This year's festival will run Sept. 12-Oct. 2.
The 2004 festival "surpassed all expectations in its inaugural season, becoming the largest musical theatre event in American history," according to the 2005 submission announcement. "With over 23,000 people attending 141 different events in 26 performance venues across the city, NYMF 2004 premiered more musicals in three weeks than can be seen on Broadway in a year."
The festival led to commercial options or productions for at least seven festival shows, including the upcoming commercial Off-Broadway run of Altar Boyz, which opens at Dodger Stages in March.
Writers are invited to submit "production-ready" musicals to the Festival's Next Link Project, for which 18 shows will be chosen by a jury of theatre professionals. Similar to some fringe festivals, writers are expected to pay for their own production expenses (there is a $350 participation fee, as well), although money can be made back in ticket sales - and NYMF provides marketing, technical and other support for the six-performance run of shows.
The 2005 Next Link jury includes Kevin McCollum, producer of Avenue Q and Rent, and Jack Viertel, creative director of Jujamcyn Theaters, among others. Selected shows will be presented in repertory over the three-week festival in venues in the Manhtattan theatre district. Applications for the Next Link Project will be available beginning Jan. 10 from the Festival website, www.nymf.org. Submissions will be accepted until March 11, 2005.
According to the festival, "Through the Next Link Project and other festival events, NYMF provides a platform to introduce and showcase new work to audiences, commercial producers and regional theatres."
In addition to the Next Link Project, the 2004 Festival included almost 20 additional productions invited from around the world; a series of panels and seminars featuring industry leaders; a series of improvised musicals; numerous readings; concerts and cabaret performances, as well as an array of umbrella events co-presented with other musical theatre organizations around the city.
The festival also celebrated the resurgence of music-driven films, with a four-day movie musical screening series at the AMC Empire Theaters in Times Square.
For more information, visit the Festival website at www.nymf.org.