New Musical Development Collective at home at Theatre Royal Stratford East

Sandra Giorgetti

The New Musical Development Collective, which has been founded to address the lack of diversity amongst musical theatre writers and poor offering of development initiatives, has a home at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Theatre Royal Stratford East will mentor and support the participants of the new organisation's Musical Theatre Lab, who have been selected following an open call for applications; they include Zara McFarlane, Amber Hsu, Stu Barter, Firdos Ali, Nikki Burnhope, Shireen Mula, Joe Von Malachowski and David Austin Grey.

Each will receive a £1,000 payment, masterclasses and workshops, a work-in-progress sharing at The Other Palace, an excerpt sharing at Theatre Royal Stratford East, a 12-month membership to Mercury Musical Developments, free tickets to Theatre Royal Stratford East productions and access to hot desks and rehearsal rooms.

Theatre Royal Stratford East artistic director Kerry Michael said, "musical theatre is a key priority for Theatre Royal Stratford East, being an art form that has the power to bridge gaps across cultures and develop new audiences. We are excited to support and mentor the New Musical Development Collective with our shared vision to break new ground with British musicals.

"As an organisation that has always had musical theatre development as one its cores, we are excited to share our knowledge and expertise with the NMDC as they respond with us to the rallying call for new British musicals."

During the year-long partnership, NMDC will produce two EMERGE showcasing concerts and a Think Tank Roundtable series on diversity.