great opportunities for playwrights, composers, and librettists to have their works produced professionally, Off Broadway, in front of a true NYC crowd. This year's festival was truly inspiring! I can't wait to see more."

"Create Theatre, under the skillful and loving eye of Cate Cammarata, has produced this new festival that showcases a wide variety of top-notch plays and musicals," added adjudicator-playwright Chris Sherman. "Calling it a festival does not do it justice. I've never seen such professional and polished production values in any other festival, complete with full sets, period costumes, and scenic projections. Future productions are sure to be on every producer's must-see list. A true Off-Broadway experience!"

The 2022 New Works Festival awards are:

Best Actor in a Play or Musical - (tie)

· Jason Denton (REWIND the Musical)

· Chris Isolano (THE GOLDEN CAGE)

Best Actress in a Play or Musical

· Aubrey Matalon (SEWING THE DREAM)

Best Supporting Actor in a Play or Musical

· Nick Bernardi (REWIND the Musical)

Best Supporting Actress in a Play or Musical

· Catherine Ariale (SEWING THE DREAM)

Best Set Design & Projections

· Richard Oullette & David Forsee (REWIND the Musical)

Best Lighting Design - (tie)

· Zach Pizza (REWIND the Musical)


Best Costume Design

· Debbi Hobson (SEWING THE DREAM)

Best Director in a Play or Musical

· Jen Wineman (RETRACTION)

Best Book of a Musical

· Sam Rose & Geoffrey Rose (REWIND the Musical)

· Sam Rose & Geoffrey Rose (REWIND the Musical)

· Deborah Henson-Conant (THE GOLDEN CAGE)

Best Choreography

· Whitney G-Bowley (REWIND the Musical)

Best Musical - (tie)

· Book, Music, Lyrics by Sam Rose & Geoffrey Rose (REWIND the Musical)

· Book & Lyrics by Judith Estrine, Music by David Kurkowski (SEWING THE DREAM)

Best Play

· David Gutierrez (RETRACTION)

Most Innovative Production

· Deborah Henson-Conant (THE GOLDEN CAGE)

For more information, go to the Festival's homepage at