By Olivia Clement
The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) has announced the recipients of its 2016 Awards, given out at this year’s gala earlier this month. The NYMF/Stage Rights Publishing Award was given to A Scythe of Time, with book by Alan Harris and music and lyrics by Mark Alan Swanson; the NYMF Developmental Reading Series Award was given to Play Like a Winner, with book and lyrics by Erik Johnke and music by David Wolfson; and the new NYMF BETA Award was given to Freedom Riders, with music and lyrics by Richard Allen and Taran Gray and book by Richard Allen.
A Scythe of Time will join the theatrical publishing catalog of Steele Spring Stage Rights and will now be available to professional and amateur companies throughout the United States and the world.
Play Like a Winner will receive automatic acceptance into NYMF’s 2017 Next Link Project, as well as a $5,000 subsidy towards their participation, entrepreneurial training, and networking opportunities. The Next Link project culminates in a subsidized production at the 2017 NYMF festival.
Like the Developmental Reading Series Award, the BETA Award recipient, Freedom Riders, will be automatically accepted into NYMF’s Next Link Project next season and will receive a $5,000 subsidy. The newly introduced award recognizes shows that are “on their feet,” exploring choreography or a specific design element, yet are not ready for production. All of the writers will also benefit from ongoing dramaturgical support from NYMF.
Here’s how NYMF bills the three winning shows:
A Scythe of Time
It's Philadelphia, 1881, and writers are dying to pen one of the wildly sensational Blackwood Articles. Signora Zenobia, whose own publication is going down the pan, sets off to discover Blackwood's secret, only to find herself in a predicament of her own. Meanwhile, loyal Pompey is trying to stop her from literally losing her head. As the sun rises over Philly, can anyone break free from the past? Based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, A Scythe of Time is a brilliantly bizarre tale of love, hope, and bloody revenge.
Play Like a Winner
In the fiercely competitive world of girls’ soccer, how far would you go for your child? Play Like a Winner is a satire of the soccer mom world based upon the award-winning play, All About the Kids by Caytha Jentis. At curtain, Coach Nick lies dead on center stage, impaled by a corner flag, while a chorus of soccer players sings in his honor. Kathy, a soccer mom, steps forward to tell us the story of how all this began.
Freedom Riders tells the story of Civil Rights activists as they risk their lives riding interstate buses in the extremely segregated South. Their end goal: to bring attention to the injustice of segregation in an action that would show the world an image of ‘burning bus America’ whose existence most Americans wanted to ignore. Freedom Riders proclaims the youthful and impatient voices of the American Civil Rights Movement.
NYMF’s November 13 gala honored Tony and Grammy-winning composer and lyricist Duncan Sheik, casting director Tara Rubin, and former NYMF Board member and treasurer Frank Troutman. The event was hosted by Mo Rocca at the Edison Ballroom in New York and featured performances by Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Sierra Boggess(The Little Mermaid), Bryce Pinkham (Gentleman's Guide), Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains), Lauren Pritchard, and more.
For more information on NYMF, visit NYMF.org.