Please read through these questions carefully before submitting your musical.
What sort of musicals are you looking for?
How are shows evaluated?
What does NYMF pay for?
What do I have to pay for?
Does NYMF help me fundraise?
What is the difference between a Musical Submission and a NYMF Artist Fellowship?
Is my show eligible for NYMF?
What does “production-ready” mean?
Do you accept shows from outside the United States?
Do I have to apply for a Musical Production slot as well as the NYMF Artist Fellowship if I’m interested in both?
Do I apply separately for a reading, concert, or production?
Can I apply only for a reading?
I’ve got a few different shows that I’d like to submit. Is that okay?
I sent you my show last year but have revised it since then. Can I resubmit it?
My show is already getting a production this year. Is that okay?
My show is based off of or includes existing material. Do I need to include proof of rights for this?
What materials do I need to submit for consideration?
How do I submit my application materials?
What is the cost to submit a show?
Does my demo need to be professionally recorded?
If my show isn’t chosen, will you give me feedback from the Evaluation Committee?
When will I find out about my submission status?
NYMF isn’t looking for any particular aesthetic - we want to represent the breadth of musical theatre in all of its forms. The musical theatre scene today is extremely eclectic, featuring songs influenced by many genres, styles, and cultures - from rap and hip-hop to rock to contemporary pop and even folk and opera, not to mention the classic Golden Age musical sound.
The submission process uses a double-blind and two-tiered evaluation: writers’ names are not permitted on any of the materials readers review and writers do not know who is on the Reading Committee. This ensures that the readers are responding only to the quality of the work. The second tier refers to the fact that the Finalists are then read and evaluated by a Grand Jury of industry professionals, again without the writer’s names visible to the grand jury members.
NYMF provides the big-ticket items – the performance venue and venue staff, the lighting and sound packages, ticketing services, and major overall technical support.
If your show is a Full Production, NYMF spends about $25,000 to provide a package of resources and services (which would cost much more for an individual, independent production) These costs are subsidized for each Full Production, whether Invited or Next Link. The resources include:
An Off-Broadway theatre in which to perform your show, equipped with an extensive lighting and sound plot
A band package including keyboard or piano, drums, guitar and bass amps, music stands, chairs, etc.
Wireless microphones and instrument microphones, and all the perishable equipment needed to use them
A sound engineer (A1) to mix your show and deck sound assistant (A2) to help with wireless microphones
Tape, gel, and other incidental tech needs, as well as a steamer or iron for wardrobe
A technician, production manager, box office manager, and house management staff in each venue
Marketing assistance through the NYMF website, Festival-wide materials and advertising, Festival press/media outreach, and promotional events
NYMF Boot Camp; a comprehensive conference weekend in NYC for all accepted musicals discussing such topics as Fundraising, Marketing/Press, Creative Collaboration, Budgeting, Licensing, and finding a Producer. The weekend includes in an invite-only industry networking event, allowing writers to meet with potential creative team members
Access to NYMF-specific discounts on rehearsal space, costumes, build shops, and on outside marketing and printing for your NYMF production
If your show is a Reading, NYMF spends about $3,000 per show for the venue, house management, marketing, and dramaturgical support.
If your show is a Concert, NYMF spends about $5,000 per show for the venue, band package, wireless microphones, sound engineer, management, marketing, dramaturgical support, and festival staff.
In order to effectively subsidize all NYMF Musicals with the above, we require a participation fee.
Invited productions pay a participation fee of $15,000 (reflecting the $10,000 subsidy) while Next Link Productions pay $6,000 (reflecting the $19,000 subsidy). This fee is inclusive of Venue Rental, Basic Festival Marketing, Publicity and Admin support, Volunteer Insurance, Lighting and Sound Rental, Production Staffing and FOH Staffing. This fee is due in installments.
Readings pay a participation fee of $2,000 (reflecting a $1,000 subsidy).
Concerts pay a participation fee of $2,500 (reflecting a $2,500 subsidy).
In addition to the subsidized participation fee, you will still have to cover the specific production costs of your show; including creative team and cast, rehearsal room rental, production staff, general manager, as well as the construction and use of scenic, costume, and property design elements.
All in all, a Full Production may cost you anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000, depending on the size of your cast, your production values, and your show’s specific needs. A sample budget will be sent to all finalists to review. A Reading or Concert may cost between $3,000 to $15,000.
Box office proceeds (collected via a third-party system and professional box office staff) are split between NYMF and the individual shows, so you will make back a portion of your expenses – especially if your show sells well.
NYMF is available for counsel, and we love to connect shows with opportunities; however, shows are responsible for its own money-raising execution. For example, we can say, “This is a great organization which shows have found success with in the past,” but we cannot write the application for you.
The main difference is that a Musical Submission is project-based and the identifying marks of the writers must be removed for the double-blind evaluation process. The NYMF Artist Fellowship is writer-based and is awarded to an individual artist without reference to a specific project.
Any work that has not received a commercial production in New York City may be submitted by writers, with or without industry representation. As long as you feel your script is “production-ready” and prepared for a public developmental run in the Festival, you’re welcome to submit it!
When we say a show must be “production-ready,” we’re referring to the dramaturgical readiness of the show, rather than the production or financial resources you have on hand. If the storytelling is compelling and strong, even if you still have a little rewriting to do, consider it ready to submit. You’ll still have another 6 months of pre-production once notified of your acceptance. Our participants come to us at varying stages in the lives of their shows. Some shows are written two months before they are submitted, while others are in creative development for years and/or may have had other productions elsewhere in the country.
Of course, but please note that international companies performing in the Festival are subject to U.S. artist visa requirements. While NYMF can offer some assistance with the petition process, you will ultimately be responsible for the visas. If you are planning to include non-U.S. citizens in your cast, please email email@example.com for more information.
Yes. The NYMF Artist Fellowship is a commitment to an artist over a two-year period without any restriction on the material that they present in the festival. The Musical Submission process is a NYMF commitment to a specific show that will be presented in the form of a reading, concert, or full production. Because the NYMF Artist Fellowship requires a statement of purpose and the artistic identity of the artist is important and choosing candidates, and the Musical Submission requires a show go through a double-blind submission process with the artists' names removed, we must have two separate applications.
No. One application allows you to apply for all three formats. On the application form you will be able to check the boxes for which formats you’d like your show to be considered, you can choose all three formats, or as few as you are interested in.
Yes, but you still need to submit through the Musical Submission page.
Yes! You are welcome to submit as many shows each year as you like, however please note that each show will require a separate submission fee.
Yes! We’re always happy to accept new drafts of previously submitted projects. Some very successful NYMF shows submitted over several years before they were eventually accepted.
NYMF requires that shows refrain from mounting competing professional productions anywhere within a 100-mile radius of the New York City area within six months prior to the Festival start date (early July) and one month after the end of the Festival (early August).
Yes, you will need to include a letter that certifies you have the rights to use existing material, unless it is in the public domain. For more information on Dramatic (or “Grand”) Rights, review ASCAP’s Licensing Terms and Definitions here.
The following application materials are required as electronic files:
A 2-3 page synopsis, noting the placement of songs included on the demo recording (PDF). Click here to view an example synopsis
A script sample consisting of 15 consecutive pages representing the heart of the show and including lyrics for at least one song from the demo (PDF). A complete script with no author identifiers (PDF)
A track listing that includes all song titles and their corresponding track number (PDF). Click here to view an example track listing
A demo recording, containing at least 75% of the songs in the show (MP3 only)
Production History and Author Bios – This document is for administrative purposes only and will not be seen by any musical submission evaluators (PDF)
If applicable: Proof of rights to adapt any underlying material (e.g. the movie on which your show is based) or to include any material by other authors (e.g. songs by third-party artists), if any such material is not in the public domain (PDF)
If you are submitting a show by someone other than yourself, you must also submit documentation signed by the writers, giving you the rights to produce the show at NYMF (PDF)
Video recordings and printed scores will not be considered
After you create a NYMF application account online you will need to upload all of your materials (PDFs and MP3s) to the NYMF submission portal. Once you have uploaded all of your information you will be required to pay the submission fee. You must have registered and uploaded all of your materials and paid the non-refundable submission fee by the dates below. Incomplete or unpaid submissions will not be eligible.
Please note that once you’ve submitted your materials and received an acknowledgment of receipt from NYMF, you may not revise or resubmit a new draft.
If you submit by the October 10th Early Bird deadline, the fee is $55. After that, the fee increases to $75. Unfortunately, this year, there is no reduced student fee. All submission fees are non-refundable.
No, your demo doesn't need to be professionally produced, but we do request that it accurately conveys the style of the score. All demos must include musical accompaniment (unless your show will be performed a cappella) as well as vocals (i.e. not just Finale sound files). If it's just you singing and accompanying yourself on piano, that's fine -- but if you can't carry a tune, we suggest that you find someone else who can vocally represent your work for you. If you're considering submitting an amateur recording of a past reading, please be sure the quality isn't muddy or distorted by ambient noise.
Due to the volume of submissions, we are only able to provide feedback to the finalists sent to the Grand Jury.
Whether you are selected as a finalist or not, you will receive an email from us in December regarding the status of your submission. The finalists will be selected in January.