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New season, new leadership at American Music Theatre Project

Northwestern’s incubator for new musicals presents trio of new shows in 2022-23
Cast of the 2018 Edinburgh production of “The Book of Names.” Image courtesy of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland/Robbie McFadzean

The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern has welcomed multi-talented Broadway artist Alexander Gemignani as its new artistic director.

Gemignani has worked on Broadway as an actor, music director and conductor, earning Tony and Grammy Award nominations for his role in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.” He is artistic director of the National Music Theatre Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. A composer and lyricist, he is developing two new musicals.

“I look forward to helping American Music Theatre Project grow its already excellent reputation into its rightful place as an exceptional and necessary program for developing new musicals,” Gemignani said. “I hope to help clarify and expand the definition of development, meeting pieces where they are, providing writers with time and safe space to create, dream big and run experiments.”

Gemignani joins AMTP producing director Brannon Bowers in leading Northwestern’s incubator for new musicals where they will continue to engage Northwestern students and expose them to first-class musical development experience.

“I am honored to collaborate with our sensational team at Northwestern’s School of Communication to present this incredible season that was already in motion before my arrival,” Gemignani said.

Gemignani, an artistic director, actor, music director, orchestrator, conductor, composer/lyricist and educator, has an extensive list of Broadway credits, including “My Fair Lady,” “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel” (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Grammy Nominations), “Violet,” “Les Misérables” (Drama League nomination), “Sweeney Todd” (Drama Desk nomination), “Assassins” (Theatre World Award), “Sunday in the Park with George.”

He also has worked on “Road Show” at the Public (Drama League nomination), “Avenue Q” at the Vineyard Theatre and “Hamilton” in Chicago.

In television and film, he has worked on “Servant” (Apple TV), “Empire” (FOX), “Chicago Fire” (NBC), “Homeland” (Showtime), “The Good Wife” (CBS), “Empire State” (ABC), the film “The Producers” (Universal), three appearances on “The Tony Awards” (CBS) and season five of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon).

Currently, he is writing two new musicals, “Diamond Alice” and “swingset/moon.”

As an educator, he has served on the faculty of the National Theatre Institute at The O’Neill and New York University Steinhardt in addition to guest faculty/artist at the University of Michigan, Texas State University, Syracuse University (Tepper) and New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

AMTP’s 2022-23 workshop season

The American Music Theatre Project will present three shows this season.

“5&Dime” on Oct. 15-16 is based upon the play “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” by Ed Graczyk. In an old five and dime store in a dried-up West Texas town, the “Disciples of James Dean” gather for their 20th reunion.

“The Book of Names” is presented in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Jan. 9-27, 2023, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Told over the course of a single day, “The Book of Names” is a mosaic of the stories of several immigrant families as their lives intersect on Ellis Island in the early 20th century.

“Night Side Songs” on Feb. 11, 17 and 18 is a gathering of music and story that asks us to consider this journey we’re all on together. Taking doctors, patients and caretakers out of the hospital or the bedroom, we meld the land of the well and the sick in a theatrical space.

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