Thomas Kail, Tony Sheldon, Hunter Foster, Michael Cerveris and Donna Lynne Champlin Among NYMF Next Link Grand Jury

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16 Oct 2013

Thomas Kail, Tony Sheldon, Hunter Foster, Michael Cerveris and Donna Lynne Champlin are among the artists who have been selected to serve as the Grand Jury of the 2013 Next Link project, the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) announced Oct. 16.

NYMF has chosen Abrams Artists agent Beth Blickers, Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Champlin (Working), Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor Foster (Hands on a Hardbody), Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated composer and lyricist Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody), Tony Award-nominated director Kail (In the Heights), associate producer of the Old Globe Eric Louie, Outer Critics Circle-nominated director and choreographer Josh Prince (Shrek the Musical), Tony Award and Drama Desk-nominated actor and writer Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Tony Award-nominated and Grammy-winning composer Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) and two-time Tony Award-winning actor Cerveris (Evita).

The Next Link Project, according to press notes, "is NYMF's primary writer service program. It empowers emerging musical theatre writing teams by providing entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other services, culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival. In 2014, NYMF will accept 10 shows into the Next Link Project."

Next Link Project participants receive a subsidized production slot at NYMF 2014 (including savings in production fees and discounted technical and marketing support); dramaturgical support; seminars and workshops geared toward helping them successfully prepare, present and promote their NYMF production; and access to exclusive industry networking events.

NYMF has also extended the submission deadline for the Next Link Project to Nov. 11 at midnight. For more Next Link Project information and submission guidelines, visit NYMF.org/SubmitAShow.



In other NYMF news, Erica Lustig has been chosen as the winner of the 8th annual NYMF's Next Broadway Sensation (NNBS) competition, which took place at New World Stages with nearly 200 singers.

Lustig and runner-up Jacob Watson competed alongside finalists Angela Jeffries, Celeste Rose, Noah Zachary, Ben Holtzman, Brook Wood and Stewart Alden. The finalists were chosen from a mix of audience votes, online voting and a panel of industry judges that included composer Ryan Scott Oliver (35mm), casting director Michael Cassara, producer/general manager Jamie Cesa and ASCAP's director of musical theatre Michael Kerker.

Judges at the grand finale included casting director Daryl Eisenberg, Tony Award-winning producer Tom Smedes and Tony Award-winning actress Beth Leavel, with resident musical director for the series Ryan Cantwell at the keys.

Lustig will receive a special solo concert at 54 Below, co-presented by NYMF and Grammy Award-winning producer Sh-K-Boom Records, as well as a photographic package courtesy of Seth Walters Photo and Video.

For more information, visit NYMF.org.