5th Annual Festival of New American Musicals
| THE FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN MUSICALS is presenting its 5th Annual Festival, now thru August 2012! Based in Los Angeles, California, FNAM is home to full productions, staged readings, workshops of musicals in progress, cabaret events, and concerts. In their first 4 years, they have presented:
> 125 Shows, Concerts and Events
> 83 Different Venues from Santa Barbara to San Diego
> Over 1,000 Performances
> Audiences Totaling Over 1 Million.
Continuing throughout the year are major outreach and educational initiatives aimed at a diverse array of students of all ages. These include Marquez Elementary School history musicals, College of the Canyons specialized programs for high school performers, composers and librettists throughout the southland, and the Festival's own Academy for Young Professionals, which supports talented high school and college students toward careers in Musical Theatre.
LET'S PUT ON A SHOW!
Since 2008 when the Festival began to celebrate the return of the musical to the mainstream of American popular culture, we've seen the reverberations grow, from WICKED and the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICALS, to SPRING AWAKENING and GLEE to SMASH...to everywhere. But no more strongly than here in Southern California. And not just in the big shows headed to and from Broadway. "Everywhere" now includes network TV, cable, the internet, smaller theaters developing more intimate forms of musical storytelling and colleges, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools and community centers where new generations of young writers, composers and burgeoning performers are expressing themselves creatively. Where a decade ago they were organizing rockbands, today they are deciding, in the good old tradition of Judy and Mickey, to "put on a show." The Festival's mission is to celebrate all of that excitement, to foster the creators, to train and showcase the performers and in the process also to help build the next generation of musical theater audience and support.
A unique demonstation of this excitement and growth will be on display as part of this year's Festival at Future Fest. Schools from all over the Southland will gather at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center on June 30th to showcase their new American musical talents. Join them at Future Fest for a marathon of songs and scenes from new musicals performed by a new generation of talent.
COAST TO COAST
The Festival also has a partnership with the distinguished New York Musical Theatre Festival, headed by its Executive Director and Producer, Isaac Robert Hurwitz. Since its inception in 2004, The New York Musical Theatre Festival has premiered more than 300 new musicals - more than 75 of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters and in almost every state and in 16 countries worldwide. NYMF alum "Next to Normal" won three Tony Awards in 2009 and was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Festival executive producer Bob Klein said, "Our new working relationship will allow us to have a broader reach to find shows for both festivals, and an exchange of ideas, especially for educational programs, on both coasts." So, if you're in New York anytime between July 9 - 29, see a show at FNAM's east coast collaborator, NYMF.
FNAM is pleased to announce that SHOW SEARCH, a national search for up-and-coming musical theater composers between the ages of 15 and 25 years old, is well under way. Over 150 kids from 40 states have submitted nearly 80 original musicals. The goal of SHOW SEARCH is to give young composers an opportunity to showcase their talent and work with people in the musical theater world who can provide feedback, guidance and advice.
For a fun example of the talent getting involved, check out part of the submission from these two seniors attending LACHSA (LA County High School for the Arts) in this video below.
"Kids who want to perform have lots of opportunities through their schools and local youth theater groups. But for those who create, the opportunities are practically non-existent. With Show Search we can begin to offer opportunities for up and coming talent to showcase their passion for musical theatre and the arts in a way that will reach thousands, speak to new audiences and allow for prime exposure for these emerging musical playwrights."
- Bob Klein, Co-Executive Producer of the Festival
THE MARQUEZ AMERICAN HISTORY MUSICALS
Over 120 fifth graders at Marquez Elementary School in the Palisades study American history by performing original musicals about the pilgrims, the writing of the constitution, the Louisiana Purchase, the birth of the industrial revolution and the civil rights movement. The Festival takes these remarkable shows public each year. A marathon of Marquez History Musicals will be a part of this year's Festival again. This may be the only program of its type in America. A recent UCLA research study concludes that these kids retain twice as much knowledge of the history they've studied as the average 5th grade history class. And it's a thrill to see sixty ten-year-olds on stage together singing and dancing. It's a great story and a remarkable new way of learning, with all credit due to Jeff Lantos, 5th grade teacher, bookwriter, lyricist, his composer Bill Augustine and the faculty and staff of the school.
The full series of original history musicals includes: PLYMOUTH 2.0, HELLO LOUISIANA, CARRY ON! (about Thurgood Marshall and the beginnings of Civil Rights), MIRACLE IN PHILADELPHIA (focusing on the writing of our Constitution) and WATER AND POWER (about the birth of the Industrial Revolution). The Festival continues its work to find contributions and grants to help expand this program to other Southern California schools and across the nation. If you're interested in bringing this program to a school near you, contact Co-Executive Producer and Educational Director, Bob Klein at email@example.com.
HELP KEEP THE ARTS IN SCHOOLS
With our schools facing drastic cuts in arts programs at the same time musical theater is flourishing, the FESTIVAL has a major opportunity to make a difference for our children. Right now.
Their educational programs reach out to elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges to educate, inspire and showcase new generations of creators, performers and audiences. This is achieved through year-round educational outreach activities, and through the annual Festival of New American Musicals each summer.
FNAM's priority is to expand on the foundation built in their first four years in order to inspire and engage our communities to help keep the arts alive in our schools, and to advance the performing talents of the youth of Southern California. Bob concludes, "We have the talent and the interest on the part of the theaters, the schools, and from the community to become a major resource for new composers, lyricists, book writers, directors, producers, choreographers, dancers and actors -- more than 3,000 members of our musical theatre community have participated with us. Our priority is to expand, inspire and engage the creative and performing talents of the youth of Southern California to develop the new American musical theater of the future as well as the new audience for that theater."
Be sure to go to the Festival website and check
out the Events section for the full listing and description of shows in this summer's program. And anytime of year you can make a donation to these wonderful programs, and follow FNAM on Facebook or Twitter @LAFESTIVAL. And last but not least, tell a friend or two and take them to
see a show!