Atlanta is getting its own musical theater festival.

The inaugural event happens Aug. 1-2 at Actor’s Express and will feature two days and nights of original performances by metro artists plus showcase performances from professional productions and educational groups.

FullSizeRender36-150x150The Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival team comprises founder/executive artistic director Benjamin Davis, development director Jessica De Maria and general manager Nikki Thomas.

Davis, an actor/producer most recently seen in Sweeney Todd at the Express, got the idea for an Atlanta festival after taking part in the 2015 New York Musical Festival. There he produced the two-character The Last Time We Were Here, written and performed by De Maria and Jeremiah Park Hobbs, and developed in workshops at Manuel’s Tavern and a staged reading at the Express. It got him thinking, and plotting.

AMTF founder Benjamin Davis (right) with Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and Jessica De Maria at the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival.
AMTF founder Benjamin Davis (right) with Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and Jessica De Maria at the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival.

The AMTF wants to connect writers to producing theaters/directors interested in taking a project further, and to create networking relationships between producing theaters, playwrights, directors, actors and other artists.

According to a statement, the festival is designed to “cultivate the next generation of theater artists by mentoring talent, propelling new musicals forward and celebrating the community in a supportive, nurturing, and creative environment.”

“We are very excited about creating a safe space for Atlanta artists to develop new work,” Davis said in a statement. “We also want to make sure we provide an opportunity for emerging directors, choreographers, musicians and all theater artists to hone their crafts. We want to encourage artists to make their art, and to support and learn from each other.”

At the moment, the AMTF is programming its evening events at Actor’s Express. Daytime programming and more partner venues will be announced soon.

This year’s submissions deadline is May 1. Performers and performances will be announced May 21. Details HERE (select “Submissions & Selections”).

Next week the festival will begin a fundraising campaign (donations are tax deductible) through its fiscal sponsor, C4 Atlanta, the nonprofit arts service organization in business to help Atlanta artists earn a living making art.