Aria Entertainment, an independent producing company has announced that they will offer a full time literary department for International New Musicals. Since 2013, Aria have offered an annual festival of new musicals which has supported over 100 new musicals in development from showcases of new musicals, to readings and also full productions – with last year’s headline musical Unexpected Joy receiving premieres both in London and Off-Broadway.
Katy Lipson launched the From Page To Stage Festival in 2013 and has presented it for 6 years. Last year’s festival took place at Southwark Playhouse, following a hugely successful 2017 festival, which took place at the Lloyd Webber Theatre’s The Other Palace. Usually the submission window for the festival would be open for 3 months with 3 weeks at a theatre being full of various work in development presented to an industry and public audience.
This year Aria wanted to develop their commitment to new musicals in a different way – by offering writers a window to reach out with their work at all times throughout the year. Submissions will be accepted in the form of 3 demo’s, 3 scenes and a synopsis through our website. Feedback will not be able to be given but Aria will not only consider the work but also the writers themselves for future commissions. There will not be a festival this year but Aria will select work for development and future productions from what is received.
Katy Lipson said: “Over the last 6 years we have presented so many shows in development and we now reach a time as a company where we want to focus on finding new work to develop behind the scenes using our partners to build a future for some of them in and outside of London. We as a company have already begun the commissioning process for 4 new shows and wish to expand this remit. The future of our producing portfolio is definitely new musicals and in order to match the volume of revivals we have produced with new works in the future we have to begin this process now.”
Some highlights of the FROM PAGE TO STAGE festival have included Return Of The Solider, which received a production at the Jermyn Street Theatre as well as the Hope Mill Theatre and the New Wolsey, Ipswich; Claus – The Musical which has been picked up by licensing house TRW’s British Collection as well as Gallicas in Germany and XY, a reading which happened in 2017, which was recently performed at the prestigious NAMT festival in New York. From Page To Stage has featured the work of British writers Pippa Cleary, Jake Brunger, Charles Miller, Elliot Davis, James Bourne, Tim Sanders, Tim Connor, Susannah Pearse, Alexander Bermange, Tasha Taylor Johnson, Eamonn O’Dwyer, Andy Collyer, Tamar Broadbent, Dougal Irvine to name a few.
From Page To Stage is an international festival and celebration of new Musical Theatre, showcasing new musicals at all different stages of development. It was created by Katy Lipson in 2013 and has been presented in London every year since.
FROM PAGE TO STAGE began in 2013 when the Landor Theatre became available for a 4 week period and we decided to work on presenting a full festival of new musical theatre there. We had a strong knowledge of British writers at that time so the first year was a combination of operating as a receiving house like the Edinburgh Fringe; reading new work and selecting it for presentation as well as self-presenting 2 weeks of new work as a producer. We had 23 different performances over 28 days.
2014 was the year we first applied for GRANT FOR THE ARTS and decided to produce all the work in the festival. It’s this year we first reached out to American artists as well as British and created the format of a songwriters showcase, 3 staged readings and 4 showcases on one evening. Readings this year included CLAUS THE MUSICAL and RETURN OF THE SOLDIER which later received a critically acclaimed production at the Jermyn Street Theatre as well as full workshop productions of BEFORE THE NIGHT IS THROUGH from the UK and THE MISTRESS CYCLE from the US.
In 2015 we moved to the more centrally located theatre THE TRISTAN BATES at THE ACTORS CENTRE and doubled our grant from the Arts Council. In this year we presented new British musical THE STATIONMASTER for 2 weeks as well as showcases of JUST A MAN and THIS IS ALSO ENGLAND as well as a reading of OUT THERE by Elliot Davis and James Bourne..
2016 was our final year at The Tristan Bates and we decided to present a shorter 3 week season focused on showcases and readings only. This was an exciting year as we presented the European Premiere of Lin Manuel-Miranda’s mini musical 21 CHUMP STREET as well as a 45 minute one woman song cycle called HEART OF WINTER and BANANAMAN.
The 2017 festival moved to The Other Palace and had one of the largest companies in the West End that summer: a Cast of 60+, working alongside 18 Creatives, plus Musicians and over 50 Composers and Writers presenting new musicals! From fully staged main house productions, readings, workshops to concerts and showcases, the International Summer Festival ran for three weeks. Showcasing musicals from around the world including: Panama, Germany, France, UK and US.
FROM PAGE TO STAGE is now seen as a ground-breaking International Musical Festival for new musicals that will be heard by the musical industry names and public audiences, at the start of their musical theatre life.
In 2017, Andrew Lloyd Webber, owner of The Other Palace said: “I am thrilled that Katy Lipson is bringing From Page to Stage to The Other Palace. It buoys my hope that The Other Palace will become a breeding ground for new musicals and a genuine hub for anyone interested in musical theatre.”
Our final season last year took place at Southwark Playhouse and showcased a new American musical UNEXPECTED JOY which also ran Off-Broadway. We also presented readings of TO PAINT THE EARTH, THE ASTONISHING TIMES OF TIMOTHY CRATCHET and CULT. Showcases included VILLAGES and a new BENJAMIN BUTTON musical.
Producer – Aria Entertainment