Polyphone Festival of New And Emerging Musicals at the University of the Arts

Polyphone Festival of New And Emerging Musicals at the University of the Arts | uarts.edu

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*Now Accepting* Musical Submissions for 2020: APPLY (Deadline August 12, 2019)

2020 Festival Artistic Director Search: APPLY (Deadline July 19, 2019)


Poster: Polyphone 2019

Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals s a nationally recognized festival of the emerging musical at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. For the last five years, we’ve brought composers, librettists, directors, choreographers and music directors from the field onto the campus of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts at UArts to work with student casts and creatives on never before produced musicals.

Each year we program four new musicals. Each musical is cast from around 150 auditioning students, workshopped and rehearsed for six weeks, and teched for three days. During the festival week, each musical receives three performances. The final presentations are off-book, staged concert productions with a full band and lighting design. The process allows the authors to make changes over the rehearsal period and see a musical on its feet for the first time. On the last day of the festival, we perform all four shows in a 12-hour marathon on two stages. This year Polyphone will be housed in the Philadelphia Arts Bank Theater and The Wilma Theater on S. Broad St.

Each year Polyphone plugs over 100 undergraduate theater students into the process of new musical development. In the process we support emerging artists with a paid opportunity to make their work, give students on-the-ground training in the creation of new work, and give adventurous new musicals time and space to develop, free from the pressures of commercial interests, producing theaters, or reviews.


Past Polyphone Artists include:
Joanna Settle (co-founder), César Alvarez (co-found and founding Artist Director), Sam Pinkelton, Storm Thomas, Derek Lee McPhatter, Maggie-Kate Coleman, Erato A. Kremmyda, Michael R Jackson, Germono Toussaint, Christian, Jaclyn Backhaus, Andrew Neisler, Annie Tippe, Jeanna Phillips, Michael R. Jackson, Stephen Brackett, Malika Oyetimein, Joshua Gelb, Dan Fishback, Orion Johnstone, Andrew Butler, Andrew Farmer, Kent Nicholson.

Polyphone has also developed musicals by UArts students, which have gone on to further development at Ars Nova.



The American Theater Wing’s documentary, Working in the Theater

Previous Festival Line-Ups:



2017 (View the program here)



Contact for additional information about the Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals at the University of the Arts:

Jen Jaynes |  jjaynes@uarts.edu


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