national music theater conference

Alexander Gemignani, Artistic Director

Three new works will be presented this summer season. The shows were chosen from 320 musicals received through the O’Neill’s open submissions process. Each new musical undergoes the O’Neill’s signature development process and is presented in staged readings featuring award-winning casts and creative teams. 

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Border Line -B.Velez + A. Garber RED -2.

june 22, 23, 26, & 28   • 

about the writers

After graduating from Barnard College, book writer Aryanna Garber received a Master’s Degree from Columbia University in the field of Narrative Medicine; combining her passion for writing and patient advocacy. After graduating, she went to work as the personal writing assistant for best-selling author, Erica Jong. In 2013, Aryanna transitioned into television, and worked as the executive assistant for Emmy Award-winning producer and director, Stephanie Laing. Aryanna worked with Stephanie on the HBO award-winning series Veep and Vice Principals. In 2016, Aryanna became the head writer and a contributing founder of Stephanie Laing’s new digital comedy network, Pypo. After working as the writer and Special Communications Manager for the President’s Office at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, Aryanna now works part-time as a research associate at Harvard Business School for author and professor, Debora Spar. In 2018, Aryanna, along with composer/lyricist Benjamin Velez, won the 2018 Weston New Musical Award for their original work, Borderline, and was selected to be a 2018-2019 Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow. Benjamin Velez is a composer and lyricist whose work has been seen at Ars Nova, Joe's Pub/The Public Theater, NAMT, NYMF, NEO, with the Civilians, 4@15, and more. His musical, Kiss My Aztec, written with John Leguizamo, Tony Taccone, and David Kamp, will receive its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in Spring 2019. A Columbia graduate and member of the BMI Workshop since 2010, Benjamin won the Harrington Award in 2012. He was a 2017 Sundance Artist at the UCROSS Foundation and their Spring 2018 Artist-in-Residence. His original musical Starblasters received its first reading Dixon Place this March, directed by Daniel Goldstein; his musical Afterland was workshopped at the Yale Institute for Music Theater and the York Theater, directed by Mark Brokaw. Borderline was the 2018 winner of the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award. He is currently a 2018-2019 Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow.

about the new musical

After being expelled from college, Anna is stuck with her soon-to-be-remarried father and a revolving door of therapists — thanks to court-mandated probation. This, coupled with a new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, forces Anna to grapple with demons she has always lived with but never had a name for, until now. Through a unique fusion of pop melodies, jazz harmonies, funk beats and hypnotic waltzes, the score captures the chaotic beauty of a psyche. As this darkly comedic musical asks, how do you reach out for help when you’re afraid to admit you’re sick? Benjamin Velez's work has been produced at Ars Nova, Joe's Pub/The Public Theater, York Theater, and others; his musical, Kiss My Aztec, written with John Leguizamo will receive its world premiere at Berkeley Rep this spring. Aryanna Garber has worked for HBO, Lincoln Center, PYPO and more. Aryanna and Benjamin won the 2018 Weston New Musical Award for Borderline and are 2018-19 Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellows. Please note that this piece may contain discussion of suicidal ideation and self harm. If you or anyone you know would like information regarding mental health resources, we encourage visiting

cast & creative team

Book by Aryanna Garber Music & Lyrics by Benjamin Velez Directed by Jaki Bradley Music Directed by David Gardos Dramaturged by Carrie Chapter Cast Includes: Florrie Bagel, Charl Brown, Lincoln Clauss,
Matt Dallal, Sarah Lynn Marion, Gilli Messer, Andy Taylor, & Tatiana Wechsler

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june 29 & 30, july 3 & 5   • 

about the writers

Lauren M. Gunderson is the most produced playwright in America of 2017, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award. She is also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced, and developed at companies across the US including South Coast Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, The Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire and more. She co-authored Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with Margot Melcon, which was one of the most produced plays in America in 2017. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit Pursued By A Bear, The Taming, and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists (The Revolutionists, The Book of Will, Silent Sky, Bauer, Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). An alumnus of the O'Neill, Lauren's play Firework was developed at the 2009 National Playwrights Conference. Ari Afsar is a singer and songwriter whose work has been featured on ABC, Disney, and an On-Demand feature. A graduate of Ethnomusicology Jazz from UCLA, Afsar just released her debut EP, Somewhere I Thought I'd Be. Afsar currently stars in the SXSW-award winning series, Revenge Tour. She was the original Eliza Hamilton in the Chicago production of Hamilton, Miss California 2010, Top 10 at Miss America 2011, and a Top 36 American Idol Alum. Most recently, she opened for Michelle Obama at the Shrine Auditorium, performed at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and opened for the ACLU National Conference in Washington, DC. She has been an advocate, performer, and public speaker for The Women's March, The Social Innovation Summit, Nexus Global, The University of Chicago, The MoveOn rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, and The United State of Women.

about the new musical

An epic pop musical based on the true story of America’s first congresswoman, JEANNETTE electrifies history of suffrage activist, social worker, and Montanan Jeannette Rankin. Elected to U.S. Congress in 1916 — three years before women are granted the right to vote — Jeannette finds herself the only female voice within the halls of power to vote on women’s suffrage. Written by America's most produced playwright Lauren M. Gunderson and pop sensation Ari Ayesha Afsar, JEANNETTE heralds one person’s radical voice in America’s ongoing journey toward equal rights for all.

cast & creative team

Book by Lauren M. Gunderson
Music & Lyrics by Ari Ayesha Afsar
Directed by Erin Ortman
Co-Music Supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell & Meg Zervoulis
Music Directed by Adam Kaufman
Dramaturged by Allison Horsley Cast Includes: Rajeer Alford, Janet Dacal, Dan Domenech, Layan Elwazani,
Rodd Farhadi, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Em Grosland, Julia Murney, Geena Quintos,
Nicholas Ryan, Nikhil Saboo, Rachel Schmeling, Princess Sasha Victome, &
Jessica Vosk

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july 6, 7, 10, & 12   •

about the writers

Hansol Jung is a playwright from South Korea. Productions include Wild Goose Dreams (Co-production: The Public Theater and La Jolla Playhouse), Wolf Play (NNPN Rolling Premiere: Artists Rep Portland, Mixed Blood, Company One), Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), and No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, and Boise Contemporary Theater). Commissioning institutions include The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, National Theatre in UK, Playwrights Horizons, Kennedy Center, Artists Repertory Theater, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Grant with Ma-Yi Theatre Company, and a translation of Romeo and Juliet for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been developed at The Public Theater, Royal Court, New York Theatre Workshop, Victory Gardens, Berkeley Repertory Ground Floor, Sundance Theatre Lab, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, The Lark Play Development Center, Salt Lake Acting Company, Boston Court Theatre, the Bushwick Starr, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Asia Society New York, and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is the recipient of the Hodder Fellowship at Lewis Center for the Arts, Whiting Award, Helen Merrill Award, Page 73 Playwright Fellowship, Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at the Royal Court. She has translated over 30 English musicals into Korean, including Evita, Dracula, Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, all while working on several award-winning musical theater productions as director, lyricist, and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Hansol holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab, NYTW’s Usual Suspects, and The New Class of Kilroys. An alumnus of the O'Neill, Hansol was a music assistant and assistant director for Eden (NMTC '10) by Jonathan Levi and Mel Marvin, and a visiting playwright for NPC '12 through the Playwright Observership Program. Hansol's play Cardboard Piano was developed at the 2015 National Playwrights Conference. Brian Quijada is playwright, actor, and composer from Chicago. His autobiographical hip hop live-looped solo show Where did We Sit on the Bus? has been produced with Victory Gardens, Teatro Vista, Boise Contemporary Theatre, 1st Stage, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. It is the recipient of two Joseph Jefferson (Jeff) Awards for Sound Design and Outstanding Solo Performance, and was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards in the same categories for its off-Broadway premiere. Commissioning institutions include Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Kennedy Center. Brian’s second-born play Kid Prince and Pablo (NPC Semi-finalist 2018) will have its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in the fall. As an actor, Brian has been seen regionally, internationally, and off-Broadway. Select credits include: Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout), Oedipus El Rey (The Public/Sol Project), My Mañana Comes (Playwright’s Realm), How We Got On (Humana Festival), Beat Generation (Merrimack Rep), Airness (Humana Festival), and No More Sad Things (Boise Contemporary Theatre). Brian is a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. An alumnus of the O'Neill, Brian Quijada previously acted in the shows How We Got On (NPC '11), Hype Hero (King Patch) (NPC '12), Orange Julius (NPC '12), and The Solid Sand Below (NPC '13).

about the new musical

The year is 1923, and people are flocking to America — including Jin, a recently orphaned Korean girl fleeing her ravaged homeland. Illegal alien Jin lands in Seattle and soon finds herself inducted into the underground robin-hooding world of the Undesirables: the nonwhite, female-representing, unimportant nobodies with bad papers and super powers. Using a blended score of live-looped Electro Pop, Bomba Reggaeton, American Folk, Hip Hop, Gregorian Chants, and Spoken Word, Undesirables explores what happens when the Have-Nots find themselves with more power than anyone could have anticipated? And what would happen if they decided to use it against the Haves? Hansol Jung's plays have been seen at The Public Theater, the Humana Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, and more. Brian Quijada's work has been seen at Victory Gardens, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Kennedy Center, Boise Contemporary Theatre, and more.

cast & creative team

Book & Lyrics by Hansol Jung
Music & Lyrics by Brian Quijada
Directed by Julie Ritchey
Music Directed by Charity Wicks
Dramaturged by Lexy Leuszler
Cast Includes: Cathy Ang, Satya Chavez, Jess Godwin, Carl Clemons- Hopkins, Esco Jouley, Angela Lanza, & Mauricio Perez

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june 21  •  7 pm  • 

The NMTC Incubator is a new year-round initiative designed to recognize and incubate rising music theater songwriting teams.  Join us in the newly renovated Blue Gene’s Pub for an intimate concert, hosted by Artistic Director Alexander Gemignani and performed by the composers & lyricists themselves. This one-night-only concert will celebrate the work and voices of four emerging and remarkable songwriting teams. (Ticketed, doors open at 6 PM)

The River is Me by Troy Anthony & Sukari Jones
Fora by Jae Broderick & Matthew AC Cohen 
Mill Girls by
Diana Lawrence, Samantha Beach, & Jess McLeod
Diane Steals The Show! by Joe Kinosian & Kellen Blair

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(860) 443 - 1238

305 Great Neck Rd • Waterford, CT 06385  


Box Office Opens June 5, 2019

Tuesday - Sunday, 12 - 7 PM


Grab a drink from our full-service bar and mingle with artists and staff, amidst fifty years of theatrical history.


Open June 5 through August 10

Sunday - Thursday, 6 PM - 1 AM

Friday & Saturday, 6 PM - 2 AM

The best way to experience #ONeillSummer. Benefits include access to member presale, free tickets, discounted tickets and merchandise, invitations to artist receptions, reserved parking, and more!

Individual and Corporate Memberships Available