Exterior of the Carriage House Theater.
- WHO Are We Looking For?: Anyone developing a new musical. Each musical selected to participate brings a “creative team” of no more than 3 members (two writers and a director, one writer and two actors, three writers, etc.) to Auburn, NY to spend a week immersed in the world of your new musical. After working for several days, your three-person team ‘pitches’ a 45-60 minute treatment of your show to an engaged audience on three separate evenings. Each presentation is followed by a moderated talkback session. Audiences leave written feedback as well. 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 2019 PiTCH season runs from July 17 – August 16. Submissions will be open from November 1 – 30, 2018.
- WHERE Does The PiTCH Take Place?: The PiTCH is housed in The Carriage House Theater, an 80-seat, cabaret style venue in Auburn, NY at 203 Genesee Street behind the Cayuga Museum. Equipped with a baby grand piano, basic sound and LED lighting systems, music stands, chairs, stools, and a bar, this intimate venue is the ideal setting for working on and presenting a new musical in development! Auburn is located in the scenic Finger Lakes region of New York State. About a five hour drive from New York City, we are situated between Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca.
- 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 2019 season of The PiTCH will be open from November 1 – 30, 2018. See below 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.
We were able to switch off from all distractions from the outside world and dig deeply into the narrative of our story. The pressure of having to perform our work was very a very useful tool in forcing us to think of the work from an audience’s perspective – forcing us to make the narrative as clear as possible.Ella Grace
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
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
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 opportunity to work in such an artistically nurturing environment and with a creative staff that was so supportive and kind was really special….By stripping away the band, actors, vocal arrangements, movement, etc; we really got to focus on the story. This was extremely useful and allowed us to identify areas of the storytelling that could use clarification.Matte O'Brien
It was a fantastic opportunity to test out material we hadn’t put on it’s feet in front of an audience before. The feedback from both the artistic staff at FLMTF and the audiences was constructive and incredibly helpful to us in our development….I was surprised with how articulate and vocal the audiences were. I wasn’t sure to what level people were going to critique. I’m glad they were not afraid to dive right in with their thoughts with little coaxing.Caleb Damschroder
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
2019 Season PiTCH Submissions are now closed.
Thank you to everyone who submitted.
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 your show to an audience.
- A 280 character summary of the show. Sell your musical to us in a single tweet.
- 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.
Send Materials and/or Questions to:
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