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A scene from "GIRL Shakes Loose" at Penumbra Theatre in 2017.

NAMT Announces 2017 Festival of New Musicals Lineup

Eight new tuners will be showcased in New York this fall.

NEW ORK CITY: The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the slate for its 29th annual Festival of New Musicals, to be held Oct. 19-20 at New World Stages. The Festival will kick off on Oct. 18 with a concert titled The 46th Minute.

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).

NAMT is an annual industry event showcasing eight new musicals, selected by NAMT organizers and presented in 45-minute concert presentations over two days. All production costs are underwritten by NAMT, a nonprofit that funds the festival entirely through donations, sponsorships and contributions. Over nearly three decades the festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 244 musicals and 460 writers from around the world. Organizers report that more than 85 percent of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions and tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past festival shows include this year’s Come From Away, The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You, Striking 12, Ordinary Days, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others.

This year, a committee of 16 theatre professionals selected eight new musicals out of 240 blind submissions. The musicals they chose for the 29th Annual Festival are: Darling Grenadine, with book, music, and lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik; Fall Springs, with music and lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos, book and lyrics by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb; GIRL Shakes Loose, with music and lyrics by Imani Uzuri, book and lyrics by Zakiyyah Alexander, and poetry by Sonia Sanchez; Klook’s Last Stand, with book by Ché Walker, music by Omar Lyefook and Anoushka Lucas, lyrics by Ché Walker and Anoushka Lucas; Persephone, with book and lyrics by Marcus Stevens and music by Oran Eldor; The Passage, with book, music, and lyrics by David Darrow; Prom Queen, with book by Kent Staines, lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal, music by Colleen Dauncey; and Sam’s Room, book by Dale Sampson with Trey Coates-Mitchell, music and lyrics by Caitlin Marie Bell, Marc Campbell and Dale Sampson.

“From a record-breaking 240 submissions, our incredibly hard-working and thoughtful Festival Committee has picked eight shows—some that tell new stories, some that explore universal themes in surprising ways, said NAMT’s executive director, Betsy King Militello, in a statement. “This festival, with its unique voices that need to be heard, is going to be thrilling!”


Casting for each musical and further programming details will be announced soon.


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