National Alliance for Musical Theater’s 34th Annual Festival of New Musicals Announces Cast and Lineups

The National Alliance for Musical Theater (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) is thrilled to announce an additional cast for its 34th annual Festival of New Musicals, which returns in person and takes place on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 October 2022 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues).

Registration for industry members is now open at www.namt.org/festival. Audiences can also receive Festival passes through a donation to NAMT. There is also a general public daytime queue for free entry (subject to availability).

Full cast for this 34th annual Festival of New Musicals, includes Liana Sta. Anna (Broadway: Miss Saigon), Will Blum (Broadway: beetle juice), Benai Alicia Boyd (LA: Bronco Billy), Nick Bruno, Benjamin Camenzuli (Regional: As you like it), Michel Castillo (Regional: swim while drowning), Kai An Chee (Regional: Mr. Holland’s Opus), Genesis Adelia Collado (New York State: Today’s ratings), Nadia Dandashi (NY: Love sick), Kayla Davion (Broadway: Tina), Diana De Garmo (Broadway: hair spray), Tsebiyah Mishael Derry (New York State: SKiNFoLK: an American show), Jacob Dickey (Broadway: Aladdin), Michelle Dowdy (Broadway: hair spray), Was Garlington, Jared Goldsmith (Tour: Dear Evan Hansen), Alan H. Green (Broadway: Charlie and the chocolate factory), Megan Masako Haley (Tour: Nasty), Darron Hayes (Regional: Joseph…Dreamcoat), Lauryn Hobbs (Chicago: life after), Timothy Huang (New York State: Shanghai Lil’s), Diana Huey (Touring: Disney’s The little Mermaid), Steven Huynh (NY: Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas), Arica Jackson (Broadway: Caroline or Change), Bre Jackson (Broadway: Six), Asher Edgecliffe Johnson (Television: For life), Jade Jones (Olney: Disney’s The beauty and the Beast), Olivia Kaufmann (Broadway: mean girls), Rachel Kay, Tamika Lawrence (Broadway: Caroline or Change), Darius Jordan Lee (Broadway: Ain’t too proud), Fay Ann Lee (Broadway: Miss Saigon), Angel Lin (Regional: Mr. Holland’s Opus), Jacob Louchheim (New York State: Petrified Lighting), Zonya Love (Broadway: beetle juice), Matilda Luz Concha Pearson (New York: Runaways), Wade McCollum (Broadway: Nasty), Judy McLane (Broadway: Mama Mia!), Mary Kate Morrissey (Broadway: mean girls), Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Shereen Pimentel (Broadway: West Side Story), Sam Primack (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Michelle J. Rodriguez (New York State: East, West!), Graham Rowat (Broadway: meteor shower), Nora Schell (Broadway: Little shredded pill), Terran Scott, Herman Sebek (Broadway: Miss Saigon), Helen J. Shen (Regional: man of god), Kristen Sieh (Broadway: The group visit), Nacho Tambunting (New York State: Felix Starro), Mary Testa (Broadway: Oklahoma!), Mariand Torres (Broadway: Hadesville), Ching Valdes-Aran (Broadway: The Wild Party), Timothy Warmen (Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Nicole Weiss (Regional: Octet), Max Wilcox (New York State: Gigantic), Lenny Wolpe (Broadway: Nasty), Amra-Faye Wright (Broadway: Chicago), Audrey Rose Young (Touring: fiddler on the roof) and Sumi Yu (NY: Big Clement).

The Festival’s casting director is Michael Cassara, CSA.

NAMT Showcase of songwriters features innovative music from three new musicals currently in development. This year Showcase of songwriters will include:

HOW YOU Book, music and lyrics by Joriah Kwamé

AFTERWORDS Music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak

IN PIECES Book, music and lyrics by Joey Contreras

Showcase of songwriters will be hosted by John Andrew Morrison (Broadway: A strange loop) and james jackson (Broadway: A strange loop) and will present performances of Kerstin Anderson (Broadway: funny girl), Keri Rene Fuller (Broadway: Six), Darron Hayes (Regional: Joseph…Dreamcoat), Eliza Palasz (Regional: Carousel), Bryonha Marie Parham (Broadway: Prince of Broadway), Sam Primak (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen) and more. Showcase of songwriters will be led by Adrienne Campbell Holt (NEW YORK: Dodi and Diana).

The MIDI CABARET giving Festival attendees the chance to listen to short sets of new music in the laid-back Green Room. During the lunch break on both days, there will be two 20-minute midday cabarets, each featuring a different songwriter. This year’s Midday Cabaret writers include Deborah Abramson, David Davila, Andrea Grody and Rona Siddiqui and show performances of Ally Bonino (NEW YORK: ENOUGH), Jaime Cepero (TV: “SMASH”), Angel Desai(Broadway: Company), Joe Joseph (Broadway: The kite runner), Megan McGinnis (Broadway: Little woman), Sharone Sayegh (Broadway: Come from afar), Joo won Shin (TV: “Squid Game”) and more.

The Festival introduced musical theater producers to nearly 300 musicals and more than 500 authors from around the world. Some past Festival shows include Come from afar, Lempicka, The sleepy chaperone, Lizard Boy, Benny & Joon, Honey Grenadine, Ordinary days, Banging 12, It should have been you, Between States and Resolutely modern Millieamong many others.

Registration for industry members is free and now open at www.namt.org/festival.

This year, a committee of 17 theater professionals selected eight new musicals from 480 entries, the Festival’s largest pool of entries to date. The musicals chosen for the 34th annual Festival are:

Cooked! Musical comedy Book, music and lyrics by Jord Liu and Deepak Kumar Director: May Adrales Musical director: Alexandre Tom

About Cooked! The Musical: When she doesn’t receive the scholarship that would send her to the school of her dreams, Jane Huang, along with her best friend and the degenerate class, secretly builds a Chinese edible cannabis empire. Cooked! Musical comedy is a reflection on failure, self-esteem and what we owe to the people we love.

Blackout Book by Steven Gallagher Words and music by Anton Lipovetsky Director: Asher Lloyd Ehrenberg Musical Director: Lily Ling

About Blackout: On August 14, 2003, Toronto was thrown into chaos when the largest blackout in North American history left millions stranded in the dark. Inspired by real facts, Blackout tells three stories of hope, resilience and connection that unfold when the city is dark and strangers band together to find the light.

The pope woman Lyrics and Book by Shannon Burkett Music by Heather Christian Director: Mei Ann Teo Music Director: Kris Kukul

About The pope woman: The pope woman is a highly controversial story about a 9th century woman who became a papacy. A young girl’s father – desperate to protect her – disguises her as a boy, with the promise of an education. It unlocks a passion for learning that propels her to the most powerful position in the world – a stunning achievement that threatens the very existence of the Catholic Church itself.

come out alive Book and lyrics by Nikki Lynette Music by Nikki Lynette, Matt Hennessy, Clay Bail, Malcom Fong, Slavic Livins and Zeke Macumber Director: Roger Ellis Musical Director: Andrea Grody

About come out alive: Nikki Lynette’s new autobiographical afrogoth musical brings awareness to mental health through the lens of an underground concert. With music equal parts punk, hip hop, alternative rock and pop, Nikki’s true story shows that when life takes us to the wrong place, we can still make it out alive.

King of Pangea Book, music and lyrics by Martin Storrow Director: Richard Israel Musical Director: Deborah Abramson

About King of Pangea: After a sudden loss turns his world upside down, 21-year-old Christopher Crow returns to the imaginary island of his childhood in hopes of finding answers that will put the pieces back together. King of Pangea explores the rich, complicated and sometimes beautiful world of loss, examining what it means to become king or queen of your own heart.

The Pelican Book and Lyrics by Will Lacker Music and lyrics by Dylan Glatthorn Director: Alan Muraoka Music Director: Adam Cole Klepper

About The Pelican: In the not-too-distant future, The Pelican Bar is almost all that’s left of a Florida coastal town devastated by climate change. With a new class of hurricanes approaching, the few remaining staggered residents must make a choice: trade their freedom for safety in a nearby corporate town or risk the storm to keep their town alive. Bursting with raucous melodies and deep grooves, humor and heartbreak, The Pelican is a musical that shines with Florida’s colorful community.

Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls Book and lyrics by Sara Cooper Music by Lynne Shankel Director: Ann Yee Musical Director: Julie McBride

About Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls: Featuring an all-female cast and an original 1920s-2020s mashup score, Richard Rodgers Award-winning musical Perpetual Sunshine and the Ghost Girls tells the true story of capitalist exploitation and the radium poisoning of workers by the U.S. Radium Corporation – and of the women who fought back.

Puppy ! A Chew Story – A new musical Book and Lyrics by Marcus Terrell Smith Music by Robin Schäfer Director: Rachel Klein Music Director: Adam Laird About Puppy ! A chewable story: Is finding a forever home at the heart of every dog? Or are they destined for greater things? The strength of friendship is tested when two inseparable companions – a three-legged pit bull and his chew toy – embark on a quest for a forever home in Hollywood.

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