When Sutton returned to the stage after the students’ performance that garnered them a standing ovation, she intoned “Ben Clark — remember that name,” to the audience. Hers was a well-deserved validation of a young artist whose talents portend a successful future.
At the 2013 intensive, four new musicals currently in development, and participants in previous NAMT (National Alliance of Musical Theatre) Festivals of New Musicals, will be presented. They will be followed by a discussion and analysis of their commercial creative potential.
From the Indiana classroom to New York City’s theater district, THE CIRCUS IN WINTER has traveled a great distance, growing and developing into a mature musical along the way, and now, with an ambitious schedule of regional productions and the hopes of arriving back on Broadway in a few years, it stands at the ready for immersion in the world of professional theater.
Fourteen Ball State students, working under the direction of theatre professor Beth Turcotte, turned Hoosier author Cathy Day’s novel “The Circus in Winter” into a new musical that was performed not only at the University Theatre in the fall of 2011, but also in New York City in October, 2012. It was one of eight productions performed at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals.
An imperfect analogy for my readers who know diddly squat about the world of musical theater (myself included until recently): a musical created by college students getting picked for NAMT would be like a high school kid getting a Breadloaf or Sewanee or Stegner fellowship.