The 31st annual National Musical Theater Conference – running June 29-July 19 – has doubled the number of presented works this year to four. The conference will also present a gala fundraiser July 19. The latter will feature songs from projects developed at the NMTC and performances by alumni of the program.
Conference artistic director Paulette Haupt said in a statement, "Each of the four works selected has a unique, contemporary point of view and represents some of the most promising emerging talents in music theatre today. From an a capella musical, to soundtheater, to variations on Greek myths, to the way off-Broadway musical smash hit in Moscow, 1955, this summer promises to be entertaining and enlightening for all who attend."
The 2008 National Music Theater Conference selections follow:
Book, music and lyrics by John Mercurio.
"A contemporary riff on three Greek myths set in present day New York. When a disenchanted rock star, a frustrated mother and a slacker teenager take off separately to get their heart's desire, they discover just how intertwined their lives are. Only by working together can they find what they're after."
Book, music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russell M. Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth.
"An a cappella musical that captures the thrills, frustrations, and lunacy of life 'between stations.' Intimate musical snapshots into the lives of random New Yorkers are brought to life through the eyes of a subway beat-boxer with an eclectic all-vocal score that draws upon pop, jazz, hip-hop, country, and even reggae." Max Understood
Book by Nancy Carlin, lyrics by Nancy Carlin and Michael Rasbury and music by Michael Rasbury.
"The transformative journey of a 7-year old autistic boy and those who love him, and how the need to communicate overcomes an unintelligible chasm. This sound-scaped musical may leave you feeling autistic yourself…and that's OK."
Book by Susan DiLallo, lyrics by Peter Mills, music by Stephen Weiner.
"New York, 1956: two down-on-their luck songwriters are kidnapped by the KGB and brought to Moscow, where they are forced to write Communist Propaganda musicals. A madcap farce about fame vs. freedom, filled with divas and dominatrixes, stooges and spies, mishaps and misdirects as our heroes try desperately to get back home."
Among the musicals and creators with roots at the O'Neill Center's National Musical Theater Conference are Tan Dun, Kirsten Childs, Andrew Lippa, Joe Masteroff, Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik and Jeannine Tesori. Noted award-winning musicals include Arthur Kopit, Mario Fratti and Maury Yeston's Nine; Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx's Avenue Q; as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes' In the Heights.
Ticket sales begin June 4. For scheduling and ticket information phone (860) 443-1238 or visit www.theoneill.org.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center was founded in 1964 and is based in Waterford, CT. Programs at the Center include the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.