We're working on it

aka MTF Musicals   |   New York, NY   |


Musical Theatre Factory (MTF) is committed to dismantling oppressive ideologies toward collective liberation, centering artists of excellence who exist in the intersections of underrepresented groups. We develop changemaking new musicals in a joyous, collaborative community free from commercial constraints.

Ruling year info


Managing Director

Aaron Salley

Main address

440 Lafayette Street 4th Floor

New York, NY 10003 USA

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NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are led by the passion to transform culture and do so through serving and gathering an artistic community that makes art to make change. Musical Theatre Factory is artist service organization dedicated to dismantling oppressive ideologies towards collective liberation through powerful and joyful story in song. We create opportunities for musical theater makers of excellence who exist at the intersections of underrepresented groups while providing all-­access programming for artists to collaborate and grow together. Our philosophy and values stem from studying the concepts of solidarity economy and grassroots economic justice, seeking to meet our needs together and taking responsibility actively for our interrelationships. This is the foundation of moving from a volunteer community to building an organization grounded in the values of equity, pluralism, democracy, cooperation, and sustainability.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


As an organization, we center the artist’s agency to experiment and establish their own process for creation following our mission to create collaborative environments free from the pressures of critical and commercial success. We support non-traditional structures, encouraging them to hold space for each other. The Makers program provides support through accountability, financial compensation, dramaturgical consultation, camaraderie and collaboration, and opportunities to share work for early career artists. Central to this program is building a community of artists as a support system while they grow together professionally and personally. Makers have a constructive space to practice the radical act of collaborative dramaturgy, bringing their brand new work before their peers to exchange valuable insights. The guidance offered by our professional dramaturgs is crucial not only to further the developmental process of each piece, but also the individual, long-term career goals of each Maker.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

Musical Theatre Factory has started MTFxR, an industry-leading series of educational opportunities, workshops, and programs to unite creative technologists working in immersive technology and extended reality (XR, shorthand for both augmented reality—AR—and virtual reality—VR) with the artistically groundbreaking musical theatre artists of MTF. All programs and projects developed through the Initiative will be focused on creating new musical theatre experiences in XR that transform culture by socially inclusive and innovative work.
As the influence of technology in our culture has grown, there is a growing disconnect between theatre artists and technologists. While the two are perceived as distant worlds of arts and science, these two communities are closely aligned with their commitment to creativity, innovation, and unconventional thinking. The Initiative provides a series of opportunities for artists and technologists to experiment, build new ideas and solutions for radical storytelling and form fruitful collaborations.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We examine the current normative systems in the political, socio-economic landscape and disrupt them through direct engagement with powerful storytelling and narratives from marginalized and underrepresented communities. We serve and gather an artistic community from diverse backgrounds for collective support, feedback, growth, collaboration, and community that centers art-making for change-making. We do so by crafting every space that we hold as radical, intentional, rigorous, and inclusive. These values are our foundation of what we envision—accessible and brave creative spaces where all artists of all backgrounds at any stage of their career can be supported throughout their process. These values are our foundation of what we envision—accessible and brave creative spaces where all artists of all backgrounds at any stage of their career can be supported throughout their process.
The intent of all of our programming is to engage our audience, community, and the field at large in the developmental process. This provides a unique space to provoke civic discourse surrounding the art and ideals of the generative artists that we serve. Art is one major way to shift culture, and by supporting the work of artists who are creating work that serves that vision, we are thereby challenging the field to be more inclusive and pushing the bounds of the artform. Our community of artists works collectively, sharing peer support and feedback to strengthen the work and lift each other up, aptly able to shift quickly and pivot towards having more effective strategies that serve our mission. We encourage our artists to do the same for their work, to dream boldly, be present with what is, and be unafraid to make radical shifts for the expansion into previously unimagined possibilities. Because of this dexterity, we are able to continually take down oppressive and unjust paradigms, thereby always evolving the form and expanding the idea of what Musical Theatre can be.

Our qualifications for programming is rooted first in the rubric of: What are we perpetuating? What are we dismantling? Who are the artists who are reimagining what musical theatre can be—in the field as well as in the form? How can we as a pipeline for emerging artists provide the necessary support for them to experiment boldly, free from the pressures of commercial success? That is the core of how curation begins, and is held with as much care as the craft of the work. The system of accountability is made up of retrospectives and evaluations for all our activities, continually assessing how our programming moves us towards racial and gender equity.
We are a radical incubator, lab, and playground, allowing artists the time and space necessary to innovate form and genre, and create work that inspires civic discourse.
We are intentional in our role as gatekeepers and curators, and have robust systems in place through our assembly line that ensures the resources we are providing are going to support the work of artists who have traditionally not been given equal opportunity and access.
We are the beginning of the pipeline for musical theatre composers, writers, directors, actors, music director, and musicians. We provide rigorous opportunities for incredible talent to meet each other to make new collaborations, challenge monolithic though, and gather together to build a community that can support each other.
We cultivate new musicals that are artistically groundbreaking and socially inclusive - making work that dismantles oppressive ideologies towards collective liberation, through powerful and joyful story in song. By placing the resources in their hands, we have seen the impact on our community and the field at large.

At the helm of our approach with our programming and the Assembly Line. Each month we host a variety of all-access and no-cost programming (Salons, Roundtables, and Open Shares), in order to provide opportunity to artists regardless of their socioeconomic status. Not only does this provide a space for artists an opportunity for further development, but it also exposes the community to a broad range of new work and allows us to cultivate an inclusive audience.
Equity, access, and inclusion are at the core of MTF’s mission, and is a cornerstone of consideration across our organization’s activities. We actively move our organization to being anti-racist by first placing people of color in decision making roles. Our organization is led predominantly by people of color including South Asian, East Asian, African American, and Latin American identities. More than half of the MTF team identifies as part of the LGBTQIA community, and are women, trans, and non-binary. Since our Asian identifying Producing Artistic Director began 6 months ago, 50% of the new board members added were people of color. The Board is also now approximately 60% women and trans identifying.

MTF has been part of the development life­cycle for 130+ new works and served over 900 writers, actors, directors, musicians and multidisciplinary artists. Our artists are leading the charge of radical transformation in every way. Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop, which was originally developed at MTF, opened to critical acclaim at Playwrights Horizons in the Spring of 2019 and won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Mark Sonnenblick (Jonathan Larson Award winner, 2018) and Sam Bolen, who met at MTF, opened Midnight at the Never Get at The York Theatre Company in Fall of 2018; Founding member Joe Iconis is now opening Be More Chill on Broadway with performers he met at MTF, and Nikko Benson premiered Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at the Adirondack Theatre Festival 2017; Jillian Walker’s developmental residency of SKiNFoLK:An American Show garnered producers to support the production, and premiered at the Bushwick Starr in March 2020. Further producing organizations (Rattlestick and Ars Nova) have already offer opportunities. Our artists envision and manifest the future of the field.
We have been successful in creating a pipeline for makers to create bold new musical theatre, centering development process and amplifying the voices of artists of color in the artistic realm. Having served artists at all stages as they develop their work, we then connect and advocate for them with the people, organizations, and resources for their next steps. Now, as we are positioned to think strategically about the impact of our organization, we are thinking about radical transformation in every aspect of our processes. We see a need for more managers and producers of color that have traditionally been denied opportunity to thrive in the field. We are ready to take the structure of liberation used in curation to foster the same radical disruption and redistribution of resources to administrators, managers and producers of color, creating deep transformation in the field as we as an organization also expands to become sustainable and inclusive. A vertically integrated process would reduce the burden of education, implicit bias, monolithic thought and allow for more intentional focus on creating the art.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 1/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Shakina Nayfack

Ophelia Chua

Broadway Strategic Return Fund

Julian Fleisher

Fiona Goh-Tan

Vickers Venture Partners

Jane Jung

Ping Chong + Company

Shakina Nayfack

Kent Nicholson

Playwrights Horizons

Catherine Pulley

Wells Fargo

Caroline Samuels


Jeffrey Trachtman

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

AriDy Nox

Troy Anthony

Aaron Glick

Stone Productions

Melissa Haizlip

Juliet Moser

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/22/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/22/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.