Musical Theatre Factory Announces Its First Summer Season

The Musical Theatre Factory (MTF), under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Shakina Nayfack and Managing Director Danny Abosch, announces the opening of a new midtown black box rehearsal and performance space with a full summer season dedicated to the development of new musical theatre. Musical Theatre Factory operates as a volunteer-based cooperative of artists and arts administrators committed to a process of peer evaluation and the cultivation of new work, free from the pressures of critical or commercial success.

A series of Musical Theatre Factory workshop residencies, each culminating with a public showing of new material, will feature Jahn Sood’s epic folk odyssey IN A SEA OF FACES (June 21), Zoe Sarnak’s millennial song cycle THE YEARS BETWEEN (July 7), Sam Salmond’s interactive concert experience UNCOOL: The Party (July 10, 13, 14), and Ben Bonnema’s big gay sleepover, BOYS WHO TRICKED ME (July 21).

MTF composer showcases highlight the work of emerging musical theatre writers in an informal concert setting, and include evenings of music by Joel Waggoner (ONE MAN BAND, July 18), Nikko Benson (IN PURSUIT OF MAGIC, July 25), and Peter Lerman, who will be presenting songs from his new musical, THE VIRGINIA (July 28).

The 4×15 program selects four new musicals and offers each writing team five hours of rehearsal space to stage fifteen-minute excerpts form their shows. The scenes are then presented together in one evening before a panel of industry guests and a public audience. The first 4×15 program (June 16) includes SOUNDIES (Lyrics by Kimberly Hawkey, Music by Assaf Gleizner), POWERLESS (Book, Music, and Lyrics by Will Buck), MILES AND ME (Book and Lyrics by Kendell Pinkney, Music by Danny Abosch), and THAT TIME WE FOUND A SASQUATCH IN THE WOODS (Book by Nichole Jackson, Lyrics by Brandon Michael Lowden, Music by Scotty Arnold). The second 4×15 (August 4) presentations are set to include THE ARTIST AND THE SCIENTIST (Book and Lyrics by Jenny Stafford, Music by Brandon Anderson), DROP DEAD GORGEOUS (Book and Lyrics by Laura Kleinbaum, Music by Willem Oosthuysen, ONEIDA (Book and Lyrics by Beth Blatt, Music by Lizzie Hagstedt), and another show yet to be announced.

Musical Theatre Factory educational programming features master classes by actress and teacher Sheri Sanders (Rock The Audition, June 23), musical theatre writer and MTF advisory board member Joe Iconis (June 25), and producer/director team Travis Greisler and Austin Regan (The Art of the Callback, July 24, 31, August 4, 14, 21).

The Musical Theatre Factory Inaugural Writers’ Group, which gives composers and lyricists the chance to meet on a bi-weekly basis, includes new work by Julianne Wick Davis (THE WILLARD ASYLUM SUITCASES), Jahn Sood (IN A SEA OF FACES), Anna Jacobs (ECHO), Michael R. Jackson (A STRANGE LOOP), Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead (NIKOLA TESLA DROPS THE BEAT), Chris Staskel and Lisa Burns (SHADES OF WAYNE), and Niko Tsakalakos and Brandon Anderson (BE YOUNG AND SHUT UP).

Factory Salons, where new and established musical theatre writers are invited to share previously unheard songs, will be offered June 19 and July 17 from 8pm to midnight.

The MTF summer season concludes with a Short Movie Musical Festival (August 22-24). More details including submission information will be available in July.

The Musical Theatre Factory is located at 250 w. 40th st, between 7th and 8th avenues, 4th floor, New York, NY. For more information or to get involved with Musical Theatre Factory as a volunteer, please visit or call 347-871-4615.


The Musical Theatre Factory (MTF) is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to helping musical theatre artists develop and present new work in a collaborative atmosphere free from the pressures of critical or financial success. MTF accomplishes this goal by identifying new works of promise, then facilitating a development process that includes readings, concerts, workshops, and public performances of new musical theatre projects. MTF follows the radical ideal that laborers should own the means of production; as such, the Factory is organized around a collective decision-making model and a central network of artisan-members including writers, composers, performers, choreographers, directors, dramaturgs, designers, and producers.

Musical Theatre Factory programming is based on four assembly lines: Development, Showcasing, Production, and Education. The MTF development process places an emphasis on co-creation, with writers, composers, directors, and performers working together for the generation and maturation of new material. At various stages in the development process Musical Theatre Factory provides opportunities for new work to be seen and heard, both within the community of MTF artisans, for the larger musical theatre industry, and the general public. Showcase events range from informal salons to staged readings, and eventually, productions. Musical Theatre Factory productions give Factory artisans and the larger theatre community a chance to see new work on its feet. These productions are penultimate in the MTF development process, with the end-goal of positioning these new musicals for a life outside the Factory walls. As a cooperative of musical theatre artisans, Musical Theatre Factory also offers master classes, workshops, and roundtable discussions meant to encourage collaboration across intersecting disciplines in Musical Theatre.


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