The New York Musical Festival, previously known as The New York Musical Theatre Festival, has announced the initial lineup for NYMF 2016. Now in its 13th year, the event will take place in July at locations around midtown Manhattan.
One of NYMF's flagship programs, the Next Link Project, is open to any writer and awards production slots to new shows from all over the world. Many of this year's selections are making their New York premieres.
“The Next Link Project is the foundation of the New York Musical Festival,” said Rachel Sussman in a press statement, who joins NYMF this year as director of programming and artist services. “The submission process this year was extremely competitive and we are deeply proud of the artists and work we have selected to participate. The 2016 Next Link Projects are bold, dynamic, and thematically relevant. These shows represent our commitment to diversifying and expanding the perspectives in our theatrical storytelling – for example, seven of our Next Link Projects include a female author on the team.”
See below for detailed descriptions of the announced Next Link projects, as outlined by NYMF:
Dust Can't Kill Me
Book by Abigail Carney; music and lyrics by Elliah Heifetz
Drought, desperation, and a prophet’s promise of Paradise set a ragtag group of wayward souls on a Dust Bowl journey into the desert. When they arrive, their promised land is unlike anything they ever imagined, or anything they ever desired. Driven by a spirited band of actor-musicians and directed by Spring Awakening’s Srda Vasiljevic, the new folk musical Dust Can't Kill Me asks what’s worth fighting for when all you've got is dust.
Book and lyrics by Scott Gilmour; music by Claire McKenzie
On September 5, 2011, a boy appeared in Berlin claiming to have lived in the forest with his father for the past five years. He had no memory of his past - only that his name was Ray and he traveled to Berlin following the death of his father in the woods. What followed were nine months of speculation, police inquiry and a global media frenzy, as the mystery of the Forest Boy slowly unravelled. Based on an incredible true story, Forest Boy is a modern-day fairytale of growing up and, above all, imagination.
Book, music and lyrics by Heath Saunders and Kim Saunders
Evan is determined to marry his girlfriend Charlie, but his father and brother don't want him to. Or his father doesn't think he can. Or his brother doesn't think he will. And his mother won't tell them otherwise. They're all so concerned with what autistic Evan might do, but he knows he is more than just his needs, and he's going to prove it. Newton's Cradle seamlessly integrates a fast-paced non-linear story with a hypnotic electronic score to create a musical unlike anything you've ever seen before: a melodic picture of a very special brain.
Book by Andrew Palermo and Shannon Stoeke; music and lyrics by Dan Dyer
Nickel Mines interprets a 2006 Lancaster, PA Amish schoolhouse shooting in which a lone gunman shot 10 girls, 5 fatally, before taking his own life. This unique work fuses movement, music and text to explore multiple viewpoints of what the Amish call 'The Happening'. Making no judgments, imposing no morals, Nickel Mines is a living memorial to the young girls who lost their lives that day. It is also an entry point to a conversation on how violence, faith, forgiveness and justice speak to and interact with one another.
Book, music, and lyrics by Jaime Jarrett
High schooler Taylor's life is changed forever when she meets Emily, a fellow lesbian on a mission to literally rewrite her own story. But the two soon learn the path to a happy ending isn't easy, and it might even mean losing each other.
Lisa and Leonardo
Book by Ed McNamee, Donya Lane and Michael Unger; music by Donya Lane; lyrics by Ed McNamee
Leonardo’s evermore intimate sketches of Lisa derail both her marriage and his relationship with his boy lover and protégé, causing him to become delinquent with far more lucrative commissions from both state and crown, bringing both of their lives - and the city of Florence - to the brink of disaster! It’s a true story of political intrigue, love and passion, with a host of comic characters and a lush, romantic score that answers, once and for all, that 500 year old question: "Who is she?"
The First Church of Mary, The Repentant Prostitute's Fifth Annual Benefit Concert, Revival, and Pot Luck Dinner
Book by Geoff Davin; music by Geoff Davin; lyrics by Geoff Davin; additional music and lyrics by Nicole Boggs, KelleyAnn Hocter and David Mescon
MESSAGE FROM THE PREACHER: Hey y'all. It's me...Adamenses Huckster...your beloved and fearless Preacher. It's that time of year again! Time for our FIFTH ANNUAL benefit concert, revival, and potluck dinner. If you think last year rocked...you ain't seen nothin' yet! You know we've got the best band in town. And we've got some killer new songs for you. Plus of course the always popular potluck dinner. And a few other surprises up our sleeves as well!! So come on y'all. Come to the revival and GET YOURSELVES SAVED! You KNOW you need it!
THE LAST WORD
Book, music, and lyrics by Brett Sullivan; additional lyrics by Ryan Cunningham
East Cleveland, 1976. Jay is a charismatic slacker living above Paradise, the restaurant his father left him. But Jay has accumulated a trail of debt which includes Earlene Floyd, a local parking lot mogul, who wants to bulldoze Paradise and put up a parking lot. Jay enlists his old school gang of misfits with plans to raise cash by hustling across America - one game of Scrabble at a time. But old factions and Earlene’s offensive to crush them threaten Paradise forever. Who will have the last word?
Book by Anthony Marino; music by Lena Gabrielle; lyrics by Greg Kerestan and Lena Gabrielle
In a time before time was important, there was an island full of music and magic, where pirates, natives, fairies and other mysterious folk lived, loved and fought together- until one young fairy and one young pirate crossed paths. When first mate James of the Jolly Roger meets the yearning, idealistic young fairy Tinkerbell, their star-crossed romance brings together the entire population of Neverland, from the mischievous Dream Weaver fairies to the mighty Natives, and even a colony of scavenging boys whose leader fell from the sky.
The festival also announced the line-up for its Invited Production series and concert selections. For the full slate of events, visit nymf.org.