search for new musicals | NewMusicalsInc

search for new musicals

SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

New Musicals Inc. is committed to an ongoing search to find and nurture promising new musical theatre.

If you’ve written a musical, and you would like some honest, constructive, detailed feedback on how to make your musical better, you can submit your musical to NMI for dramaturgical feedback at levels from evaluation to analysis to table reading.

All full-length musicals submitted (at any level) to NMI by JULY 15 of any year will be automatically entered in the Search for New Musicals for the next season.  Winners will be announced by November 15 following the annual deadline. The winner of the Search receives a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and will be given a concert reading in Los Angeles.

Note:  There are fees attached to all of the levels of development available through NMI.  The entry level is $195 for a 20-30 minute audio Script Overview; the next level is an in-depth 2-3 hour video Analysis for $400.  We know that some writers do not feel that there should be fees attached to script submissions, but our feeling is that the fee is for the Script Overview, and the entry into the Search is a side benefit.  If you are submitting your musical ONLY because you want to win a contest, then the Search probably isn’t right for you. 

SUBMIT A FULL-LENGTH MUSICAL

(Note: You will be prompted to log-in to submit your musical.
 If you don’t already have an NMI user account, you will be prompted to create one.)

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“The real value of this service is in its rarity: from genuine industry professionals who have the clarity and vision to provide feedback with no bias or agenda and which asks the right questions and suggestions to enable YOU to genuinely UNDERSTAND how to make your work a better piece of musical theatre - the long term benefits of which are incalculable!”

Michael Dresser

“To get professional feedback for a ridiculously low fee, where else are you gonna go?”

David Fischer

“We are in receipt of your video and your analysis of the piece. After watching the video and taking notes, we feel as if a nurturing dramaturgical Mary Poppins has visited us with wonderful insightful nourishment. It appeared to us that you seemed to really relate to the characters we’ve established and are caught up with their plight and have come up with ways to strengthen them … Your suggestions are invaluable to us and many will be integrated.”

Ron Yatter

“Thank you so much for the evaluation. It was more helpful than I could have imagined. Your words inspired me to work most diligently …You are more valuable than money and gold! I really appreciate your insights and clarity.”

Peter Copani

“I’m extremely pleased and appreciative of your evaluation. It’s the first constructive evaluation I’ve had. Your thoroughness and assistance pretty much blew me away. I am both impressed and enthused.”

Michael McNeill

“Wow! Almost 45 minutes of detailed analysis — I’m frankly feeling a bit blown away! Such helpful insights. I’ve listened to the evaluation twice now. MANY THANKS for taking so much time to share such helpful insights. ”

Stephen Telfer

“Elise Dewsberry’s rare gift for analyzing plot and character is enormously helpful to writers.  Her story sense is phenomenal.”

Stephen Oles

“If anyone is hesitant about the cost of submitting to you guys, be sure to have them talk to me. Your evaluations are worth ten times the fee.”

William Roetzheim, Producing Director

“Thanks again for your honesty and smarts. Your candor, insights and graciousness are much appreciated. It’s the best tutorial I’ve ever had and, like most artists, I generally don’t sit still for tutorials.”

Ed Goldman, Composer/Lyricist/Librettist, Friday@5

“Thank you so much for your evaluation. I’m gratified by how whole-heartedly you engaged with the piece, and your report is full of useful insights and suggestions which will help us greatly in the next phase. Thank you to you and your colleagues for running this programme.”

James Reid, Probe

“[I have found] the evaluation to be very enlightening; I’d like to add that such a detailed treatment was far beyond my expectations and proved your organization to be totally sincere and definitely concerned with promoting quality and professional musical theatre.”

Walter Johnson

“Thanks for yet another amazing evaluation session, and the wonderful performers who did the reading. We are always incredibly moved by the dedication and focus of you people, and your devotion to the cause of ‘putting it together’. What a powerhouse NMI is, and an inspiration for all of us trying to create new musical work.”

Chris Burgess

“I am so impressed with your evaluation. It is far more thorough than I expected, and full of valuable critiques and suggestions.”

Tracey Corea

“We appreciate your constructive review of our project. It was the best $100 we’ve spent in a while. In fact, a substantially revised version, that includes many of your recommendations, is being staged this summer by the El Paso Community College.”

Mark Watts, eleven

“Elise Dewsberry has been the most influential, helpful, encouraging but brutally honest mentor in my six year attempt to write the book and many of the lyrics of a Broadway-style musical. I recommend Elise without reservation. Entering the Search was the beginning of a year-long association with NMI, and I will continue to seek Elise’s help and very happily pay for it.”

Sandy Wolf, Marina

“Just a huge thank you for the feedback and suggestions. Way more detailed and involved than I expected, and extremely constructive. Feeling energized.”

David Fischer

“I just finished reading your evaluation and want to thank you So Much for your perspectives and time. What you wrote is exactly the kind of fundamental theatrical feedback I was hoping to get for the work. Its always hugely helpful getting feedback revealing where the conceptual blind spots are.”

Les Oreck

SUBMIT A MUSICAL

(Note: You will be prompted to log-in to submit your musical.
If you don’t already have an NMI user account, you will be prompted to create one.)

THE 2016 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

SPELLBOUND: A Perfect Musical Fairytale

Book, Music and Lyrics by Ben Boecker

Spellbound! tells the story of Cedarella, a witch who identifies more with Princesses than Witches, so she runs away from home to seek her One True Love in the mountains. She meets an Extreme Gardener named Hunter, whom she likes but ultimately rejects because he is not tall enough. Cedarella finally meets her perfect One True Love only to discover that he is a robot designed by her evil aunts to suck all of the love out of her heart. Will Cedarella be able to meld her fairytale vision of love with the real world? Or will her evil aunts suck all of the love out of her heart before she can?

SPELLBOUND received an ARC workshop in the fall of 2016; and a concert reading as part of the STAGES Festival July of 2017.

SECOND PRIZE:

WIKIMUSICAL

Book and Lyrics by Frank Ceruzzi and Blake J. Harris and Music by Trent Jeffords

WikiMusical tells the epic tale of two estranged brothers who are magically zapped inside the Internet. The brothers must put aside their differences and come to terms with their pasts in order to save the future. A quintessential quest story, WikiMusical shows us how our obsession with the virtual world has affected our ability to live in the real one.

WIKIMUSICAL will receive a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, followed by a staff evaluation.

THIRD PRIZE:

ASSISTANTS

Book, Music and Lyrics by Bryan Blaskie and Manny Hagopian

Assistants the Musical follows four aspiring Hollywood go-getters as they explore the superiority complex and the glamorous lifestyle of Los Angeles that seems to elevate its participants above “ordinary” people. They maneuver around long hours, degrading work, and hostile environments in the name of their big dream. All alone in the bustling city of L.A., the characters find that they may need some assistance of their own.

ASSISTANTS will receive a Detailed Analysis from the NMI Staff.

THE 2015 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

INVISIBLE

Book by David Hollingsworth, music and lyrics by David Orris

Invisible is the story of high school nerds Griff and Kemper, who are determined to get popular enough to take the hot girls to the prom, despite warnings from their under-appreciated goth friend Hemlock. When their scientific experiment goes horribly wrong, Griff needs to figure out who is really standing by him, and whether or not being popular is all its cracked up to be.

Invisible received a concert reading in June of 2016.

SECOND PRIZE:

CAROLINE AND GEORGE

By Michael Finke

Caroline & George is an outrageous musical comedy that follows the trials and tribulations of the not-so-happy couple, Caroline of Brunswick and the future King George IV (who were married, reluctantly, in 1795), as they push through their marriage, affairs, addictions, flatulence, and separations on their journey towards the crown of England … ultimately changing a nation.

Caroline and George received a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, followed by a staff evaluation.

THIRD PRIZE:

MORALITY PLAY

Book & Lyrics by Janet Burroway, and Music by Matthew M. Kiedrowski and Curtis Powell

Morality Play takes place in the England of the 14th century, a bitter winter in a time of plague: A traveling troupe of actors takes on a runaway priest. They come to a town where a young boy has been murdered and a beautiful deaf woman condemned for it. They can’t get an audience — because who wants a Morality Play when there’s real mystery afoot? How can they get back their audience except by Docudrama? In the process of inventing their murder story, they uncover the truth of a plot that mixes procurement, abuse, a Monk confessor and a powerful Duke.

Morality Play received a Detailed Analysis from the NMI Staff.

2014 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

OFF THE WALL

Book & Lyrics by Sarah Rebell, Music by Danny Abosch

Off the Wall is a musical comedy loosely inspired by the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. In this ninety minute, original musical, the Mona Lisa is brought to life when Vincenzo, a museum worker who idolizes the famous painting, kisses her. Much to Vincenzo’s dismay, Mona Lisa immediately starts causing chaos all over Paris. This fresh, tongue-in-cheek musical may take place in the Belle Époque, but it whimsically explores contemporary themes, including the glorification of celebrity, the obsession with physical beauty and the importance of taking a second glance at preconceived notions of love and art.

Off the Wall will receive an ARC Workshop, and will be presented as part of STAGES 2014 in Los Angeles.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE ANARCHIST GIRL

Book and Lyrics by J. Linn Allen, Music by Cris Wo

In a time of political chaos, a sexy, gun-waving radical invades the home of a famous philosopher-poet, intending to kidnap him to promote her anarchist group. But he is mute from a stroke, so she conceals her plot and sets out to help him speak again. She also seduces his suicidal math-genius son while battling the great man’s bitter wife and party-girl daughter. Once her plan is revealed, the lives of the entire family change.

The Anarchist Girl will receive a workshop with ARC, and will be presented as part of the 2015 STAGES Festival of New Musicals.

THIRD PRIZE:

INVISIBLE

Book by David Hollingsworth, music and lyrics by David Orris

Invisible is the story of high school nerds Griff and Kemper, who are determined to get popular enough to take the hot girls to the prom, despite warnings from their under-appreciated goth friend Hemlock. When their scientific experiment goes horribly wrong, Griff needs to figure out who is really standing by him, and whether or not being popular is all its cracked up to be.

Invisible will receive a workshop with ARC, and will be presented as part of the 2015 STAGES Festival of New Musicals in Los Angeles.

THE 2013 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

IT HAPPENED IN ROSWELL

by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal

It Happened in Roswell (formerly titled I Come For Love) tells the story of an ambitious reporter who cooks up a bogus UFO story in Roswell, New Mexico (just after World War 2); and is thrown for a loop when he finds himself falling in love with an actual alien who has come to earth looking for the emotions she has heard about through radio transmissions but can’t find on her home planet.

It Happened in Roswell received a workshop with ARC, and a developmental production at the NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood during the summer of 2014.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE LOOKING GLASS WARS

by Kurt Kuenne, based on the novel by Frank Beddor.

The Looking Glass Wars is a musical adaptation of the popular trilogy which tells the “real” story behind Lewis Carroll’s “distorted” version.

The Looking Glass Wars received a staff table reading at NMI.

THIRD PRIZE:

INFAMOUS

book by Karen M. Cohen, music and lyrics by Stephen Kingsbury, and additional music and lyrics by Karen M. Cohen

Infamous tells the story of a rock star on the decline who runs into a rock star on her way up to stardom.

Infamouse was awarded a Detailed Analysis.

THE 2012 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

MAD BOMBER

Book and Lyrics by Charles Monagan Music by Richard DeRosa

Mad Bomber tells the true story of a madman with a grudge against Con Edison who plants a series of bombs in 1950s Manhattan. Concerted effort by cops, politicians, reporters leads to his capture.

Mad Bomber received an ARC Workshop in January of 2013, and a concert reading as part of the STAGES Festival in summer of 2013.

SECOND PRIZE:

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Book, Lyrics, and Music by Stephen Telfer

Chapter Eleven depicts the collapse of a major corporation from the point of view of its indicted CEO, whose lawyer is preparing his defense in the form of a musical.

Chapter Eleven will receive a staff table reading and full evaluation.

THIRD PRIZE:

JACK THE RIPPER

Libretto by Dan Kehde Music by Mark Scarpelli

Jack the Ripper is a new exploration of the iconic tale of the 1880’s murderer who haunted the streets of London and was never apprehended.

Jack the Ripper has won a detailed Analysis by the ANMT dramaturgical staff.

THE 2011 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

EMERALD

book & lyrics by Chris Burgess, music by Denise Wright

An Irish-American woman returns to the land of her ancestors, and finds herself “haunted” by the famed Black Pig.

EMERALD received an ARC Workshop in May of 2011, and a concert reading at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood in February of 2012.

SECOND PRIZE:

LIFE AFTER LIFE

Written by Tracey Langran Corea; Music and Lyrics by Thaddeus Corea and Tracey Corea; Music by Thaddeus Corea

LIFE AFTER LIFE received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in the summer of 2011.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE SPIRIT OF RIVER CITY

by Randolph Hobler

THE SPIRIT OF RIVER CITY received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in the fall of 2011.

THIRD PRIZE:

SILAS MARNER

by Cathy Elliott

SILAS MARNER will receive an ANMT Analysis.

THE 2010 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

GILBERT & SULLIVAN ON WALL STREET

book and lyrics by Charles Veley, music by Arthur Sullivan.

Ex-billionaire Wall Street entrepreneur Frederick F. Freemarket is about to save the world’s economy, make billions of dollars for his employees, and redeem his good name. What could possibly go wrong? This loving homage to the world of W.S. Gilbert , set to the music of Arthur Sullivan, is updated to the current stock market crisis.

GILBERT & SULLIVAN ON WALL STREETreceived a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company in May of 2010, and a concert reading on November 15 as part of the 2010-11 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE NEXT FAIRY TALE

by Brian Pugach

Imagine the chaos in fairy-tale land when the object of the Prince’s affection turns out to be - another Prince!

The Next Fairy Tale received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in May of 2010.

THIRD PRIZE:

STRANGER TO THE MUSE

book and lyrics by Patrick Gallagher and music by Adam David Cohen

An aspiring screenwriter who knows nothing about love but is told he must incorporate it into his screenplay, decides to examine the great philosophical, literary, and cinematic explorations of love - causing the stories to come alive around him.

STRANGER TO THE MUSE will receive an ANMT Analysis.

THE 2009 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

GREENBRIER GHOST

book by Susan Murray, music and lyrics by Clay Zambo

A dead woman’s ghost comes back from the grave to accuse her husband of her murder.

GREENBRIER GHOST received a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company in May of 2009, and a concert reading as part of the 2009-10 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

SECOND PRIZE:

EMERALD

book & lyrics by Chris Burgess, music by Denise Wright

An Irish-American woman returns to the land of her ancestors, and finds herself “haunted” by the famed Black Pig.

EMERALD received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in the 2010-11 season.

THIRD PRIZE:

DULA

book by Paul Elliott, music by Jeanie Cunningham, lyrics by Cunningham & Elliott

A fresh look at the story behind the infamous ballad of Tom Dooley.

DULA received an ANMT Analysis.

SPECIAL MERIT:

GIRL DETECTIVE

book & lyrics by Alan Gordon, music by Mark Sutton-Smith

No secrets are safe now that the amazing Casey Ames is on the case!

THE 2008 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

THE WATER

Book by Tim Werenko and Jeff Hylton, Lyrics by Jeff Hylton, Music by Georgia Stitt

A small American town comes to terms with the aftermath of a devastating flood.

The Water received a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company in May of 2008, and a concert reading as part of the 2008-09 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

SECOND PRIZE:

ROCKET BOYS

book by Homer Hickam, Jr., stage adaptation by Chris Budinich, music & lyrics by Diana Belkowski and Dan Tramon, dramaturgy by Carl Anthony Tramon

Based on the book by Homer Hickam, Jr. that was made into the feature filmOctober Sky.

Rocket Boys received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in May of 2008.

THIRD PRIZE:

UNWRITTEN RULES

book by Danny Abosch and Tommy Noland, music & lyrics by Danny Abosch

A brand new teacher discovers high school politics.

Unwritten Rules received an ANMT Analysis.

SPECIAL MERIT:

IDAHO: THE COMEDY MUSICAL

book & lyrics by Buddy Sheffield, music by Buddy Sheffield and Keith Thompson

A loving (if slightly naughty) tribute to the musicals of yore.

Idaho received a concert reading as part of the 2008-09 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. Also: winner of the Audience Pick prize at the 2008 New York Musical Theatre Festival.