Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments work in close partnership with each other but are two separate organisations. They receive joint Arts Council England funding which supports them to run a number of projects together. These include BEAM (a showcase of new musical theatre), an annual conference, the Resident Composer Scheme and a number of training and networking events. Both MTN and MMD are membership organisations, and our names sound a bit similar.
All of which can make it a bit confusing for people wanting to work with us, or thinking about becoming a member of one or the other. So we have written this explanation to clarify things.
What’s the difference between MTN & MMD?
MTN is all about creating the environment that allows new musical theatre to flourish. Our membership is open to anyone working professionally in musical theatre but is primarily made up of producers, venues, directors, agents and educational institutions This is because the support we offer is really about the business end of putting on a musical – we run events on things like fundraising, touring your show and theatre tax relief, as well as working nationally to build connections and use our networks to enhance what our members can do. We look at the sector overall in order to identify and then fill the gaps – creating initiatives to bring a diverse range of artists into the artform, encourage experimentation with new ways of making work, and find new ways by which that work can be seen more widely. We do have writers and composers as members; these tend to be those who are producing their own work and who are interested in the connections we can help them make.
MMD is all about nurturing new musical theatre writing and their membership is, therefore, open to writers. They know that writing musicals is hard and can often be a lonely business. So their members have access to a range of showcasing and development initiatives to help further their craft and their careers as bookwriters, lyricists and composers. They offer workshops, masterclasses, seminars and writer groups designed to support those who are new to the genre, emerging talents or seasoned professionals. They actively seek out commissions, build professional networks and are ambassadors on behalf of all their members. They have a growing community of over 400 writers both across the UK and internationally, and their community is a supportive and friendly one. MMD exists to champion and nurture the writers who are shaping the future of British musical theatre.
So which one should I join?
If you are working professionally in musical theatre, or are interested in working professionally in musical theatre, then MTN should be your first port of call. www.musicaltheatrenetwork.com
If you want to write musicals, or if you are already writing musicals, then your first port of call should be MMD. No matter your level of experience, MMD membership is open to bookwriters, lyricists and composers. www.mercurymusicals.com
But we both look forward to working with you – through whichever route we meet you.