The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) today announced the selections for the 2013 Next Link Project, NYMF's primary writer service program. The Next Link Project empowers emerging musical theatre writing teams as both artists and entrepreneurs by providing the training and relationships needed to help them move their musicals from readings to fully-realized productions and to advance their careers by maximizing the exposure they receive in the Festival. Ten of the Festival's full production slots are reserved for participants in The Next Link Project.
Participants attend a special weekend-long symposium featuring seminars on fundraising, marketing, industry outreach, and self-producing, led by industry professionals. The writing teams are introduced to potential collaborators, supporters and producers, and receive dramaturgical support from professional literary managers and dramaturgs. Finally, each Next Link show receives financial support in the form of a $5,000 subsidy toward its production in the Festival.
Any work that has not been produced professionally in New York City may be submitted by authors (with or without industry representation), but scripts should be ready for developmental production and the widespread exposure NYMF provides. All entries undergo double-blind evaluations by several members of NYMF's reading team, with finalists referred to a grand jury of celebrated industry professionals.
This year's grand jury included choreographer Josh Bergasse (2012 Emmy winner for NBC's "Smash"), OBIE Award winning composer-lyricist Jeff Bowen ([title of show]), two-time Tony winning actor Michael Cerveris (Tommy, Assassins, Evita), two-time Tony winning playwright Marsha Norman (The Secret Garden, The Color Purple), producer Joey Parnes (Tony winner for HAIR, former Public Theatre Executive Producer), Tony winning actress Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, Or Change, Jelly's Last Jam), director Scott Schwartz (Rooms, Golda's Balcony, Bat Boy), Grammy winning and Tony nominated composer Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden, "In Harmony"), Tony nominated actor Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert).
Since its inception in 2004, The New York Musical Theatre Festival has premiered more than 320 new musicals - more than 86 of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters in almost every state, and in 20 countries worldwide. NYMF alum Next to Normal won three 2009 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama during its Broadway run. NYMF alumni also include: Chaplin and [title of show], which enjoyed Broadway productions. The more than one dozen NYMF shows have enjoyed off-Broadway productions include the long-running hit Altar Boyz, Fat Camp, Fucking Up Everything, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, In Transit, Rooms, The Shaggs, The Other Josh Cohen and Yank! Other shows like Meet John Doe, Nerds: A Musical Software Satire, The Mistress Cycle, and Kingdom have enjoyed award-winning productions around the country.
"We are thrilled with the creativity and diversity of this year's Next Link productions," said NYMF Executive Director Isaac Robert Hurwitz. "The mission of the festival is to give a voice to a new generation of musical theater writers and we really appreciate the support of the theater community, our sponsors and our patrons over the past nine years. As we look forward to our tenth annual festival this summer, we are really pleased that NYMF has been a stepping stone for so many shows, both in New York and around the country."
Memberships are on sale now, and members can start booking tickets on May 15th. Single tickets will go on sale beginning June 15th. To purchase a membership, please phone the NYMF office at 212-664-0979, Monday-Friday, 10:30am - 6pm, or visit www.nymf.org/member.