Posts Tagged ‘NYMF


Oprahfication for NYMF! Three days to go!

Oprahfication is an awesome show! Can we help take it to New York???


The story of the project – from




OPRAHFICATION is a new Australian musical by Rachel Dunham (Book and Lyrics) and Shanon D. Whitelock (Music), directed by Dirk Hoult that has been officially selected by The New York Musical Theatre Festival for 5 performances in NYC in July 2014. Now they need help to fund the getting there!




ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED as a mini-cabaret for the Short+Sweet Festival at Chapel Off Chapel in 2012. The collaboration began when composer Shanon Whitelock asked Rachel Dunham “If you could play any role, who would it be?” The response was a 10 minute musical tribute to Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of daytime television. With the help of Melbourne Cabaret Festival, and now Adam J. Lowe, it has since evolved into a 90 minute, multiple award winning, one woman tour de force Musical Theatre production, with yet two more award nominations in the 2013 Green Room Awards (Best Music Direction, Best Original Score).




THE NYMF SEASON IS NOT ONLY a vehicle to expose the writing and performance talents of Rachel and Shanon but also, the great Australian Festivals and venues that have been part of its life to date, our newest collaborator – Lighting Designer Alexander Berlage, newly graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) who joined the creators as part of our Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival season in Febuary 2014.


Oprahfication is a celebration of all things ‘Oprah’ – her earliest beginnings, her dreams and belief systems and what she did next!


THE NEW YORK MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Now celebrating its 11th year, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects, nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community, and connecting one of America’s greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.


ITS AN INCREDIBLE HONOUR to receive official selection by the New York Musical Theatre Festival, to present 5 performances in full production at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center, as part of the 2014 Festival.




THE BRIEF SYNOPSIS – In 2011, Oprah closed the book on 25 years of global dominating television to focus on building her new empire, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Our story begins with Oprah welcoming her audience back into the studio for the live taping of one final episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. A retrospective special episode to celebrate and remember some the wonderful moments she’d shared over the years and to present to the world, the ultimate interview. But when things go wrong Oprah has a difficult decision to live up to her own expectation and to give her audience what they want, something they’ll never forget. Follow our link to read MORE ABOUT THE SHOW.

FROM THAT FIRST TEN MINUTE PRESENTATION until now there have been countless hours of rehearsal, and ongoing rewriting, and developmental seasons that have allowed the collaborators to lengthen the work, re structure the work and begin to develop technical support and designs in lighting and sound thanks to the skills and input of Alexander Berlage and Sarah ‘Trev’ Trevorrow respectively across those technical areas.






UPWARDS OF $30,000 Australian Dollars to date has been contributed so far to the script and musical development, to allow the technical support to be realised, and to enable the performances to be delivered in full 5-piece arrangement which has allowed Shanon to develop completely new arrangements for the show in 2014, and it is these new arrangements that will be presented in New York.




International Cabaret Contest 2014 – 10 days left to enter!



The success of the Australian Cabaret Showcase continues this year as the event undergoes some exciting developments. In its 11th year, event organisers have renamed the annual event the Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest (YTICC). Executive Director of Your Theatrics and Producer of the contest, Jeremy Youett explains, “We considered the success and growth that the Showcase has enjoyed in previous years, and felt a rebrand of the event was necessary to accommodate new partnerships in New York and New Zealand, which are hopefully just the beginning of the International expansion of the contest.”


The International Cabaret Contest will offer unprecedented opportunities and prizes for Australasia’s hottest cabaret talent and will once again undertake heats in Sydney and Melbourne, while also venturing in to Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland, NZ for the first time.


Prizes at this year’s event will include the opportunity for the winner to perform a newly devised show for each of the 2014 Major Partners across Australia, with flights and accommodation for the winner’s New York appearance generously contributed by The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation. The winner will also receive a photographic and design package courtesy of Blueprint Studios, as well as a website to help market themselves and their new show thanks to Empty Head Designs. The runner up in each city will also walk away with sought after prizes including the opportunity to receive coaching from some of the countries best industry professionals.


Youett said, “With generous support from the Dobell Foundation and the continued support of some of the world’s greatest Cabaret and Theatre Festivals we are able to provide an unequivocal opportunity once again for this years winner! I’m also excited to launch heats in New Zealand for the first time and I look forward to announcing further international expansion in years to come.”


The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) returns as a Major Partner, as well as exciting new ventures with Slide Lounge in Sydney and Centre City Music Theatre (CCMT) in New Zealand. Our returning Major Partners include The Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The Melbourne Cabaret Festival, The Noosa Long Weekend Festival and The Ballarat Cabaret Festival. The Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation complete the bill of Major Partners for 2014 and will once again provide a cash prize of $1000 for the Festival Prize winner, while also continuing their work supporting Melbourne artists by travelling and accommodating the Melbourne heat winner to and from the Sydney Grand Final event.


The contest has built a strong reputation for showcasing a high calibre of performer and as a springboard into the professional entertainment industry. Past winners have gone on to become established professional performers on both stage and screen including Tom Sharah, Bradley McCaw, James Millar, Marika Aubrey, Nick Christo, Elenoa Rokobaro and Sheridan Harbridge.




Judges include acclaimed television personality and International Cabaret Contest patron David Campbell, Artistic Director of Brisbane’s Powerhouse Kris Stewart, Co-Artistic Directors of The Melbourne Cabaret Festival David Readand Neville Sice, producer Lisa Campbell, actress Delia Hannah, Agent Les Solomon, Chairperson of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival Frank Ford, Artistic Director of Harvest Rain Theatre Company Tim O’Connor, entertainer Libby O’Donovan, Adelaide Cabaret Festival Producer Torben Brookman, Noosa Long Weekend Festival Artistic Director Ian MacKellar, Entertainment Producer of Slide Lounge Jeremy Brennan, and Ballarat Cabaret Festival Director Graeme Russell.



Each performer is asked to perform an eight-minute set with interlinking dialogue. Winners from every heat are then invited to perform in the Grand Final in Sydney (with flights and accommodation provided) on Friday 17th January at Sydney’s acclaimed live music venue, The Basement.


This year’s competition is open to people 18+ at all stages of their career, but places are limited. For more information, or an entry form visit






New Musicals Australia – The Shortlist


New Musicals Australia is a fab new initiative from the very clever Kris Stewart, whom you know from The New York Musical Theater Festival, The Sydney Fringe Festival and Wicked (Australia) and his amazing team of some of our most talented and passionate industry people, who cannot bear to see musical theatre brilliance left in the bottom drawer.

There is brilliant new musical theatre happening already, all over the country – look at the shortlisted Handle With Care by Megan Shorey, with a successful Brisbane season under their belts and an original cast album launched just last week. Look at the shortlisted A Little Touch of Class by James Millar and Peter Rutherford, which was commissioned by WAAPA to be performed as part of their 30th birthday celebrations. Look at this creative team’s previous works, Lovebites (nominated for Best Cabaret in the 2008 Sydney Awards) and The Hatpin (official selection for the NYMF).

Okay we will. We’ll look at them. In a minute. The important thing now, having been shortlisted for this workshop series, is that these pieces will get the additional attention they deserve, and with a bit of kind support from the movers and shakers in this country, rather than the artists themselves having to devote their time and energy into playing Producer as well as putting on their many other hats, such as Director, Musical Director, Composer, Lyricist, Performer, Performing Arts Grants Writer…and the list goes on – never say an artist is master of just one craft – Australian audiences get to see great Australian work.

Also, the fact that these artists are already supported on some level and they have been confident enough in their work to be sharing it with main stream audiences, cannot have escaped the attention of the advisory panel. Just saying.

Case in point. James Millar is a modest, multi-talented-beyond-belief-writer-singer-actor-you-name-it-he-can-do-it kinda guy, who wrote a couple of shows several years ago with Peter Rutherford. I bet there are more, probably to be found in somebody’s bottom drawer, in time for an intense rehearsal stint and a Sydney run before next year’s NMA deadline.


N.B. Lazy bit – copying and pasting this from Sonia Allan’s review:

Four voices team with one piano to create a delightful night of fun, breezy musical entertainment.

LoveBites is a “quirky song cycle about love and relationships” which tells the story of six different relationships – from the cute, blushing beginning of flirtation and romance, to the pointy-end of the relationship, where the connection between lovers has either grown deeper over time, or has been worn thin by frustration and hurt.

The music-and-lyrics team that created ‘The Hatpin’ which opened to audiences earlier this year to great success, has once again joined forced to write a song-cycle on the theme of Love. Or Lurrrve, as the case may be.

Among other stories, there is the film star and flight attendant who arrange some ‘personal entertainment’ mid-flight, a twittering dame who valiantly pretends to love rockclimbing to impress her new beau, and (a personal favourite) the story of two members of a bookclub, startled to be left alone to chat over the merits of George Orwell when nobody else shows.

The production is small-scale, with a simple open stage, a slide-show of projected images, and a piano to one side where composer Peter Rutherford accompanies the four singers, Octavia Barron-Martin, Tyler Burness, Sarah Croser and James Millar, who co-wrote the show with Rutherford, supplying the lyrics. While occasional vocal shrillness from Barron-Martin marred an otherwise entertaining performance, overall each of the performers displayed great comic timing, heartfelt engagement with the more tender, sorrowful stories, and a strong command of the music.

This is a sweet, fun, modest show that sets itself a simple concept and executes it sharply, cleverly and with high entertainment value.

But be warned – after seeing this show, you may find yourself fighting the urge to carry out every conversation you have the next day in song.


The Hatpin. You may have heard of it. Or you may not have heard of it…yet. The Hatpin was nominated in 2009 for 3 Sydney Theatre awards (Michelle Doake won Best Actress in a Musical), after a successful season at the 2008 NYMF with the following cast (you may have heard of some of them)

Amber Murray – Alexis Fishman

Harriet Piper – Caroline O’Connor

Charles Makin – Paul Kandel

Agatha Makin – Cyrilla Baer

Clara Makin – Gemma-Ashley Kaplan

Justice Stephens / James Hanoney – Michael A. Pizzi

Marianne Leonard – Casey Erin Clark

Minnie Davis – Mary Catherine McDonald

Rebecca Rigby – Sharone Halevy

Edward Cleary – Matt Leisy

Thomas Williamson – Billy Clark Taylor




To enquire about performance rights for The Hatpin in Australia and New Zealand, contact the good people at Hal Leonard.


And now, another quick copy and paste so that, without further ado, you may see who else is on the Shortlist and what happens next! Stay tuned!

NMA cont’d…
Our inaugural call for submissions unveiled a wealth of new and exciting work. The NMA office received almost 50 new Australian musicals ranging from rock to classical – from fantasy to history. The NMA evaluation panel has reviewed the submissions and we are proud to announce our shortlist for the 2010/11 workshop season.


Carnival Joe(by Mark Jones & Anthony Crowley)
A broad, exuberant Australian musical comedy, set during the spring racing carnival of 1933.

Handle With Care (by Megan Shorey)
A collection of four short musicals celebrating both the beauty and bitch of being a woman.

Houdini- The Man From Beyond (by Russell Bauer & Dr Bruce Dawe)
Through vaudeville performance and recreations of some of his signature illusions, we’re shown the final 15 years in the life of Harry Houdini.

Kells (by Stefan Cassomenos & Nick Musgrove)
A symphonic musical inspired by the true story of the killer whales of Eden.

La Creole (by Julia Plummer, Nicholas Gentile & Cheryl Sawyer)
A revenge tale set in 1755 where a slave from Martinique runs away to Paris and Versailles determined to destroy her cruel Master.

A Little Touch of Chaos (by Peter Rutherford & James Millar)
Through different characters and intersecting timelines, the experience of growing-up for a parent echoes the experience of growing-up for their child.

Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life (by Amity Dry)
A tale of modern marriage and motherhood, seen through the experiences of four close friends.

Prix D’Amour (by Paul Dion)
A sweeping historical drama, spanning from Manila during the Vietnam War to Perth in the 1980s.

Refrakting (by David Peake)
It’s Saturday night in Melbourne, and the city’s youth are converging to get trashed. To forget. But there’s something that Jaydn can’t forget.

Showtrain(by Andrew Worboys & Zvonko Jovicic)
A tall yarn spun by a mysterious vagabond minstrel as a travelling sideshow try desperately to save their way of life on the showtrain.

Three Weeks in Spring (by Russell Tredinnick & Ian Gerrard)
Private John Simpson and his donkey sit at the centre of a contemporary imagining of the origins of Anzac Day.

A Woman’s Eyes (by Paul Keelan & Gary Young)
The story of an ordinary Australian woman’s life set against extraordinary events of the twentieth century.

All shortlisted works now receive further consideration by NMA artistic staff, representatives of the Australia Council Music Board and other industry professionals.  From this shortlist, works are selected to receive workshopping opportunities within the New Musicals Australia initiative.

Advisory panel members who read submitted works included Peter Casey, Will Conyers, Kellie Dickerson, Rodney Dobson, Neil Gooding, Roger Hodgman, Karen Johnson Mortimer, Guy Noble, Jennifer Murphy, Peter Ross and Darren Yap.

New Musicals Australia has three key workshop initiatives: The Musical Snapshot, which presents a twenty to forty minute extract of the musical in concert alongside other new works, The Developmental Reading, which sees a new work rehearsed and performed in concert and the Workshop Presentation, which allows a musical to be rehearsed and performed book-down with staging and some production elements.  New Musicals Australia also supports a variety of other initiatives targeted at developing new works, establishing networks and providing support for independent writers.