Friday, July 29, 2011

What do YOU want to know about this year's Festival?

Every year the Festival Committee strives to select the eight most diverse and exciting musicals out there, and this year they have topped themselves. Over the last three Festivals, we have been working hard to improve the member experience at the Festival. From bigger signs to a reconceived program, we want all of you who come to the Festival to have a great time and enjoy the shows.

This year, we are at it again…now focusing on providing you with more information about the show before you even get to the Festival. Over the next couple of months, I will be adding more content to the Festival website, including cast size, band size, future productions already lined up, facts you should know about the show, and (hopefully) even members-only introductory videos from the writers talking about their show. I want everyone to see every show, but I know that that is not always possible so I want to give you more tools to know which shows would be more suited to your tastes and needs.

I would love any thoughts you have about this…what would be helpful for you to know about these shows before you come to the Festival? Email me your thoughts at I can’t wait to share this bold and exciting Festival with you in October!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thoughts on a Theatre Closing

It's always incredibly sad when a NAMT member theatre closes. Since I started this job shortly before the beginning of the recession, I've unfortunately seen several members close their doors. What's striking is how often the reasons for one theatre going under are completely different from another, and how often they're unique to that one organization and its circumstances. It's easy to blame "the economy," but it can be so much more complicated that.

Our friend Jason Loewith at National New Play Network wrote an excellent testimonial to his friends and ours at FloridaStage, discussing the wonderful impact they had on artists and their community, and also the unusual set of circumstances that led to their sudden closure. I encourage you to read it. (Jason later refined this post for NNPN's newsletter, so this version is sort of a rough draft, but it's too long to reprint in this space and this is the only version that's linkable.)

We like to focus on good news, and fortunately NAMT members have no shortage of that. But it's important to note the losses too, and see what lessons we can learn from them to strengthen our own organizations. It also drives home the importance of us coming together as a community at NAMT events and elsewhere, to share ideas and help each other in this ever-challenging business.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Writer's Residency Grants begin TODAY!

Today we launch the application for the next round of Writer’s Residency Grants. These grants help supplement member theatres' musical development with a little bit of cash to bring the writers along for the ride. We believe it is vital that the writers are part of as much of the process as possible when developing a new work. The grants are flexible and the application is short. We want to give out these $1,000 grants to theatres that have exciting new readings, workshops or productions to help ensure that they can incorporate the writers into the process. This money could be used in a whole host of ways for shows at any stage of development, whether the work is being done at the theatre or elsewhere.

This round’s information and application can be found here. I hope that many of our members will apply as we continue to strive to support all of your important work toward creating our next great new musicals. We gave out 7 grants to great projects last year and want to continue the trend this year! If you have any questions, please let me know at