Need to finish your musical? Here’s how.

The best advice I ever got as I was coming up as a Producer was, “Want a show to happen?  Book a theater.”

There’s nothing better than an opening night to make you make it happen.  It’s the ultimate deadline.

So if you’ve been drafting and redrafting your musical, I’ve got a great deadline for you . . . because it’s the same one that launched my musical producing career.  The New York Musical Theatre Festival is now accepting submissions for their Next Link program!  And their deadline is just 3.5 weeks away!  (You’ve got until November 3rd.)

Whenever I talk to people who are pitching new shows and looking for a place to try them out, my first response is usually, “Have you submitted to NYMF?”


Well, I always think of festivals like shopping centers for Producers.  We stroll through the aisles, looking to pick up a few nice things to bring home.  And NYMF is like a Madison Avenue boutique.  Specialized, classy, a bit expensive – it’s true, but in my opinion there is no better showcase for an emerging musical or emerging writers.

That’s why it has pumped out so many shows that have gone on to future life, including [title of show], Next to Normal, and my first musical, Altar Boyz.

So if you’ve got a musical, or you’re still putting the finishing touches on one, call your collaborators and make sure it’s done by 11/3.  And then, submit it to NYMF and who knows – your show could be up on a NY stage this coming summer.  (Click here for all the details.)

(Oh, while we’re talking about writers and musicals – I’ve never made this public before, but for the past couple of years I’ve kept a secret list-serv-like database of writers.  And every so often I send out notices about contests and festivals and other tips on writing for the theater to the folks on it.  It’s fun and valuable stuff.  If you’re a writer and want to get on the list, click here.)



(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

– – – – –


– Only 12 days until the Breaking Down a Broadway Budget webinar.  Click here to register.

– Win 2 tickets to see iLuminate Off Broadway!  Click here.

– Like the blog?  Like me on Facebook.

  • Mattatattat says:

    Any suggestions on finding a producer to produce a NYMF show? Ya know, in case you don’t have 50 grand just lying around.

  • Fred Tacon says:

    Great advice! I recently directed my own family musical at a local theatre in Cincinnati. It had been produced before as a one-act, but I had (almost) finished revising it to be a full length show.

    I submitted the show to the theatre in its mostly complete form, and it was amazing how having a hard opening night date helped to kick my butt into gear.

    I was also forced to cut things due to time that actually ended up being for the best.


  • Walt Frasier says:

    I think you are right on the money… Producing is like giving birth to a child.

    Is anyone really ready to be a parent?

    But once the Doctor gives you a date, you make it happen. With and Opening Night scheduled you are quick to schedule that first read thru with the cast… back it up to auditions… AND BAM you have a day you HAVE to be done writing… That being said we have all been in shows where writers hate their own work and change it 5 minutes before showtime. We can’t all be Ethyl Mermon and say NO!

    Project Managers all have deadlines. As Producers/Writers, we have to set those deadline for ourselves.

    90% of my success in growing my company has been saying YES. “Well “YES! And…” as we do mostly Improv” And then figuring it out to make it happen.

    Client / Venue “Can you… (insert random request here)”

    My VERBAL Response “YES”

    My Subtext “SURE…OK How do we make this happen”

    Improv 4 Kids was born form a CT school district asking “Can you do this for kids?”… “SURE…” I almost cursed 5 times that first show. 10 years later we are doing 500+ show for K-12 audiences/year…

    AND NOW I prefer kids audiences. No drunk idiots from Jersey trying to stomp you – thinking they are clever – with BJ or threesomes. PLEASE, 90% of the Improv in this town is stuck on easy sex humor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *