the incubator | NewMusicalsInc

the incubator


the incubator

The Incubator is where new musicals are born. Whether you’re looking for feedback, readings, or workshops, we likely have a developmental opportunity that is right for you.

Are you a producer or theatre company looking for an infrastructure to help you develop a musical, or a legacy of musicals?  Perhaps you don’t have the time, staff or budget to put together a reading or workshop.  Hire us: we’ll do all that for you, and you won’t have the overhead of a whole department or staff.

Are you a bookwriter, lyricist, or composer looking for advice about whether your show is ready to show to a producer?  Want some feedback about your storyline, or music or lyrics?  We offer detailed, supportive, constructive feedback for you, at any point in your creative process, from outlining to final draft.

Need to see your musical on its feet to judge where you are in the developmental process?  We can organize a table reading, workshop, or concert reading in a nurturing and supportive environment. Maybe you are just looking for actors or rehearsal space for your own reading or workshop?  We’ve got that, too. The Incubator is the perfect environment for the theatre artist who is creating or developing a new musical.

Take a look at our developmental services schedule to the right. Or just give us a call at 818-506-8500 … or send us an email at


Below you will find explanations of several different levels of developmental services through New Musicals Inc.  If you don’t see what you are looking for, or have some questions this page doesn’t answer, please feel free to call us at 818-506-8500 or email us at

OR check out the ELISE EXPLAINS EVERYTHING page in which you will find short video chats from Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry explaining the various options in more detail.


Overview Evaluation.
NMI dramaturg will read your script and listen to your demo and respond with a 20-30 minute audio overview evaluation addressing core topics such as: Is the plot clear and trackable? Is the theme clear and compelling? Does your lead have a clearly defined want and strong obstacles? Is the exposition delivered skillfully? Do the lyrics progress the story? Is there a partnership between the lyrics and the music? Does the score have variety and breadth? Is the author's intent being realized as fully as possible?

$195 for 20-30 minutes of audio feedback.

Detailed Analysis.
The Detailed Analysis consists of a 2-3 hour video feedback session.  It covers the same topics as the audio Overview Evaluation, but at a much more detailed level, often discussing the work page by page, even line-by-line. Focus is on specific songs, themes, characters, subplot, diction, story logic, as well as manuscript presentation, marketability, and recommendations for next steps.

$400 for 2-3 hours of video feedback.

Full Draft Personal Consultation.
Spend time in person (or by video or telephone conference) with an NMI staff member who has read and made notes on a full draft of your developing musical.  The NMI staff member will spend up to four hours reading your show and making notes, and then arrange for a video conference call or in-person meeting with you for up to two hours.

$595 for prep and up to 2 hours of evaluation either in person, or by video or telephone conference call

Staff Table Reading.
Three NMI staff members read through the entire script/score, and then provide a detailed feedback session on book, music and lyrics. Authors can present the material, or the staff can cold-read/sing. The read/sing-through will generally take 2-3 hours; followed by a short break; and then up to four hours of feedback.  This can be done in person; or the authors may attend by video conference; or NMI can make a video recording of the session to share with the authors.

NOTE: All Full Length Script options also include automatic submission to the Search for New Musicals.

Premium Subscribers to the Musical Theatre Writers' Resource Center receive the following discounts: - $50 off the Detailed Analysis or Full Draft Personal Consultation and $150 off the Staff Table Reading


Outline Advice.
Feedback on plot points, character arcs, themes, target audience; before you begin writing.

Song Spotting.
Discussion, analysis, and brainstorming about song possibilities and their structures. Combining/condensing scenes; decisions about solos v. duets, or ensemble numbers. Structuring lyrics to convey the plot, character decisions, etc. 3 hr. minimum.

Lyric Crafting.
Detailed work, usually concentrating on one lyric. The goal of these sessions will vary, pending your needs, but typically, we'll examine such elements as: character diction, rhyme, euphony, prosody, metaphor, as well as ensuring that each stanza is conveying exactly what you mean it to, that the jokes are landing, and that the storyline is clear.

Get advice on marketing copy, loglines, query letters, identifying potential producers, packaging, graphics, demos, and how to approach theatres with your musical.

Practical Advice about Producing.
Consultation about budgets, contracts, unions, producers' checklists, raising money.

FEES: $80 per hour (including prep time).

* Premium Subscribers to the Musical Theatre Writers' Resource Center receive $50 off any purchase of consultation time.

First Act Personal Consultation.  
Spend time in person (or by video conference) with an NMI staff member who has read and made notes on the first (or second) act of your developing musical.  The NMI staff member will spend up to two hours of prep time reading and making notes on your musical; then arrange for an in person or video conference for you for up to one hour.
(Additional hours of in person or video conference time at $80/hour)
(If you are interested in a personal consultation on your full script, please check out the full length script analysis options.)

$240 for prep and 1 hour in person session or conference call (additional hours at $80/hour)

* Premium Subscribers to the Musical Theatre Writers' Resource Center receive $50 off a First Act Personal Consultation.


THE SANDBOX - Personal Development Program

Maybe you don’t fit the usual mold.

Perhaps you’re looking for feedback, but don’t want structured classes. Or your dialogue is finished, but your score isn’t finished. Or you want to hear just a section with actors, but don’t need a whole reading right now.

We’ve designed something we call The Sandbox, where you get to play for a full year, determining your own pathway. You tell us your goals, and we’ll help get you there.

In your twelve months of membership in the Sandbox, you’ll have nine 2-hour work sessions with your selected staff member to work on such topics as outlining, song-spotting, presentation of scenes and songs, marketing advice, budgeting, feedback, music preparation, song structure, consultation about demo recordings, etc. - depending on the needs of you and your musical at any given moment in the process. Design your own schedule ...choose two from column A, three from column B, etc. — whatever’s best for you and your musical…at your pace.

Use your nine sessions however you like. Online or in-person. $1500 per project

Check out MORE INFO ON THE SANDBOX - including sample videos and handouts.

Premium Subscribers to the Musical Theatre Writers' Resource Center receive $150 off the regular Sandbox price.


Four actors and NMI staff members give a single unrehearsed reading of dialogue and score. Piano/vocal score must be ready for sight-reading. Dramaturg, musical consultant and lyric consultant will discuss the work and provide a detailed feedback session. (Contact us for a budget consultation)

Director and music director and actors prepare the dialogue and entire score; then give a single book-in-hand suggested-staging concert performance at NMI’s North Hollywood rehearsal facility, suitable for an invited audience. Trained evaluators will discuss the work and provide a feedback session. (Contact us for a budget consultation)

Schedule too busy to attend classes in person?  Don’t live in Los Angeles?  Then is just for you.  WMT features online classes in the craft of writing musical theatre.  Labs on outlining, bookwriting, lyrics, composition, etc. Run by staff members of the Academy for New Musical Theatre in Los Angeles and Columbia College Chicago, specializes in professional, engaging online classes in writing music, book and lyrics. One-on-one feedback.  Take the course at your own pace.  Study at home, at work, or from anywhere with an internet connection.

Premium Subscribers to the Musical Theatre Writers’ Resource Center get a $50 discount for every course.

Do you need piano/vocal score arranged for band? Or lead sheets transcribed to piano/vocal? Transcriptions? Tracks? Contact us for a budget consultation.

Punch up your jokes; streamline your dialogue; format your script professionally.  Maybe you’re a composer/lyricist with songs which tell a story, but you need someone to write the actual dialogue.  We don’t need ownership or credit; we’re just trying to help you make your musical the best that it can be. Contact us for a budget consultation.

NOTE: Every project is unique, and requirements will differ.  NMI staff will guide the musical to the appropriate level of feedback; nine times out of ten, we will steer you towards the least expensive version.  We find, for instance, that the majority of musicals benefit most from the Detailed Analysis ($400), and that it’s unnecessary to involve actors or audience until the book is functioning.  Give us a call at 818-506-8500, and we’ll be happy to help determine the right option for you.


Students and serious professionals.  We also offer a musical theatre curriculum and online classes through our Academy.

Still have questions? Send us an email:

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