Manuel vs. Statue – NYMF 2015 Next Link Production

Winner of the 2015 NYMF “Social Relevance and Impact” Award

Outstanding Individual Performance by Shakina Nayfack (Statue of Liberty)

Nominated for 2015 NYMF Best Musical

Manuel vs. ROUND 1 (10 of 10)
“Fight for my dream”
Manuel vs. ROUND 1 (4 of 10)sm
Manuel sings Contender – his dream to become a citizen and a Classics Professor.
Manuel vs. ROUND 1 (7 of 10)sm
Define American.
Manuel vs. ROUND 1 (8 of 10)sm
Manuel and the Statue of Liberty go at it. If he loses, he is deported.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (1 of 34)sm
The Statue of Liberty always wins.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (6 of 34)sm
Mami and Manuel have a heart to heart.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (12 of 34)sm
A rap battle of wits between the Statue and Manuel.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (16 of 34)sm
Immigration 101 – the USCIS was never this much fun.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (19 of 34)sm
The Statue looms as Manuel and his sister Yolanda scheme.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (23 of 34)sm
Manuel, Yolanda and the Statue.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (25 of 34)sm
Too big to fail.
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (22 of 34)
Fake birth certificate?
Manuel vs. ROUND 2 (26 of 34)sm
Mami’s blessing to Manuel.


Gil Perez-Abraham (Manuel), Shakina Nayfack (Statue of Liberty), Anthony Chan (Jack and others), Tami Dahbura (Mami and others), Erika Gonzalez (Jill and others), Michael Marotta (Mr. Walsh and others), AJ Meijer (Ref and others), Alicia Taylor Tomasko (Yolanda and others).


6 thoughts on “Manuel vs. Statue – NYMF 2015 Next Link Production”

  1. I saw your show at the festival and I have not stopped thinking about it!! I loved it and saw great potential for it. I have dabbled a little in investing in the theatre and I have a theatre background myself ( in my youth) besides having a great love for this art form.
    I’d like to follow your progress with the development of this play. What’s going on with it now? What are your plans?
    I’d appreciate it if you could keep me in the loop and maybe there could be a way that we could work together in the future.
    Looking forward to hearing from you
    Barbara Jolson

    1. Hi Judy: forgive my tardiness in replying. I have been traveling a lot for great and fulfilling family reasons. You can contact us through our Facebook page, as well as using this blog, which I will review more regularly. I will send you an email privately. Blessings – Noemi

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Manuel versus the Statue of Liberty

Manuel versus the Statue of Liberty, a “knockout” musical comedy about illegal immigration, portrays the perils, challenges and absurdities faced by Manuel, who can’t leave the USA to accept his scholarship to study at Oxford. He takes on The Statue of Liberty, the Diva of Democracy, in a high-stakes boxing match that pulls no punches about the farce that passes for the immigration system today. The eclectic score mixes Latin influences with other contemporary American pop music to depict Manuel’s journey from poverty in New York City to the Ivy League. As we watch the Statue of Liberty’s cold copper heart soften towards Manuel, we know there is hope. Inspired by the true story of a Princeton Undergraduate who was an undocumented child immigrant from the Dominican Republic.

More info and music at the show’s website:

The show won the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) Developmental Reading Series Award, and is now an official NYMF Next Link Project. This is a huge honor folks! Since 2004, NYMF has staged over 350 shows at its annual festival. featuring more than 8,000 artists, and entertaining more than 300,000 audience members. NYMF is one of the largest musical theatre festivals in the country!

NYMF gives us artistic support, logistical support, advice, and a grant of $5,000 towards the costs. This show will cost approximately $66,000 to fully capitalize.

Here’s where it all goes:

Creative Team – $13,500

Actor/Singers – $15,000

Musicians –  $5,000

Audition and Rehearsal Expenses – $5,150

Advertising and Promotional – $5,747

Administration – $10,000

Festival Fees – $8,000

Physical Production – $4,000justThePieChartnumbersPieChart

This show will employ over 20 theatre professionals to make it happen. I challenge you to find a more diverse combination of talented people! Your support will contribute to the success of this show and will help diversify the face of musical theatre. All donations are tax deductible because NYMF is also the show’s non profit 501 (c) 3 fiscal sponsor.

Click here to contribute online.

Checks: contact me for instructions.

More fun info on our Facebook page.

Follow the journey of self producing a musical on twitter @ManuelvsStatue.

Tickets on sale June 1 for NYMF pass holders, and June 15 for the general public. Purchase tickets through


1 thought on “Manuel versus the Statue of Liberty”

  1. Hello Noemi,

    I was hoping to get a perusal script and music for Manuel v.The Statue of Liberty for future consideration. It looks like something that would be a good fit for the San Diego REP. Can you also tell me if there are any other productions planned and if this is still in need of any additional development?


    Danielle Ward
    Literary Manager
    San Diego REPertory Theatre

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Dramatic Question Theatre – DQT

Gotta love this bunch of playwrights! They put up with my hippy ways week after week. They read my plays and offer critique to help make the script better. We are a collective of  playwrights and we have spent the last 4 years producing our own plays. We are now focusing on what we do best – play script development, and will hopefully be adding two new dynamic members. Check out the wild variety of work at

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About Noemi and her work

Welcome to a world influenced by everything from Monty Python to the Bhagavad Gita. Yeah, I know – that’s kind of weird, but that’s the way I work.When you see a “Noemi play ” you will laugh, and you will think. In that order. Quirky and intelligent comedy. The laughter opens you up, and pow! New thoughts and feelings come in! My intention is that by the end of the show, you will see your life, and the world differently; you will feel lighter, and happier.

A different perspective.
A different perspective.

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