about | NewMusicalsInc

who we are

New Musicals Inc. hosts many programs which support new musicals in development. We develop several dozen musicals each year for producers and writers all around the country through table readings, workshops, concerts, and occasional productions.

Our academic wing, the Academy for Musical Theatre, offers courses, both online and live in Los Angeles, for professional musical theatre writers.

We’re a non-profit 501(c)3 organization (FEIN 01-0745909), so donations to us are tax-deductible. We are funded through an intricate balance of donations, fees for services, special events, conferences, concerts, classes, grants, fundraisers and royalties from musicals we have developed.

New Musicals Inc.

New Musicals Inc. is our professional development branch. We develop musicals for producers all around the country, tailoring the show for specific audiences and budgets. We develop several dozen musicals a year. We have a repertory company of sight-singing actors which meets weekly to give producers and writers a chance to workshop their shows prior to production.

We sponsor several nationwide events: Stages Musical Theatre Festival, the Search for New Musicals, the New Voices Project, and a biennial Conference on the Biz of the Musical Theatre Biz.

We offer a complete range of development for new musicals: dramaturgy, table readings, staged readings, workshops, concerts, skeletal productions and occasional full-scale productions.

New Musicals Inc.

New Musicals Inc. is our professional development branch. We develop musicals for producers all around the country, tailoring the show for specific audiences and budgets. We develop several dozen musicals a year. We have a repertory company of sight-singing actors which meets weekly to give producers and writers a chance to workshop their shows prior to production.

We sponsor several nationwide events: Stages Musical Theatre Festival, the Search for New Musicals, the New Voices Project, and a biennial Conference on the Biz of the Musical Theatre Biz.

We offer a complete range of development for new musicals: dramaturgy, table readings, staged readings, workshops, concerts, skeletal productions and occasional full-scale productions.

The Academy for New Musical Theatre

We’ve been around for more than 40 years and have have helped hundreds of writers and producers launch thousands of musicals. We began as the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. We became the Academy for New Musical Theatre in 2002, adding additional curriculum such as the Lyric Lab, Music Lab, and Book Lab, all of which are now also available online.

Our Core Curriculum allows composers, lyricists and bookwriters from all over the world to collaborate with a new team each month, creating ballads, duets, musical scenes, ensembles, and comedy songs; culminating in a 15 minute musical which we produce in Los Angeles. You can participate in any of these workshops either online or in-person.

We also have rehearsal rooms for rent at competitive rates.

The Academy for New Musical Theatre

We’ve been around for more than 40 years and have have helped hundreds of writers and producers launch thousands of musicals. We began as the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. We became the Academy for New Musical Theatre in 2002, adding additional curriculum such as the Lyric Lab, Music Lab, and Book Lab, all of which are now also available online. Our Core Curriculum allows composers, lyricists and bookwriters from all over the world to collaborate with a new team each month, creating ballads, duets, musical scenes, ensembles, and comedy songs; culminating in a 15 minute musical which we produce in Los Angeles. You can participate in any of these workshops either online or in-person. We also have rehearsal rooms for rent at competitive rates.

“Mercury Musical Developments has used ANMT’s excellent writer training as a model and inspiration for many years. ANMT is ensuring, vitally, that new talent is nurtured, focused and honed. The organisation deserves huge plaudits for its commitment and service to new musical writing.”

Georgina Bexon

Mercury Musical Developments, London

our boards and staff

Elise Dewsberry

Artistic Director

Elise has been involved in the development of new works for over forty years: as an actor/singer, as a director, as a dramaturge, and as a writer. While living in Toronto, Elise served as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Muskoka Festival; the Co-Ordinator of the festival’s annual Musical Theatre Writer’s Colony, the Associate Dramaturge of the Canadian Stage Company; the Resident Dramaturge of the Smile Theatre Company; and was the co-founder of Toronto’s Script Lab. Elise spent many years touring Canada with Nine Months – a one-woman musical which she commissioned from writers Carl Ritchie and Stephen Woodjetts. Elise and Carl also co-wrote Any Body Home?, which was produced by the Cordova Bay Theatre in Victoria, British Columbia, and published by Dramatic Publishing. Elise joined ANMT as Associate Artistic Director in 2003; joined Founding Artistic Director John Sparks as Co-Artistic Director in 2010; and became Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc. in 2013. Elise has served as a member of the Selection Committee for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s annual Festival of New Works, and is currently a Los Angeles Ovation Award Voter. Elise is also the author and evaluator of the Book Lab and the Outlining Lab, offered online through www.writingmusicaltheatre.com

Elise Dewsberry

Artistic Director

Elise has been involved in the development of new works for over forty years: as an actor/singer, as a director, as a dramaturge, and as a writer. While living in Toronto, Elise served as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Muskoka Festival; the Co-Ordinator of the festival’s annual Musical Theatre Writer’s Colony, the Associate Dramaturge of the Canadian Stage Company; the Resident Dramaturge of the Smile Theatre Company; and was the co-founder of Toronto’s Script Lab. Elise spent many years touring Canada with Nine Months – a one-woman musical which she commissioned from writers Carl Ritchie and Stephen Woodjetts. Elise and Carl also co-wrote Any Body Home?, which was produced by the Cordova Bay Theatre in Victoria, British Columbia, and published by Dramatic Publishing. Elise joined ANMT as Associate Artistic Director in 2003; joined Founding Artistic Director John Sparks as Co-Artistic Director in 2010; and became Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc. in 2013. Elise has served as a member of the Selection Committee for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s annual Festival of New Works, and is currently a Los Angeles Ovation Award Voter. Elise is also the author and evaluator of the Book Lab and the Outlining Lab, offered online through www.writingmusicaltheatre.com

Scott Guy

Executive Director

Under Scott’s tenure, NMI has developed over 100 musicals for producers across the country, and over 200 independent musicals by ANMT writers. Scott has produced several NMI musical theatre festivals and multiple seasons of concert readings and concerts. Scott has been actively involved as a writer and producer in both theatre and television.  He has six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros., FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.   Upcoming/recent projects:  Disney (musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean); Corday Productions (Days of Our Lives); and Manson’s Girls for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018.  If all goes according to plan, next year Scott will have productions of The Fish Whisperer, Manson’s Girls, and Der Strunkenwhitenlieder, as well as nearly 30 episodes on three different musical webseries:  The Ghosts of Stowell Hill, Tales from a Darkening Wood, and The Last of Its Kind.  Scott is currently the Executive Director of New Musicals Inc. where he supervises online writers’ workshops, lyric labs, and script consultations. www.scottguy.biz

Scott Guy

Executive Director

Under Scott’s tenure, NMI has developed over 100 musicals for producers across the country, and over 200 independent musicals by ANMT writers. Scott has produced several NMI musical theatre festivals and multiple seasons of concert readings and concerts. Scott has been actively involved as a writer and producer in both theatre and television.  He has six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros., FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.   Upcoming/recent projects:  Disney (musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean); Corday Productions (Days of Our Lives); and Manson’s Girls for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018.  If all goes according to plan, next year Scott will have productions of The Fish Whisperer, Manson’s Girls, and Der Strunkenwhitenlieder, as well as nearly 30 episodes on three different musical webseries:  The Ghosts of Stowell Hill, Tales from a Darkening Wood, and The Last of Its Kind.  Scott is currently the Executive Director of New Musicals Inc. where he supervises online writers’ workshops, lyric labs, and script consultations. www.scottguy.biz

honorary and advisory boards

honorary board

Paul Lazarus Jeff Marx Marty Panzer Hal Prince Stephen Schwartz Charles Strouse

advisory board

Thomas E. Backer, PhD. Susie Chodakiewitz Susan Dietz Jeannine Frank Mark Halloran Herb Isaacs Amy Levinson (Millan) Simon Levy Ron Parker Elsa Ramo Bill Royce Frank Sheftel Michael Silversher Thomas White

board of directors

board of directors

Ron Barnett   Member Representative
Michael R.  Blaha    President
Paula Brand   Treasurer
Elise Dewsberry
Nancy Eagle
John Mitchell   Vice President
John Sparks
Larry Verbit
adjunct staff

Jake Anthony

Resident Music Director

Jake works as a composer, vocal coach, and music director in the L.A. area. After receiving an MM in Vocal Performance and Opera Coaching at the University of North Texas, Jake turned towards musical theatre, serving as music director for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Cabaret, Kiss Me Kate, and Side by Side by Sondheim for Dallas area theatres, and Once Upon a Mattress and The Importance of Being Earnest for UNT Theatre. Jake’s L.A. theater work includes Snoopy! at the McCadden Place Theater, as well as the West Coast premieres of Splendora and Songs from an Unmade Bed at Celebration Theatre. As a composer, Jake co-wrote the 15-minute musical Oh God, We’re Gonna Die! with Jeff Marx (co-author of Avenue Q), and the full length shows Now and Then a Hero, with book and lyrics by Larry Johnson, Wanting Miss Julie, with book by John Sparks and lyrics by Patricia Zehentmayr, and New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, with book by Joel Bailey and lyrics by Patricia Zehentmayr. Jake is thrilled to be part of the NMI team, and their constant commitment to the development of new works.



Troy Armand Barboza

Administrative Assistant

Troy Armand Barboza is an actor, singer, director, script consultant, and automation technician from Boston. Throughout New England and New York, he’s been involved in dozens upon dozens of productions with people you probably don’t know at places you’ve likely never heard of, except for maybe Ithaca College and the American Repertory Theater. He was nominated for his performance as Billy Downs in an award-winning production of The Libertine directed by Eric Tucker, so that was cool. Check out some of his work at TroyArmandBarboza.com or follow his shenanigans on Instagram @TroyArmandBarboza



Ron Barnett

ARC Music Director

Ron is a composer living in Los Angeles, where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale. Prior to this appointment, he was for ten years Resident Musical Director and Composer at the Fulton Theatre, a LORT D house in Lancaster, PA. His musical, Around the World in 80 Days, with book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay, premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in March 2007. He wrote music and lyrics for A Christmas Carol, with book by Fulton playwright-in-residence Barry Kornhauser, which received a 2001 Red Rose Award and was published by Dramatic Publishing in 2013.



Joshua Finkel

Director, Performer Master Classes

Joshua is a director, acting coach and actor.  Selected musical credits: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Molina, Broadway/London/Toronto/India/MTG.)   Regional and Tour: Les Miserables(Thenardier), Bark! (Ben, Original Cast/Recording), Little Shop of Horrors (Orin the Dentist), Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere at Cabrillo.) Director/Choreographer: Violet (LA County Premiere Production El Portal Theater, Kelrik Productions), The Fantasticks and A Funny Thing…Forum (Panic! Productions),  The Spitfire Grill (Actors Co-op, Ovation Nomination), Songs For A New World (San Francisco Premiere), Hollywood Revisited (ongoing Internationally) Falsettoland (Phoenix Theatre, SF), Into The Woods (Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks), Tsarina (The Grove Theater, Upland).  Acting Coach: Joshua runs the Actor MasterClass Series at NMI, teaches at California Lutheran University, Young Americans College,  and at his own Creative Combustion Acting Studio for Actors and Public Speakers of all ages and levels. Fun Fact: Joshua was the Live Action Reference Model for Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Upcoming: Joshua’s Director Audition Panel Master Classes will team clients with the top Directors and Casting Directors in Los Angeles, Joshua’s newest workshop for College Bound High School Senior Actors: BA 2 Broadway from Application to Audition to Admission, and Joshua is directing and starring in Hollywood Revisited in Salt Lake City, Sedona, Chicago and Los Angeles.  More info: www.joshuafinkel.com



Dylan Forehand

Director of Marketing

is an actor from Dallas, TX. He is a recent graduate of Pepperdine University. Recent acting credits in LA include Breaks (Cole) by Lisa Loomer at The Road Summer Playwrights Festival and as an improviser in LA Theatresports at Impro Studio. Some of his acting credits at Pepperdine include The Zoo Story (Jerry), Well (John/himself), The Taming of the Shrew (The Widow). He currently lives in Glendale.



Ross Kalling

Director of Music Curriculum

Ross is an award winning musical director and pianist. He received Dramalogue awards for his musical direction of FATE’s productions of Marat/Sade and Threepenny Opera, and was also pianist/M.D. for the revival of Liz Swados’ Nightclub Cantata at the Odyssey Theatre; and produced the song It Don’t Make a Difference in the Dark for the movie Relative Strangers, coaxing respectable vocal performances out of the stars, Danny Devito and Kathy Bates. He was Musical Director at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse for fifteen years, where he worked with such stars as Doris Roberts, Dorothy Lyman, and Jeffrey Tambor; and such directors as Gene Reynolds and the late Milton Katselas. He was also Founding Director of Music Curriculum at the Academy for New Musical Theatre. He can be seen performing around town in various cabaret or jazz venues, or with his classical trio Cayenne.



Makena Metz

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Makena is an LA native playwright, lyricist, and producer who heartily believes in artists supporting and developing other artists. After graduating from New Musicals Inc.’s Core Curriculum this past spring, her passion for developing new musical theatre and creating a pipeline for young burgeoning artists spurred her to pitch a high school mentorship program and college student discount to NMI, both of which programs she is now coordinating. Makena studied playwriting and theatre directing at Columbia College Chicago (Class of 17′) and is an Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights 2018 Diversity Fellow. She recently attended The Kennedy Centers Playwriting Intensive for their annual summer workshop. Makena has interned for The Jim Henson Company, The Ojai Playwrights Conference, Walt Disney Imagineering, and more. Follow her on twitter @MakenaMetz and find her work on NPX!



Michael Moretta

Technical Co-ordinator - Core Curriculum

is a musical composer and sound designer living in Los Angeles. He briefly studied at East Los Angeles College where he got the chance to sound design for Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig, Chavez Ravine by Culture Clash, and Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw. His design, plus original music that he composed for Chavez Ravine, made him the 1st place winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.



Wayne Self

Director of New Media

is a bookwriter, lyricist, and composer who lives in Orange County, CA with his partner of nearly 25 years.  A native of Louisiana, Wayne began his songwriting and composition career as a Southern Baptist Minister of Music and later in more progressive churches, including the LGBT-founded Metropolitan Community Church. Wayne has an MFA in Musical Theatre performance and has studied religion at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. He has written two full-length musicals: Wise Up! and Upstairs. Wise Up! premiered in 2011 at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco to stellar reviews and sold-out audiences. Upstairs premiered in 2013 in New Orleans and has since had productions in Chicago and Los Angeles. Find Wayne on Facebook or at wayneself.com.



honorary and advisory boards

honorary board

Paul Lazarus Jeff Marx Marty Panzer Hal Prince Stephen Schwartz Charles Strouse

advisory board

Thomas E. Backer, PhD. Susie Chodakiewitz Susan Dietz Jeannine Frank Mark Halloran Herb Isaacs Amy Levinson (Millan) Simon Levy Ron Parker Elsa Ramo Bill Royce Frank Sheftel Michael Silversher Thomas White

board of directors

board of directors

Ron Barnett   Member Representative
Michael R.  Blaha    President
Paula Brand   Treasurer
Elise Dewsberry
Nancy Eagle
John Mitchell   Vice President
John Sparks
Larry Verbit
adjunct staff

Jake Anthony

Resident Music Director

Jake works as a composer, vocal coach, and music director in the L.A. area. After receiving an MM in Vocal Performance and Opera Coaching at the University of North Texas, Jake turned towards musical theatre, serving as music director for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Cabaret, Kiss Me Kate, and Side by Side by Sondheim for Dallas area theatres, and Once Upon a Mattress and The Importance of Being Earnest for UNT Theatre. Jake’s L.A. theater work includes Snoopy! at the McCadden Place Theater, as well as the West Coast premieres of Splendora and Songs from an Unmade Bed at Celebration Theatre. As a composer, Jake co-wrote the 15-minute musical Oh God, We’re Gonna Die! with Jeff Marx (co-author of Avenue Q), and the full length shows Now and Then a Hero, with book and lyrics by Larry Johnson, Wanting Miss Julie, with book by John Sparks and lyrics by Patricia Zehentmayr, and New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, with book by Joel Bailey and lyrics by Patricia Zehentmayr. Jake is thrilled to be part of the NMI team, and their constant commitment to the development of new works.



Troy Barboza

Administrative Assistant

Troy Armand Barboza is an actor, singer, director, script consultant, and automation technician from Boston. Throughout New England and New York, he’s been involved in dozens upon dozens of productions with people you probably don’t know at places you’ve likely never heard of, except for maybe Ithaca College and the American Repertory Theater. He was nominated for his performance as Billy Downs in an award-winning production of The Libertine directed by Eric Tucker, so that was cool. Check out some of his work at TroyArmandBarboza.com or follow his shenanigans on Instagram @TroyArmandBarboza



Ron Barnett

ARC Music Director

Ron is a composer living in Los Angeles, where he is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale. Prior to this appointment, he was for ten years Resident Musical Director and Composer at the Fulton Theatre, a LORT D house in Lancaster, PA. His musical, Around the World in 80 Days, with book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay, premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in March 2007. He wrote music and lyrics for A Christmas Carol, with book by Fulton playwright-in-residence Barry Kornhauser, which received a 2001 Red Rose Award and was published by Dramatic Publishing in 2013.



Joshua Finkel

Director, Performer Master Classes

Joshua is a director, acting coach and actor.  Selected musical credits: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Molina, Broadway/London/Toronto/India/MTG.)   Regional and Tour: Les Miserables(Thenardier), Bark! (Ben, Original Cast/Recording), Little Shop of Horrors (Orin the Dentist), Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere at Cabrillo.) Director/Choreographer: Violet (LA County Premiere Production El Portal Theater, Kelrik Productions), The Fantasticks and A Funny Thing…Forum (Panic! Productions),  The Spitfire Grill (Actors Co-op, Ovation Nomination), Songs For A New World (San Francisco Premiere), Hollywood Revisited (ongoing Internationally) Falsettoland (Phoenix Theatre, SF), Into The Woods (Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks), Tsarina (The Grove Theater, Upland).  Acting Coach: Joshua runs the Actor MasterClass Series at NMI, teaches at California Lutheran University, Young Americans College,  and at his own Creative Combustion Acting Studio for Actors and Public Speakers of all ages and levels. Fun Fact: Joshua was the Live Action Reference Model for Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Upcoming: Joshua’s Director Audition Panel Master Classes will team clients with the top Directors and Casting Directors in Los Angeles, Joshua’s newest workshop for College Bound High School Senior Actors: BA 2 Broadway from Application to Audition to Admission, and Joshua is directing and starring in Hollywood Revisited in Salt Lake City, Sedona, Chicago and Los Angeles.  More info: www.joshuafinkel.com



Dylan Forehand

Director of Marketing

is an actor from Dallas, TX. He is a recent graduate of Pepperdine University. Recent acting credits in LA include Breaks (Cole) by Lisa Loomer at The Road Summer Playwrights Festival and as an improviser in LA Theatresports at Impro Studio. Some of his acting credits at Pepperdine include The Zoo Story (Jerry), Well (John/himself), The Taming of the Shrew (The Widow). He currently lives in Glendale.



Ross Kalling

Director of Music Curriculum

Ross is an award winning musical director and pianist. He received Dramalogue awards for his musical direction of FATE’s productions of Marat/Sade and Threepenny Opera, and was also pianist/M.D. for the revival of Liz Swados’ Nightclub Cantata at the Odyssey Theatre; and produced the song It Don’t Make a Difference in the Dark for the movie Relative Strangers, coaxing respectable vocal performances out of the stars, Danny Devito and Kathy Bates. He was Musical Director at the prestigious Beverly Hills Playhouse for fifteen years, where he worked with such stars as Doris Roberts, Dorothy Lyman, and Jeffrey Tambor; and such directors as Gene Reynolds and the late Milton Katselas. He was also Founding Director of Music Curriculum at the Academy for New Musical Theatre. He can be seen performing around town in various cabaret or jazz venues, or with his classical trio Cayenne.



Makena Metz

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Makena is an LA native playwright, lyricist, and producer who heartily believes in artists supporting and developing other artists. After graduating from New Musicals Inc.’s Core Curriculum this past spring, her passion for developing new musical theatre and creating a pipeline for young burgeoning artists spurred her to pitch a high school mentorship program and college student discount to NMI, both of which programs she is now coordinating. Makena studied playwriting and theatre directing at Columbia College Chicago (Class of 17′) and is an Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights 2018 Diversity Fellow. She recently attended The Kennedy Centers Playwriting Intensive for their annual summer workshop. Makena has interned for The Jim Henson Company, The Ojai Playwrights Conference, Walt Disney Imagineering, and more. Follow her on twitter @MakenaMetz and find her work on NPX!



Michael Moretta

Technical Co-ordinator - Core Curriculum

is a musical composer and sound designer living in Los Angeles. He briefly studied at East Los Angeles College where he got the chance to sound design for Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig, Chavez Ravine by Culture Clash, and Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw. His design, plus original music that he composed for Chavez Ravine, made him the 1st place winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.



Wayne Self

Director of New Media

is a bookwriter, lyricist, and composer who lives in Orange County, CA with his partner of nearly 25 years.  A native of Louisiana, Wayne began his songwriting and composition career as a Southern Baptist Minister of Music and later in more progressive churches, including the LGBT-founded Metropolitan Community Church. Wayne has an MFA in Musical Theatre performance and has studied religion at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. He has written two full-length musicals: Wise Up! and Upstairs. Wise Up! premiered in 2011 at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco to stellar reviews and sold-out audiences. Upstairs premiered in 2013 in New Orleans and has since had productions in Chicago and Los Angeles. Find Wayne on Facebook or at wayneself.com.



John Sparks

Founding Director

John was the founder/co-Director of the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Inc. (1979-2002) and has been the Artistic Director of ANMT from 2002 to the present. He founded the Writers’ Workshop at Theatre Building Chicago in 1987 and also served TBC as Artistic Director from 1999 through 2009. Between the two workshops, John has mentored the work of over 250 writers, including Mark Hollmann, composer/lyricist of Urinetown; George Gorham and Dan Sticco, A Change in the Heir; Susan DiLallo and Ken Stone (both Kleban Award winners); and several Richard Rodgers Award winners. Nearly 400 shows written by workshop members have been produced in theatres across the country. Musicals for which John wrote the music, lyrics or book have been produced in Los Angeles and Chicago, including Buddy’s Plane Is Down; Babes In Barns, Hans Brinker, On The Brink and Wanting Miss Julie.

John Sparks

Founding Director

John was the founder/co-Director of the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Inc. (1979-2002) and has been the Artistic Director of ANMT from 2002 to the present. He founded the Writers’ Workshop at Theatre Building Chicago in 1987 and also served TBC as Artistic Director from 1999 through 2009. Between the two workshops, John has mentored the work of over 250 writers, including Mark Hollmann, composer/lyricist of Urinetown; George Gorham and Dan Sticco, A Change in the Heir; Susan DiLallo and Ken Stone (both Kleban Award winners); and several Richard Rodgers Award winners. Nearly 400 shows written by workshop members have been produced in theatres across the country. Musicals for which John wrote the music, lyrics or book have been produced in Los Angeles and Chicago, including Buddy’s Plane Is Down; Babes In Barns, Hans Brinker, On The Brink and Wanting Miss Julie.

The Academy Repertory Company from New Musicals Inc. presenting excerpts from new works in development at the Colony Theatre, Burbank

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“EWP had an opportunity to create an original musical from idea-to-production.  We would never have attempted it on our own, but NMI’s incredible creativity, energy and artistic quality of musical development drove us all the way to production.  The process is astonishing.  We can’t imagine how we would produce an original musical again without NMI.”

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East West Players, Los Angeles

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sample from a past newsletter

THE BULLY PROBLEM, produced at the Hollywood Fringe Festival by NMI

testimonials

John Sparks is a wonderful teacher and was a real help to me. I still think about things he said in that Workshop. He’s a real boon to people writing musicals.

Mark Hollmann, composer, Urinetown

In a world of diminishing standards, it’s inspirational to be part of a group constantly striving to raise the bar.

Jeffery Lyle Segal, It Happened in Roswell

I always thought I had it in me to write for musical theatre, but it took ANMT to lead me through the steps to learn the craft, develop the skills, and ultimately find my own voice as a writer.

Robin Share, Windjammers

I expect to be connected to ANMT for many, many moons to come. It’s like heaven to me there. A rare and rarified atmosphere, to be sure.

Joan Enguita

How much I’ve learned from you! It’s just been invaluable. I have yet to be able to find anything local in NYC that’s as good as what I get from your program.

JR Martine

I am impressed with the detail to the stages and in depth study requirements at every step of [the Music Lab]. I’ve been immersed in it and realise that this is what it takes for it to really become part of one’s tool box of skills to be able to write musical theatre.

Vicki Hare

For the person interested in musical theatre, there are few places greater at bringing together support, critique, and artistic collaboration than The Academy of New Musical Theatre.

Sachi Oyama, Librettist, Imelda

ANMT has taught me everything I know about composing for musical theatre.  I am very grateful to the organization for inspiring me, equipping me, and broadening my opportunities.

Sandy Shanin, composer

It is always amazing how you always manage, with seriousness, humor, and respect, to pinpoint what works and what can be improved in the works presented to you, and offer helpful suggestions. I just love the process of writing this way. Having you guys on our team is stimulating, helps us keep on track, and on our toes!

Edward Auslender

If you are serious about creating for the musical theatre, the program at ANMT is nonpareil. Experienced, professional, talented, and enthusiastic teachers guide a hard-working student body. This is the real deal, a bargain, great fun, and where careers are born.

Neville Johnson

I’ve had hundreds of classes not only in getting my doctorate but all the many of the post-doctoral classes I’ve had. Your class taught me more in those three hours about working out a story than ever I’ve known before. Thank you for it!

Mel McKee, Writer

Thank you so much for all the great notes, Elise. You’ve truly got a gift. I used to be a script analyst for Oliver Stone, James Cameron and Sydney Pollack - also Miramax, CAA etc. And I know a truly insightful eye when I see one.

Robert Rosen

Mercury Musical Developments has used ANMT’s excellent writer training as a model and inspiration for many years. ANMT is ensuring, vitally, that new talent is nurtured, focused and honed. The organisation deserves huge plaudits for its commitment and service to new musical writing.

Georgina Bexon, Mercury Musical Developments, London

The Academy for New Musical Theatre is a wonderful place to learn new skills, make friends, see your work come to life and grow as a person. As a recent Core Curriculum grad, I can’t say enough about the patience, skill and support one receives during the sometimes scary process of writing a musical that will actually be produced on a stage in L.A. The work they are doing at ANMT will serve American Musical Theatre very well in the coming decades, helping it to stay alive and prosper. Bravo to ANMT!

Joanna Perry-Folino

Creating a musical in a vacuum is easy, it’s only when you learn the art of collaboration that you realize what you’ve been missing and what your strengths and weaknesses are. The Academy for New Musical Theatre is on time, on target and long over due. If you’re a serious writer, lyricist or composer and love musicals, stop playing around. Get to the Academy and get it done.

James Goins, Composer

ANMT is a group of very talented writers and actors who are keeping the art of musical theater alive and well through collaborations and commissions from theaters, producers and directors. Since joining the workshop, my knowledge and skills have grown immensely through the support and guidance of the fabulous staff, which includes the best dramaturges anywhere!

Bonnie Janofsky, composer

even more great quotes...

I’ve had hundreds of classes not only in getting my doctorate but all the many of the post-doctoral classes I’ve had. Your class taught me more in those three hours about working out a story than ever I’ve known before. Thank you for it!

~~

Mel McKee
Writer



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



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.

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Ron Yatter



You are a miracle wrapped in a dream.

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Mara Hetner



We are so grateful for your thoroughness and the insight of your comments. Your report has given us a fresh approach to the project.

I’ve never received a more cogent and useable evaluation before. I’m very comfortable with the critique process but I have never finished reading a critique/evaluation with as much desire and energy to go to work on and polish a piece.

Thanks for the fantastic feedback that you provided on the evaluation. It sounds like you really understood my vision for the show more than many of the people I’ve shown it to.

The critique was spot on. I would say that the work that you are doing is the most helpful I have ever received from any arts organization. I only wish that more organizations were able to do as much for the field of musical theater. I think that your entire approach is great, serving a wide number of artists at many different levels in their careers. An incredible process really.

I thought the critique was very thorough, thoughtful, and encouraging, and it inspired many new ways of thinking about my project.

I found the feedback extremely helpful. It was thoughtful, thorough and very supportive. This is the first time I have attempted to write the music, lyrics and book and your comments have re-energized me and I am currently hard at work on a second draft of my piece. Thank you so much!

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2008 Search Writers



Wow! So awesome! This is extremely helpful and - wow! I say it again! So amazing that you would spend your time helping us in this way. We submitted Planet Eden in one of its initial drafts and received amazingly detailed feedback. Clearly, whoever was assigned to our project had read the script numerous times and took copious notes and we got them all. This has been one of my most personally satisfying interactions with an arts advisory group that I have ever experienced! We cannot thank you enough.

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Aaron Kirk Douglas
Planet Eden



We are both very very happy with the knowledge and experience you have brought to this evaluation, The time and thought you have put into it is quite evident and greatly appreciated….Thanks again for all the work you have done in helping us to make [our musical] as good as it can be.

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Alan Riva



I wanted to tell you how much we appreciated your very thorough evaluation of our Musical, Gift of the Magi: The Musical. Your comments & suggestions were right on and gave us great insight to things in the show that we hadn’t noticed. We have already made many changes to the script & songs as a result of your input. Thank you!

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Beverly Bremers and Faith Grant



I want to thank you one last time for the care and attention you gave to Mad Bomber. I think it is a much better play than it was when I first submitted it and any further improvements will have started with you and ANMT. I will always be grateful for your enthusiasm and professionalism. Thanks again.

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Charles Monagan
Mad Bomber



The Search evaluation provided not only insights, but also inspirations - ANMT transformed the rewrite process into something exciting and fun!

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Charles Veley
G & S on Wall Street



What can we say? We are DELIGHTED with your evaluation and we are now going to forge ahead with further revisions to make this show as water-tight as possible (before the forensic scrutiny it will eventually get in workshop rehearsal, when things will - inevitably - change again!!) You have an eagle eye and a pitch perfect ear and we treasure your insights and suggestions. A big thank you yet again from across the pond. We really wouldn’t be where we are with this show without you.

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Chris Burgess & Denise Wright



Without ANMT’s help this project would never have come this far! After last year’s search and Elise’s analysis before that, I have received top notch plot help, character development, and musical advice. Useful is not a strong enough word. ANMT has been a guiding force in this project’s evolution, for which I am most grateful. One of the most difficult things for writers is obtaining professional feedback. Working in a vacuum is almost impossible. Collaboration and constant outside feedback is part of the process. I would certainly recommend ANMT to fellow writers.

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David Nelson



Thank you for your evaluation of Eye of the Storm. WOW! That is all I kept saying to myself as I got thru Act 1’s eval. I appreciate EVERYTHING you pointed out to me and believe me I have thought many of the remarks myself along the great writing way. You just confirmed so much of my gut feelings for the things I need to work on. I wanted to get my first thoughts off to you before I continue with Act II’s eval. Again, Elise, thank you for all you did to make me want to continue to fix Eye.

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E.H. Milam



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.

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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.

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James Reid
Probe



Once again you have identified moments that are not quite working and suggested ways to make them work. I will address the remaining points … and return to you an outline that should be the springboard for creating a fine show. We can’t thank you enough.

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Joanne Koch



Wow. This was a really detailed analysis. Many thanks.

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John Piraino



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.

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Les Oreck



Thank you so much for these valuable notes. They are an incredible help and will push the show to the next level. It’s given me something to think about and dwell on before moving forward. I miss all you guys and the intensity, professionalism, and talent over at ANMT.

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Mark Garcia
Holy Cows of Credence North Dakota



Thank you for the notes … We’ve made a lot of changes, many of which were based on your direct feedback. It was very good to get an opinion from someone with your expertise.

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Mark Knowles
Killer in Drag



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.

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Mark Watts
eleven



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.

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Michael McNeill



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.

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Peter Copani



Any musical theatre project in development can benefit greatly from the objective, knowledgeable feedback services provided by the Academy for New Musical Theatre. Their efficient staff provides a supportive viewpoint, rare in the profession.

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Ramon Delgado



Thanks for the honest evaluation. That’s not easy to come by and the level of detail you provided far exceeded my expectations so I feel I got more than my money’s worth. I realize that ‘jukebox’ musicals are sometimes viewed as the step children of the genre and I suppose in many instances rightfully so. But in my head I see the narrative arc of these songs clearly so I think I’ll keep revising to improve the telling of that story rather than work it into more of a musical revue type piece. I hope I can get to LA to see one of your productions sometimes soon.

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S.D. Williams



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

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Stephen Oles
bookwriter, Seattle



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

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Tracey Corea



[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.

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Walter Johnson



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.

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William Roetzheim
Producing Director



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 ANMT, and I will continue to seek Elise’s help and very happily pay for it.

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Sandy Wolf
Marina



“We are crazy impressed and honored to be working with you. You all rock so very very hard!!”

Michael Sheperd

Celebration Theatre, Los Angeles

rentals

5628 Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood has rental space available to accommodate your rehearsal, meeting, and other space needs - with very reasonable rental rates.

To make a booking, call us at 818-506-8500, or email us at admin@nmi.org

COMMON AREA

The Common Area is available to all rentals, included without additional charge.

12′ x 27′ Reception area
(two 1-person bathrooms; small kitchen area)

FRONT STUDIO

Front Studio 11′ x 18.5′

Great for ensemble rehearsals

MAIN HALL

Main Rehearsal Hall   40′ x 24′

Platform stage is 20′ wide, 8′ deep, and 18″ high  (black curtain is decorative only)

room for up to 75 with comfortable banquet chair seating

GREEN SCREEN OPTION

Our Main Hall can also convert into a small Greenscreen Studio.

ANMT’s Core Curriculum in session - with participants in the room and attending by video conference.

  Contact Us

4 + 12 =

5628 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, 91601

818-506-8500

admin@nmi.org