Festival Of New Musicals Breaks Attendance Records

WINTER PARK — After seven years of introducing new musicals in development to Central Florida audiences, The Winter Park Playhouse hit a milestone in June: the 7th Annual Florida Festival of New Musicals was not only “highly successful,” as the theater company noted, but their attendance soared and became the highest in the festival’s history. In fact, it shot up by 10% compared to 2023.

“This growth is a testament to the importance of the festival as a well-established platform for writers and composers to showcase their new musical works and receive feedback from patrons, press, producers and peers,” the Playhouse noted in a news release.

The Playhouse got plenty of feedback from patrons who traveled from across the country to attend the festival held in their Winter Park theater.

“This was my first opportunity to attend The Winter Park Playhouse Musical Festival,” noted Tom Moran of Fort Lauderdale in his feedback to the theater. “I made the trip from Fort Lauderdale and am so glad I did. It was wonderful to discover six musicals in the process of development. The organization of the festival was seamless. I was impressed by the array of creative and performing talent that was top-notch and totally professional. Thank you for fostering the future of musical theatre.”

What is the Festival Of New Musicals?

The Florida Florida Festival of New Musicals was first launched in 2017, created to advance and elevate the original American art form of musical theater by fostering the development of new musicals. The Playhouse, which frequently brings in brand new musicals making their Central Florida debut, also aims to boost the artistic growth of theater writers and composers.

This four-day event showcase six new musicals currently in the development stage. The Festival also enables the writers and composers to get exposure to not only the public, but the news media and to regional theater producers and directors.

A one-hour version of each chosen musical gets fully read and sung concert-style, without staging, by professional actors and musicians.

When Can Artists Submit Their Work for Next Year’s Festival?      

Each year, national and international writers and composers submit their musicals, which get reviewed by a professional panel that selects the six final productions to be featured in the festival. Artists can get their submissions for next year ready, since the 8th Annual Festival Submission Process opened this week.

The 8th annual Florida Festival of New Musicals will be held on June 19-22, 2025 at The Winter Park Playhouse, 711 N. Orange Ave. in Winter Park. The submission process for the 2025 festival closes on Sept. 13, 2024. To learn more about the festival guidelines, timeline, and submission details, visit www.winterparkplayhouse.org and click the “New Musical Festival” tab on the home page.  

All applications should be sent to festival@winterparkplayhouse.org with FFNM in the Subject Line.     

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the terrifying book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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