Village Theatre is excited to announce the lineup for The 18th Annual Festival of New Musicals, a series of five staged readings of musicals currently in development. The festival will take place in Issaquah on August 10-12, and includes premiere readings by Zoe Sarnak, Brian Crawley, Sam Salmond, Jenny Stafford and more.
Readings in this year’s festival will include: Elysium, the moving story of a family dying under the weight of their own secrets; The Passage, a coming-of-age mystery about a boy battling a monster holding his father captive; Teddy & Max, an examination of feminism through the lens of a sister singing duo in the 1960s; Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Günter, a hilarious family adventure of what happens after Hansel and Gretl escape; and The Homefront, a rock musical about female factory workers at the end of World War II. The Festival will also feature The Northwest Songwriters Showcase, a concert presentation of original music by some of the Puget Sound’s most talented musical theatre writers, including: Rheanna Atendido, Scotto Moore, Lauren Marshall, Orlando Morales and more.
“These five shows are drastically different and speak to the world today, exploring themes of identity, loss, motherhood, equal rights, and what it means to be an American,” said Associate Artist Director Brandon Ivie in a press release. “Most excitedly, three of these shows will be receiving their first reading ever and two of the shows, Teddy & Max and The Homefront, have come through our Writers Residency program.”
The Festival of New Musicals provides an essential platform for writers to incorporate a key component of live theatre: the audience. Each new musical will be rehearsed during the week, then present to the audience in staged reading format, performed in full using scripts. Many of these readings go on to be further developed in Village Theatre’s Beta Series as well as on the Mainstage. The readings are not open to the general public, however those interested in being the first to see these new works may become Village Originals Members to gain access to this and other exclusive benefits and events.
The Village Originals program of readings, workshops, and developmental productions represents one of the strongest commitments to new musicals in the nation, developing such musicals as Pulitzer Prize-winner Next to Normal, Tony Award-winner Million Dollar Quartet, Drama Desk Award-winner Cupid & Psyche, Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots, and the Drama Desk Award-nominated It Shoulda Been You, After the Fair, and Making Tracks. Village Theatre is one of the few resident theatres to provide regular opportunities at every step of musical development, from first table reading to full-scale premiere production. Each season, new works are included as part of Village Theatre’s five-show mainstage lineup alongside the classics. Anchored by the Annual Festival of New Musicals and the Beta Series, the Village Originals program is dedicated to the continued growth and evolution of musical theatre, and a determination that the form will remain vibrant and relevant for generations to come.
Based in Issaquah, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining, quality productions since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region’s best attended theatres with approximately 20,000 subscribers and 220,000 projected total attendance each season. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having supported the creation of over 160 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow’s audiences through its Youth Education and Outreach programs, KIDSTAGE and Pied Piper, serving over 58,000 young people and their families annually.