New York Musical Festival Announces Further Selections For 2019 Festival

By: Apr. 12, 2019

New York Musical Festival Announces Further Selections For 2019 Festival

The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) is proud to announce further selections for 2019 NYMF, which will take place from July 8 - August 4, 2019 at venues in midtown Manhattan in New York City. Scott Pyne serves as Executive Director and West Hyler serves as Producing Artistic Director.

NYMF Passes are now on sale and offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Visit for more information.


Invited Productions are selected for the Festival on a rolling basis. They receive 5 performances in the Festival each summer. There is no fee to apply, and they are open to any writer - produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation.


Book, Music, and Lyrics by Riley Thomas, based on the bestselling book Open: An Adoption Story in Three Voices

Alaina and Alex are strangers when Alaina and her husband adopt Alex's baby girl, but they form an unexpected bond that transforms them both. Chronicling 25 years of their tumultuous and powerful relationship, Alaina and Alex make up the rules as they go along, colliding with their families, jobs and obligations, determined to ensure the child turns out alright. Narrated by Sara, the young woman that baby grows up to be, My Real Mother is filled with humor and heart and set to a lush, contemporary musical theatre score.


NYMF nurtures new musicals in the developmental reading series. A dramaturg designated by NYMF will meet with the writing team monthly over a series of months leading up to the festival. They provide concrete feedback on their drafts, deadlines for rewrites, and assistance in hiring a creative team, if needed. The 2019 NYMF Dramaturg core includes Rachel Abrams, Laura Butchy, Walter Byongsok Chon, Jack DePalma, Danielle Feder, Mark-Eugene Garcia, Anne Hamilton, Ali Keller, Alexandra Ley, Ali Sousa and consultants Kemar Jewel and Kimberly O'Loughlin.


Book and Lyrics by Liana Asim and Jabari Asim; Music by Allyssa Jones and Damien Sneed

In this sung-through musical inspired by Nat Turner's historic slave insurrection, the hero toils and dreams of freedom until an Angel appears and issues a divine directive: Rise and revolt! The sign Nat has been waiting for arrives: a solar eclipse. In the darkness, he gathers his warriors and seizes the plantation. Against all odds, Nat dares to RISE above injustice, REVOLT against slavery, and believe in the REDEMPTION of all humanity.


Book, Music and Lyrics by Matt Chiorini; Additional Music and Lyrics by Travis Newton

Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find that he'd caught the musical theatre bug! Kafka's mystifying and mesmerizing novella comes to musical life onstage. Gregor's rude awakening and metamorphosis parallels the frustrating journey of our dauntless narrator, Franz Kafka, incorporating some of his other major works along the way. Franz's frustrations and the Samsas' surreal situation scramble towards their inevitable conclusion while balancing Kafka's absurdist humor with delicate grace.


Book and lyrics by Leola Floren Gee; Music by Rick Lukianuk

Misogyny, check. Xenophobia, check. Traitorous sycophants, check. King Xerxes of Persia sponsors a beauty pageant in order to replace his stubborn wife with a submissive one. The mysterious Esther wins, becoming an undercover bride whose secret mission is to prevent genocide. In risking her life, she inspires the Jewish festival of Purim. Both comedic and poignant, this royal reality show features soul scorching ballads and farcical takes on the adventures of a biblical icon.


Book, Music, and Lyrics by Mark Aaron James

Turning the "American Superhero" trope on its ear, two gay men become roommates in "Gotham" adjacent, Jersey City. One, a chubby, 40+ comic book store owner, the other, a wide eyed El Salvadorian immigrant. Together they learn that some super powers aren't that useful, villains aren't always villainous, and sometimes your chosen family of hipsters, drag queens, and real estate agents are the ones who really "save" you. The expenses of NYC, proper use of spandex, coming out to your mother, and rescuing your local beer joint come together in a collection of funny/touching stories with super-catchy songs.


Lyrics by Marialena DiFabbio and Susannah Jones; Music by Marialena DiFabbio; Book and Additional Music by Susannah Jones

In November 1889, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland set off in opposite directions on a history-making race around the globe to beat Phileas Fogg's fictional record from Around The World In Eighty Days. Though a world apart, Nellie and Elizabeth found themselves on a journey that would change and connect their lives forever. Bisland & Bly is the story of two remarkable and remarkably different women who dared to persist in the pursuit of their dreams.


Book, Lyrics, & Music by Melissa Crum and Caitlin Lewins

In this hot mess musical, a group of close friends struggles to navigate the tragedies of life. Guided by poor decision-making and maybe too much alcohol, these buddies try anything to find happiness while the ties of friendship fray. This dark musical comedy is a celebration of the not-so-happy ways in which we persevere, grow, and change-whether we want to or not. Cheers!


Book by T.J. Pieffer; Music by Becki Toth and Brad Kemp; Lyrics by T.J. Pieffer and Becki Toth

Science! Cows! Musical Theatre! In the small town of Pluto, Indiana, Pippa Peterson must save the day from mysterious extraterrestrial lights before her whole town is beamed into outer space. It's "The Twilight Zone" flipped on its head, with a cast of larger than life characters, snappy dialogue, and space jams that will get stuck in your head for light years to come!


Music by Charlie H. Ray & Sam Columbus; Book and Lyrics by Charlie H. Ray

In the summer of 1964, civil rights workers from New York City join forces with grassroots activists in Meridian, Mississippi. Freedom Summer follows their crusade for equality as they navigate racism, corruption, and violence in the Jim Crow south. As the quest for progress begins to take its toll on the group, they're forced to reckon with what it means to be an activist and the price one pays to rewrite history.


Book, Music & Lyrics by Gregory James Tornquist; produced by Noreen Crayton

With a soulful, bluesy, soundtrack, Mississippi the Musical is a mixed race, gothic tale of a troubled white girl, Kitten, acknowledging her racism, evolving, and embracing the reality that change is required of her and everyone in Hope River. The music will draw you in, the story will make you think. Recommended for theater-goers aged 17 & over.


Book by John Viscardi; Music and Lyrics by Thomas Hodges

Underground is an urban tale about a teenage girl who travels with her brother underground into the subway tunnels of New York in search of a story for her documentary on kids living in the street, and whose life is profoundly changed by a homeless teen she meets and the friends he has below ground. It is a romantic story of love and forgiveness, of sacrifice and pain, and ultimately redemption, as seen through the eyes of our young dreamers.

These musicals join the already announced productions for the Next Link Project: PERFECTLY VICTORIAN, Music by Bryan Adam; Book & Lyrics by Bryan Adam & Matthew Cole Kelly, BLACK HOLE WEDDING, Words by Katherine Brann Fredricks; Music by Paul E. Nelson; BURIED, Book by Tom Williams; Music by Cordelia O'Driscoll; Lyrics by Tom Williams and Cordelia O'Driscoll; OVERTURE THE MUSICAL, Book by Krista Eyler & Barbara Nichols; Music and lyrics by Krista Eyler; LADYSHIP Book, Music and Lyrics by Linda Good and Laura Good; FLYING LESSONS, Book by Donald Rupe, Music by Donald Rupe and Cesar de la Rosa; Orchestrations by Cesar de la Rosa, Josh Ceballos and Jason Bailey; TILL, Book by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro; Music and Lyrics by Leo Schwartz; LEAVING EDEN, Book & Lyrics by Jenny Waxman; Music by Ben Page; Additional music by Ada Westfall; ILLUMINATI LIZARDS FROM OUTER SPACE, Music and Lyrics by Yuri Worontschak; Book and Lyrics by Paul Western-Pittard; and the 2019 Invited Productions: ALIVE! THE ZOMBIE MUSICAL, Book, Music, and Lyrics by Josh Canfield; and CHANCE: A MUSICAL PLAY ABOUT LOVE, RISK, & GETTING IT RIGHT, Book, music & lyrics by Richard Isen.

The Next Link submission process is a double-blind evaluation process where nearly 200 shows are read and screened by a diverse group of 50 readers who then come together in person to fight for the shows they believe should be advanced to the grand jury. The 2019 NYMF Grand Jury included OBIE and Drama Desk Award winner Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin (An American in Paris), Goodspeed Musicals' Artistic Associate Anika Chapin, Jenny Koons (Burn All Night), Lorin Latarro (choreographer of Waitress), Rattlestick Artistic Director Daniella Topol, Public Theater Literary Associate Jack Phillips Moore, Saheem Ali (Public Theater Mobile Unit's Twelfth Night), LCT3 Associate Director Natasha Sinha, and Artistic Director of MTF Mei Ann Teo.

NYMF Passes are now on sale and offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Only Pass Plus and Premium Ticket holders are given reserved seats for the reading series. Single tickets for the Full Productions will go on sale on mid-June. Visit for more information.

New York Musical Festival (NYMF) nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

Now in its sixteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 20 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work "creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form."

New York Musical Festival is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

For More Information, Visit


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