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NAMT Announces 2020 Festival Lineup

The festival will present 8 musicals virtually through Broadway on Demand.

NEW YORK CITY: The National Alliance for Musical Theatre has announced the lineup for the 32nd annual Festival of New Musicals, which is set to be held virtually Nov. 19-20. The reimagined festival will be shared online through Broadway on Demand. Registration for industry members is free and will open soon. The public will be able to receive passes by donating to NAMT. Further information for the public will be available at a later date through Broadway on Demand.

A committee of 20 theatre professionals chose eight musicals from 349 submissions for the festival.

“Celebrating new work and emerging voices feels even more significant and vital this year,” said NAMT executive director Betsy King Militello in a statement. “With a record-breaking year of submissions, we know there are countless stories to be told, reflecting a tremendous breadth of perspectives, ideas, and experiences. We are thrilled to share a reimagined festival digitally—we are shaping our fall events to be a place for the field to gather and experience new musicals in ways we never have before. We look forward to welcoming the industry to our full digital festival programming, and the general public to our online festival stream.”

The festival will include Co-Founders, with book and lyrics by Beau Lewis, Adesha Adefela, and Ryan Nicole and music by Jodie Ellis, Brian Watters, and Budo. Two unlikely partners, a Black woman from Oakland and a small-town college dropout, take on the most competitive startup accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Next in the lineup is Cowboy Bob, co-created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips, and Annie Tippe, with music and lyrics by Phillips, book and additional lyrics by Murphy, music direction and additional music by Alex Thrailkill, and Tippe directing. In this tuner, the small-town legend of a Texas bank robber spurs a waitress to take life by the reins.

The Consoling Mechanism, with book, music, and lyrics by Josh Franklin and music direction by Meg Zervoulis, follows a family struggling to recover from unexpected loss in a world increasingly intertwined with artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

The lineup will also include Eastbound, with book and music by Cheeyang Ng, book and lyrics by Khiyon Hursey, and music direction by Nate Hopkins. Desdemona Chiang will direct this bilingual musical about two brothers from opposite sides of the world and their quest for survival.

Next in the lineup will be Hart Island, with book and lyrics by Michelle Elliott, music and lyrics Danny Haengil Larsen, and music direction by Jason Yarcho, about an immigrant woman fighting for her child and the inmate who is the only person who can help her.

Lizard Boy, with book, music, and lyrics by Justin Huertas, is about a Trevor, who grew green lizard skin after a childhood accident, and the journey that makes Trevor decide if he’ll become the hero of his own story. Brandon Ivie will direct.

Also in the lineup will be Obeah Opera, with book, music, and lyrics by Nicole Brooks. This a cappella opera featuring an all-female cast tells the story of the Salem witch trials from the perspective of a Caribbean slave woman.

Lastly, the festival will host On This Side of the World, with music and lyrics by Paulo K Tiról and music direction by Steven Cuevas. Developed and directed by Noam Shapiro, the musical gives voice to Filipino immigrants navigating new lives.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated to developing new musicals.

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ADV – Billboard