In an e-mail sent to members of the theatre industry Jan. 2, Stewart said he is resigning so he can pursue other opportunities.
"NYMF has been an amazing experience and has grown into something much more than I could have imagined," Stewart said in his e-mail. "We launched 133 musicals over the last four years (1197 performances!), and gave a bunch of shows the opportunity they needed to have a further life . . . In 2007, we had our highest level yet for attendance, and our budget grew 300 percent in four years. It's been an amazing, exhilarating time, and I feel that I've personally gained an incredible amount from it.
"But my nature," Stewart added, "is to be someone that enjoys change and enjoys launching new projects, and I've been restless to try other things." Stewart says he produced his first film last year, "Red Hook."
"Though it pains me to resign as executive director," Stewart said, "I know I'm leaving the festival in a really strong spot, both financially and artistically, and I know Isaac [Robert Hurwitz] will do a great job of running NYMF in the future."
Among the musicals that have premiered at NYMF are [title of show], Altar Boyz, The Big Voice: God or Merman, Captain Louie, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Gutenberg! The Musical, Shout! the Mod Musical and Meet John Doe, among others. Started in 2004, NYMF typically presents around 30 or so musicals and many other events in New York City every fall. Although the shows are produced by individual producers, NYMF does provide marketing and press support and also matches writers with producers and artistic personnel.
The fifth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival will run Sept. 15-Oct. 5. For more information visit www.nymf.org.