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Theatre Royal Stratford East develops new musical theatre

Published February 21, 2017

Theatre Royal Stratford East has announced a year-long partnership with the New Musical Development Collective (NMDC), a brand new company focused on dramaturgy and development of British musicals and artists.

The NMDC launches this month with its inaugural Musical Theatre Lab (MT-Lab) on 7 March 2017, and will be in residence at Theatre Royal Stratford East for a full year, ending with a public sharing of work on 9 March 2018.

One of NMDC’s goals is to foster and develop new British musicals that respond to the modern world and contemporary life with a focus on enriching the fabric of British theatre making and stories. Each year the NMDC plans to be in residence at an organisation with an interest in producing new musicals. Through the in-kind support of these theatres, the NMDC will be able to nurture composers, songwriters, lyricists, and playwrights from all backgrounds with an interest in creating work for the stage that brings together words and music.

The MT-Lab writers will receive a £1000 stipend, year-long dramaturgy and development, industry and skills masterclasses and workshops, a work-in-progress sharing at The Other Palace, an excerpt sharing at Theatre Royal Stratford East, a 12-month membership to Mercury Musical Developments, free tickets to Theatre Royal Stratford East productions, and access to hot desks and rehearsal rooms.

The inaugural 2017 NMDC MT-Lab writers, chosen from an open call for applications, will include Zara McFarlane, Amber Hsu, Stu Barter, Firdos Ali, Nikki Burnhope, Shireen Mula, Joe Von Malachowski, and David Austin Grey. These 8 artists come from across the UK with backgrounds in theatre, music and fine arts.

As part of its residency at Theatre Royal Stratford East, NMDC will be producing two EMERGE concerts, showcasing the talent of new/emerging acting and writing talent, as well a Think Tank Roundtable series revolving around diversity in the British Musical Theatre.

The NMDC is supported by Arts Council England, Mercury Musical Developments, Musical Theatre Network and The Other Palace and will be mentored and supported by Theatre Royal Stratford East during its year-long residency.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “Musical theatre is a key priority for Theatre Royal Stratford East, being an art form that has the power to bridge gaps across cultures and develop new audiences.

“We are excited to support and mentor the New Musical Development Collective with our shared vision to break new ground with British musicals. As an organisation that has always had musical theatre development as one its cores, we are excited to share our knowledge and expertise with the NMDC as they respond with us to the rallying call for new British musicals.”

For more information on the New Musical Development Collective, visit the scheme’s website.


"We are excited to support and mentor the New Musical Development Collective with our shared vision to break new ground with British musicals."

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