About the Festival

The Winter Park Playhouse has jumped into the national spotlight as it launches the 2nd Annual Florida Festival of New Musicals, a nationally-recognized festival new to the state and the nation. The Festival has been created to advance and elevate the original American art form of musical theatre by fostering the development of new musicals and the artistic growth of writers and composers. The festival will run August 23-26, 2018.

The Florida Festival of New Musicals is a 4-day event that will showcase six brand new, never-before-produced musical works and brings together writers and composers with patrons, press, producers and directors. The first act of each selected musical will be fully read and sung concert-style, without staging, by varying casts of professional actors and musicians.

The festival is led by Playhouse Artistic Director Roy Alan. It is only one of its kind in the region, similar to musical theatre festivals featuring new works that take place in New York City, Seattle, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. It provides a unique insight into how a new musical comes to life.

New musical submissions from writers and composers around the country were accepted between September and December 2017 for the 2nd Annual Festival. Each submitted application was read, evaluated and critiqued by a panel of industry professionals. The panel made their final selection of six musicals in May 2018. Along with members of the artistic community, the general public is encouraged and invited to attend and be engaged in this unique and exciting theatrical experience. 

Featured Musicals

Festival tickets go on sale on May 22nd!

Tickets are $10 per new musical or $50 for a 6-show Festival Fun Pass.



Diamond and the North Wind 

Book by Jeffrey Haddow / Lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow & Thomas Tierney / Music by Thomas Tierney (New York, NY) 

 In Diamond and the North Wind, the beautiful and mysterious North Wind befriends a poor stable boy and takes him on flying adventures, teaching Diamond valuable life lessons that help him prevent the greedy real estate tycoon, Tobias Blunt, from destroying the last livery stables in New York City and turning its horses into glue.Set in 1870s​ New York society, The Age of Innocence tells the story of Newland Archer, a young attorney engaged to the loving, but conventional May Welland. When he encounters her European cousin, the beautiful and mysterious Countess Olenska, his life is forever transformed. Torn between duty and desire, Newland confronts implacable social forces and his own contradictory nature in his quest for a true, authentic life. 


Extended Stay 

Book by Jenny Stafford / Lyrics by Jenny Stafford and Scotty Arnold / Music by Scotty Arnold (New York, NY)

 Owen is full of dreams but short on ambition. Years ago he stopped at an Extended Stay hotel in Indiana--and hasn’t left yet. Plagued by both fear and ennui, Owen finds himself stuck in every sense of the word. However, when Emma arrives, she too is desperate to pull herself out of her own “stuckness” and excel at her job at the front desk--where she is instructed to evict Owen. Joined in their shared anxiety, they struggle to help each other crawl up out of their dark pasts. When Owen’s adventurous childhood friend Ethan arrives, though, he offers Emma a new life. Each in the newly-formed triangle struggles to figure out how to move forward from pasts that threaten to swallow them whole. 



How to Marry a Divorced Man

Book & Lyrics by Bryan D. Leys / Music by Clare Cooper (New York, NY)
Based on the book by Leslie Fram


Layla Diamond, a rock and roll reporter in her late 30s, decides it’s time to settle down. Following the advice of her daffy mother, she adopts what she thinks is her best option: a divorced man. She sets her sights on a charming sports agent with a needy ex and two obnoxious children. Frustrated, she tries setting up the needy wife with a new boyfriend which backfires. While trying to fix her Divorced Man’s problems, Layla makes one miscalculation after another, adopting false identities, causing multiple mix-ups, and turning her marital quest into a hilarious farce.



Miss Isabella Rainsong and Her Traveling Companion

Book, Lyrics & Music by Ross D. Martin (Fulton, MD)

While waiting out a storm in an Amtrak train station, a disheveled Traveler shares the story of his three-year journey as the traveling companion of Miss Isabella Rainsong – a captivatingly beautiful guitar. Sharing songs and stories from their journey, Traveler tells how he discovers Miss Rainsong and an Amtrak ticket while contemplating suicide. As they ride the rails, the Amtrak conductors keep Traveler clean and fed while he takes care of Miss Rainsong, learning to play and channeling songs about the journey. Rehabilitated and restored through music, Traveler tearfully leaves Miss Rainsong behind for another lost soul to find her…  



Somewhere in Between

Book, Lyrics & Music by Alan Becker (Vashon Island, WA)

Somewhere In Between is about blazing your own trail in life – and dodging the path your loved ones try to put you on. This intimate two-act chamber musical tells a modern coming-of-age story with humor and some surprising twists, in a small American town like the one where the author grew up, focusing on the characters’ lives, loves and the lessons they learn. The magic is in the music, as the audience is swept into the story by the memorable tunes and clever evocative lyrics, from heartfelt solos to intricate ensemble counterpoint and lush jazz harmonies with a style of “Sondheim meets Manhattan Transfer.”



The Stranger from Seville

Book & Lyrics by Victor Kazan / Music by Kevin Purcell (Melbourne, Australia)

Set in the Yucatán on the eve of the Mexican Revolution, in a world of both unimaginable wealth and abject slavery, The Stranger from Seville tells the poignant story of star-crossed lovers - a free-spirited young Mexican woman and a gifted young artist newly arrived from Spain - whose blossoming romance is thwarted at every turn by the self-seeking actions of those around them. Inspired by the setting, elements of gypsy rumba, flamenco and regional ‘trova yucateca’ music styles contribute to the fabric of the show’s classic Broadway score. 

Creative Team Bios



Festival Hotel Partner

Doubletree by Hilton Orlando Downtown 

Stay with our Festival hotel partner, the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown, for $89/night + tax. This rate is available August 17 – 27, 2018.

Enjoy their well-decorated guest rooms, suites and executive rooms with flat-screen TVs, generous work surfaces, comfortable Sweet Dreams® beds and complimentary internet access. Lobby bar, dining and Starbucks offered as well, and it is all less than 10 minutes by car from The Playhouse!

To book this Winter Park Playhouse rate, click here. If you prefer to book by phone, please call our box office at (407) 645-0145 to obtain the discount code.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown is located at 60 S. Ivanhoe Road, Orlando, FL 32804. The hotel can be contacted directly by phone at (407) 425-4455.
To learn more about the property, click here.