Songwriter Showcase, Midday Cabarets And Final Casting Announced For National Alliance For Musical Theatre's 30th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

Songwriter Showcase, Midday Cabarets And Final Casting Announced For National Alliance For Musical Theatre's 30th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALSNational Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) is thrilled to announce final casting for the 30th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS along with The Songwriters Showcase and Midday Cabarets. The FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS takes place on Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26, 2018 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). Festival events kick off on Monday, October 22 with Thank You, 30! a gala event to celebrate the 30th Annual Festival.

Registration for industry members is open at www.namt.org/festival. 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). Online registration for the Festival closes on Sunday, October 21. Walk-up registrations will be accepted at the Festival for an additional fee.

Casting for the 30th Annual FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS includes Gisela Adisa (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carol King Musical), Kerstin Anderson (Broadway: My Fair Lady), Terence Archie (Broadway: Kiss Me Kate, Rocky), Colin Anderson (Broadway: Carousel), Roman Banks (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Ken Barnett (Broadway: Wonderful Town), Jeannette Bayardelle (Broadway: The Color Purple), Tracee Beazer (Broadway: Frozen), Mallory Elizabeth Bechtel (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Lauren Blackman (Broadway: Anastasia), Allison Blackwell (Broadway: Pretty Woman: The Musical), Jennifer Blood (Broadway: Violet), Alex Boniello (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen, Spring Awakening), Charl Brown (Broadway: Motown The Musical), Michael Lee Brown (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Taylor Caldwell (Broadway: School of Rock), Brian Calì (Broadway: Pretty Woman: The Musical), Joshua Castille (Broadway: Spring Awakening), Sam Cieri (National Tour: Once), Rebecca Covington Webber (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Clifton Davis (Broadway: Disaster, Aladdin), Katrina Rose Dideriksen (TV: The Voice; National Tour: A Night With Janis Joplin), Trista Dollison (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) Jordan Donica (Broadway: My Fair Lady), Ryan Duncan (Broadway: Getting' The Band Back Together), Andrew Durand (Broadway: Head Over Heels), Eddie Egan (Regional: Ghost), Grace Field (Regional: Les Miserables), Natalie Charlé Ellis (Broadway: School of Rock), Alan H. Green (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Greg Hildreth (Broadway: Frozen), Todd Horman (Broadway: My Fair Lady), Caitlin Houlahan (Broadway: Waitress), Diana Huey (National Tour: The Little Mermaid), Brian Charles Johnson (Broadway: American Idiot), Brittney Johnson (Broadway: Sunset Boulevard), J. Quinton Johnson (Broadway: Hamilton), Nehal Joshi (Broadway: Getting' the Band Back Together), Hailey Kilgore (Broadway: Once on This Island), Jeremy Kushnier (Broadway: Head Over Heels), Liisi LaFontaine (West End: Dreamgirls), Jo Lampert (Off Broadway: Hundred Days), Kingsley Leggs (Broadway: Pretty Woman: The Musical), Caissie Levy (Broadway: Frozen), Jared Loftin (Off Broadway: Gigantic), Jevon McFerrin (Broadway: Hamilton), Bonnie Milligan (Broadway: Head Over Heels), Jacob Morrell (Broadway: Kinky Boots), Euan Morton (Broadway: Hamilton), Julia Murney (Broadway/National Tour: Wicked), Vince Oddo (Broadway: The Terms of My Surrender), Luca Padovan (Broadway: School of Rock), David Park (NY: Red Roses, Green Gold), Solea Pfeiffer (National Tour: Hamilton), Aaron B. Phillips (New York: The Bardy Bunch), Matthew Provençal (Regional: Big River), Destinee Rea (Broadway: Amelie: A New Musical), Catherine Ricafort (Broadway: SpongeBob SquarePants), Emily Rogers (Broadway: If/Then), Will Roland (NY: Be More Chill; Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Isabella Russo (Broadway: School of Rock), Colton Ryan (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Caesar Samayoa (Broadway: Come From Away), Ryan Shaw (Broadway: Motown The Musical), Kristen Sieh (Broadway: The Band's Visit), Graham Stevens (Off-Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher), Will Swenson (Broadway: Waitress; Film: The Greatest Showman), Miiko Toiviainen (TV: Sunnuntailounas), Laurie Veldheer (Broadway: Newsies: The Musical), Marissa Jaret Winokur (Broadway: Hairspray). The casting director for the Festival is Michael Cassara, CSA.

NAMT's SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE is an informal introduction to new musicals currently in development. Creative teams will participate in a Q&A and then present two numbers from the show, performed by some of their favorite singers. The SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE is open to registered attendees with a Premiere, Select or Access Pass. There are standby lines for unregistered Premiere, Select and Access Passes, and for General Passes and the general public for free admission.

This year's SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE will be held on Thursday, October 25?at 4:30pm and feature:

BHANGIN' IT by Mike Lew, Rehana Lew Mirza & Sam Willmott

MODERN by Selda Sahin & Derek Gregor

THE SENIOR CLASS MUSICAL by Melvin Tunstall & Greg Borowsky

SWEETWATER by Patricia Noonan & Sean Mahoney (Factory Girls, Fest '09)

Casting includes Ally Bonino, Carlyn Connolly, Alysha Deslorieux, Julia Knitel, Mike Longo, Jay McKensie, Nathan Salstone and Kuhoo Verma.

Taking place during the lunch break at The Green Room, this year's MIDDAY CABARETS will feature:

Thursday, October 25

12:40pm - Joey Contreras & Kate Thomas

1:15pm - Jahn Sood

Friday, October 26

12:40pm - Jenny Giering (Princess Caraboo, Fest '05) & Sean Barry
1:15pm - Helen Park

Casting includes Julia Abueva, D.C. Anderson, Kerstin Anderson, Nick Blaemire, Michael Cunio, Stacia Fernandez, Mia Gerachis, Diana Huey, Stevi Incremona, Jiho Kang, Tamika Lawrence, Mike Longo, Amanda Lopez, Toren Nakamura and Michael Williams, Jenna Rubaii

National Alliance for Musical Theatre's FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS attracts theatre producers from around the world for this industry-only event, which features eight new musicals 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.

The Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 252 new musicals and 478 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 and tours, been licensed and/or recorded on cast albums. Past Festival shows include Benny & Joon, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Children of Eden, Come From Away, The Drowsy Chaperone, Honk!, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Striking 12, Ordinary Days, Thoroughly Modern Millie and We Live In Cairo among many others.

This year, a committee of 17 theatre professionals selected eight new musicals out of 226 blind submissions. The musicals chosen for the 30th Annual Festival are:

17 Again (book by Marco Pennette, music & lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner), A.D. 16 (book by Bekah Brunstetter, music & lyrics by Cinco Paul), Gun & Powder (book & lyrics by Angelica Chéri, music by Ross Baum), Monstersongs (book, music & lyrics by Rob Rokicki), Row (book by Daniel Goldstein, music & lyrics by Dawn Landes), The River Is Me (book & lyrics by Sukari Jones, music by Troy Anthony), The Wicker Husband (book by Rhys Jennings, music & lyrics by Darren Clark), and XY (book, music & lyrics by Oliver Houser, developed with Hunter Bird).

The Full NAMT FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS Line Up:

17 Again book by Marco Pennette, music & lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner

Director: Gary Griffin (Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, The Apple Tree, The Color Purple)

Music Director: Ben Cohn (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen)

Cast includes Mallory Elizabeth Bechtel (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Michael Lee Brown (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Nehal Joshi (Broadway: Getting' the Band Back Together), Kingsley Leggs (Broadway: Pretty Woman: The Musical), Caissie Levy (Broadway: Frozen), Will Roland (NY: Be More Chill; Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), David Park (NY: Red Roses, Green Gold), Will Swenson (Broadway: Waitress; Film: The Greatest Showman), Laurie Veldheer (Broadway: Newsies: The Musical; Mamma Mia!) and Marissa Jaret Winokur (Broadway: Hairspray).

Life doesn't always work out the way we want, or expect it to. What would happen if you could turn back the clock to a younger version of yourself and start over? 17 Again-a new musical based on the hit 2009 film starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry-tells the story of a married 35-year-old man who fears his best days have passed him by...until he mysteriously wakes up as a seventeen-year-old high school basketball star with the chance to rewrite the future he believes he was meant to have.

While a student at NYU, Marco Pennette interned for Harold Prince and sold his first script to the sitcom Kate & Allie. Pennette soon relocated to Los Angeles where he created the NBC comedy Caroline in the City. He was also a show runner for series such as Ugly Betty (Emmy nominee) and Desperate Housewives. He currently writes for the CBS comedy Mom. His theater credits include the Off Broadway play Motherhood: Out Loud and the revised book for the 2015 Broadway revival of On the 20th Century. He is currently writing stage adaptations of Return of The Living Dead and the Universal film Death Becomes Her.

Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner wrote songs for Broadway's First Date, which ran at the Longacre Theatre after a sold-out run at Seattle's 5th Avenue/ACT Theatres. The show can now be seen in productions across the U.S. and around the world. Recently, Zachary and Weiner penned songs for the acclaimed musical episode of Once Upon a Time on ABC. The team wrote the score for a musical adaptation of the film Secondhand Lions (book by Rupert Holmes) which premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Upcoming musical projects include: 17 Again directed by Adam Shankman and 13 Going on 30 directed by Andy Fickman. For Universal Studios, the duo wrote songs with J.K. Rowling for Celestina Warbeck & the Banshees playing at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Currently, Zachary and Weiner are developing a TV series with Universal Television starring Kristin Chenoweth and have created shows for ABC, FOX, Disney Channel, Disney Animation and Disney Parks around the globe. Zachary and Weiner are recipients of the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. www.zacharyandweiner.com

A.D. 16, book by Bekah Brunstetter, music & lyrics by Cinco Paul

Director: Stephen Brackett (Upcoming Broadway: Be More Chill. NY/ National Tour: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical),

Musical Director: Julie McBride (Broadway: SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical)

Cast includes Alex Boniello (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen, Spring Awakening), Trista Dollison (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; A Bronx Tale: The Musical), Alan H. Green (Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, School of Rock), Greg Hildreth (Broadway: Frozen), Brittney Johnson (Broadway: Sunset Boulevard; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Brian Charles Johnson (Broadway: American Idiot), Hailey Kilgore (Broadway: Once on This Island), Jevon McFerrin (Broadway: Hamilton), Bonnie Milligan (Broadway: Head Over Heels) and Graham Stevens (Off-Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher)

A.D. 16 tells the story of what happens when teenage Mary Magdalene moves from Magdala to Nazareth with her father and falls in love with the boy next door: teenage Jesus. Featuring an R&B score that evokes the best of TLC, En Vogue, Prince and more, this comedic coming-of-age story asks the question: what if your first crush really WAS perfect?

Bekah Brunstetter's plays include The Cake (The Echo), Going to a Place Where You Already Are (South Coast Repertory), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage Fall 2016, O'Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe) and Oohrah! (The Atlantic Theater). She is currently a member of the Echo Theater's Playwright's group. She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just Want My Pants Back), ABC Family's Switched at Birth and Starz' American Gods. She is currently a Producer on NBC's This is Us. MFA, The New School for Drama.

CINCO PAUL, with Ken Daurio, has written the movies Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me 3, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, The Secret Life Of Pets, The Santa Clause 2 and Bubble Boy. He also wrote the lyrics for the six songs in The Lorax, and is the recipient of the ASCAP Sammy Cahn Award for lyric writing and the Harold Arlen Award for the score of Bubble Boy the Musical, the original cast recording of which was recently released on Ghostlight Records. BA in English, Yale University. MFA in Screenwriting, USC.

Gun & Powder, book & lyrics by Angelica Chéri, music by Ross Baum

Director: Warren Adams (Broadway: Motown The Musical, choreographer)

Musical Director: Steven Jamail (Upcoming Broadway: Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story)

Cast includes Allison Blackwell (Broadway: Pretty Woman: The Musical), Charl Brown (Motown The Musical), Rebecca Covington Webber (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Eddie Egan (Regional: Ghost), Liisi LaFontaine (West End: Dreamgirls), Vince Oddo (Broadway: The Terms of My Surrender, Amazing Grace), Solea Pfeiffer (National Tour: Hamilton), Aaron B. Phillips (New York: The Bardy Bunch), Emily Rogers (Broadway: If/Then) and Ryan Shaw (Broadway: Motown: The Musical).

Gun & Powder is inspired by the true story of Mary and Martha Clarke: African American twin sisters who passed for White and were outlaws. Set in Post-Emancipation Texas, the musical follows our heroines' journey of defying racial boundaries and seizing what rightfully belongs to them. They are successful, until a little romance shakes everything up.

Ross Baum is a composer, performer and music arranger. His musical scores include: Gun & Powder (2018 Richard Rodgers Award, Signature Theatre's SigWorks Musical Theater Lab), Crowndation: I Will Not Lie To David (National Black Theatre), Anne Frank: My Secret Life and A Letter to Auntie Rosa (Diverging Elements Theatre Company). He was selected as winner of NY City Center's Sondheim Remix contest and Disney/NMI's 2018 New Voices Project. As founder and music director of RANGE a cappella, he has provided vocal arrangements for Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Billboard, Playbill, the E! Network and a YouTube channel totaling 30 million views. Education: MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, NYU; BFA, Syracuse; BMI Workshop. www.rossbaum.net

ANGELICA CHÉRI is a playwright, bookwriter/lyricist and screenwriter. Her play Berta, Berta premiered at the 2018 Contemporary American Theater Festival. Plays from her trilogy The Prophet's Cycle include: The Seeds of Abraham (workshop, Pershing Square Signature Center, 2013, mentored by Lynn Nottage; production, Billie Holiday Theatre, 2014), The Sting of White Roses (production, North Carolina Black Repertory Company, 2016) and Crowndation: I Will Not Lie to David (2018 workshop, National Black Theatre, I Am Soul Residence). She and Ross Baum received the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for Gun & Powder. Angelica holds a BA in Theater from UCLA, an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU.

Monstersongs, book, music & lyrics by Rob Rokicki

Director: Jenn Thompson (Off Broadway: The Gravedigger's Lullaby)

Music Director: Lindsay Weiner Lupi

Cast includes Sam Cieri (National Tour: Once), Katrina Rose Dideriksen (TV: The Voice; National Tour: A Night With Janis Joplin), J. Quinton Johnson (Broadway: Hamilton), Euan Morton (Broadway: Hamilton), Julia Murney (Broadway: Wicked), Luca Padovan (Broadway: School of Rock) and Destinee Rea (Broadway: Amelie: A New Musical).

Monstersongs is a unique theatrical event that immerses audiences in a synthesized world of graphic novels, rock musicals, live performance and new technology. A portal into the psyches of often misunderstood creatures, Monstersongs flips the switch on the monster narrative, inviting audiences to explore the humanity that binds us all.

Rob Rokicki is a songwriter, performer, music director and educator. He is the composer/lyricist of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (book by Joe Tracz) which was nominated for three Drama Desk Awards, an Off Broadway Alliance Award and a Lortel Award. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actor's Equity, and is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Other projects: Love, NY, Strange Tails, Relativity (with Michael Ruby) and the graphic novel rock album, Monstersongs (art by David O'Neill). Albums are available on Broadway Records and Great White Wax. BFA, BA University of Michigan. www.robertrokicki.com

The River Is Me, book & lyrics by Sukari Jones, music by Troy Anthony

Director: Schele Williams (Broadway AD: Motown The Musical)

Music Director: Aron Accurso (Broadway: Aladdin, Nice Work if You Can Get It)

Cast includes Gisela Adisa (Broadway: Beautiful: The Carol King Musical), Terence Archie (Broadway: Kiss Me Kate, Rocky), Roman Banks (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Taylor Caldwell (Broadway: School of Rock), Grace Field (Regional: Les Miserables), Jeremy Kushnier (Broadway: Head Over Heels)

The River Is Me is a coming-of-age musical theatre adventure, about a little boy who dreams of becoming an underwater superhero to save his mother from the grown-up world of violence. Bo-a funny kid with a big imagination-travels from Chicago to Mississippi in 1955 to win friends with his hijinks. But when he whistles at a white woman, he's kidnapped, killed and thrown into the Tallahatchie River. Rather than be destroyed in death however, Bo transforms into the water-powered superhero he dreamed of as a living boy, returning to walk the earth to change it forever to save his Ma.

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