To be both a national and international leader in the development of new music theatre by connecting groundbreaking shows, writers and artists with top tier students, faculty and staff.
The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University partners leading artists in music theatre with Northwestern’s faculty, staff, and students to develop new musicals, bridging the educational and professional worlds through uniquely tailored new work processes. AMTP’s goal is to nourish and invigorate American music theatre by supporting writers in their early stages of development, creating new connections between the professional and academic communities, and increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern’s theatre, music theatre and dance programs.
Founded in 1851, Northwestern University is one of the country’s leading private research and teaching universities. With its impressive infrastructure of facilities, faculty and students, and its progressive methods for teaching and learning, Northwestern welcomes artists and projects that benefit from a nurturing creative process and a means of introducing new work to the broader creative community. The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) was founded by professor emeritus Dominic Missimi and Broadway producer Stuart Oken in May 2005 in Northwestern’s School of Communication. The first year of AMTP also marked the first year of a partnership with the Johnny Mercer Foundation, producing the annual Songwriters Project - a songwriting mentorship program for young and upcoming writers. In its first five years, AMTP helped develop new works by artists such as Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Tina Landau, Andrew Lippa, Sheldon Harnick, Michael Friedman, Joshua Salzman & Ryan Cunningham. In the fall of 2010, David H. Bell was named the Artistic Director of the American Music Theatre Project when he assumed the position of Director of Music Theatre after Missimi. In 2016, Brannon Bowers was named Producing Director and former AMTP artist Ryan Cunningham was named Associate Artistic Director of the project. That same year, AMTP established an ongoing partnership with the American Theatre Wing to bring one of the Jonathan Larson Grant recipients to campus each season, and established an international partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to commission, develop and produce two new musicals at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every summer. With a renewed focus on early stage development, AMTP has helped develop over 30 new musicals in just the past few years and continues to be a leader in new work development.