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we develop musicals.

new musicals inc.

At New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles, we develop new musicals.

Here’s our blog, which includes posts and musings on the craft of writing musical theatre, along with our observations about developing new musicals, and how to get them produced.

Want to get involved, as a writer or producer?  See our page about developing musicals.

If you’re looking for classes, visit our sister organization, The Academy for New Musical Theatre.


East West Players and New Musicals Inc. Announce Finalists for Musical Theatre Initiative


(Los Angeles, April 20, 2016)

This week, East West Players (EWP) and New Musicals Inc. (NMI) are proud to announce the Finalists for their joint initiative to develop a new musical.

The finalists comprise of eleven writing teams, with a total of 20 writers. The teams are: Howard Ho and Marc Macalintal (Los Angeles); Zhu Yi, Yoonmi Lee, and Gaby Gold (New York); Khiyon Hursey and Cheeyang Ng (New York); Edison Hong and Tidtaya Sinutoke (New York); Jason Ma (Los Angeles); Boni B. Alvarez and Christopher Porter (Los Angeles); Sam Chanse and Bob Kelly (New York); Timothy Huang; Orlando G. Morales (Seattle); Marcus Yi (New York); and Jeff Liu, Koji Steven Sakai, and Scott Jung (Los Angeles).

We also received submissions from teams of promising young writers and we would like to give Honorable Mention to two in particular - the Pennsylvania team of Gabrielle Harrison (17), Michael Tang (16), and Anna Tang (12); as well as to Thirdy Saruca, a 16-year-old student living in the Philippines.

“We received four times the number of proposals we were expecting ,” says Snehal Desai, EWP’s Associate Artistic Director. “Submissions arrived from all over the world. It’s been very difficult to decide which musicals to go forward with; there were many compelling projects and extremely diverse and talented creative teams to choose from.”

East West Players and New Musicals Inc. will be nurturing the works over the next year or two through workshops and concert presentations before potentially selecting one for production. “We wish we could produce all eleven of these musicals,” admits Elise Dewsberry, NMI’s Artistic Director, “but that’s unrealistic, of course. However, we do hope to support each of them somehow. We’ll be speaking with the writing teams in the next few weeks to talk about next steps for each of them.”

From this finalist pool, NMI and EWP will select up to three projects that they will develop through the fall and into the spring of 2017. “Each team will find its own path,” says Desai. “It’s wonderful to think of all the amazing musical theatre ahead of us. The work ranges from experimental and contemporary to commercial and traditional, and everything in between. But all of it is speaking to the Asian American experience. We can’t wait to start sharing these works with our audiences.”

New Musicals Inc. has established a growing reputation for creating original musicals directly for producers. They are currently working with Deaf West Theatre, McCoy-Rigby Productions and Northern Sky Theatre. Other recent partnerships include ones with Jeff Marx (“Avenue Q”), Celebration Theatre, The Victory Theatre, Red Mountain Theatre, The Lyric Theatre, UC Irvine, and other regional theatres. This is their second collaboration with East West Players. They last collaborated to create the hit musical, “Imelda,” about a decade ago.

East West Players, the longest continuously-running theatre of color in the country, produces artistic works and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific experiences. EWP is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary season.

For further information about the East West Players and New Musicals Initiative, or to follow the progress of these works, email or subscribe at


New Musicals Inc., 5628 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, CA, 91601    818-506-8500


New Voices logoRecord number of musical theatre writers to be part of 2016 New Voices Project

(Los Angeles, March 1, 2016)

A record number of composers and writers have been selected to participate in the New Voices Project, a musical theatre development program hosted by New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles (with support from Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment), now in its fourth year.

The New Voices Project is offered to a select group young musical theatre playwrights, composers and lyricists under the age of 26, who receive workshops, readings, and concerts of their work.

“Last year we invited four teams to participate in the project,” explains Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc., “This year the submissions were so strong, we’re inviting eight teams - and a total of 11 writers.”

All of the teams will receive workshops and feedback with NMI’s resident theatre ensemble, the Academy Repertory Company. Then, depending upon the needs of each particular musical and writing team, some of the writers will receive additional support, perhaps with full-length presentations, or concerts, or streamcast consultations with musical theatre writers and producers.

“Being a part of [the New Voices Project] was an incredibly informative experience.” says Chris Bryon Pratt, NVP 2013 winner. “Having my material performed then dissected gave me a very clear picture of what I can improve on as a writer. I think workshops such as the New Voices Project are so monumental to young aspiring writers because the panel gives fabulous critical feedback.”

The teams chosen to participate this year are:

  • Rebekah Allen
  • Ben Boecker
  • Benedict Braxton-Smith
  • Claire McKenzie and Scott Gilmour
  • Blake Dylan Pilger
  • Alex Ratner and Laurel Durning-Hammond
  • Marina Toft and Benji Goldsmith
  • Zach Spound

These young writers come from all over the globe, including Australia and Scotland; and the musicals they are writing range from traditional musical theatre suitable for family audiences, to rock-country, to operatic, to children’s pieces; telling stories about witches, Appalachians, dinosaurs, whores, outlaws, and, of course, many pairs of star-crossed lovers.

.The public can see a selection of works from the New Voices Project as part of got musical - NMI’s annual presentation of season highlights of musicals in development (part of a new jointly-produced concert series between NMI and 3D Theatricals in Anaheim).

got musical will be happening on two nights this year in two locations: Tuesday, April 26th at 3D Theatricals in Anaheim, and Sunday, May 15th at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

“New Musicals Inc. offers a great opportunity to get the exposure that all young writers so desperately need.” says Santino DeAngelo, 2014 NVP winner. “The New Voices Project was my first chance to have my writing scrutinized by industry professionals and, throughout the course of the project, they really helped to shape the professional standards that I hold myself to today.”

Additional information about this year’s New Voices writers:

Rebekah M. Allen is a writer, composer, and lyricist living in New York City. Her musical WE ARE THE TIGERS had its world premiere at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in LA in 2015. Rebekah is currently a lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.

Ben Boecker is a New York based composer/lyricist/bookwriter, vocal teacher, and teaching artist. His one-act musical, Magic in New Hampshire (NMI Merit Award 2015, UNC Sam Selden Award 2012) recently received its second NYC staged reading. Ben is on the Adjunct Faculty of the Calhoun School, is a proud member of the BMI Advanced Musical Theater Writing Workshop and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Benedict Braxton-Smith is an internationally-trained Australian composer, music director, and orchestrator who studied composition at the Queensland Conservatorium and music direction at the Goodspeed Opera House. Outside of the theatrical realm, Benedict has composed several film-scores and concert-works.

Laurel Durning-Hammond is a Boston-based writer, performer and director. A Yale graduate, Laurel is the 2011 recipient of the Robert Lyons Danly 1969 Memorial Fellowship, and is a member of the artistic faculty of the Charles River Creative Arts Program in Dover, Massachusetts.

Scott Gilmour trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and now works as an actor and writer throughout the UK. Currently, Scott and Claire are working on a new commission for Dundee Rep, Little Red and the Wolf, opening in March 2016, which Scott will also direct.

Benji Goldsmith is a composer, and currently an MFA student in NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. As a composer and lyricist, Benji has written three full-length musicals, and is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award.

Claire McKenzie studied Composition and Musical Direction at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she received the Patrons Prize for Composition from the Royal Schools of Music, the Stevenson Scholarship and the Paul Kelly Prize for Drama, and was nominated for a BAFTA New Talent Award for Original Music.

Blake Dylan Pilger is a composer, musical director, and pianist who has been involved in several amateur and professional theater productions. Blake’s orchestral and chamber compositions have won local, state, and national awards, including Honorable Mention from the Music Institute of Chicago’s National Generation Next Young Composers’ Competition. Blake has received mentorship from Jeff Marx, co-writer of the Avenue Q score, for over a year, and is a member of the National Honors Society, the National Society for High School Scholars, and the Tri-M Music Honors Society.

Alex Ratner is a New York-based musical theatre composer-lyricist, musical director and arranger. Alex is a Yale graduate whose work has been featured in concert through the New York Musical Theatre Festival, New Voices Collective and Stagedoor Manor, and he is a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.

Marina Toft is a New York-based lyricist and bookwriter who is now an MFA candidate at New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. Her short film “It’s A Seussical Life!” (with co-bookwriter David Startup and composer Alexander Juhan) has been nominated for and received several awards globally, including the Special Achievement award at the Canterbury University Film Festival.

Zach Spound is an LA-based actor, writer, and composer. As a composer and songwriter, he contributed music to Northwestern University’s famous Waa-Mu Show, and also wrote songs and played guitar with his hip-hop/funk rock band, Apolla.

For additional information on got musical (and to make reservations), visit the 3DT/NMI Concert Reading Series page at NMI’s website.

or contact Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry at;; 818.506.8500.



First up in the new 3D Theatricals / New Musicals Inc. Concert Reading Series is Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen (music by Ron Barnett; book and lyrics by Scott Guy) which is currently in development for McCoy-Rigby Entertainment.

The cast will feature Christopher Maikish as Darby O’Gill and Gabrielle Wagner as the Leprechaun Queen, along with ARC Members David Holmes, Andrea Press, Tedd Szeto, Christina Valo, Peter Welkin, and ensemble guests Sonia Alcazar, Melvin Biteng, Rachel Burcham, Anne Iniguez, and Frankie Rodriguez. Composer Ron Barnett will be at the piano.

Based on the popular Celtic folk stories, Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen tells the story of the grudging partnership of the trickiest trickster of humans and the Queen of Leprechauns who are forced to unite to save their loved ones from goblins, traitors, and the dreaded Banshee.

There will be two presentations: the first will be on Monday, March 14 at 8:00pm at New Musicals Inc., followed by Tuesday, March 15 at 8:00pm at the 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall.

For more info, and links to reservations, visit the 3DT/NMI CONCERT READING SERIES page.


New Musicals Inc. is having an online auction that ends TOMORROW (Sun. Dec. 6) at 6:00pm PST.  We have great bargains on all kinds of thing - and whatever money you spend goes to the great cause of supporting new musicals!  Many of the NMI members are vocal coaches, piano teachers, and recording studio artists - and they’ve donated their services to our auction. Take the next step in your career, or start something new, with one of these great items: ~~Four Hours of Studio Time at Liquid Ranch Recording Studio ~~Vocal Coaching & Audition Book Evaluation with Jake Anthony ~~Recording studio time at CARL JOHNSON MUSIC ~~Voice Lessons with Vanessa L ~~Audition Prep Value Pack from Bryan Blaskie ~~Great Dialogue Software for Writers ~~Finale Composing Tutorial with Clifford Tasner or Bonnie Janofsky ~~Finding Your Voice with Evelyn Halus ~~Audition Prep or Piano Lessons from Jan Roper ~~Private Coaching with Joshua Finkel of Creative Combustion Acting Studio ~~1 Hour Coaching (Acting/Audition) from Alex Craig Mann ~~Piano or Voice Lessons from Jennifer Winkler ~~Singing lessons with Terri Baker-Weiss ~~Script Evaluation from Elise Dewsberry ~~Swing or Salsa Lesson with Allison Bibicoff - and LOTS MORE at


249006872.209.157Did you know you could get an awesome deal on some advice from a top-notch entertainment attorney? Or learn how to salsa dance? Or finally learn how to use Finale properly? Well, you can do all of that and much more at the NMI Online Holiday Auction. But the bidding is only open a few more days - it will all end this coming Sunday at 6pm PST. So hurry over and bid now at and help support our work in developing new musicals at the same time! Thanks for your support - and for spreading the word!

Support New Musicals for Giving Tuesday!

421Tomorrow is GIVING TUESDAY and we have a perfect opportunity for you to GIVE and to RECEIVE at the same time! Go to our online auction and find a great BARGAIN but also SUPPORT our programs for creating new musicals! A win-win! The auction runs only through this Sunday night … you will find theatre tickets; restaurant coupons; music/acting/singing/dance lessons; and all kinds of cool stuff - including a great deal on HOUSE SEATS to SPRING AWAKENING on BROADWAY and a huge GIFT BASKET FROM DISNEY… Check it out at

Check out the NMI online auction and treat yourself to a night on the town!

454_Bottom   A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

Check out all the great theatre ticket packages and catch up on some culture!

~~THE ILLUSIONISTS at the Pantages
~~DIRTY DANCING at the Pantages
~~TITANTIC at the Ahmanson
~~EMPIRE the Musical at La Mirada
~~DREAMGIRLS at La Mirada
~~BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at 3D Theatricals
~~THE FULL MONTY at 3D Theatricals
~~HELLO, DOLLY! at 3D Theatricals
~~CHILDREN OF EDEN at Cabrillo Music Theatre
~~SISSY BOY at the NoHo Arts Center

Or - if you want the freedom to pick your own show - get a pass to buy anything in the season at the following theatres:

~~A Noise Within
~~the Chance Theatre
~~the Rubicon Theatre
~~East West Players
~~the Fountain Theatre
~~Sierra Madre Playhouse
~~the Geffen Playhouse
~~Musical Theatre West
~~the Pasadena Playhouse

Time to dress up and step out for the evening!  Visit the auction (through Dec. 6) at:



15 Minute Musicals in rehearsal

The annual 15 Minute Musicals Project is in full swing with rehearsals for the first draft.  The writers are now filtering all the feedback they received, and working on their second drafts.

First Assessment Red Jake Shannon 050915

Red Team writers watch their cast (Conchita Newman, Shannon Martinous, David Crane, and Louis Silvers) during the assessment of the first drafts.

First Assessment Blue John Cast 051015

Blue Team director John Coppola gives feedback to the writers while the cast (Amanda Kruger, Elise Dewsberry, J. Bailey Burcham, and Melvin Biteng) listen.

Using your melody line to help stress a lyric’s meaning

It’s not just the accents of the time signature which can affect the emphasis of the lyric.  Words can be stressed by a change in the direction of the vocal line.  Sometimes that’s exactly what you want.  Other times, not so much.