The 12th edition of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the Next Link Project announced the 10 musicals and three initial invited productions, which are slated to perform around midtown Manhattan in July. One of them includes a work written by the “American Idol” finalist Jon Peter Lewis and his Midas Whale band mate Ryan Hayes of “The Voice”.
The Next Link Project, one of NYMF’s flagship programs, is open to any writer whether produced or un-produced or is either represented or not by an agency. In the fall, the program accepts hundreds of new musicals from around the world. Many members of the NYMF’s Reading Committee review each and every submission. Shows are submitted “blind”, which means the writers’ names are not on any of the materials the readers review. This makes sure the work is judged on what is written, not who wrote it, giving all works an even playing field. Then a Grand Jury of principal producers and theatre professionals evaluate the scripts and demos. At the end of the review process, 10 shows are granted production places in the Festival.
NYMF’s Executive Director and Producer is Dan Markley. Joining NYMF this year as Director of Programming and Artist Services is Jen Bender. Helping to curate the lineup of musicals for the Festival is a Grand Jury of professionals in the industry.
The 2015 Grand Jury included Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin, Isaac Robert Hurwitz (creative director, Fox Stage Productions), Josh Prince – director and choreographer, Joe Machota (CAA agent), Jonathan McCrory (director of theatre arts program at The National Black Theatre), Motown director Charles Randolph-Wright, Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter, Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor Hunter Foster, Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, and Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor and writer Tony Sheldon.
The Next Link Project participants receive many benefits: subsidized production slot at the Festival which also includes savings in production fees, discounted technical and marketing support, dramaturgical support, seminars and workshops geared toward helping them successfully prepare, access to exclusive industry networking events, a $5,000 production subsidy, casting assistance, and the immense marketing and industry exposure that comes with appearing at NYMF.
On February 28 and March 1, the chosen Next Link Project show teams met for the first time to begin preparing for the upcoming productions. Industry professionals who were interested in working on the NYMF 2015 productions were invited to attend the Networking Party on February 28 at Hurley’s Saloon in mid-town Manhattan through a Facebook invite. This was an opportunity for producers, general managers, directors, designers, choreographers, music directors and others to network face-to-face with the creators of the shows.
For the full list of 2015 Next Link Projects please visit here – http://www.nymf.org/about/news/2015-new-york-musical-theatre-festival-announces-next-link-project-initial-invited-selections/