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New Writing for Musical Theatre

The National Youth Music Theatre is inviting young writers to submit musicals for inclusion in their development process for future seasons.

[The following details can also be downloaded here]

This year’s season will include a full production of the new British musical Growl by Timothy Knapman and Lawrence Mark Wythe. As part of NYMT’s summer programme in 2018, the writers benefitted from a week-long workshop process with a full-sized cast and professional creative team.

Similarly, a new adaptation of A Little Princess by Carl Miller and Marc Folan was given its première by NYMT at The Other Palace last August, following a workshop the previous summer and subsequent development period.

After the recent success of the musical Super Hero, written by NYMT alumni Adam Johnson and Henry Roadnight, we are keen to hear from young writers who have a work that they think might benefit from this kind of development process and the experience of the NYMT team.

Selected pieces will receive:

•  One week’s fully funded closed workshop as part of the NYMT 2019 season.
•  Mentorship from an NYMT creative team who are specialists in new musical theatre.
•  The opportunity to invite guests to a reading at the end of the workshop week.
•  A post-workshop debrief with the creative and production team, looking at next steps for the piece and the writers.
•  Consideration for inclusion in NYMT’s 2020 season of work at The Other Palace or on regional tour.

Application criteria:

•  Writers should be under 30 years of age on 1 September 2019.
•  Submissions may be made by a single writer/composer or by a team.
•  The piece should be suitable for a company of 30 or more performers. The roles do not have to be equally weighted but, if a principals/ ensemble structure, the ensemble must have a balance of stage time.
•  The piece should not have previously had a professional production.
•  Content should be suitable for a company of young performers. Please note, NYMT recently produced a very successful production of Spring Awakening, so don’t be put off by this – just be mindful!
•  Submissions that offer significant roles for younger cast members (10-15 years) would be especially welcomed but this is not mandatory.

To submit, we require the following to be sent to [email protected]:

•  Brief background notes about the writer(s).
•  A synopsis of 750 – 1,000 words.
•  A full casting breakdown.
•  Two contrasting scenes from the show, one of which contains a song.
•  Links to Soundcloud or other recordings of two songs from the show. These do not have to be of professional quality.
•  N.B. If samples are, as yet, unavailable, we would welcome extracts from other works by the same writer/team.
•  Indication that the rights have been secured, if the piece contains any copyrighted material.

PLEASE NOTE – As with our talent search for performing company members, we are looking for potential rather than finished pieces. We understand that the business of creating new musicals involves being open to change, and that things could change considerably before, during and after the workshop process.

Don’t let a lack of experience put you off from applying – new voices are exactly what we are looking for!

Timeline:

•  Closing date for applications is Monday 28 January.
•  Short-listed writing teams will be invited to a meeting to discuss their pieces further in early February, after which the panel’s decision will be announced.
•  Casting will take place on 23 and 24 February in London.
•  Dramaturgical process with creative team - March to July.
•  Residential workshop week - 27 July to 1 August.
•  The selected piece will be performed by a cast of 10-23 yr olds, according to the requirements of the work. 

Established in 1976 by Jeremy James Taylor, NYMT’s productions have been seen throughout the UK and abroad. From its first show, The Ballad of Salomon Pavey, at the Edinburgh Fringe (subsequently part of Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in London) the company’s work has toured to Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Taiwan and the United States winning numerous accolades and awards.

The company featured prominently at the Edinburgh Festival in the mid-1980s, premièring shows such as Richard Stilgoe’s Bodywork, highlighting NYMT’s commitment to developing new work. This has continued to this day with premières of The Kissing Dance and the dreaming by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart, Orvin by Alan Ayckbourn and Creation by Richard Taylor. In 2009 the NYMT were the first to produce a musical at Hull Truck’s brand new theatre with Melvyn Bragg’s and Howard Goodall’s The Hired Man. 2010 began with Jeremy James Taylor being awarded an OBE in recognition of his many years’ service to young people and the theatre. Then, to mark Sondheim’s 80th birthday, NYMT took his thriller, Sweeney Todd, out of the theatre and into a converted Victorian warehouse in London’s East End.

Highlights of the last few years have included an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to perform for a reception at Buckingham Palace celebrating Young People in the Performing Arts; an unforgettable collaboration with the outstanding American musical theatre composer, lyricist and playwright, Jason Robert Brown, who directed a young NYMT cast in the West End première of his musical 13 at The Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue; an epic, site-specific production of West Side Story in the vast Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, directed by Nikolai Foster and with exciting new choreography by alumnus Drew McOnie; and - most recently - a huge, celebratory concert in London’s West End to mark the company’s 40th anniversary.

Recent commissions have included The Other School by Dougal Irvine and Dominic Marsh, Prodigy by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary and Brass by Benjamin Till, which was commissioned to commemorate the Great War centenary and went on to win the UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Production 2014. NYMT restaged the work in 2016 at Hackney Empire to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. In similar tribute, the company premièred The Battle of Boat by Jenna Donnelly and Ethan Lewis Maltby at Rose Theatre, Kingston, and in 2017 commissioned two outstanding new works: Imaginary by Timothy Knapman and Stuart Matthew Price, and Billy The Kid by Ben Frost and Richard Hough.

In addition to their bold new production of The Beautiful Game by Ben Elton and Andrew Lloyd Webber, NYMT’s 2018 season included full productions of three new musicals: A Little Princess by Carl Miller and Marc Folan, Super Hero by Adam Johnson and Henry Roadnight and, especially commissioned by the company, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Helen Watts and Eamonn O’Dwyer.

NYMT represents the very best in work with young people through musical theatre and, for over 40 years, has enabled thousands of young people across the UK to develop both their creative and personal potential, leading Andrew Lloyd Webber to dub it “the best youth music theatre in the world”.

“The NYMT is, under the stewardship of Jeremy Walker, a major incubator of new performing talent but also a commissioner of new writing that pays serious dividends.” – Mark Shenton, The Stage

Submissions should be marked for the attention of Jeremy Walker and sent to [email protected] by Monday 28 January.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact by phone or email.

NYMT
Adrian House
27 Vincent Square
LONDON SW1P 2NN

020 7802 0386

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