Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre Launches New Musicals Program | Playbill

News Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre Launches New Musicals Program
Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, which has helped usher the Tony-winning musicals Hairspray and Memphis to Broadway, has announced the establishment of a new program to develop new musicals for the stage.

5th Avenue resident musical director Ian Eisendrath has been tapped to head the 5th Avenue Theatre’s New Works Program, which will encompass bimonthly writers' salons, a three-to-four day writers' retreat, a one-to-two week writers' residency, as well as readings and workshops at the 5th Avenue.

The goal of the 5th Avenue's New Works program is to hone homegrown musicals over an extended period of time, with the aim of an ultimate production in Seattle and beyond. Submissions are currently being sought. 5th Avenue producing partners Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff provide financial support for the initiative.

In recent seasons the 5th Avenue has also served as the out-of-town host for premieres of A Christmas Story The Musical! and a new stage adaptation of Disney's Aladdin. Musicals such as Memphis and Shrek, The Wedding Singer and Catch Me If You Can also appeared there prior to Broadway.

Eisendrath served as the musical supervisor and musical director of the recent five-city tour of A Christmas Story. Producers of the musical are hopeful the holiday classic will have a future New York life.

"The establishment of this program at The 5th is an investment in the future of the American musical theatre," 5th Avenue producing director Bill Berry said in a statement. "Few people realize how much time and support is absolutely necessary. Many musicals are in development phases for years before they are ready to be performed in a workshop setting, let alone be performed on the main stage. Our goal is to support and cultivate that development from the earliest phases of writing through to full-fledged productions." For information on submissions, click here.

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