NEXT is Theater Latté Da’s New Work Festival showcasing three works that stretch the boundaries of musical storytelling. Each show in the Festival receives public performances providing audience members the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the creative process. Following each performance is an in-depth conversation with the playwrights, composers and lyricists. Be a part of Theater Latté Da’s commitment to the next generation of the Great American Musical.

View our 2017 NEXT Festival lineup below!



Conceived by Saheem Ali & Mkhululi Z. Mabija
Music by Michael Thurber
Book by Jocelyn Bioh
Lyrics by Mkhululi Z. Mabija, Michael Thurber, Jocelyn Bioh & Saheem Ali

Directed by Saheem Ali
Music Direction by Sanford Moore

Goddess is a contemporary spin on an ancient folk tale about Marimba, the deity of music.  Set in the East African port of Mombasa, at the steamy jazz club Moto Moto, it tells the story of Nadira, the club’s beautiful headliner and the fate of the men drawn to her siren song. With a score that draws from jazz, afrobeat and taarab, Goddess is a story about love, destiny, and the confluence of traditional beliefs with the modern world.

Goddess features the talents of Nathan Barlow, Gabrielle Dominique, Ashawnti Ford, Karan Kendrick, Thomasina Petrus, Jon-Michael Reese, Mikell Sapp, Joe Thomas, and Nimeme Wuren.

Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. and
Monday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Ritz Theater
345 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis MN 55413


Book by Harrison David Rivers
Music by Ethan D. Pakchar & Douglas Lyons
Lyrics by Douglas Lyons

Directed by Peter Rothstein
Music Direction by Denise Prosek

Five Points is set in New York City in 1863 amidst the tumult of the Civil War. It chronicles the journeys of two men, Willie Lane, a young black performer at the famed Almack’s Dance Hall, and John Diamond, an Irish immigrant and former jig champion, as they risk everything in pursuit of the American Dream. Inspired by real events, this world premiere musical is about what happens when cultures collide. Yes, there is often chaos, but every once in a while, something extraordinary happens.

Five Points features the talents of Matt Bailey, Nathan Barlow, Jody Briskey, Ivory Doublette, Daniel Grecco, Michael Gruber, Aeysha Kinnunen, Joel Liestman, Riley McNutt, Thomasina Petrus, Jon-Michael Reese, Andre Shoals, Kendall Anne Thompson, and Alejandro Vega.

Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. and
Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Ritz Theater
345 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis MN 55413


By Glen Berger
Music by Frank London

Directed by Peter Rothstein
Music Direction by Dan Chouinard

A Dutch librarian embarks on a quest to find out who anonymously returned a library book; a travel guide that is 113 years overdue. A clue scribbled in the margin of the book and an unclaimed dry-cleaning ticket then take her on a mysterious adventure that spans the globe and the ages. The librarian, who has never left her native town of Hoofdrop, grows determined to track down the offender. As she travels around the world on her obsessive search, she finds herself on a journey that not only unlocks ancient mysteries, but also moves her to new revelations about her place in the universe.

Underneath the Lintel features the talents of Sally Wingert, Natalie Nowytski, and Dan Chouinard.

August 4 at 3:00 p.m. Performance Added!
August 7 at 7:30 p.m.
The Playwrights’ Center
2301 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406


Our NEXT Festival funders



    The NARA Fund