NYMF's writer service program empowers ten teams of musical theater writers each year by providing entrepreneurial training, career networking opportunities, dramaturgical support, and other services culminating in a subsidized production in the Festival.
One of the Festival’s flagship programs, NYMF’s 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 reviewed by numerous members of NYMF’s Reading Committee. A double- blind screening process, designed to ensure that the quality of the work and not the name of the author guides our readers, culminates in a select group of finalists being reviewed by a Grand Jury of leading musical theater artists and producers. Finally, ten shows are awarded production spots in the Festival.
Once selected, the writing teams embark on an intense development process in preparation for their Festival productions with help from NYMF every step of the way. NYMF offers guidance in many forms, including varied seminars – on fundraising, marketing, producing, and more – led by industry professionals, networking events, dramaturgical support, a $5000 production subsidy, casting assistance, and the immense marketing and industry exposure that comes with appearing at the Festival.
This year’s Grand Jury included Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, OBIE and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, Two River Theater Literary Manager Anika Chapin, Creative Director, Fox Stage Productions Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Director of Theatre Arts Program at The National Black Theatre Jonathan McCrory, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor and writer Tony Sheldon, playwright, lyricist, and actress Gretchen Cryer, Drama Desk Award-winning actor Santino Fontana, Broadway actress Montego Glover, Broadway director West Hyler, Tony Award-nominated director Leigh Silverman, and Laurence Oliver Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo.