The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) announced today the initial lineup for 2018 NYMF. Among the shows announced in the lineup are the Next Link Project musical selections, as well as invited production selections. Now in its fifteenth year, the 2018 Festival will take place July 9th through August 5th at locations on West 42nd Street in New York City. Dan Markley serves as NYMF Executive Director & Producer and Rachel Sussman serves as Producing Artistic Director.

AKA NYC, the full-service, award-winning live experience agency, will provide pro-bono design services to create the 15th anniversary advertising campaign art, and long-time NYMF supporter Fox Stage Productions has elevated their participation to Elite Level Sponsor for 2018.

NYMF Passes are now on sale and offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Pass redemption for 2018 NYMF will begin on June 1st. Single tickets will go on sale on June 15. Visit nymf.org/tickets for more information.

"From its inception in 2004, the New York Musical Festival grew quickly into the largest musical theater event in the country. Increasingly, however, we're focused less on size and more on making a bigger impact on the work we present and the artists we support," states Markley. "We've therefore decided to showcase only 12 productions this year - the 10 Next Link Projects and two Invited Productions, in addition to our Developmental Reading Series, concerts, and other events."

"We want to ensure that NYMF musicals are not only of high quality and represent a broad spectrum of artists and their stories, but that as a writers' service organization, we are also able to actively engage with our artists in a meaningful collaboration - this includes more individualized administrative, artistic, and marketing support as creative teams prepare for production," Sussman adds. "We recognize the Festival's unique platform in the theatrical landscape and intend for artists to take full advantage of all we have to offer."


One of NYMF's flagship programs, the Next Link Project, is open to any writer – produced or unproduced, with or without agency representation. The program receives hundreds of submissions from all over the world each fall, and every script and demo recording is evaluated by numerous members of NYMF's Reading Committee, and then by a Grand Jury of leading industry professionals. The selected participates receive entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other services culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival.

The Grand Jury is responsible for making final selections for the Next Link Project shows with the Director of Programming and Artist Services. The 2018 NYMF Grand Jury includes Tony Award-Winner Michael Cerveris, OBIE and Drama Desk Award winner Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin (An American in Paris), Goodspeed Musicals' Artistic Associate Anika ChapinWest Hyler (Paramour), Jenny Koons (Burn All Night), Lorin Latarro (choreographer of Waitress), OBIE Award-winning director and National Black Theatre's Director of Theatre Arts Program Jonathan McCrory, Rattlestick Artistic Director Daniella Topol, Public Theater Literary Associate Jack Phillips MooreSaheem Ali (Public Theater Mobile Unit’s Twelfth Night), LCT3 Associate Director Natasha Sinha, Abrams Artists Theatrical Literary Agent Katie Gamelli, and Olivier Award winner and Tony Award nominee Sergio Trujillo (On Your Feet!).

2018 NYMF Next Link Project selections include:

Book by Stefanie A. Seskin; Music by Anthony Gemingnani and LaQuinta Prince; Lyrics by LaQuinta Prince; and additional music and lyrics by Stefanie A. Seskin.
Meet Bad Ass Beauty -- an Alpha Female baring her soul in a tumultuous ride of sex, booze, drugs and rock and roll and everything that comes with that chaotic journey toward self-reliance and self-integration. She, her multiple personalities, and her band of hard-rockin’ misfits tell it like it is in this rough, raw soliloquy of sound while exploring contemporary issues like mental illness, substance abuse, compromise, exploitation, and the failed relationships along the way, ultimately seeking redemption of spirit through the power of music.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/badassbeauty

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Luke Byrne
Sam and Emily are sisters on holiday at the beach where they stumble upon a tragic chapter of local history, one that has left behind a lingering mystery. As the girls uncover the details of the story, it pulls them into deeper waters. Between the Sea and Sky is an original Australian musical about our fascination with the ocean and fear of its power.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/betweenseasky

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Keith Harrison and Laura Nicole Harrison                                                          Inspired by The Unicode® Standard, this electric ensemble piece explores the interconnected lives of two dozen emojis whose existence inside a smartphone becomes increasingly complicated after a software update. Driven by a thrilling, clever, heartfelt contemporary score, Emojiland transforms its telecommunicative, ubiquitous source material into an allegorical saga as open to interpretation as the iconic digital characters who inhabit its titular world.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/emojiland

Book and Lyrics by Carly Brooke Feinman; Music by Cassie Wilson
IF SAND WERE STONE follows a remarkable poet as she and her family grapple with her early-onset Alzheimer's disease at the peak of her career. As their world unsteadies and shifts, they must learn how to hold fast to love, against all odds. Loosely based upon a true story and inspired by extensive first-hand research with Alzheimer’s patients and their families, IF SAND WERE STONE is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and, most importantly, to fierce love.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/ifsandwerestone

Book and lyrics Book and Lyrics by Kit Yan and Melissa Li; Music by Melissa Li
INTERSTATE is an Asian-American pop-rock poetry musical that follows Dash, a transgender spoken-word performer as he goes on a cross-country tour with Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter. Together, they’ve formed Acupuncture for Fools, an activist band fueled by growing internet popularity, the allure of fame, and a desire to connect with the Queer Asian community. At its heart, Interstate is about two transgender people at different stages of their journey and their parallel experiences with love, family, and finding a community.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/interstate

Book by Rebecca Aparicio; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Anthony Elkins
Based on the real-life events of Operación Pedro Pan, a young boy is sent to the U.S. to escape the growing dangers of post-revolutionary Cuba. To survive, Pedro must learn a new language and a new culture – while hoping to one day be reunited with his parents. With a score featuring the percussive rhythms of Havana to '60s New York soul, PEDRO PAN examines what it means to be a displaced immigrant in America. Named Top 10 Off-Off B'way Shows 2015 (MWAT) and Theatre Is Easy's Best Bet 2015.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/pedropan18 

Book and Lyrics by Justin Moran and Jonathan Roufaeal Music by Adam  Podd and Doug Katsaros
PETER WHO? An Amazing Spider-Parody tells the story of a young nerdy high schooler named Peter, who wants to be special and stand out from the crowd that ignores him. But after he’s bitten by a radio-active spider at a Science Fair he has to learn how hard being ‘special’ can be.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/peterwho

Book by Patricia Loughrey; Music by Thomas Hodges; Lyrics by Thomas Hodges and Patricia Loughrey
Raising a musically gifted child was a challenge that Margaret Evans cherished, and she devoted her life to her daughter. The world begins to open up for Laura when she gets a scholarship to study at a prestigious music school. But she falls in love with a girl at school. The lovers are caught, expelled, and charged with a crime. Margaret now faces a terrible choice: stand by as Laura destroys her future, or involuntarily commit her for a brutal treatment that might bring her daughter back.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/sonata1962

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Abby Payne
The Gunfighter Meets His Match is a wild West musical conceived and written by Brooklyn based singer songwriter Abby Payne. The universal love story, inspired by the New York City music scene and the short stories of Louis L'Amour, is one of love, loss, and hope as a rugged gunfighter faces his ultimate high stakes battle for his truest love. With the creative direction and highly entertaining choreography of Glitter Kitty Productions, the Gunfighter will transport you to another world with a few familiar echoes of our own. 
Learn more: www.nymf.org/gunfighterhismatch

Book by Thicket & Thistle; Music and Lyrics by Kyle Acheson, Sam de Roest, and Corley Pillsbury
When two teenage best friends get sucked into a magic storybook, they discover that getting home will take more than just a wish. With time running out, will Nicholas and Brian’s friendship survive their perilous journey through Death Forest? Turn the page with Thicket & Thistle’s WHAT'S YOUR WISH? and join an exuberant cast of actor-musicians for an evening of music, humor and imagination.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/whatsyourwish


Kenneth Stilson; Music and Lyrics by Cody Cole; Orchestrations by Steve Sensenig
AN AMERICAN HERO tells the story of a romantic and cheerful Irish immigrant, who joins the Army and falls in love and marries an American woman before being sent to fight the Second World War. He suffers terrible losses, while his wife joins the war effort at home. They both endure the war, but their battles take heavy tolls. On his return, he rejects the Medal of Honor for simply surviving the worst day of his life. In the end, he learns the depths of his love of family, the sacrifices of heroes, and the meaning of becoming an American.
Learn more: www.nymf.org/americanhero