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O’Neill Musical Conference Taps Three for Development

Trio of brewing projects will be showcased this summer at the O'Neill Theater Center

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference has lined up a trio of new tuner projects for development during the conference’s 2013 summer session, corralling a lineup of newcomers as well as creatives who have made the rounds of the legit development circuit.

Alongside a companion session for non-musicals, the O’Neill music theater conference reps one of the country’s most high-profile legit showcases for new work, regularly attracting Gotham industry types to the center’s campus in Waterford, Conn. Since the conference was founded in 1978, tuners that have gotten their start at the O’Neill include “Nine,” “Avenue Q” and “In the Heights.”

The three titles in the mix this summer are:

1) “Broadcast

With book and lyrics by Nathan Christensen and music by Scott Murphy, “Broadcast” questions how much new technology really helps up to connect, as viewed through the prism of the dawn of the wireless era a century ago. Brewing work from Christensen and Murphy has already scored new-work kudos such as the Richard Rodgers Award and the Jonathan Larson Award, and “Broadcast” was workshopped at Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons.

2) “The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes”

Storyline centers on a man who wakes up to find his life has become a musical. Project’s collaborators, composer Michael Kooman and book writer-lyricist Christopher Dimond, have received a Larson grant and developed work at the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop and at the annual festival of the National Alliance for Musical Theater.

3) “Goddess”

South African Mkhululi Mabija and American Michael Thurber collaborate on the book, lyrics and tunes of a musical about a seductive jazz singer in a fictional city in Africa.

Each tuner will be seen in a handful of showcase presentations during the course of the conference, which runs June 22-July 12.

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