July 7–July 28
"We feel extremely fortunate to bring these three vital pieces to NMTC this summer. I'm thrilled that NMTC can provide these innovative writers with the time and space they need to excavate, create, and share their brilliant work with audiences. It's going to be an incredible summer.”
- Alexander Gemignani, Artistic Director
Since its founding in 1978, the National Music Theater Conference has developed more than 130 new musicals, including early works of award-winning writers and composers such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Michael R. Jackson, Kirsten Childs, Andrew Lippa, Tan Dun, Robert Lopez, Duncan Sheik, Adam Gwon, Steven Sater, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Maury Yeston, and Jeanine Tesori.
Three musicals were selected in 2023, each of which will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process and be presented as public staged readings featuring award-winning casts and creative teams.
FRIDAY, JULY 7 | 6PM
Edith Oliver Theater
FEATURING SELECTIONS FROM:
Como Correr by Nico Raimont, The Pact by Tia DeShazor and Derrick Byars, and A Nation Grooves: A People's History of Hip-Hop by Kambi Gathesha
The NMTC Incubator is a year-round initiative offering week-long residencies designed to recognize and support National Music Theater Conference Finalists with a dramaturgically focused writer's retreat. This one-night-only concert, hosted by Artistic Director Alexander Gemignani, will celebrate the work and voices of three remarkable emerging songwriting teams who participated in these residencies this winter.
SATURDAY, JULY 8 | 7:15PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 | 7:15PM
FRIDAY, JULY 14 | 7:15PM
Rose Barn Theater
The Dark Lady
BOOK & LYRICS BY SOPHIE BOYCE
BOOK & MUSIC BY VERONICA MANSOUR
This electrifying synth-pop musical uplifts the story of sixteenth-century poet Emilia Bassano: a woman thought by many to be the subject of Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady’ sonnets, and theorized by some to be the true, uncredited author of Shakespeare’s plays. Audacious and joyful with an effervescent wit, The Dark Lady brings this “what if” scenario to life with lush pop composition, tight lyrics, and undeniable rhythm in a gleefully subversive celebration of theater.
Sophie Boyce is a lyricist, librettist, and screenwriter based in NYC and London. Her career started as a member of the writer's room for the television show, Skins. She is the founder and director of the acclaimed UK musical theater training program, Spirit YPC. Sophie’s first musical, #OurStory, premiered at Arts Depot Theatre (London) in 2019, and its anthem song, "Emergency," written with composer Fred Feeney, was later performed live before 30,000+ attendees at London’s first Climate Rally. In the last year, Sophie has been honored as a finalist for the Kleban Prize and Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Award. Current projects: The Dark Lady (with Veronica Mansour) and The Forty Elephants (with Einar Adalsteinsson). MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch School of Arts. www.sophieboyce.net
Veronica Mansour is a composer/lyricist/artist based in NYC and LA. She has performed with artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Todd Rundgren, Chloe Agnew, members of the cast of Hamilton, and performed for many more, including Martin Chalifour and Philip Glass as a vocalist and cellist. She has been featured on the radio (Sundays Live on KUSC) and ABC's The Goldbergs. Works include: CYRANO (music/lyrics, University of Notre Dame, part of NAMT's "Other Shows You Should Know About Jukebox"), An Old Family Recipe (book/music/lyrics, University of Notre Dame, Regional BroadwayWorld “Best Streaming Musical”), Midnight Mirage (music; Downtown Urban Arts Festival at Theatre Row). Veronica was most recently named a nominee for a 2022 Marvin Hamlisch International Music Award (Musical Theatre Composition) and is one of four writers selected for the DreamWorks Theatricals, MTI & NBCUniversal Emerging Writers Program 2023-24, developing new musical adaptations of DreamWorks Animation films for MTI’s catalogue. She is a mentee with Maestra and the Society of Composers & Lyricists and is currently living in New York City, pursuing an MFA in Graduate Musical Theatre Writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
SATURDAY, JULY 15 | 7:15PM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 19 | 7:15PM
FRIDAY, JULY 21 | 7:15PM
Rose Barn Theater
Yoko's Husband's Killer's Japanese Wife, Gloria
BOOK BY BRANDY HOANG COLLIER, LYRICS BY CLARE FUYUKO BIERMAN,
MUSIC BY ERIKA JI
Did Yoko Ono really break up The Beatles? Was Gloria Abe Chapman somehow responsible for John Lennon’s murder? Why do all these egotistical white guys marry Asian women? That’s weird, right? These are the questions that keep Ruby Okamoto up at night. She needs answers, and she’s gonna find them—even if it means summoning Yoko, Gloria, and the rest of Asian America into her insomniatic fever dream.
In Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria, five Asian American women are pulled into Ruby’s fantastical dreamscape, where subconscious thoughts manifest as real-life rockstars and movie monsters. They journey, dream, and address the hard-to-define-but-definitely-there connection between Asians in America.
Brandy Hoang Collier is a poet, playwright, and problem-solver from deep in the heart of Texas. She studied ethnomusicology, literary rhetoric, and anthropology at Texas A&M. After some time in a well-paid marketing job that slowly mangled her soul, Collier followed a sirenic whim to create musical theater. Since earning her MFA from NYU, she’s been unraveling conventions and inciting chaos in the theater through her paradigm-shifting storytelling and general vibes. Selected works include book for Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria (5th Avenue Theatre First Draft Commission 2021, Civilians R&D Group 2022), book and lyrics for The Blazing World (Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals 2021), and libretto for Red Flag (adapted for The Latest Draft Podcast 2020). Collier also designs and builds props for the stage. Off-Broadway production credits include: Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Gingold Theatrical Group), The Panic of ‘29 (Less Than Rent Theatre), A Touch of the Poet and Belfast Girls (Irish Repertory Theatre). In 2020, with business partner Jessie Field, Collier co-founded Root Beer Occasion Theatre Company and orchestrated several online productions, including The Living Room Stories Play Festival and The Garbage Revue Bad Play Contest. Collier proudly identifies as Asian-American, disabled, queer, and utterly charming. brandyhoangcollier.com
Clare Fuyuko Bierman is a playwright and lyricist raised in a Japanese-Jewish home with some rabbits, a snake, and a bunch of finches. Her writing often involves ecological absurdism, politicized food, campfire stories, made-up games, unexpected sea shanties, and prosceniumless playspaces. Recent work: Yoko’s Husband’s Killer’s Japanese Wife, Gloria (commissioned by 5th Avenue Theater 2021, Civilians R&D 2022, O’Neill NMTC 2023), Theseus and the Minotaur and the Other Six (commissioned by Youth Theater Northwest 2021), and The People vs. American Cheese (American Opera Project 2023). Immersive work includes VISARE (New Voices Winner 2021, Vivace Award Nomination 2021) and [untitled hat project] (NYFA grant 2021). She has participated in the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Play Festival, and Broadway’s Future Songbook Series. BA University of San Francisco, Environmental Studies. MFA New York University, Musical Theatre Writing.
Erika Ji is a cross-genre composer-storyteller who loves soaring melodies, dream worlds, and stories that challenge our preconceptions about what is true, good, or worth wanting. Her work has premiered at Lincoln Center, the Public, and Rattlestick Theater. Recent projects include Yoko's Husband's Killer's Japanese Wife, Gloria (5th Avenue Theatre First Draft Commission 2021, Civilians R&D Group 2022), VISARE (New Voices Winner 2021, Vivace Award Nomination 2021), Starsong (Rattlestick Theater 2021, Sound Bites 2023), and [untitled hat project] (NYFA Grant 2021). As a conductor, pianist, and vocalist, Erika has performed on national TV for CBS Sunday Morning, on Broadway with Kimberly Akimbo, and at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Erika music directs for new works like Virgin’s ship-wide immersive experience Scarlet Night. Erika is a 2022 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriter and a Fellow at the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where she received her MFA. The proud daughter of Chinese immigrants, Erika grew up in California, studied computer science and philosophy at Stanford University, organized the Viennese Ball in San Francisco, and built software at Dropbox before deciding to follow the music.
SATURDAY, JULY 22 | 7:15PM
WEDNESDAY, July 26 | 7:15PM
FRIDAY, JULY 28 | 7:15PM
Rose Barn Theater
BOOK, MUSIC, & LYRICS BY CHRISTOPHER ANSELMO AND JARED CORAK
Growing up in her family’s roadside oddities shop, twelve-year-old Andi has always shared a special bond with her grandfather, Pop, a collector of curiosities with a penchant for tall tales. But when Pop’s memories begin to fade, Andi must brave a looming hurricane and embark on a perilous odyssey through the oddities of Florida in search of the one thing that might cure him: the Fountain of Youth. A raucous folk-rock celebration of the healing power of family folklore, Fountain looks at love and loss through the eyes of a child—and encourages us all to find the wonder in the weird.
Christopher Anselmo is an award-winning songwriter and playwright. His musicals include Fable (2014 NYMF Next Link), Atlantic (2017 Edinburgh Festival, co-production between American Music Theatre Project and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), and the New York Times Critic’s Pick adaptation of The Pout-Pout Fish, which premiered at the New Victory Theater in 2019 and continues to tour the nation with TheaterWorksUSA. With co-writer Jared Corak, their musical Fountain was named Honorable Mention for the 2023 Relentless Award and has received residencies through New Victory LabWorks and the O’Neill’s Incubator program. His work as a singer-songwriter can be heard on his debut EP, What I Meant to Say Was, streaming now on all platforms. In addition to his work as a writer, Anselmo serves as associate to composer Jeanine Tesori on her projects, most recently Kimberly Akimbo, Soft Power, and her upcoming Met Opera commission. Member of ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, and the BMI Advanced Workshop. BA, Northwestern ‘16.
Jared Corak is a Brooklyn-based writer and lyricist, originally from sunny South Florida. His musicals include the New York Times Critic’s Pick adaptation of The Pout-Pout Fish, which premiered at the New Victory Theater in 2019 and continues to tour the nation with TheaterWorksUSA, and Fountain, which was named Honorable Mention for the 2023 Relentless Award and has received residencies through New Victory LabWorks and the O’Neill’s Incubator program. He is the recipient of the Ellen Schwartz Award for Outstanding Literary Merit in Lyric Writing and the Jean Banks Award. When he is not writing musicals, Jared works on the CBS television show FBI. Member of the BMI Advanced Workshop and Northwestern alum.