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Directors And Musical Directors Announced For This Year's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS


Directors And Musical Directors Announced For This Year's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) is thrilled to announce this year's directors and musical directors for their 31st Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, which takes place on Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, 2019 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). The Festival events will kick off on Wednesday, October 23, with the return of The 46th Minute Concert at The Green Room 42.

Festival registration for industry members is free and now open at The public can also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT. There is also a day-of standby line for the general public for free admission (based on availability). Tickets are available for The 46th Minute at

This year's NAMT Festival of New Musicals features an impressive line-up of directors and musical directors including:

Hunter Bird (NY: The Laodamiad), Liz Carlson (NY: SeaWife, Drama Desk Nom), Amy Corcoran (NY: Unexpected Joy; National Tour: Escape to Margaritaville), Portia Krieger (NY: The Tomb of King Tot; Regional: Be Here Now), Sarna Lapine (Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George), Jonathan McCrory (NY: Dead and Breathing), Arpita Mukherjee (NY: Eh Dah? Questions for My Father, Elements of Change), Jesca Prudencio (NY: Hoax; Regional: Man of God). Musical Directors include Simone Allen (Broadway: The Cher Show, music assistant; NY: Octet at Signature), Tommy Crawford (NY: SeaWife, Drama Desk Nom), Anessa Marie (NY: Lysistrata Jones, City of Lights), Charity Wicks (Broadway: Billy Elliott, Spring Awakening).

NAMT is also excited to announce this year's class of observers for the Festival Observership for Early-Career Directors. This program provides professional development and networking opportunities to early-career directors, while simultaneously expanding diversity in the musical theatre pipeline by providing these opportunities for underrepresented communities. This year's observers are Britt Berke, Brittany Coyne, Rachel Dilliplane, Ryan Dobrin, Sarah Hartmann, Kemar Jewel, Dominique Rider and Ricardo Vazquez.

The Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 260 musicals and 491 writers from around the world. As a direct result of the FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, more than 85% of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions, tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past Festival shows include The Ballad of Klook and Vinette, Benny & Joon, Come From Away, Darling Grenadine, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gun & Powder, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Ordinary Days, Striking 12 and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others.

Now in its 31st year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS attracts theatre producers from around the world for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals presented in 45-minute concert presentations over two days. All production costs are underwritten by NAMT, at no cost to the writing teams. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations, sponsorships and contributions.

This year, a committee of 17 theatre professionals selected eight new musicals out of 219 blind submissions. The musicals they chose for the 31st Annual Festival are:

Hi, My Name is Ben, book & lyrics by Scott Gilmour, music by Claire McKenzie

Director: Hunter Bird (NY: The Laodamiad)

"Hi, my name is Ben. I can't talk, but I can hear."

A true, New York story of how one man changed the lives of those around him, without ever speaking a word. Using just his notepad, pen and open heart, Ben turned a neighborhood of strangers into a community of friends, before finally encountering a miracle of his own.

Interstate, book, lyrics & music by Melissa Li, book & lyrics by Kit Yan

Director: Jesca Prudencio (NY: Hoax; Regional: Man of God)

Musical Director: Anessa Marie (NY: Lysistrata Jones, City of Lights)

Interstate is an Asian-American road trip musical about Dash, a transgender spoken word performer who embarks on his first national tour with his best friend Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter. Their political and personal music inspires Henry, a trans teenage blogger living in a small town in Kentucky, to make a series of life-changing decisions. A parallel story about two trans people at different stages of their lives, the musical explores love, family and masculinity in the age of social media.

IRON JOHN: An American Ghost Story,

Music & book by Jacinth Greywoode, lyrics & book by Rebecca Hart

Director: Jonathan McCrory (NY: Dead and Breathing)

Welcome to the little Southern town of Good, Alabama. It's wild, woodsy, down-home...and very, very haunted. One hundred years ago, a love triangle ended in an act of racist violence that seems to repeat in every generation-until now. This dark and lyrical tale pits good old-fashioned American denial against the redemptive power of facing your truth.

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