National Alliance for Musical Theatre Announces ‘Eastland: The Musical’ Part of The 25th Annual Festival Of New Musicals At New World Stages In NYC Oct 17 & 18

Logo_flatThe National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) announced initial casting for the 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals on Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).

Analog and Vinyl, a quirky romantic comedy set in a vintage record shop features book, music & lyrics by Paul Gordon, featuresSarah Stiles (The Public’s Into the Woods). Jodie Moore is music director.

Tony nominees Marc Kudisch (9 to 5) and Christopher Sieber (Shrek the Musical) along with Tyler Maynard (Altar Boyz) andTodd Alan Johnson (Disney’s Aida) are featured in The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists! an action-packed superhero comedy with book & lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila, music by Michael Shaieb; orchestrator/arranger Lynne Shankel is music director.  Tony winner Christopher Gattelli directs.

Tony nominees Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Avenue Q) and Barbara Walsh (Company), along with Jason “SweetTooth” Williams(Bloodsong of Love), Jason Michael Snow (The Book of Mormon) star in Come From Away a musical about the thousands of people diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11, which features book, music & lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff.  Brian Hill directs, with Dan Pardo as music director.

Will Connolly (Once), Randy Redd (Million Dollar Quartet), Lauren Marcus (The Planet That Ate Dirty Socks), Katrina Lenk(Once), Emily Walton (The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World), Derek Hasenstab and Erik Heilman are featured in Eastland a musical about the S.S. Eastland boating disaster in Chicago, 1915 features book & lyrics by Andrew White, music by Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman.  Acclaimed director Amanda Dehnert, who directed the Lookingglass Theatre production in Chicago, returns. Rick Fox is music director.

A coming of age musical of a young girl fleeing her African village, My Heart is the Drum, features a book by Jennie Redling, concept & music by Phillip Palmer  and lyrics by Stacey Luftig.  Schele Williams will direct.  Joseph Church (The Lion King) is music director.  Tommar Wilson (The Book of Mormon) is featured.

Tony nominee Sam Buntrock (Sunday in the Park with George) directs The Sandman – a little nightmare musical, based on the disturbed scribblings of E.T.A. Hoffmann, featuring book, music & lyrics by Richard Oberacker & Robert TaylorRobert Creighton (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Kelly McCormick (Surflight’s Les Miserables) and Sadie Sink (Annie) are featured.  Valerie Gebert is music director.

Farah Alvin (I Love You Because), Jenny Powers (Encores! Superman and Irish Rep’s Donnybrook), Gwen Hollander (Little Women National Tour), Drama Desk nominee Steve Rosen (The Other Josh Cohen), and Susan Mosher (Hairspray) lead The Single Girl’s Guide, which sets Jane Austen’s Emma in 1964 Manhattan and features music & lyrics by Tommy Newman, book by Gordon Greenberg, and directed by Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty.

Tony nominee Christopher Sieber (Shrek the Musical), Ann Harada (Cinderella), George Salazar (Here Lies Love), Ciara Renée(Big Fish) and David Larsen (Hands on a Hard Body) complete the cast of The Three Little Pigs, a musical from the team who wrote HONK! and new songs to Mary Poppins – George Stiles (music), Anthony Drewe (book & lyrics).  Ryan Fielding Garrett is music director and Victoria Bussert directs.

The Boy Who Danced on Air, about an Afghanistan dancing ritual involving young boys and tradition features book & lyrics byCharlie Sohne and music by Tim RosserSaheem Ali (Goddess at The O’Neill Center) and Matt Castle (Company) join the creative team respectively as director and music director.

Additional staffing and casting will be announced at a later date.

For the tenth consecutive year, NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals will be presented at the premiere Off Broadway facility New World Stages, located at 340 West 50th Street. A limited number of free seats will be available to the public on a standby basis. Registration for Industry members is free and now open at

The 25th Annual Festival of New Musicals is overseen by NAMT New Works Director and Festival Producing Director Branden Huldeen, General Manager Lisa Dozier and Associate General Manager Naomi AnhornMichael Cassara is Casting Director. Betsy King Militello is NAMT’s Executive Director.

SHOW OFF!, a benefit concert celebrating 25 years of NAMT’s Annual Festival of New Musicals on Sunday, October 20 at 7pm at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square). Tony winners Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Lillias White (The Life) along with Sierra Boggess (Disney’s The Little Mermaid), Kerry Butler (Catch Me If You Can), Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones), Dee Hoty (The Will Rogers Follies), Susan Egan(Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), and Grammy winner Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”) are among the performers.

The benefit concert is a special conclusion to this year’s Annual Festival of New Musicals which takes place October 17-18 at New World Stages.  Tickets to the concert and reception are available now at

Featuring songs from past Festival shows from throughout the 25 years, including The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Honk!, Children of Eden, Ordinary Days,  and many more.  The concert is directed by Tony winner David Zippel, with continuity by Brian Hargrove, music direction by Brad Haak and choreography by Lorin Latarro.  Branden Huldeen (NAMT’s New Works Director) is Creative Producer.

In the past 25 years, NAMT has introduced over 250 shows and 475 writers to the industry, and over 75% of these shows have found subsequent productions, tours, licensing agreements and/or cast albums as a direct result of the Festival.  Some of the most well-known Festival highlights are Tony Award winners The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie; Off Broadway shows such as Nobody Loves You (recently seen at Second Stage Theatre), The Memory Show (seen this season at The Transport Group), See Rock City & Other DestinationsVanitiesa new musicalOrdinary DaysI Love You BecauseRuthlessSongs for A New WorldStriking 12,; and regional successes AceChildren Of Eden, Jane Austen’s EmmaHarold and MaudeHonk!Meet John Doe and It Shoulda Been You, among others.

About the National Alliance for Musical Theatre:

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit organization serving the musical theatre community. Our mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals, and to provide a forum for musical theatre professionals to share resources and exchange information. Our 190 members, located throughout 32 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers.

Among the over 250 musicals launched by NAMT’s annual Festival of New Musicals are Thoroughly Modern MillieChildren of Eden, Honk!The Drowsy ChaperoneSongs for a New WorldI Love You BecauseStriking 12Vanities and many others, representing over 475 writers.

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs:  The ABE Charitable Foundation, The Alhadeff Family Charitable Foundation, A.R.T./New York, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, BMI Foundation, The Dramatists Guild Fund, Friars Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, Frederick Lowe Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation, Stacey Mindich Productions and The Shubert Foundation.

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