Ben Chavez (Composer), Eliza McCoy (Actress), and Yianni Papadimos (Book & Lyrics),
Ben Chavez (Composer), Eliza McCoy (Actress), and Yianni Papadimos (Book & Lyrics),
- WHO Are We Looking For?: Anyone developing a new musical. Your creative team of no more than 3 members (Writers, Composers, Lyricists) comes to Auburn, NY to spend six days immersed in the world of your new musical. After working for several days, your team ‘pitches’ a 45-60-minute treatment of your show to engaged audiences for three presentations. Audiences offer feedback and discuss your piece at length. Creative teams can consider the feedback and insight and leave with new ideas, inspiration and focused to-do lists.
- WHAT Do We Do?: Through this new-works series, we provide a forum for musicals in development. Creative teams are given retreat during a week-long residency to focus and work on their new piece. The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival will provide round-trip transportation and housing for each member of your three-person creative team. Additionally, creative teams will have a dedicated venue and staff for the length of their residency.
- WHEN Is The PiTCH?: The 2017 PiTCH season runs from July 12th – August 11th. Submissions will be open from November 1st through December 2nd.
- WHERE Does The PiTCH Take Place?: The PiTCH is housed in Theatre Mack, a 80-seat, cabaret style environment in Auburn, NY at 203 Genesee Street behind the Cayuga Museum. Equipped with a baby grand piano, mics, music stands and a bar, this intimate venue is the ideal setting for seeing a new musical come to life! Auburn is located in the scenic Finger Lakes region of New York State. About a four-hour drive from New York, we are situated between Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca. Click here to learn more about scenic Cayuga County.
- WHY Do We Do This?: We believe in and are committed to the development of new musicals. We know that creating a musical is a significant investment. As such, this program focuses on the writers and creators of the piece. We bring you here, put you up, and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the world of your new work.
- HOW Do I Submit My Musical?: Submissions for the 2017 season of The PiTCH will be open from November 1–December 2. Check back for more information.
FLMTF: No. The purpose of The PiTCH is to provide creative teams with a retreat to focus on the development of their new musical, not to fully stage a production. As such, your material will be presented by your three-person creative team.
FLMTF: No. Our use of the term “creative team,” as it pertains to The PiTCH, is fluid. It is used to describe the three individuals who travel to Auburn with the show, but does not necessarily refer to writers, directors, designers, or others typically referred to as “creatives.” In your case, your “creative team” could be yourself and two actors or yourself, an actor, and an accompanist, or any other combination of people. While we will transport and house all three creative team members, we do not assist with casting.
FLMTF: No, as long as it is clear and understandable.
FLMTF: You may submit as many shows as you like. However, each submission requires its own separate submission fee.
FLMTF: While The PiTCH is looking for and will accept shows at all stages of development, it is up to each creative team to determine how well our unique and specific format will work for them. For example, if your new musical has already been workshopped extensively and is ready for production, slimming it down to a 60-minute presentation may not be as helpful as it would be for a musical which has never been heard or seen by an audience.
FLMTF: You are responsible for assembling your three-person creative team, providing 60 minutes of material to “pitch” to an audience, and presenting the material. It is strongly recommended that all members of the creative team be familiar with the material prior to arriving in Auburn, but it is not required.
Since we don’t all live in the same city, we were looking forward to the opportunity to be in the same place, and focus on the show for a week. The work we accomplished far exceeded my expectations. The PiTCH was a gift because it gives teams permission to make bold and risky choices- learn from them in real time- and continue to hone the script. By allowing teams to work in an environment where risk is embraced, we made incredible strides forward.Mary Kate Burke
The format of the PiTCH being a one-hour time limit, made us evaluate what was essential to tell the story. It was profoundly helpful, in ways I would never have anticipated. It made us articulate the spine of the show. It gave us a lens through which we could evaluate if the material forwarded the dramatic conflict or was filler….The audiences were smart, considerate and generous. I was really floored with how vulnerable a room full of strangers was with us and each other during the feedback sessions….Like everything else about our experience there, there was a real sense of safety and community that was empowering and touching.Mark Kate Burke
The condensing of the piece was incredibly helpful. I made cuts that I thought were just for THE PITCH and learned that many of those cuts would survive the full length. Also, summarizing some of the scenes for the audience while performing others helped me in ways I hadn’t expected – this process gave me a unique perspective of the bones and structure of the play which was really helpful.Peter Zinn
I was shocked at how constructive and attentive the audiences of the presentations were – I went in with no expectations and was blown away by how dramaturgically helpful the post-show conversations were.Zack Zadek
The PiTCH was most helpful for us because it allowed us to get extremely specific with the clarity of our work. As Elysium is a very new piece, we wanted to make sure that we were able to really get nitty gritty with details like plot linearity, character development, and character motivation through music. As daunting as the three-person setup was for us in the very beginning, it was actually through this setup that we were able to accomplish some of our best clarity work. This setup forced us to delineate the personas of ten characters with three bodies. It gave us an extremely helpful model to decipher what was muddy and what was clearly understood.Ben Chavez
We had a great week at The Pitch and I would recommend it to any musical theatre writer. Not only did it force us to look at the show through a different lens, but also it gave us the opportunity to try it out on an audience. In addition, since Kristen and I collaborate cross-country, it gave us time to work through the show in the same time zone.Luanne Rosenfeld
We were so warmly welcomed by everyone at FLMTF and by our audiences; and given not only great feedback on this very new piece, but also a very early sense that this story might resonate with more people than we expected….We were grateful that so many people offered their perspectives and experiences, and simply thanked us for telling a story that in many cases, reflected their own lives….We are so grateful to The PiTCH for our first opportunity to share this work and to the Auburn audiences for more than we could have ever hoped for.Irene Sankoff & David Hein
Check back for more information regarding The PiTCH 2018.
Click to view Submission Requirements
- A complete submission cover sheet. (Click to download.)
- A 100-250-word summary of the show. This should be more than a simple synopsis. This should be something of an elevator pitch, describing the story and themes of the show. Tell us how you would sell show to an audience.
- A working draft of your script, including song placement. If you do not yet have a complete script, a rough outline with scene summaries is acceptable.
- Demo recordings of at least 50% of songs in the show.
- Development history, if any, of your show.
- Bios for creative team members.
- Proof of rights (required for any material that is not your own).
- $25 Non-refundable processing fee. Make checks payable to “Merry-Go-Round Playhouse.”
- Optional material to include with your submission:
Video or Video links of full songs, scenes or any promotional material from the show.
If submitting by email, processing fee should be sent separately. A submission will not be reviewed or considered until processing fee is received. Checks may be mailed to the address below. Payments may also be made via PayPal. Use PiTCHSubmissions@FingerLakesMTF.com. Please include the title of your show in a note.
Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival
The PiTCH Submissions
17 William Street, 2nd Floor
Auburn, NY 13021