New York Musical Theatre Festival

New York Musical Theatre Festival

The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is an annual three-week fall Festival which presents more than thirty new musicals at venues in New York City's midtown theater district. More than half of these productions are chosen by leading theater artists and producers through an open-submission, double-blind evaluation process; the remaining shows are invited to participate by the Festival's artistic staff.

As of November 2009, the festival has premiered over 200 musicals, which have featured the work of over 6,000 artists and have been attended by 170,000 theatergoers. As of August 2010, NYMF alumni productions had been produced in 44 U.S. states (plus the District of Columbia, and in 16 countries worldwide.[1]



NYMF audiences have enjoyed premieres of new musicals from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States, featuring a broad spectrum of contemporary musical styles including R&B, jazz, hip-hop, Broadway, emo-pop, rock, punk, ska, country and opera. NYMF premieres have ranged from original pieces like Next To Normal, Altar Boyz, Gutenberg! The Musical!, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and title of show, to adaptations of classic stories like Caligula, The Portrait of Dorian Gray and Much Ado About Nothing (About Face).[1]

In addition to full productions, NYMF presents a wide range of special events, readings and concerts of new music, educational seminars, explorations of musicals in TV and film, and unusual collaborations with other New York-based arts organizations. In 2005, the Festival featured a series of co-productions with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater exploring the nexus of improvisation and musical theater.[1] NYMF has also partnered with The Paley Center each season to present special screenings of Musicals on Television.[2]

Also in 2005, the New York Musical Theatre Festival received the 21st Jujamcyn Theaters Award, a $100,000 prize given to a not-for-profit institution that has made an "outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent for the theatre."[3]

NYMF also features a Dance Series, celebrating the fusion of musical theatre and dance.[4] Each series included one new musical commissioned by the Festival: Common Grounds (2006), Platforms (2007), Wild About Harry (2008), and Andy Warhol Was Right (2009).[1]

During the off season, NYMF produces a number of concerts, from large star-studded evenings like "The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds", to intimate events like a salon with Grammy Award nominee and Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik. It also operates a year-round writer service program, The Next Link Project, which provides dramaturgical, professional, entrepreneurial and financial support to help writers bring their musicals to fruition as fully staged productions. The Next Link Project culminates with twelve writing teams each year receiving subsidized productions in NYMF's fall Festival.[4]

Some of the shows that have transferred to commercial or major non-profit runs include: the long-running, Off-Broadway hit Altar Boyz, The Big Voice: God or Merman, Captain Louie, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Meet John Doe, Nerds:// A Musical Software Satire, Shout! The Mod Musical [11] and Yank!

On July 17, 2008, the musical title of show became the first show to transfer from the New York Musical Theatre Festival to a commercial Broadway production when it opened at the Lyceum Theatre. The show closed October 12, 2008 after playing 13 previews and 102 performances. It was produced by Kevin McCollum, the producer of Rent and Avenue Q, as well as Roy Miller, producer of Drowsy Chaperone, the Vineyard Theatre, Laura Camien and Kris Stewart, founder emeritus of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.[5]

In 2009, Next To Normal became the second show to transfer from the New York Musical Theatre Festival to a commercial Broadway production. It became a smash hit at the Booth Theatre, winning 3 Tony Awards including Best Score and Best Leading Actress In A Musical.[6] "Next To Normal" went on to win the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, only the ninth musical to be so honored in the history of that award. [7]

Also in 2009, NYMF began a partnership with the Daegu International Musical Theatre Festival (DIMF), which shares its dedication to new musicals and new artists. The partnership includes a production exchange, which began with the hit Korean production of My Scary Girl at NYMF, and continued in the Summer of 2010 with the 2009 NYMF musical Academy at DIMF. NYMF's Korean production of Academy received awards for Best Musical and Best Supporting Actor at the annual Daegu Musical Theater Awards.[8]

In August 2010, NYMF announced that writer-director Baz Luhrmann would serve as Honorary Chairman of its 2010 Festival.[9]

Notable Alumni Productions

  • Altar Boyz (NYMF '04) Off-Broadway, New World Stages, New York City; 2005–2010
  • [title of show] (NYMF '04) Broadway, The Lyceum Theatre, New York City; 2008
  • Next to Normal (NYMF '05 as Feeling Electric) Broadway, The Booth Theatre, New York City; 2009-2011
  • Yank! (NYMF '04) Off-Broadway, York Theatre, New York City; 2010
  • The Great American Trailer Park Musical (NYMF '04) Off-Broadway, New World Stages, New York City; 2005
  • Gutenberg! The Musical! (NYMF '06) Off-Broadway, 59E59 and Actor's Playhouse, New York City; 2006
  • Rooms: A Rock Romance (NYMF '05) Off-Broadway, New World Stages; 2009
  • Nerds: A Musical Software Satire" (NYMF '05) Philadelphia Theatre Company; 2007 - Barrymore Awards for Best New Play and Outstanding Original Music


  1. ^ a b c d [1], The Official Site of The New York Musical Theatre Festival.
  2. ^ [2], The Paley Center's Musicals on Television Series.
  3. ^ [3], Playbill Article on the 22nd Jujamcyn Award referencing prior winners.
  4. ^ [5], The Internet Broadway Database entry for Title of Show's Broadway production.
  5. ^ [6], Internet Broadway Database page for Next to Normal.
  6. ^ [7], The Pulitzer Committee's announcement of the 2010 Prize for Drama.
  7. ^ [8], Theatermania article on the Daegu production of Academy.
  8. ^ [9], Deadline Hollywood coverage of the announcement of Baz Luhrmann's appointment as NYMF 2010 Honorary Chairman.

External links

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