The Festival includes shows by Annie Tippe, Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips, Oliver Houser, Khiyon Hursey, Cheeyang Ng, and more.
Village Theatre is excited to announce the lineup for The 19th Annual Festival of New Musicals, a series of five staged readings of musicals currently in development. The Festival will take place in Issaquah August 9-11, 2019. Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals is the birthplace of Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning shows such as Next to Normal and Million Dollar Quartet, as well as Broadway and Off-Broadway hits: It Shoulda Been You, Desperate Measures, Lizzie, and many more.
Readings in this year’s Festival will include: XY, an uplifting musical about an intersex man navigating his first romantic relationship; Cold Turkey, a wild and funny satire about a small town in America that attempts to quit smoking and win $25 million; Modern, an inspiring tale about a group of Amish teenagers on their Rumspringa; Eastbound, an empowering and poignant story about Chinese brothers, separated at birth, who travel across the world in search of a home they’ve never known; and Cowboy Bob, an adventurous rock musical about a bank-robbing woman who evaded detection for more than a decade. “This year our shows really run the gamut from small chamber musicals to large scale musical satires,” says Associate Artistic Director, Brandon Ivie. “It’s a testament to these writers, the Seattle theatre community, and our audiences that we can support such a vastly varied group of new musicals.”
In addition to the five readings, this year’s Festival will include a new event, Quick Musicals. This will be a collaboration with The 14/48 Projects, which produces the wildly popular 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival. Quick Musicals will feature three 10-minute musicals written in just 18 hours. A theme for the musicals, as well as the writers and actors who will be participating, will be chosen at random at 6PM on the night of Friday, August 9. The writing teams will then collaborate overnight to create a 10-minute musical, which will be learned by the actors the next morning. The project will conclude with a reading at noon on Saturday, August 10.
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 presented in full to the audience in staged reading format. Many of these readings go on to be further developed in the Village Originals program 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 The Festival and other exclusive benefits and events.
XYBook, Music, & Lyrics by Oliver Houser (Stephen Schwartz Award)
Developed with & Directed by Hunter Bird
Music Directed by Michael Nutting
On the advice of doctors, Chris’ mother took the leap to subject her intersex child to genital surgery as an infant and raise him as a girl. Now 26 years
later, Chris has transitioned back into being a man and is navigating his first romantic relationship while he is haunted by his eleven-year-old self,
COLD TURKEYBook by Andrew Russell (Stu for Silverton)
Music & Lyrics by Rich Gray
Directed by Brandon Ivie (Lizard Boy, Jasper in Deadland)
Music Directed by Nathan Young
A wild and funny satire based on the 1971 Norman Lear film of the same name, Cold Turkey tells the story of a beleaguered small town which responds
to an advertising gimmick to win a $25 million challenge to quit smoking for 30 days.
MODERNBook & Lyrics by Selda Sahin
Book & Music by Derek Gregor (Unlock’d)
Directed by Jessica Spencer
Music Directed by R.J. Tancioco (The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes)
A new-grass, post-rock musical, Modern is the inspiring story of a group of Amish teenagers on their Rumspringa. Witness their brief period of freedom as they struggle to find the balance between love, tradition, progress, faith, and who they’ll become.
Book & Music by Cheeyang Ng (2018 Drama League Fellow)
Book & Lyrics by Khiyon Hursey (Netflix’s upcoming MIXTAPE)
Directed by Desdemona Chiang
Music Directed by Steven Tran
Two worlds. Two cultures. One question: how far are you willing to go to find family? Chinese-American adoptee Calvin travels to China in search of his
birth mother. Unbeknownst to him, his biological brother, Yun, travels to America, seeking to break free of family traditions. Their quests in search
of their own identities force them to evaluate whether family is chosen or biological.
COWBOY BOBCreated by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips, & Annie Tippe
Music & Lyrics by Jeanna Phillips
Book & Additional Lyrics by Molly Beach Murphy (Drama League Beatrice Terry Resident)
Directed by Annie Tippe (Octet, Ghost Quartet)
Additional Music & Music Directed by Alex Thrailkill
Peggy was a good neighbor, a good daughter, and a great bank robber. Disguised as a man in a fake beard and a ten-gallon hat, “Cowboy Bob” evaded detection for more than a decade. In a score that’s equal parts Riot Grrrl and Texas two-step, the small-town legend inspires a local waitress to take life by the reigns and let it ride.