australian balletIn 1999, Kris produced and directed a number of outdoor events – it was during the renovation of the Myer Music Bowl, and a series of major Melbourne events needed to be re-housed. It was quite an interesting challenge to find a way to produce these enormous events for one-night-only in a stylish but practical way.

The Ballet in the Park was a free annual event sponsored by Telstra, and included two dozen member of the Australian Ballet’s ballet corp, plus (as you can see above), inflatable light sculptures created for the night, a string ensemble that played live and a fireworks event. More than 15,000 audience members attended this event.


concourseAfter spending eighteen months working with Century Venues on a series of non-profit ventures for the company, including The Sydney Fringe and New Musicals Australia, Kris was brought in as a consultant for the six months prior to the opening of The Concourse, an initiative of Willoughby City Council and the cultural home of the North Shore.

The Concourse is one of Sydney’s leading entertainment venues home to a dynamic range of live arts and entertainment, and it incorporates a Concert Hall and theatre as well as rehearsal and studio space, conference facilities, and outdoor urban screen and a library with over 5,000 square metres of books.

The Concourse

Kris assisted with establishing the opening programming and producing the opening gala event at the Concourse, on September 17, 2011.


red hookIf it is August in New York, it must mean a whole new year of freshmen are descending on the city colleges.  Jenny Traylor is one of them, and she has moved here against her mother’s wishes, because her mom doesn’t realize it’s not 1978 anymore and NYC has become so safe it’s almost boring.

During Jenny’s Welcome Week at college, she gets invited to take part in the annual scavenger hunt, and the rules are simple: a clue gets sent to your cell phone, and you race to take your photo with the answer and text it back to receive the next clue.

But something is up. Someone is changing the rules and sending Jenny’s friends across the city and picking them off one by one.

Will Jenny be able to save them?  Will she want to? Don’t turn off your cell phones … because the hunt is on.


Red Hook – Movie Trailervia Metacafe

Red Hook – Movie Stills from RedSandMedia on Vimeo.


tos“You’re reading the official blurb, or short summary, of [title of show].  Blurb.  That’s a funny word. We spent a lot of time on this blurb so please read the whole blurb.

“[title of show] is a musical about two nobodies named Hunter and Jeff who decide to write a completely original musical starring themselves and their attractive and talented ladyfriends, Susan and Heidi.

Their musical, [title of show], gets into the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and becomes a hit.  Then it gets an off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre, and wins three Obie Awards!

Then (drumroll if you’ve got a drum) it’s announced that their musical is going to Broadway (hooray!) and people start seeing this blurb everywhere!  They read that The New York Times called [title of show] “DELECTABLE ENTERTAINMENT! A postmodern homage to the grand tradition of backstage musicals like Babes in Arms, Kiss Me, Kate and A Chorus Line.”

Fully intrigued, those people snatch up tickets and help make Hunter and Jeff’s life-long dream come true!”



“Delectable entertainment” – the New York Times
“In expert hands” – Associated Press
“Terrific. A kick-ass time” – The New York Daily News
“Sly, sassy, inspired” – Entertainment Weekly
“Wise, warm, irresistible” – The NY Sun
“A genuine treat” – NJ Star Ledger
“Immensely likeable” – The New Yorker
“A bottomless reservoir of fun” –
“Don’t miss it!” – Time Out NY
“An enjoyable romp” – Wolf Entertainment Guide
“A damn good show” – Edge NY
“A crowd-pleaser” – Variety
“Infectious joy” – WPKN
“A good dose of fun” – AM New York


MADISONKris’ friend Geoff Cohen was on the board of the National Music Theater Network while Kris was working as their executive director. In addition to being the NMTN treasurer, Geoff had been Executive Producer for Radio City Entertainment for a number of years.

Mr. Cohen was producing A Christmas Carol, which was written by Lynn Ahrens and Alan Menken and directed by Susan Stroman. It has a cast of 80+, and Cohen asked Kris to come in and produce a series of performances that were in the “style” of what Stroman was doing in the show, and these performances would happen in the auditorium or the foyer or suites, etc.

Radio City Entertainment hired more than 20 performers in total, and Kris developed a range of small spontaneous acts that could happen in a number of different environment. It was a bit of silliness, and fun to put together with a whole range of “specialty performers”.


LYGONBefore he left Melbourne, Kris spent 2000 and 2001 as the Producer of the Lygon Street Festa, which is Australia’s largest street event.

Celebrating the rich diversity of Italo-Australian culture, the Festa would take place over eight city blocks, with all traffic diverted and stages at each intersection and in the garden. It is a serious party atmosphere, with over 400,000 attendees, 1500 staff and artists, eight stages, and loads of activity. An enjoyable nightmare to budget, schedule, market, program and produce.



INTERVIEWKris has worked on a number of other developmental projects across his career. This included spending eighteen months as executive director of the National Music Theatre Network, before launching NYMF.

Since 1984, NMTN has presented several hundred public concerts intended to promote new works, including The NMTN Annual Concert, the NMTN Songbook Series, The Broadway Dozen and the BroadwayUSA! program, which presents new musicals throughout the United States.

While at the National Music Theater Network, Kris was in charge of overseeing its new works program and two seasons of NMTN developmental productions, as well as its gala benefit, with the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway production of La Boheme.

Kris also spent a year as the consulting director for the Theatre for the American Musical, a NYC based foundation that funded writer support for creators of new music theatre, and there Kris headed their grant and commissioning program.

Through his career, Kris has commissioned the creation of a number of new musicals, including Common Grounds and Platforms (two new dance musicals), Wrong Number (a musical created through improvisation, in collaboration with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater), the Guerilla Musicals Project (spontaneous musicals that would interrupt events across NYC), Web Site Story (a user generated musical, created through online collaboration) and Innovative Leisure (a musical on the rise and fall of Atari, in collaboration with the Ensemble Studio Theatre).  He has directed the workshops of The Jackyl and Carved in Air, and has overseen the development of a number of new works programs, including projects with the Victorian Art Centre and the City of Stonnington.

“The work that NMTN has done has been thrilling, surprising, and necessary. Its energy never flags. This terrific program continues to ignite the creativity of some of our best musical theater artists.” — John Lithgow, actor

“Tim Jerome, Kris Stewart and NMTN have engineered a totally unique program that has helped dozens of new works move from the page to the stage” — Brian Stokes Mitchell, actor


NMAKris Stewart is the founding director of New Musicals Australia, an initiative dedicated to the production of original music theatre in Australia. NMA aims to provide support for emerging musical theatre creators by presenting a number of workshopping opportunities to assist in the development of original work.

The program focuses on providing writers and composers with the opportunity to have their scripts and songs workshopped by professionals and presented to high level industry peers, creative industry leaders and general audience members. New Musicals Australia also supports a variety of other initiatives targeted at developing new works, establishing networks and providing support for independent writers.

Century Venues in collaboration with the Australia Council have founded this initiative and headhunted Kris to lead the organization, to help build the foundations of the shows that audiences will one day see on the Australian stages of tomorrow.

You can learn more about New Musicals Australia by visiting their website,

New Musicals Australia has three key workshop initiatives suitable for new musical theatre works in different stages of development.  They are –

The Musical Snapshot.  A 20-40 minute extract of the musical will be presented in concert alongside other new works.  A panel of industry professionals will offer immediate feedback on structural and creative strengths and weaknesses. This opportunity is open to three to six new works in early stages of development and enables creative teams to receive professional feedback and gauge a general audience response.

The Developmental Reading.  A new work will be rehearsed and performed in concert.  The process will include a five day rehearsal period that culminates in a presentation of the work on the sixth day.  There will be the opportunity for two developmental readings per year for musicals in an intermediate stage of development.

The Workshop Presentation.  A musical will be rehearsed and performed book-down with staging and limited production elements.  This initiative will include a ten day workshop with professional performers and the collaboration of a director, choreographer and musical director, and will be presented to an audience of industry leaders, music theatre creative professionals and the general public.


New Musicals Australia Launched to Foster Original Works

Panel announced to advise New Musicals Australia


In addition to his work as the executive director of NYMF, Kris Stewart is an experienced producer, both in the commercial and non-profit realms. In 2008, his commercial production company, Red Sand Media Partners, produced the feature film Red Hook and the TONY nominated musical [title of show], and has two commercial musicals and a television drama in active development.

Kris also headed up a number of non-profit initiatives, including the Australian Ballet’s Ballet in the Park, Madison Square Garden/Radio City Entertainment’s A Christmas Carol, the Lygon Street Festa (over 300,000 attendees), the Myer Music Bowl Millennium Concert, the Waterfront Festival, the Williamstown Festival, The LIVE Youth Festival, the VIVA Cultural Diversity Festival and numerous outdoor concerts and events. Prior to NYMF, Kris was Executive Director of the National Music Theatre Network and consulting director for the Theatre for the American Musical, and a Consultant on Cultural Development for the City of Melbourne.


REDSANDRed Sand Media Partners was founded in 2007 by Brad Rubenstein and Kris Stewart to develop television, film, commercial theatre, and emerging media properties.

Red Sand Media Partners has a series of projects in active development; these include commercial musical theatre, TV and film projects. The first two projects to reach the market will be RED HOOK, a teen thriller that completed principal photography in NYC in August 2007, and [title of show], which opened on Broadway July 17th, 2008 at the Lyceum Theater.

You can find out more information on either projects at, or on each project’s site – and

For more at, click through to [title of show] and Red Hook.


Red Hook – Movie Trailervia Metacafe