NYMF Announces Selections of New Work For 2013 Next Link Project, Plus Tenth Annual Festival Dates
By Michael Gioia
The New York Musical Theatre Festival has announced the selections for the 2013 Next Link Project, NYMF's primary writer service program. Titles will be seen at the tenth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, which will run July 8-28 in New York City.
The Next Link Project, according to NYMF, "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. All entries undergo double-blind evaluations by several members of NYMF's reading team, with finalists referred to a grand jury of industry professionals.
This year's grand jury included choreographer Josh Bergasse ("Smash"), composer-lyricist Jeff Bowen ([title of show]), two-time Tony-winning actor Michael Cerveris (Tommy, Assassins, Evita), two-time Tony-winning playwright Marsha Norman (he Secret Garden, The Color Purple), producer Joey Parnes (Hair), 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") and Tony-nominated actor Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert).
"We are thrilled with the creativity and diversity of this year's Next Link productions," said NYMF executive director Isaac Robert Hurwitz in a statement. "The mission of the festival is to give a voice to a new generation of musical theatre writers and we really appreciate the support of the theatre 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."
In other NYMF news, 2012 Next Broadway Sensation winner Alexis Fishman will perform at 54 Below March 21 at 9:30 PM. Max Chernin, who was a finalist in the competition, will open for Fishman. As winner of NYMF's Next Broadway Sensation, Fishman receives a solo concert produced by NYMF as well as performance opportunities throughout the 2013 Festival season. For tickets, visit 54Below.com.
The 2013 Next Link Project musicals follow:
Bend In The Road
Gary Goldfarb, Master Escapist
"Gary Goldfarb is a big kid with even bigger dreams. He'll stop at nothing to win the heart of Cheryl Samatasinghar-Stein, the hottest girl in school… even if it means attempting Houdini's most dangerous feat, the Chinese Water Torture Cell Illusion, at the high school talent show. Can Gary's classmate Penelope talk some sense into him before it’s too late? With a catchy pop-jazz musical theatre score, Gary Goldfarb conjures up the magic, foolishness, and hilarity of high school romance."
Mata Hari: Tigress At The City Gate Book and Music by David Rhymer
Sasquatched! The Musical
Swiss Family Robinson
NYMF is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network. Now entering its tenth year, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to "revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects; nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community; and connecting one of America's greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience."
For more information, visit NYMF.org.
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