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March, 2016

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—the Staff at New Musicals Inc.




MUCH MUSIC ON THE WAY…

This edition of our newsletter highlights some of the exciting things we’re up to this upcoming quarter:  A brand new Concert Reading Series (in cooperation with 3D Theatricals); a new batch of amazing musical theatre writers under the age of 26 (for the New Voices Project); a call for submissions with East West Players; a brand new Talent Bank; sneak peek about dates for our summer Conference; and words of wisdom from our beloved founder, John Sparks.




A SNEAK PEEK: The Biz of the Musical Theatre Biz Conference

We’re gearing up for our SIXTH biennial conference on the Biz of the Musical Theatre Biz.  We’re looking at the weekend of July 29-31, but we have a couple other possibilities as well — so we’d love to hear from you about dates.  Here’s a ONE question survey, asking you to rank your preferences for the five weekends in July and the first two weekends in August.

TAKE THE SURVEY

For those of you unfamiliar with our conference…well, first of all, you must join us this year!  It’s a fantastic networking and learning opportunity, cram-packed with panels and schmoozes with musical theatre producers, writers, fundraisers, agents, union reps, attorneys, etc.  Three days of shaking hands, telling people about your musical, looking for collaborators, and finding out the inside scoop from the producers and business folks who actually make theatre happen.

If you’re serious about your musical theatre writing career, you really want to attend this conference.  So please do take the survey, and let us know which weekend you would prefer.  Majority wins!  So make your druthers heard, and we’ll schedule accordingly.

For a recap on the 2014 Biz Conference, visit the BIZ OF THE MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ CONFERENCE page.

 


The Producer Panel from the 2016 Conference: Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse); Tim Kashani (Apples & Oranges); Ken Davenport (Broadway producer); Murphy Cross; and Heather Provost (Broadway producer) - with conference participant pitches in their hands.




WORKSHOP DEMO

As a companion piece to our 12 new Fringe musicals, we will be offering a WORKSHOP DEMO at the Sacred Fools Black Box on Sunday, June 18 from 6:30 to 7:30.  The FREE Workshop Demo is an opportunity to find more about our Core Curriculum that begins every September.

The Core Curriculum is a program of study for musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers. It is offered by the Academy for New Musical Theatre, the academic branch of the developmental organization New Musicals Inc. We accept a new group of writers every fall for an intense, professional, collaborative program from September through June that culminates in the production of your new short musical.

If you are interested in getting involved with the program and would like to find out more about it, this informational session is the place to come to find out more.




Burglars at NMI

In the past six weeks, NMI has been burglarized.  Twice.  The first time, the thieves took a great deal of our audio and camera equipment — speakers, cables, digital cameras, tripods…and all of our snacks.  More sinisterly than that, they stole one framed poster from our hall of production:  Manson’s Girls.

 

It took a lot of paperwork and calls to our insurance company to get this equipment replaced…then darned if we weren’t burglarized a second time — and all the new stuff was stolen, plus some more.  ALL of our cameras were stolen, and our brand-new mixing board, and cool wireless lav microphones.

 

We’ve changed the locks.  We’ve installed bars on the windows.  We’re looking into motion detectors, and alarms.  We’ve alerted our neighbors.  We’ve filed police reports, and we’ve strategized with our insurance company.  But we fear it’s the same band of thieves both times, and they now know our floor plan and our inventory, and they just might come back a third time.  We have a little grainy surveillance video, so we think we know approximately what they look like (two of them — a girl on a bicycle, and a guy with a sweatshirt; she’s the lookout; he’s the muscles.)

 

Wish us luck there won’t be any more of this.




MUSICALS IN 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for musical theatre. How on earth do we get new musicals in front of an audience? “Zoom!” you say? Well, NMI has of course been exploring the joys and sorrows of the Zoom musical…but we’ve been working on so much more. You name it: live, pre-taped, streamed, greenscreened, animated…we’re playing around with everything!

You can see all SIX of our 15-minute musicals this Saturday, October 10th at 7:30pm PST. And a livestream of a full-length, Gideon and the Blundersnorp, the next day, Sunday, October 11th at 4:00pm PST.

There’s also four 5-minute musicals, two 40-minute musicals, and, cock-eyed optimists that we are…even some full-length shows, for when we’re allowed to be in the same room with you again.

Take a look at what we’re up to. Then drop us a note at admin@nmi.org to tell us what you think!!




THANKS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN!

Thanks to your support, we made our goal for our Indiegogo campaign.  In fact, we raised 40% in the first day alone and were trending on the Indiegogo site.  We’re still blinking with astonishment and gratitude.

We are expanding the STAGES Festival to two venues this summer, and we will be involving the work of something like 50 singers, 17 writers, 6 directors, 6 music directors, plus stage managers and ushers and box office folk - so we are very grateful to all of our generous supporters for helping us make our fundraising goal.  (Read more about the STAGES Festival later in this newsletter.)

The campaign closes soon, so if you want to join in the celebration, you have until this Monday evening.  (We are currently 110% funded - and any additional funds that come in will go toward hiring an office assistant over the summer, and possibly into the fall.)

VISIT THE CAMPAIGN


And here's the proof




A BUSY SPRING

As usual, there is a lot of info in this newsletter!  Read on for: an update on our Indiegogo campaign for the STAGES Festival; the announcement of the winners of the 2015 New Voices Project; reservations now open for our annual GOT MUSICAL concert; save the dates for the 15 Minute Musicals and STAGES; a deadline reminder for the Search for New Musicals; an announcement of our new Musical Theatre Writer’s RESOURCE CENTER, and MORE….




STAGES FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

Los Angeles continues to be a hotbed of new musicals.  After a dizzying number of new musicals appeared in the recent Hollywood Fringe Festival, soon the 18th annual Stages Musical Theatre Festival will be returning to Los Angeles this August. This prestigious festival of new musicals, features new musicals which have been developed across the country, presented in concert readings.  This year’s festival features six musicals, presented in two venues over two weekends:  August 21-23 at the Academy for New Musical Theatre, 5628 Vineland in North Hollywood and August 28-30 at 3D Theatricals, 1255 N. Knollwood Circle in Anaheim, CA 92801

 

An annual Chicago tradition for 15 years in Chicago, Stages moved to Los Angeles in 2010, under the wing of New Musicals, Inc. becoming a biennial festival.  Submissions to the festival come from around the globe all year long, culminating in a round of finalists, from which the winners are chosen.

 

 

The shows featured this year will be “Invisible” by David Hollingsworth and David Orris; “Off the Wall” by Danny Abosch and Sarah Rebell; “Anarchist Girl” by J. Linn Allen and Cris Wo; “Bagels!” by Chana Wise and Carl Johnson; “Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen,” by Scott Guy and Ron Barnett; and an electric evening of selections from musical theatre writers under the age of 26, the final presentation of the 2015 New Voices Project.

 

New Voices Project winners are: Jacob Combs & Madeline Myers, Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, and Michael Finke.

 

“We had so many wonderful submissions to the New Voices Project this year, we added a special Merit Award,” explains festival producer Scott Guy, “and we’ll be featuring some of the Merit writers as well in the festival.”  The Merit Award Recipients are: Mark Sonnenblick, Andre Catrini, Sam Chanse and Bob Kelly, and Ben Boecker.

 

“One of the most exciting things about the Stages Festival,” says festival Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry, “is that audiences get to see musicals at different ‘stages’ of development, ranging from polished, wonderful shows ready for production to really raw exciting first drafts.  Audiences get a close-up look at tomorrow’s musicals being developed today, right now, right here.”

 

Casting and producing the festival involves the talents of nearly 100 actors, pianists, directors, producers, stage managers, dramaturgs, box office staff, and ushers.

 

The storylines and styles of the musicals are as different as the actors performing in them.

 

“Invisible” tells the story of two nerdy high school guys who decide to create a potion to make themselves popular, so they can go to prom with the school’s cheerleading twins.  But miraculously, the potion turns one of them invisible!  Things start to sour between the friends when the visible one starts taking advantage of the situation, and doesn’t want to help his one-time-buddy become visible again, leading up to an explosive prom night.  It features a driving, young score with humor that’s edgy and contemporary (but still family friendly!)  Book by David Hollingsworth, lyrics and music by David Orris.  Directed by Elise Dewsberry with musical direction by Bryan Blaskie.

 

“Off the Wall” - This musical comedy, loosely inspired by the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, won the 2014 Search for New Musicals.  In this five-character, ninety-minute, original musical, the Mona Lisa is brought to life when a worker in the Louvre kisses her.  Much to worker’s dismay, Mona Lisa immediately starts causing chaos all over Paris.  This fresh, tongue-in-cheek musical may take place in the Belle Epoque, 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.   Book and lyrics by Sarah Rebell, music by Danny Abosch.  Directed by Allison Bibicoff with musical direction by Jan Roper.

 

“Anarchist Girl” - An edgy, provocative chamber musical about a young protestor who breaks into a house planning to kidnap a famous author, to make him a spokesperson for her cause, only to find that this former literary giant is now confined to a wheelchair, no longer able to speak. She turns her attention to the author’s shut-in son, and tries to convince him to come with her into the dangerous world to stand up for what he believes in. This is an “existential” musical that will appeal to the audience that loves a challenge!  Book by Cris Wo, lyrics and music by J. Linn Allen.  Directed by Jon Sparks with musical direction by Ron Barnett.

 

“Bagels!”- The almost-true story of the man who invented the automated bagel-making machine; how it almost tore apart a family, and got some union bagel makers pretty upset.  A family comedy, but with some adult moral dilemmas for the young inventor, this show has a charming, witty book and a lovely joyful score.  Book and lyrics by Chana Wise, music by Carl Johnson.  Directed by John Henry Davis, with musical direction by Emily Cohn.

 

“Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen” - We’re in mythic Celtic Ireland, a land filled with magic, leprechauns, goblins, banshees, and the legendary trickster Darby O’Gill, who is bent on stealing the Leprechaun’s Gold.  Darby is forced to make a bargain with the Leprechaun Queen, whom he does not trust in the least little bit…and she trusts him even less.  Darby’s journey takes him to the very edge the Otherworld, ruled over by the frightening spectre of the Banshee, who has tormented the Queen’s nightmares for years with an awful, terrible death.  The musical palette is a kind of Celtic mythic folk rock.  Book and lyrics by Scott Guy, music by Ron Barnett.

 

“New Voices Project”- A concert of songs and musical excerpts written by the winners of the 2015 New Voices Projects - all writers under the age of 26.  This is the third year of this competition, with sponsorship by Walt Disney Imagineering.

 

“Untitled” - A seventh musical might be added, pending final rights-approval from the motion picture studio which is preparing for a simultaneous opening night on Broadway and a television series based on the same storyline.  For legal reasons, New Musicals Inc. is not permitted to announce the title at this moment, but hopes to be able to add the show if the rights become approved.

 

The festival’s first weekend will begin Friday August, 21st at 8:00pm at New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood and will continue Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings through the 23rd.  The Festival’s second weekend will begin Friday August 28th at 8:00pm at 3D Theatricals in Fullerton and will continue Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings through the 30th.

 

Tickets are free, but a donation of 10 dollars or more guarantees a seat reservation.  For reservations and more information: www.nmi.org

 




STAGES FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

Los Angeles continues to be a hotbed of new musicals.  After a dizzying number of new musicals appeared in the recent Hollywood Fringe Festival, soon the 18th annual Stages Musical Theatre Festival will be returning to Los Angeles this August. This prestigious festival of new musicals, features new musicals which have been developed across the country, presented in concert readings.  This year’s festival features six musicals, presented in two venues over two weekends:  August 21-23 at the Academy for New Musical Theatre, 5628 Vineland in North Hollywood and August 28-30 at 3D Theatricals, 1255 N. Knollwood Circle in Anaheim, CA 92801

 

An annual Chicago tradition for 15 years in Chicago, Stages moved to Los Angeles in 2010, under the wing of New Musicals, Inc. becoming a biennial festival.  Submissions to the festival come from around the globe all year long, culminating in a round of finalists, from which the winners are chosen.

 

 

The shows featured this year will be “Invisible” by David Hollingsworth and David Orris; “Off the Wall” by Danny Abosch and Sarah Rebell; “Anarchist Girl” by J. Linn Allen and Cris Wo; “Bagels!” by Chana Wise and Carl Johnson; “Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen,” by Scott Guy and Ron Barnett; and an electric evening of selections from musical theatre writers under the age of 26, the final presentation of the 2015 New Voices Project.

 

New Voices Project winners are: Jacob Combs & Madeline Myers, Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, and Michael Finke.

 

“We had so many wonderful submissions to the New Voices Project this year, we added a special Merit Award,” explains festival producer Scott Guy, “and we’ll be featuring some of the Merit writers as well in the festival.”  The Merit Award Recipients are: Mark Sonnenblick, Andre Catrini, Sam Chanse and Bob Kelly, and Ben Boecker.

 

“One of the most exciting things about the Stages Festival,” says festival Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry, “is that audiences get to see musicals at different ‘stages’ of development, ranging from polished, wonderful shows ready for production to really raw exciting first drafts.  Audiences get a close-up look at tomorrow’s musicals being developed today, right now, right here.”

 

Casting and producing the festival involves the talents of nearly 100 actors, pianists, directors, producers, stage managers, dramaturgs, box office staff, and ushers.

 

The storylines and styles of the musicals are as different as the actors performing in them.

 

“Invisible” tells the story of two nerdy high school guys who decide to create a potion to make themselves popular, so they can go to prom with the school’s cheerleading twins.  But miraculously, the potion turns one of them invisible!  Things start to sour between the friends when the visible one starts taking advantage of the situation, and doesn’t want to help his one-time-buddy become visible again, leading up to an explosive prom night.  It features a driving, young score with humor that’s edgy and contemporary (but still family friendly!)  Book by David Hollingsworth, lyrics and music by David Orris.  Directed by Elise Dewsberry with musical direction by Bryan Blaskie.

 

“Off the Wall” - This musical comedy, loosely inspired by the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, won the 2014 Search for New Musicals.  In this five-character, ninety-minute, original musical, the Mona Lisa is brought to life when a worker in the Louvre kisses her.  Much to worker’s dismay, Mona Lisa immediately starts causing chaos all over Paris.  This fresh, tongue-in-cheek musical may take place in the Belle Epoque, 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.   Book and lyrics by Sarah Rebell, music by Danny Abosch.  Directed by Allison Bibicoff with musical direction by Jan Roper.

 

“Anarchist Girl” - An edgy, provocative chamber musical about a young protestor who breaks into a house planning to kidnap a famous author, to make him a spokesperson for her cause, only to find that this former literary giant is now confined to a wheelchair, no longer able to speak. She turns her attention to the author’s shut-in son, and tries to convince him to come with her into the dangerous world to stand up for what he believes in. This is an “existential” musical that will appeal to the audience that loves a challenge!  Book by Cris Wo, lyrics and music by J. Linn Allen.  Directed by Jon Sparks with musical direction by Ron Barnett.

 

“Bagels!”- The almost-true story of the man who invented the automated bagel-making machine; how it almost tore apart a family, and got some union bagel makers pretty upset.  A family comedy, but with some adult moral dilemmas for the young inventor, this show has a charming, witty book and a lovely joyful score.  Book and lyrics by Chana Wise, music by Carl Johnson.  Directed by John Henry Davis, with musical direction by Emily Cohn.

 

“Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen” - We’re in mythic Celtic Ireland, a land filled with magic, leprechauns, goblins, banshees, and the legendary trickster Darby O’Gill, who is bent on stealing the Leprechaun’s Gold.  Darby is forced to make a bargain with the Leprechaun Queen, whom he does not trust in the least little bit…and she trusts him even less.  Darby’s journey takes him to the very edge the Otherworld, ruled over by the frightening spectre of the Banshee, who has tormented the Queen’s nightmares for years with an awful, terrible death.  The musical palette is a kind of Celtic mythic folk rock.  Book and lyrics by Scott Guy, music by Ron Barnett.

 

“New Voices Project”- A concert of songs and musical excerpts written by the winners of the 2015 New Voices Projects - all writers under the age of 26.  This is the third year of this competition, with sponsorship by Walt Disney Imagineering.

 

“Untitled” - A seventh musical might be added, pending final rights-approval from the motion picture studio which is preparing for a simultaneous opening night on Broadway and a television series based on the same storyline.  For legal reasons, New Musicals Inc. is not permitted to announce the title at this moment, but hopes to be able to add the show if the rights become approved.

 

The festival’s first weekend will begin Friday August, 21st at 8:00pm at New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood and will continue Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings through the 23rd.  The Festival’s second weekend will begin Friday August 28th at 8:00pm at 3D Theatricals in Anaheim and will continue Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings through the 30th.

 

Tickets are free, but a donation of 10 dollars or more guarantees a seat reservation.  For reservations and more information: www.nmi.org

 




STAGES FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

This prestigious festival of new musicals, now in its 18th year, features new musicals presented in concert readings.  This year’s festival features six musicals, presented in two venues over two weekends:  August 21-23 at the Academy for New Musical Theatre, 5628 Vineland in North Hollywood and August 28-20 at 3D Theatricals, 1255 N. Knollwood Circle in Anaheim, CA 92801.

An annual Chicago tradition for 15 years in Chicago, Stages moved to Los Angeles in 2010, under the wing of New Musicals Inc. becoming a biennial festival.  Submissions to the festival come from around the globe all year long, culminating in a round of finalists, from which the winners are chosen.

The shows featured this year will be Invisible by David Hollingsworth and David Orris; Off the Wall by Danny Abosch and Sarah Rebell; The Anarchist Girl by J. Linn Allen and Cris Wo; Bagels! by Chana Wise and Carl Johnson; Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen, by Scott Guy and Ron Barnett; and an electric evening of selections from musical theatre writers under the age of 26, the final presentation of the 2015 New Voices Project.  Featured will be the work of the New Voices Project winners: Jacob Combs & Madeline Myers, Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, and Michael Finke.

“We had so many wonderful submissions to the New Voices Project this year, we added a special Merit Award,” explains festival producer Scott Guy, “and we’ll be featuring some of the Merit writers as well in the festival.”  The Merit Award Recipients are: Mark Sonnenblick, Andre Catrini, Sam Chanse and Bob Kelly, and Ben Boecker.

“One of the most exciting things about the Stages Festival,” says festival Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry, “is that audiences get to see musicals at different ‘stages’ of development, ranging from polished, wonderful shows ready for production to really raw exciting first drafts.  Audiences get a close-up look at tomorrow’s musicals being developed today, right now, right here.”

Casting and producing the festival involves the talents of nearly 100 actors, pianists, directors, producers, stage managers, dramaturgs, box office staff, and ushers.  The storylines and styles of the musicals are as different as the actors performing in them.

Invisible tells the story of two nerdy high school guys who decide to create a potion to make themselves popular, so they can go to prom with the school’s cheerleading twins.  But miraculously, the potion turns one of them invisible!  Things start to sour between the friends when the visible one starts taking advantage of the situation, and doesn’t want to help his one-time-buddy become visible again, leading up to an explosive prom night.  It features a driving, young score with humor that’s edgy and contemporary (but still family friendly!)  Book by David Hollingsworth, lyrics and music by David Orris.  Directed by Elise Dewsberry with musical direction by Bryan Blaskie.

Off the Wall - This musical comedy, loosely inspired by the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, won the 2014 Search for New Musicals.  In this five-character, ninety-minute, original musical, the Mona Lisa is brought to life when a worker in the Louvre kisses her.  Much to worker’s dismay, Mona Lisa immediately starts causing chaos all over Paris.  This fresh, tongue-in-cheek musical may take place in the Belle Epoque, 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.   Book and lyrics by Sarah Rebell, music by Danny Abosch.  Directed by Allison Bibicoff with musical direction by Jan Roper.

The Anarchist Girl - An edgy, provocative chamber musical about a young protestor who breaks into a house planning to kidnap a famous author, to make him a spokesperson for her cause, only to find that this former literary giant is now confined to a wheelchair, no longer able to speak. She turns her attention to the author’s shut-in son, and tries to convince him to come with her into the dangerous world to stand up for what he believes in. This is an “existential” musical that will appeal to the audience that loves a challenge!  Book and lyrics by J. Linn Allen, and music by Cris Wo.  Directed by Jon Sparks with musical direction by Ron Barnett.

Bagels!- The almost-true story of the man who invented the automated bagel-making machine; how it almost tore apart a family, and got some union bagel makers pretty upset.  A family comedy, but with some adult moral dilemmas for the young inventor, this show has a charming, witty book and a lovely joyful score.  Book and lyrics by Chana Wise, music by Carl Johnson.  Directed by John Henry Davis, with musical direction by Emily Cohn.

Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen - We’re in mythic Celtic Ireland, a land filled with magic, leprechauns, goblins, banshees, and the legendary trickster Darby O’Gill, who is bent on stealing the Leprechaun’s Gold.  Darby is forced to make a bargain with the Leprechaun Queen, whom he does not trust in the least little bit…and she trusts him even less.  Darby’s journey takes him to the very edge the Otherworld, ruled over by the frightening spectre of the Banshee, who has tormented the Queen’s nightmares for years with an awful, terrible death.  The musical palette is a kind of Celtic mythic folk rock.  Book and lyrics by Scott Guy, music by Ron Barnett.

New Voices Project- A concert of songs and musical excerpts written by the winners of the 2015 New Voices Projects - all writers under the age of 26.  This is the third year of this competition, with sponsorship by Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment.

Untitled - A seventh musical might be added, pending final rights-approval from the motion picture studio which is preparing for a simultaneous opening night on Broadway and a television series based on the same storyline.  For legal reasons, New Musicals Inc. is not permitted to announce the title at this moment, but hopes to be able to add the show if the rights become approved.

The festival’s first weekend will begin Friday August, 21st at 8:00pm at New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood and will continue Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings through the 23rd.  The Festival’s second weekend will begin Friday August 28th at 8:00pm at 3D Theatricals in Anaheim and will continue Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings through the 30th.

Tickets are free, but a donation of $10 or more guarantees a seat reservation.  For reservations and more information, visit the STAGES FESTIVAL PAGE.




A SUMMER OF MUSICALS

It’s summer, and that means New Musicals Inc. is bustin’ out all over with musicals.  In this newsletter, you’ll read about: Stages Musical Theatre Festival, our sold out 15 Minute Musicals, performances of Bagels!, our new summer intern, and Search for New Musicals (deadline July 15).  And a whole bunch more.




GOT MUSICAL!

got musical 2015 took place on June 4 at the Colony Theatre.  The evening featured excerpts from our musicals in development including:

Search for New Musicals 2015 winners:
Invisible
Off the Wall
Anarchist Girl

NMI Producer Projects
When Butter Churns to Gold
Oklahoma in Wisconsin
Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen

ANMT Workshop Shows
Bagels!
New York Society for the Suppression of Vice

Plus songs from the winners and merit award finalists for the 2015 New Voices Project and from the 2015 Core Curriculum group.

Writers featured this year included:

Danny Abosch, Jake Anthony, Joel Bailey, Ron Barnett, Ben Boecker, Richard Castle, Andre Catrini, Sam Chanse, Jacob Combs, Michael Finke, Morgan Hollingsworth, David Hollingsworth, Carl Johnson, Bob Kelly, Matthew Levine, J. Allen Linn, Madeline Myers, Bill Nelson, David Orris, David Rackoff, Sarah Rebell, Mark Sonnenblick, Joseph Trefler, Peter Welkin, Chana Wise, Cris Wo, Randi Wolfe, and Patricia Zehentmayr.

The featured performers were the members of the Academy Repertory Company and guests.  The ensemble for the evening was:

Allie Costa, Elise Dewsberry, Sara Gonzales, Randy Guiaya, Scott Guy, David Holmes, Christopher Maikish, Paul Marchegiani, Shannon Martinous, Conchita Belisle Newman, Andrea Press, Curtis Rhodes
Tedd Szeto, Christina Valo, and Peter Welkin

With special guests Amanda Kruger, and Chris Bunyi, and Rehyan Rivera (members of the cast of the developmental production of New York Society for the Suppression of Vice).

And with the amazing Ron Barnett at the piano.

For more pictures, visit our GOT MUSICAL page.





4×10 ENSEMBLE SEASON CONTINUES

The 4×10 Ensemble, which was created by ANMT Founding Director John Sparks with the express purpose of presenting developmental productions of musicals written by members of the Academy for New Musical Theatre, closes its third presentation of the 2014-15 season this weekend.

New York Society for the Suppression of Vice - with book by Joel Bailey, music by Jake Anthony, and lyrics by Patricia Zehentmayr - was inspired by recent incidents of bullying in high schools. This developmental production was directed by Matthew Tyler, music directed by Emily Cohn, and stage managed by Jerry Blackburn. The cast features Josh Bednarsky, Chris Bunyi, Allie Costa, Tyler Fromson, Sara Gonzales, Jeffrey Markle, Rehyan Rivera, Frankie Rodriguez, Brianne Sanborn, Lorne Stevenson, Rachel Tyler, and John Wallis.

MAKE A RESERVATION

The previous developmental production was the new musical Fentor, with book by Sachi Oyama, music by Ron Barnett, and lyrics by Cheryl Tsieprati, and based on the play Fentor by Jason Fong. It told the story of a grieving Asian-American family struggling with caring for an autistic child. Fentor was directed by John Sparks, music directed by Bryan Blaskie, stage managed by Malcolm Tracy, and featured performers Conchita Belisle-Newman, Erika Campbell, Judi Domroy, Tyler Fromson, Constance Jewell Lopez, Danny Schwadron, Lorne Stevenson, Megan Wingo, and Paul Wong.

Finishing up the inaugural season will be the new musical Bagels! (by Chana Wise and Carl Johnson) which will be presented on weekends from August 1 -16, and also as part of the STAGES Festival.


New York Society writers; Jake Anthony (composer), Joel Bailey (bookwriter), and Patricia Zehentmayr (lyricist)




3DT/NMI CONCERT READING SERIES

New Musicals Inc. is proud to announce the new Concert Reading Series for New Musicals in cooperation with 3D Theatricals of Orange County.  The inaugural season will consist of readings of three new musicals, presented at the 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall in Anaheim and at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, from March through June of 2016.

The two organizations first worked together in August of 2015 when NMI presented their STAGES Festival of New Works for the 3DT subscribers.

“The STAGES readings were a big hit with our audience,” says 3DT Artistic Director T.J. Dawson.  “and we think they are definitely ready to embrace the developmental process for new musicals.  Our mission statement is ‘to provide southern California with professional theatre that includes Broadway musicals, plays, readings and new works.’  We’ve been very proud of our musical productions over the last four years - but were looking for a way to fulfill the ‘new works’ part of that mission.  Finding the folks at NMI was a real match made in heaven.”

“It’s a win-win situation for both organizations,” says NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry.  “3DT is looking for a way to expose their audiences to new works, and NMI is always looking for ways to expose our writers to broader audiences.  It’s a natural.”

The three musicals chosen for presentation in this inaugural outing are:

Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen
by Ron Barnett and Scott Guy
Monday, March 14, at New Musicals Inc.
Tuesday, March 15, at 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall

got musical!
an evening of excerpts from new shows in development
Tuesday, April 26, at 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall
Sunday, May 15 (4pm), at the Colony Theatre

Invisible
by David Hollingsworth and David Orris
Monday, June 6, at the Colony Theatre
Tuesday, June 7, at 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall

The Darby O’Gill project is in development for McCoy-Rigby Entertainment, with an eye toward Cathy Rigby in the role of the queen of the leprechauns.  The got musical! concert is an annual NMI event that features excerpts from many different new musicals currently in development, and featuring the winners of the 4th annual New Voices Project for musical theatre writers under the age of 26.  Invisible was the break-out hit of the August STAGES Festival, and 3D Theatricals audiences began asking about its future.

“I’m so excited about Invisible,” says Dawson, “It’s contemporary and fresh, and has a sweet and powerful message about truly seeing each other.  High school audiences are loving it, as well as Baby Boomers who are digging all the references to 80’s pop culture.  We’re thinking this MIGHT be the show we get behind for our very first world premiere!”

“We are hopeful that this is the beginning of a long partnership of identifying promising new shows, exposing them to audience reactions and feedback, and nurturing them to be production ready,” says Dewsberry.

For more info and tickets, visit the Concert Reading Series page at NMI.


Travis Dixon, Matthew Patrick Davis, and Gwen Hollander in the reading of OFF THE WALL by Sarah Rebell and Danny Abosch at the 2015 STAGES Festival.




DARBY O’GILL and the LEPRECHAUN QUEEN

First up in the new 3DT/NMI 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 with 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 comic, dark Celtic folktales, Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen tells the funny but occasionally spooky tale of the unlikely pairing of the trickster Darby O’Gill and the scheming Leprechaun Queen who are forced into a shifty-eyed alliance when the goblins kidnap the Leprechaun King.

There will be two presentations: the first will be on Monday, March 14 at 8:00pm at New Musicals Inc. (suggested donation $10), followed by Tuesday, March 15 at 8:00pm at the 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall ($10).

For reservations for the March 14 presentation at NMI, CLICK HERE.

For reservations for the March 15 presentation at 3DT, CLICK HERE.




A Virtual Conference for Musical Theatre Writers

New Musicals Inc. is launching an online conference for musical theatre writers, focusing on business issues such as contracts, fundraising, copyright, how to approach producers (and how not to approach producers).

Every other year, NMI hosts a national conference live in Los Angeles.  The online version features 19 videos of highlights from many of the conference panels.

“If you weren’t able to attend our conference in person, you missed a lot!” says NMI’s Executive Director Scott Guy.  “It was a jam-packed three-day weekend of musical theatre panels, schmoozing, learning, eating, drinking, and networking.”

The August conference featured writers, attorneys, producers, artistic directors, actors, composers, and other theatre artists and industry experts.  One of the keynote speakers of the 2016 conference was Ken Davenport of Davenport Theatricals (Spring Awakening, Grease, Altar Boyz, Daddy Long Legs, etc.)  Davenport gave lots of practical advice, insights and strategies to writers about producing, fundraising and marketing new musicals.  The online conference excerpts five of Davenport’s hottest topics, and two “case studies” from among conference participants he advised for everyone to hear.

Entertainment attorneys Gordon Firemark and Michael Blaha gives us thousands of dollars’ worth of advice about the legal aspects of musical theatre including topics such as collaboration agreements, permissions and rights, and merger.

NMI’s artistic director Elise Dewsberry says that NMI has been contemplating creating an online version of the conference since its inception in 2008.  “We always hope writers will attend in person, because the networking is so fantastic.  Writers get to rub shoulders with producers, directors, writers, entertainment attorneys, money-raisers, and dramaturgs…it’s an experience you can’t duplicate online.  But for those writers who can’t attend in person, we’re hoping the online version is the next best thing.”

Online viewers will miss the opportunity to present their musicals directly to producers; but two of the online videos are from the panel with producers giving advice on how to approach them.  Producers Daniel Henning, Michael Blaha, and Michael Michetti represent the Blank Theatre, Edinburgh Festival and Boston Court Theatre.

An additional set of seven videos feature tips and tricks from the screenwriting and television world, presented by Scott Guy (Disney, Warner Bros., NBC, PBS, etc.).

The online conference costs $195, which is a third of the cost of the full live conference ($595).  The NMI website features two free videos for visitors to sample before committing to the purchase of the entire online conference.

To see the free videos and register for the online conference, visit nmi.org, or the direct link:  http://nmi.org/develop/conference/2016-panel-videos-login/


Broadway producer Ken Davenport giving advice to 2016 conference attendees




A BUSY SEASON

What is New Musicals Inc. up to this season?  We’re premiering TWELVE new musicals in June.  (Twelve!)  We’re launching an online version of our national conference for musical theatre writers.  And a new online Songwriters’ Lab.  And a spiffed up Musical Theatre Resource Center, packed with new features and up-to-the-minute deadlines, opportunities, and contests.  Oh, and our Artistic Director’s been tapped recently to consult with a whole series of Broadway and London writers.  Never a dull moment at New Musicals Inc.!  Read about it all, below….




New Musicals Inc. is producing TWELVE brand new short musicals at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June under the banner 1001 MINUTES OF NEW MUSICALS.  But we need YOUR HELP to get them there.

Today, we are launching an INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN to help cover the costs of mounting these shows - please check it out!

PRODUCTION A - June 9 at 7:30 pm / June 10 at 5:00 pm / June 11 at 4:30 pm / June 15 at 9:00 pm / June 22 at 11:00 pm
is made up of three brand new short musicals, and will be presented for five performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The shows are Kantata Koffee Kompany; Sybil’s Closet; and A Zombie, A Dragon, and A Vampire Who Sparkles

PRODUCTION B - June 9 at 9:00 pm / June 11 at 3:00 pm / June 15 at 11:00 pm / June 22 at 9:00 pm / June 23 at 7:30 pm
is made up of three brand new short musicals, and will be presented for five performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The shows are Hollywood Forever; There’s An App For That; and Dames, Dicks, & Butter Knives

PRODUCTION C - June 10 at 7:00 pm / June 14 at 9:00 pm / June 15 at 7:30 pm / June 18 at 3:00 pm / June 23 at 9:00 pm
is made up of three brand new short musicals, and will be presented for five performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The shows are Thanksgiving in Ithaca; Curses!; and The Wedding Night

PRODUCTION D - June 10 at 8:30 pm / June 14 at 11:00 pm / June 15 at 6:00 pm / June 18 at 4:30 pm / June 23 at 11:00 pm 
is made up of three brand new short musicals, and will be presented for five performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The shows are Feet First; F**ked Up Fairy Tales; and Chaturbate: The Musical

(see more info on all shows below)




SPECIAL EDITION – NMI INVADES THE HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FESTIVAL

Help us get to Hollywood.

We have a very busy spring and summer coming up - starting with the launch of our 12 brand new short musicals at the Hollywood Fringe Festival - which we are calling 1001 MINUTES OF NEW MUSICAL THEATRE! And we also have the biennial STAGES Festival of New Musicals; a new CRAFT Conference; and an announcement about this years’ winners of our New Voices Project.

 




NMI Invades the Hollywood Fringe Festival

NMI is producing twelve — count ’em — twelve new musicals at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  We’ll admit that has us a little crazed.  But it’s exciting and fun.  24 writers, 70 actors, 7 directors, 6 music directors, 1 intern, and 2 stage managers, and 2 insane producers.

Take a look at what we’re up to!




Finding our 12 musicals at Fringe

The Fringe website and program make it kinda tricky to find our shows.  They’re ALL listed under the banner “1001 Minutes of New Musicals” — which is great; we’re first in the listing!  But it can be a little confusing if you know the name of only ONE of the twelve shows.  Our best advice is to order your tickets by DATE and TIME.  So peruse this newsletter carefully, then look for the performance date for the musicals which interest you.

We’ve grouped our twelve shows into four separate productions:  Production A, Production B, Production C, and Production D.  Each production features three separate one acts.

But they’re all listed under “1001 Minutes of New Musicals.”

Got that?




A writers’ conference on CRAFT

New Musicals Inc. and the Academy for New Musical Theatre are joining forces to present an extraordinary conference for musical theatre writers, entirely online, over a two-week period from July 10-27, 2017. The conference will focus on the craft of writing musical theatre, as writers get the chance to write/collaborate, receive critique, rewrite, attend lectures about the craft of writing for musical theatre, and finally see their works presented in concert in front of an audience.

“We’re designing this conference to take place entirely online,” explains NMI’s Executive Director Scott Guy, “So writers can participate from anywhere in the world. We have the capability of including as many as 24 simultaneous video streams, but lectures will be recorded, in case time zones are an issue.”

After an inspiring keynote speaker to launch the conference, writers will present material for feedback, followed by a lecture. At the end of the first day, writers will be teamed with collaborators and given a scene/song which will be due on the third day of the conference. NMI will present the material live in Los Angeles, followed by feedback and then another lecture. There will then be a second scene/song with new collaborators, followed by a second round of presentation and feedback.

The second week of the conference will team collaborators together to write a ten minute musical, with a few sessions of feedback, culminating in a rehearsed presentation in front of an invited audience.

Depending on the success of the final presentation, NMI might include screening of the ten-minute conference musicals during Stages Musical Theatre Festival in the weekend which immediately follows the conference.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity not only for the writers, but for us,” says Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry. “We get to work with writers all around the world, and everyone gets to work with three sets of potential collaborators. Plus, we’re all gathered together talking about the craft of writing musicals, discussing what’s important, what’s trending, and what’s the future of musical theatre.”

The conference takes place July 10-23, online, although participants MAY attend in person at NMI’s workshops in North Hollywood. Rehearsals for the ten-minute musicals will be July 24-25, with presentation on July 26th.

Registration closes June 21; the cost of registration is $450. Participation is limited and by invitation only. To be considered for the conference, writers should email admin@nmi.org with a brief resume, artistic statement, and an indication of which craft the writer would like to focus on for the conference (pick one): bookwriter, composer, lyricist.




STAGES Festival STREAMING this weekend

A twenty-year musical theatre tradition will be streamed live for the first time this year. New Musicals Inc. will host the 20th STAGES FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS from July 28th through July 30th in North Hollywood, and streamcast it across the globe.

The LIVE events this weekend are the New Voices Project Concert (Friday, July 28th at 7:00pm) and a concert reading of the new musical Spellbound by Ben Boecker (Sunday, July 30th at 7:30pm).

A list of the nearly 60 hours of programming is included below. NOTE that the times are approximate and some (but not all) of the programming will be aired more than once.

For more info, to reserve seats for the LIVE events, and/or to view the LIVE STREAM this weekend, visit:

http://nmi.org/stages-musical-theatre-festival-2017




A busy fall season…

New Musicals Inc. has a very busy fall coming up. We are announcing the winners of our 2017 Search for New Musicals; our annual online holiday auction begins next week; and we are launching a brand new campaign to renovate our Main Hall. Read about all of this and more below!




A 2-week writers’ intensive

Following the success of our inaugural Craft Conference this past summer, New Musicals Inc. and the Academy for New Musical Theatre are once again joining forces to present an extraordinary 2-week Craft Intensive for musical theatre writers, entirely online, over a two-week period from January 15-26, 2017. The conference will focus on the craft of writing musical theatre, as writers get the chance to write/collaborate, receive critique, rewrite, attend lectures about the craft of writing for musical theatre, and finally see their works presented in concert.

“We’re designing this intensive to take place entirely online,” explains NMI’s Executive Director Scott Guy, “So writers can participate from anywhere in the world. We have the capability of including as many as 24 simultaneous video streams, but lectures will be recorded, in case time zones are an issue.”

Inspired by our venerable Core Curriculum, we imagine this online experience to be a two-week “crash course” version of the entire 9-month curriculum, concentrated over 14 days.  Writers will present material for feedback, followed by lectures on the craft of writing for musical theatre. At the end of the first day, writers will be teamed with collaborators and given a scene/song which will be due on the third day of the conference, followed by feedback and then another lecture. There will then be a second scene/song with new collaborators, followed by a second round of presentation and feedback.

The second week of the conference will team collaborators together to write a five minute musical, with a few sessions of feedback, culminating in a rehearsed presentation and consideration for shooting as an internet musical.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity not only for the writers, but for us,” says Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry. “We get to work with writers all around the world, and everyone gets to work with three sets of potential collaborators. Plus, we’re all gathered together talking about the craft of writing musicals, discussing what’s important, what’s trending, and what’s the future of musical theatre.”

The conference takes place January 15 through 26, online, although participants MAY attend in person at NMI’s workshops in North Hollywood. Rehearsals for the five-minute musicals will be January 24-25, with presentation on January 26.

Registration closes December 22; the cost of registration is $450. Participation is limited and by invitation only. To be considered for the conference, writers should email admin@nmi.org with a brief resume, artistic statement, and an indication of which craft the writer would like to focus on for the conference (pick one): bookwriter, composer, lyricist.




CRESCENDO!

a 3-year vision for NMI to get louder


We’ve been L.A.’s best-kept secret for decades, and yet we’ve worked with many of Broadway’s finest.  Well, beginning in 2018, we’re turning up the volume.  We want our humble organization to make noise. We’ll be launching an ambitious $120,000 campaign to:

  • finish renovations of our Main Hall
  • become a broadcaster of internet musicals
  • produce musicals on a national scale
  • market 20 of the musicals we’ve developed in the past few seasons
  • expand our writers’ workshop (streamcasting; global outreach)

Our $120,000 campaign

In July 2017, we streamcast our entire 51-hour-long Stages Musical Theatre Festival, and saw the amazing possibilities! But we need better sound, lighting, overhead microphones and a few more cameras.  We also want to step up our ability to produce.  After several years of negotiating with unions, etc. we’re delighted to announce we are now unfettered of burdensome agreements and the way is cleared for us to produce more often on a bigger scale.

Our next three goals:

  • Renovate our Main Hall ($20,000)
  • Produce multiple musicals at 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival ($28,000)
  • Shoot a musical webseries (summer) ($25,000)

 


imagine NMI before and after the campaign




A busy spring!

Once again, it’s a busy time for us at NMI (what else is new?) - with our annual got musical concert; our 15 Minute Musicals; a full-length fringe musical; a summer boot camp; and our 2018 BIZ of the MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference all coming up in the next few months.




got musical!

You know it’s a highlight of your season — got musical! — because it’s a concert of highlights from OUR season.  got musical is a perennial favorite, as we share excerpts from musicals we’ve been developing over this past season.

It’s a really entertaining way to catch up on everything we’ve been up to.  This year’s got musical will include songs from the winners of the 2018 New Voices Project; from this year’s Core Curriculum of musical theatre writers; from the winner of the 2017 Search for New Musicals; from musicals in development with Northern Sky Theatre and Apples & Oranges Productions; plus a sneak peek of our upcoming world premiere Hollywood Fringe Festival production of MANSON’S GIRLS; and video viewings of our 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival shows and our new musicals being created for the internet.

Featuring the work of: Angela Parrish and Leslie Sloan; Charlie Oh and Ross Baum; Julian Drucker and Monica Hannush; Natalie Stewart Elder and John Ervin Brooks; Cristian Guerrero, Andrew Moorehead, and Steven Schmidt; Ron Barnett, Mitch Glaser, Robin Share, and Dan Wessels; plus the 24 writers of the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival short musicals.

Starring members of the Academy Repertory Company Lia Peros, Christina Valo, Andrea Press, Elise Dewsberry, Tedd Szeto, and David Holmes, along with guests Jordan Goodsell, Randy Guiaya, Christofer Sands, Megan Rubles, and Lauran Dewey; and all the actors from the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival short musicals (via video) - with Ron Barnett at the piano.

PLUS there’s the added bonus of seeing the Main Hall renovation live and in person!

Sunday, May 6
3:00pm
at New Musicals Inc.
5628 Vineland Avenue

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW


Randy Guiaya and Peter Welkin in GOT MUSICAL 2015




Four musical webseries and two Fringe productions

We’re producing 92 musical theatre internet videos and two mainstage musicals at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival.  And that’s not all!

Take a look at everything we’re up to at New Musicals Inc.




Can You Help?

NMI: We’re producing 92 musical theatre internet videos and two mainstage musicals at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Can you help us with‑‑

YOU: Wait — did you say 92 videos?

NMI: Yes. We’ve been working round the clock on our new greenscreen studio since we renovated it last summer. We’ve already shot 38 internet shorts, with another 54 planned…creating four separate musical webseries, working through the Screen Actors’ New Media Agreement.

YOU: You’ve shot 38 videos already…can I see some of them?

NMI: Sure. Check out the article in this newsletter about “5678” - our brand new YouTube channel! Check out the channel and you can see excerpts from of Tales From a Darkening Wood (myths, fairy tales, spooky yarns), The Ghosts of Stowell Hill (the ghosts speak to us from the graveyard, sharing directly with us their confessions, memories, or stories), and The Last of Its Kind (stories about final moments, good and bad, such as the last night before going off to college, or the final payment on a house, or the final letter of Captain Scott from the Antarctic). The fourth series, Trunk Songs, we just started shooting, and don’t have edited peeks to sneak.

YOU: You guys are amazing. How’re you doing that?

NMI: Our stoic staff has been doubling as crew members: running sound, lights, editing, post-production, special effects, etc. Plus, you know Elise…she’s a creative workhorse and is the star of maybe a dozen of the episodes.

YOU: Sounds exhausting. How can I help?

NMI: We need some money to pay for: editors, costumes, lighting crew, sound crew, directors, and stagehands.

YOU: Glad to help! Anything else?

NMI: As a matter of fact…thanks for asking. As if producing 92 videos wasn’t enough, we’re also producing two (count ’em TWO) Mainstage productions at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival: The Bully Problem, written by Michael Shapiro, winner of NMI’s 2018 Search for New Musicals; and we’re partnering with Smart Media LLC for the musicalization of Hell’s Kitty, based on the hit internet series and now Amazon Prime Video movie.

YOU: Can I see some of that?

NMI: You can see Hell’s Kitty movie on Amazon Prime. If you want to see the musical,

YOU: Sounds fantastic. I want to help you make your goal. I’ll go find the right combination of perk/donation right now!

NMI: Mwah!

Looking for more information, or have a question, or want to make a donation!? Visit the Indiegogo Campaign.


The cast of LEGEND OF THE BROTHERS LEGRAND (Ben Fisher, Rachael MacLachlan, Bob Moran, and Mindy Montavon) - one of the many internet musicals on our new YouTube channel - 5678!




Channel 5678

Channel 5678: Musical theatre internet shorts and musical webseries.


We’re very excited to announce the official launch of CHANNEL 5678, NMI’s new home for internet musical theatre!  Shorts, musical webseries, musical adaptations, and original musicals which explore this new artform.

What IS musical theatre on your phone, or on your iPad?  We’ve been experimenting for several seasons, exploring musical storytelling for the small screen.  We have already shot 39 videos, and we have plans for another 60 or so.  (See the accompanying article about our Indiegogo campaign to try to raise some funds for editors, crew, equipment and so on…but THIS article focuses on the actual launch.)

Our new Director of Digital Media, Wayne Self, has ambitions to release one video a week for a full year.  “We’ve been stockpiling!” he says, “we’ve been shooting episodes since August, and working round the clock editing them.  I can’t wait for folks to start being able to see them!”

You’ll want to subscribe to Channel 5678 to make sure you don’t miss a single one.  It’s free, at least for the moment; just go to the channel on YouTube and click the SUBSCRIBE button.

Come visit Channel 5678 where you can expect to find storytellers sharing musical Tales from a Darkening Wood andGhosts of Stowell Hill; and our very own Elise Dewsberry as Mother Nature, Khassandra the Psychic, and earnest Edna Fervor singing Second Verses from American patriotic tunes.  In the future expect to see a number of standalone stories, and two more musical webseries which we’ve started but haven’t yet edited.

We’re very excited by Channel 5678.  We’d love to hear what you think.  Subscribe to Channel 5678, and let us know what you think about what we’ve been up to.  What else might we explore in the world of internet musical theatre storytelling?


Gia Mora in "Tales from a Darkening Wood"




A Seventeen-Musical Summer

What a summer we’re having!  A sold-out run of The Bully Problem; a purr-fect run of Hell’s Kitty; Elise’s knockout performance in Mother’s Mothers’ Day, and still to come — eight 15-Minute Musicals, and then six musicals at Stages Musical Theatre Festival in August.  Hard to keep track of it all?  This newsletter will help.

(If you read nothing else, read the reviews for The Bully Problem; the DATES of July 18 and 19 for the 15 Minute Musicals; and August 1 through 4 for Stages.)

AND mark your calendars for a possible two show EXTENSION of The Bully Problem on August 9 and 11 at Arena Stage. (for more info, visit https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5900




Green Eyed Monsters

Eight short musicals about jealousy


It’s one of our favorite times of the NMI season — the 15 Minute Musicals are coming in July!  This year there are eight of them…we haven’t had this many in years…it’s exciting to get to hear so many wonderful new voices.

We’re presenting “Green-Eyed Monsters — eight short musicals about jealousy” on July 18th and 19th at 7:30pm at the Broadwater Second Stage in Hollywood.

These musicals are a decades-long tradition at the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and one of the hottest tickets in town. The 15 Minute Musicals Project concludes each season of the Academy’s world-famous Core Curriculum of the writers’ workshop, which has been in existence for over 40 years. For the final project of the curriculum, composers, lyricists and bookwriters are put together on writing teams and are given a few short weeks to write, revise, and polish a brand-new musical written for professional actors.

We give each of the teams a theme to work with, and this year further inspired them by giving them a short story to adapt/warp/twist/disguise.  The result has amazed us, with stories which include feuding grandmothers, rival cats and mice, jealous prize-winning flowers, back-stabbing back-up singers, and a host of other musical creatures and characters.

You can see all eight musicals in the same evening.  One cast of actors star in the first four shows; then another cast stars in the final four musicals.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the writers to be able to tailor their musicals to specific performers,” says Elise Dewsberry, the 15 Minute Musicals producer and dramaturg,” And of course, what a showcase for the actors!, to be able to play roles written specifically for them!”

The first half of the evening (the BLUE Program) has four short musicals written by Kimberly Barger, Katie Brady, Michael Harold, Jane Wong, Thomas Blakeley, Duncan Smith, Bill Coe, Gustav Hoyer, Joely Zuker, and Elizabeth Coleman Everhard; directed by John Coppola, with music direction by Jake Anthony and stage management by Jenn Dupre. (Cast to be announced soon!)

The second half of the evening (the RED Program) has four short musicals written by BK Wells, Xavier Vidal, Sara Beil, Jon Kull, Greg Beattie, Marilyn Haese, Amanda Rafkin, Charlotte Bash, Wayne Self, and Joelle Sahar; directed by Elise Dewsberry, with music direction by Ron Barnett and stage management by Rachel Shanblatt. (Cast to be announced soon!)

Performance dates:

Thursday, July 18th at 7:30 pm
Friday July 19th at 7:30 pm

at the Broadwater Second Stage
6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood

Tickets are $25 and will go on sale on June 1 at the link below:

MORE INFO




Eleven new musicals!

We’ve been busy.  And we’re about to produce for you (drumroll please) eleven new musicals.  Two full-length musicals (The Bully Problem; and Hell’s Kitty); one very special one-performance only commission (Mother’s Mothers’ Day), and eight short musicals about jealousy.  It’s all coming up in the next few weeks.




The Fifteen-Minute Musicals are Here!

It’s everyone’ favorite time of year — the Fifteen Minute Musicals!  This season there will be eight 15-minute musicals, featuring two different casts of four actors. The evening is entitled: Green-Eyed Monsters: eight new musicals about jealousy, and the writing teams have cooked up eight wildly different approaches to this theme ranging from feuding siblings in a high-wire act to jealous musical divas succombing to magical trickery to a conniving cat and mouse to a pair of gardeners raising rivals flowers - and much more!

These evenings are an annual highlight of NMI’s year-long season of developing new musicals and feature many new voices in musical theatre. Every seat in the house usually sells out.  We’re expecting even MORE competition this season because we’ve booked the intimate Second Stage (much smaller than the Colony Theatre), and the adoring crowds from the Fringe Festival have already begun buying tickets.  So order your tickets right away, right now, or you’ll miss out.

All eight shows presented each evening (July 18 and 19):

The RED Program:
The Cure with book and lyrics by B.K. Wells, and music by Xavier Vidal
Greener Gardens with book by Sara Beil, music by Jon Kull, and lyrics by Greg Beattie
I Heart Jeffrey Braddock with book by Marilyn Haese, music by Ron Barnett, and lyrics by Charlotte Bash
The Fith Element with book and lyrics by Wayne Self, and music by Joelle Ferrando

Directed by Elise Dewsberry; Music Directed by Ron Barnett; Stage Managed by Rachel Shanblatt
Starring Corinne DeVries, Seth David Mitchell, Giane Morris, and Patrick Steward

The Blue Program:
Granny Wars with book by Kimberly Barger, and music and lyrics by Katie Brady
Stanford or Bust with book by Michael Harold, and music and lyrics by Jan Wong
Cheese & Crackers with book by Thomas Blakely, music by Duncan Smith, and lyrics by Bill Coe
Highwire with book by Gustav Hoyer, music by Joely Zuker, and lyrics by Elizabeth Coleman

Directed by John Coppola; Music Directed by Jake Anthony; Stage Managed by Jenn Dupre
Starring Melvin Biteng, Tianna Cohen, Marcello Padilla, and Andrea Somera

Tickets are $25; the performances begin at 7:30pm.

For tickets, reservations and more info:  http://nmi.org/nmi-summer-events-2019/

But hurry!  We think we’ll sell every available ticket.




SEARCH for NEW MUSICALS – annual deadline

The annual deadline of July 15 is right around the corner!

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.




WRITE A NEW MUSICAL WITH US!

NMI’s academic branch - the Academy for New Musical Theatre - is now enrolling for the 2019-20 season of the famed Core Curriculum.

All bookwriters, lyricists, and composers (from accomplished to aspiring) are invited to join us on September 21 and 22 (2:30 to 6:30pm) to audition for the new season of our famed Core Curriculum program. We will put you a collaborative team and give you a couple of assignments which you will prepare and present at the October sessions - and after that, we will make a mutual decision about whether or not the program is right for you.

Don’t live in Los Angeles?  Talk to us about participating in the Core Curriculum via our live streamcasting.

For lots more info on the Core Curriculum and how to check us out in September, visit http://nmi.org/study/core-curriculum/

NOTE: Student discounts are available for current college students and recent grads.




Coming Soon

We’ve completely updated our venerable online Book Lab and Lyric Lab to include analysis of contemporary Broadway musicals…as well as 31 brand-new HD videos!  AND we’re offering a $100 DISCOUNT on both new labs for the next few months!

We’re also gearing up for another jam-packed season of NMI-produced musicals this summer, including a full-length musical, a concert musical, eight 40-minute one-acts, and as many as seven 15-minute musicals.

Also upcoming:  a Musical Theatre Writers Creative Summit in February, our biennial Conference for Musical Theatre Writers, our New Voices Project.

And a complete overhaul of our Resource Center including our free Library of Ideas (we’ve added 200 new plays and 400 new stories).

Exhausting, you say?  Exhilarating!, we say.  Read on to see what we’re up to.




N.M.I. now stands for: “New Musicals, Internet”

“Even if the entire world shuts down, the show must go on! I am both amazed and in total admiration of the NMI team for powering on in the face of adversity, finding new, innovative ways to make theatre happen when all the traditional routes are closed.”

~~ Charli Eglinton, London

We at New Musicals Inc. have had to pivot, as have theatre artsts all over the world.  Fortunately, NMI has been incorporating online technology for years, and we’re ready with cameras, greenscreen, streaming, live presentations (and we’ve been using Zoom since 2012…who knew?)

This is a painful but fascinating time for an organization which creates new musicals.  Are we creating new shows for live theatre…for online theatre…for video?  The answer for NMI is…YES.  All of the above.

From re-imagined 15 Minute Musicals to postponed Fringe Festival premieres to innovative virtual readings and workshops - to our upcoming national Conference for writers — we are pushing the envelope, keeping busy, and staying healthy.

For a look at all of our projects - and to hear from some of our artists about how they too are pivoting to create new musicals - read on!




PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Once upon a time, we thought this newsletter would be touting our upcoming productions at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, our national conference, and so on. The world is much changed. Read how New Musicals Inc. is changing along with it. In this issue, hear about our plans for:

  • a message from NMI’s new President
  • our online conference for musical theatre writers
  • a new musical webseries honoring Veterans in their own words
  • a grant for a 12-minute musical film with Deaf actors
  • a proposed Musical Theatre Mentor Program supporting black and other under-represented writers
  • our annual 15 Minute Musicals; a 25-year tradition…broken!
  • a look ahead at this fall’s programming at NMI
  • how you can see our Fringe musicals after all
  • oh, and we’ve been burglarized. Twice.




A MESSAGE FROM OUR NEW PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD

For those of you I have not yet met, I am the new President of the Board of Directors for NMI. I began my tenure in January of this year, when we were planning on a slate of shows at the Hollywood Fringe (in-person, with an audience), an in-person Conference, and hopefully another season of successful programs and curriculum.

Little did I know when I began this year how much things would change! We have seen a global pandemic which has changed our entire industry, remote work (and performances), and a season of social unrest to address issues of race. This has not been an ordinary year by any means. However, extraordinary times can often lead to extraordinary ideas. Our highly competent, agile staff has quickly adapted our performances and annual Conference to be virtual. They were ahead of the curve in their work with green screen and this was a ready and easy transition for them. Our founder recently addressed the issue of race in an email of support and solidarity. And that email was a call to action for me as President of the Board. I have personally taken the following steps:

  • We are creating a Musical Theatre Mentor Program. This program will bring in mentors and mentees of underserved communities and help them build a platform and a voice for their stories to be told. The committee that is forming this program is looking for members if you have any recommendations or are interested in assisting us.
  • I have engaged the African American Board Leadership Institute to assist us in candidate searches for our Advisory Board and our Board of Directors. This organization will assist us in finding candidates that will bring a level of experience, interest and enthusiasm to our work and our company.
  • I have personally signed the petition put forward by We See You White American Theatre. If you haven’t seen it, you should take a look, it’s very easy to find online.
  • I have personally signed on as an ally to Black Theatre United in an effort to find ways to work with and support their mentor initiative and other programs going forward.
  • I have personally signed on as an ally to the Next Wave Initiative, a program from the Directors Company dedicated to amplifying future Black voices in the American Theatre.

While all of these are good steps in the right direction, I know the work we must do to be inclusive and diverse continues. What is needed now is dedication, commitment and the desire to do the work. And that is, after all, what I signed on for as the President of the Board.

–John Mitchell
President of the Board
New Musicals Inc.




KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – six short musicals about separation – THE STREAMING EVENT

ALL SIX of this season’s 15-minute musicals — in one stream presentation!

NMI’s annual 15 Minute Musicals have sold out for the past ten years…they’re the hottest ticket in town. “But, NMI, theatres aren’t open right now!” you say? That didn’t stop the 15 Minute Musicals. This year, we’ve shot three of them in a greenscreen studio and three of them through Zoom - and now we’re bringing them to you on the small screen.

Join us on Saturday, October 10th (7:30pm PST) for the stream presentation of all six of our 15 Minute Musicals from the 2020 season, followed by a Q&A session with the writers, directors, and performers.

Normally these tickets are $25 in the theatre, but thanks to some support from the City of Los Angeles, this event will be FREE. (Although donations are gratefully accepted! C’mon; you were going to pop $25 at the theatre…surely you can donate $10 to see them online).

Attendance is limited. So please register in advance by following this link:

REGISTER FREE for KEEP YOUR DISTANCE

The six short musicals include:

A View from the Moon. Set in a tropical paradise, in which a Covid-stranded couple has run out of money, and an entitled rich woman thinks she can buy their gratitude and the affection of the hotel proprietor. This is a bittersweet, aching romance. Book by Richard Holland, music by Ben Ginsberg, lyrics by Stacey Weingarten.

The Traitor. Set in a dystopian post-Covid future in which touching has become outlawed and even insurrectionistic. We’re in a prison cell, in which an interrogator is trying to get two of the prisoners to turn on the third…any two…so long as someone’s found guilty. It has a dramatic, almost operatic score. Book and lyrics by Stephen K. Nolly, music by Ron Barnett.

I Need Space. Poor Andrey…he’s scheduled to leave on a flight for Mars in two hours, but fear of germs and sudden lack of toilet paper confines him to a bathroom, to the eternal horror of his roommates who have been trying to get rid of him for months. Can the unscrupulous Toilet Paper Blackmarketeer save the day? Book and music by Sergei Stern, lyrics by Jordan Toopes.

Close (But Not Too Close). Too nervous to meet that special someone in person just yet? Why not try “CloseButNotTooClose.com” where you can check out the person of your dreams online. But watch out for scammers who may be looking for something other than love! Book by Paloma Sierra, music by Dusty Sanders, lyrics by Julia Koyfman.

Breakout. Siblings Jean and Jake are finding it extremely difficult to move on with their lives when divorced Mom and Dad are still openly feuding. One family Zoom session probably can’t make up for all the lost time, but can it at least help find a path forward? Book by Lalit Sritara, music by Evan Johnson, lyrics by Kellan Meador.

A Perfect Wedding. How can a mother give her daughter the perfect wedding that she never got to have when COVID forces everyone and everything to cancel at the last second? Book by Nicola Scott, music and lyrics by Laura Watkins.

Our directors were John Coppola and Scott Guy; our music director was Ron Barnett; our stage manager was Carrie Lynn Certa, and our editors were Dylan Forehand, Troy Barboza, Dusty Sanders, and Stephanie Figueroa.

Our performers were: Wilson Bell, Carrie Lynn Certa, Taji Coleman, Judi Domroy, Camden Joseph Espino, Ashley Felkner, Casey Hunter, Jesimiel Jenkins, Tonoccus McClain, Jordan Mitchell-Love, Marcello Padilla, Lelia Symington, Luke Wall, Katherine Washington, Socks Whitmore, and Lindsay Zana.

We’re able to offer these to you for free because support for this program was provided through the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts Development Fee Program. They really helped us transfer these musicals from the stage to the screen. Please thank them if you get the chance: 201 N Figueroa St #1400, Los Angeles, CA 90012

REGISTER FREE for KEEP YOUR DISTANCE

 





2015 NEW VOICES PROJECT WINNERS ANNOUNCED

The new kids on the musical theatre block are here!  Five really promising musical theatre writers (and really young — under the age of 26!) have just won New Musical Inc.’s 2015 New Voices Project.

After carefully reviewing many promising submissions from 18-25 year old writers across the country, the New Voices Project has selected these young writers to be showcased: Jacob Combs & Madeline Myers, Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, and Michael Finke. In additional to winning a cash prize, these writers will have selections from their new musicals showcased as part of a three-tiered presentation/feedback trajectory:

  • the works will be presented in concert as part of NMI’s annual GOT MUSICAL concert at the Colony Theatre in Burbank on Thursday, June 4, 2015
  • later in June, the works will be presented to and critiqued by a distinguished panel of musical theatre professionals including representatives from Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, and members of the staff of the Academy for New Musical Theatre (Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director);
  • after an opportunity for revision based on the critiques, the works will be presented in concert as part of the STAGES Musical Theatre Festival in August

“We are very proud of this program,” says NMI’s Artistic Producer Elise Dewsberry. “This is one of only a very few opportunities (such as the Festival of New American Musicals’ Show Search) specifically designed for young musical theatre writers. These writers are so important to the future of this great American art form - and we are thrilled to be contributing to that future!”

The writing team of Jacob Combs and Madeline Myers says “We believe that stories have an unparalleled power to transport and teach, and we know that musical theater is among the most emotionally resonant of the performing arts.” Jacob and Madeline’s current musical, Legends & Lore, has been developed at the Fingerlakes Musical Theater Festival, the New York Theatre Barn, and Musical Theatre Factory.

Jacob Combs, an LA based writer and composer/lyricist, attended Brown University, and has since worked in live theatre and in film. He worked as a music assistant on the original Off-Broadway musical The Blue Flower at Second Stage Theatre, and then in the story department of Blue Sky Studios on the development of several feature films, including “Epic” and “Rio 2.”  As a writer and editor, Jacob has contributed to Indiewire, EqualityOnTrial and the Huffington Post, covering the arts, law and politics.

Madeline Myers, a New York based composer and lyricist, studied composition at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Madeline was the first place winner of the 2014 inaugural Ken Davenport Songwriting Competition, and has participated in the New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Studio, the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project, and the Johnny Mercer Foundation Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals.

“Musical theatre is, for us, hands-down the most thrilling and rewarding way to communicate with people … ” says the writing team of Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, co-writers of the musical Men with Money. “In this medium, we’re able to combine words, music and movement to create experiences that are greater than the sum of their parts … and we get to take part in the inspiring act of collaboration, the lightning in a bottle that makes this complex art form possible.”

Bill Nelson is a New York-based lyricist, bookwriter and playwright. His musical Harmony, Kansas (with composer Anna K. Jacobs) received four SCENIE Awards and three San Diego Theatre Critics Circle nominations. William Finn conceived and directed a revue of his songs (at Barrington Stage Co.) called Bill Nelson’s All-Male Revue. His plays have been seen across the country and his songs have been presented at cabarets around the world, including Finn’s Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers. He received an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing at NYU-Tisch.

Joseph Trefler is a New York based composer-lyricist. He composed the scores for Honey I’m Home!, an interactive film exhibit (Scotiabank Nuit Blanche), and The Music Box, a short dance-film that was shown on Air Canada flights. His 10-minute musical The Bad Ideas of Jack Andrews (with bookwriter-lyricist Seth Christenfeld), was a finalist in the Ken Davenport 10 Minute Play competition. Joseph received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto and MFA from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, New York University.

“Musical theatre has always felt like a transformative experience.” says Michael Finke. “Fusing the different tools of music, text, design, and performance to create a theatrical event can leave me breathless and moved in a rather significant way … I aspire to join those innovative artists who hope to utilize both the methods discovered before us and the unknown processes of contemporary musical theatre to create that transformative experience.”

Michael Finke is a New York based composer, lyricist, and music director who received his B.F.A. from Tisch School of the Arts. He has been an ASCAP and O’Neill Finalist, was selected for the 2013 Johnny Mercer Songwriting Foundation Workshop, and has had songs, concerts, and fully-realized productions of his work performed at 54 Below, The Laurie Beechman Theater, NYU, Don’t Tell Mama, Off Broadway at St. Luke’s, Joe’s Pub, L.A.’s Rockwell: Table & Stage, the Christmas Day telecast on ABC, and many more.

“We received so many outstanding submissions this year,” says NMI Executive Producer Scott Guy, “that we have also decided to give out several Merit Awards. These writers will also be included in the late June feedback session and will receive some written notes from the NMI Staff and the WDI Creative Entertainment team.”

The Merit Award Recipients are: Mark Sonnenblick, Andre Catrini, Sam Chanse and Bob Kelly, and Ben Boecker.

New Musicals Inc. seeks to encourage and enable writers, producers, directors, and dramaturgs to take a more collaborative and strategic approach to the creation of new works right from the start, before the pen even hits the page. This initiative hopes to foster the creation of exceptionally well crafted new musicals, that are intentional and intelligent in design. NMI strives to pave the way for the development of new musical theatre that is imaginative, inspiring, and impactful in today’s world.

VISIT THE NEW VOICES PAGE




A NEW RESOURCE CENTER FOR WRITERS

We’ve been working very hard for about a year on a new service for writers.  It’s a rich resource center listing upcoming contests and workshop opportunities, as well as providing links to a comprehensive list of 700 producers and theatres who are looking for new musicals.  But wait, there’s still more.

One of the crown jewels in the resource center is a library of hundreds of free ideas and stories from the public domain which we’ve put on a recommendation list.  Plus, the library is filterable, so writers get the ability to search the library for genre (Comedy, drama, suspense, ghost story, fairy story, etc.). We’ve made annotations and recommendations for many of the works in the library, along with hints for ideas which we’ve read and think have some potential to become musicals.  We’ve been working on these annotations for a couple of years, and have finally released them in this brand-new resource center.

There’s a free version, which gives writers full access to everything in the center.  The filters and annotations are available to folks who subscribe.  (It’s only $25 a year for those who subscribe before May 1st.)

VISIT THE NEW RESOURCE CENTER




STAGES FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

We’re already planning the schedule and celebrations surrounding the 2015 Stages Musical Theatre Festival.  It’s expanded this year to two venues!  STAGES will feature FIVE new musicals in development, as well as a concert of brand new songs from the winners of our New Voices Project for writers under the age of 26.

The shows we will be featuring at STAGES this year are:

GALAXY QUEST - THE MUSICAL!
A musical version of the 1999 cult-classic sci-fi movie of the same name (the movie starred Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, and more!). The musical is written by the David Howard - who also wrote the screenplay for the movie - and the reading will be directed by 3D-Theatrical’s own T.J. Dawson.

INVISIBLE
Book by David Hollingsworth, Music & Lyrics by David Orris
Two nerdy high school guys decide to create a potion to make themselves popular, so they can go to prom with the school’s cheerleading twins. But miraculously, the potion turns one of them invisible!  A driving, young score with humor that’s edgy and contemporary (but still family friendly!)

BAGELS!
Book and Lyrics by Chana Wise; Music by Carl Johnson
The almost-true story of the man who invented the automated bagel-making machine; how it almost tore apart a family, and got some union bagel makers pretty upset. Basically a family comedy, but with some real moral dilemma for the young inventor, this show has a charming, witty book and a lovely joyful score.

THE ANARCHIST GIRL
Book and Lyrics by J. Linn Allen; Music by Cris Wo
A young protestor breaks into a house planning to kidnap a famous author, to make him a spokesperson for her cause, only to find that this former literary giant is now confined to a wheelchair, no longer able to speak. She turns her attention to the author’s shut-in son, and tries to convince him to come with her into the dangerous world to stand up for what he believes in. This is an “existential” musical that will appeal to the audience that loves a challenge!

OFF THE WALL
Book and Lyrics by Sarah Rebell; Music by Danny Abosch
A musical comedy loosely inspired by the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. In this five-character, ninety-minute, charming musical, the Mona Lisa is brought to life when a worker in the Louvre kisses her. Much to worker’s dismay, Mona Lisa immediately starts causing chaos all over Paris.

NEW VOICES PROJECT
This slot will be a concert of songs written by the winners of our New Voices Projects - all writers under the age of 26. This is the third year of this competition, and it is sponsored by Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. We have found these young writers to be very exciting!

We’ll let you know the exact details as we get closer, but here’s a heads up to save the dates:  August 21, 22, 23:  at New Musicals Inc. in North Hollywood, and August 28, 29, 30 at the beautiful facilities of our friends at 3D-Theatricals in Anaheim.  The exact schedule of which shows will be when will be decided in a couple of months.  There will be one show on Friday night; shows on Saturday (probably at 1pm, 4pm, and 8pm) two shows on Sunday (probably at 4pm and 7pm).

LEARN MORE ABOUT STAGES




STAGES Festival of New Musicals

A twenty-one-year tradition, the Stages Musical Theatre Festival, is coming to Los Angeles August 1 through 4, featuring six new musicals.

The STAGES Festival will feature concert versions, and table readings, and some live streamcasts of new musicals beginning at 8:00pm on Thursday August 1st, and continuing through Sunday evening August 4th, hosted by New Musicals Inc.

“For years, we’ve been presenting the STAGES Festival as a one or two weekend marathon of readings of new musicals,” says NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry, “but last year we streamed portions of the festival, and found we were able to reach a broader audience from all over the globe.  So this festival we’re doing the same, only we’re adding a wild ice-cold reading, and an experimental greenscreen streamcast!”

Musicals in this year’s festival include:

Across the Street, by Dean Alexander and Janet Hay, exploring racial tensions between Irish and Jewish immigrants in the early 1900’s in America.  A concert reading on August 1st at 8pm.

The Max Factor Factor with book by Adrian Bewley, music by Joseph Blodgett, and lyrics by Chana Wise, about rival movie studios in the 1930’s thrown into chaos when their rival leading men fall in love with each other.  An “ice-cold reading”, in which we put the scripts of a brand-new draft in front of actors and singers without any rehearsal whatsoever.  A concert reading on Friday August 2 at 8:00pm.

Trunk Songs featuring songs which were cut from musicals before or just after opening night.  This portion of the festival is a wild-ride experiment in three different forms of live greenscreen technique; join us as we succeed (or fail spectacularly) in transporting actors in our greenscreen studio into digital environments…live.  Saturday August 3rd at 10:00am.

Big Noise, by Joel Bailey and Ron Barnett, telling the story of a family torn apart by a hurricane in New Orleans.  A table reading on Saturday August 3rd at 1:00pm.

The Plot to Kill Charlie Chaplin with book and lyrics by Scott Guy, music by Kevin Mathie, dramatizing the allegedly true plot to assassinate Charlie Chaplin onboard William Randolph Hearst’s yacht.  It’s told in a vaudeville/silent movie style, presented in a concert reading at 4:30pm on Saturday, August 3rd.

Flesh Trade, written by Chris Holoyda, an irreverent comedy set in the Wild West, involving showgirls, gunslingers and (spoiler alert) cannibals.  Second-Prize Winner of NMI’s 2019 Search for New Musicals.  A concert reading on Saturday August 3 at 8:00pm.

Pickpocket, with book and lyrics by Sandy Kasten and music by Billy Wolfe, telling the story of a young woman making her way in turn of the century New York.  Table reading on Sunday August 4th at 2pm.

“got musical” –  NMI’s annual celebration of this year’s season of development of new musicals.  Presented in concert will be selections from NMI’s New Voices Project (featuring this year’s young writers Evan Johnson, Socks Whitmore, Shayna Toh, and Ryan Patrick Martin); Ghost of a Chance (book by Rhonda Lageyre, music by Ron Barnett, and lyrics by Scott Kriloff; Foresight Saga (book and lyrics by Wayne Self, music by Scott Wilkinson); and selections from some of our musical webseries, including “Tales from a Darkening Wood.”  6:00pm on Sunday August 4th.

Admission is free for all events.  There is a suggested donation at the concert readings.

The Festival takes place at New Musicals Inc; 5628 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood, CA  91601.

Reservation for the live events, as well as program information and the link to the live streamcasts can be found at http://nmi.org/stages-musical-theatre-festival-2019/

 




EAST WEST PLAYERS INITIATIVE

East West Players and New Musicals Inc. are partnering again to create a new musical, and are accepting submissions from Asian-American musical theatre writers to be considered for the project.  We partnered a decade ago to create the hit musical, “Imelda,” and now we’re coming together in time for East West Players’ 50th anniversary.

“We’re looking to work together to create an important, powerful piece of theater about the Asian-American experience,” says Snehal Desai, EWP’s Associate Artistic Director.  “The show itself could be large or small, funny or dramatic, realistic or abstract, cutting-edge or traditional, but we’re hoping that it’s contemporary in its message and innovative in its storytelling.  So whether you are working on the next Hamilton, Allegiance, or Here Lies Love we want to hear from you.”

New Musicals Inc. is hoping to find several teams or projects in the early stages, nurturing several works over the next year or two through workshops and concert presentations before potentially selecting one for production.

Writers who are interested in submitting may choose to submit excerpts from existing musicals, either finished or still in progress, or they may submit samples from their work along with an idea for something brand-new.  “Works which are very early in the process actually have an advantage right now,” says Elise Dewsberry, NMI’s Artistic Director.  “Even if the new work is just a single paragraph and nothing more, we would consider it.  This is an opportunity for our organizations to work together and create something special.”

For more info, and to submit, visit the EAST WEST PLAYERS MUSICAL THEATRE INITIATIVE page.




GOT MUSICAL!

Don’t miss got musical!, our annual celebration of highlights from this season’s musicals, on Sunday May 15th at 4pm at the Colony Theatre.

This year will feature works we’ve been developing with Deaf West Theatre, McCoy Rigby Productions, Northern Sky Theatre, the Loft Ensemble, and selections from our New Voices Project (composers under the age of 26!), and highlights from a half-dozen other musicals.  It’s an inspiring, eclectic and informative peek into the future of musical theatre.

We’re proud this season to share got musical in TWO theatres.  We’ve included got musical as part of our concert series in cooperation with 3D Theatricals.  The first presentation of got musical! will take place on Tuesday, April 26 at 8:00pm at the 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall in Anaheim.  For reservations, CLICK HERE.

The second presentation will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 4:00pm at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.  $15 general seating.  $50 for VIP/Donor priority seating, and an invitation to a post-show reception with the cast.  For reservations, CLICK HERE


The cast of GOT MUSICAL 2015 at the Colony Theatre.




Online Core

Online core




Elise Dewsberry: the Secret’s Out

Something really interesting is going on at New Musicals Inc:  It’s getting harder and harder to make an appointment for Elise Dewsberry’s dramaturgy.  The secret’s out:  Elise has been working with more and more Broadway, London and international writers, and her dance card’s getting full!

“I’m not quite sure what’s making the difference, but in 2015 I began to notice I was getting calls from more and more writers with shows getting ready for major productions.  And things really began to pick up in 2016.”

In the past few seasons, Elise has been working with writers, directors and choreographers behind such shows as Mary Poppins, Honk, Empire, Ragtime, Secret Garden, My Heart is a Drum, and Urinetown.

Elise has cleared some days in April and May just to make sure she has time for you and your shows.  Contact us right away, though, as we expect these dates will be snapped up quickly.

Elise has put together some videos to walk you through the various options ranging from overview dramaturgy to detailed analysis to table readings and even concert readings.  Take a look at your options at http://nmi.org/develop/dramaturgical-options/


"Elise Dewsberry is spot on. Her approach is thorough, extensive, direct and supportive. Her comments resonated as she identified and made suggestions for the hiccups and obstacles that had been thwarting us for too long. We wish we had her help years ago, and we look forward to working with her again soon on all of our projects." ~~Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull (Empire the Musical)




More embarrassingly complimentary testimony for Elise:

"We really did appreciate all your help - you’ve got just the right tone to critique. It’s a matter of “A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down”!" ~~George Stiles (Mary Poppins, Honk, Soho Cinders)


Elise is the Sherlock Holmes of dramaturgy. ‘Having gathered these facts, Watson, I smoked several pipes over them, trying to separate those which were crucial from others which were merely incidental.’ With her keen eye, extensive knowledge and thoughtful commentary, she has managed to suss out exactly what the creatives must do to improve their story-telling. I’d love to have her expertise on all new shows I work on.

~~Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Director/Choreographer (Ragtime, High Society, Secret Garden)

My co-writers George Stiles & Anthony Drewe and I worked with Elise when she provided dramaturgical services on our show Soho Cinders. Her insights were invaluable. She asked exactly the right questions to make us think about our characters with a fresh perspective. As a result, characters and their journey arcs tightened up and the overall show did so as well. As a writer, you think you know your piece but it is amazing what a professionally focussed look at your work can do to enhance it. Elise provides just that forensic approach.

~~Elliot Davis, George Stiles, and Anthony Drewe (Soho Cinders)

We were fortunate to have Elise Dewsberry as advisor for our presentation at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Elise provided kind, thoughtful and wise script guidance during the strenuous work of chopping our musical’s first act to forty-five minutes. She was a constant encouraging presence offering sage advice based on the strength of her experience with musical theatre presentation, promotion and marketing.  NAMT was a challenging ride and we can’t thank Elise enough for assuming so many roles on our behalf, from dramaturg to cheerleader. We will always value her knowledge, dedication and care.

~~Jennie Redling, Phillip Palmer, Stacey Luftig (My Heart Is The Drum, Village Theatre)


"I recently had the pleasure of working with New Musicals Inc. on a reading of The Grouch’s Daughter, my new musical co-written with Jack Helbig. NMI staff member Elise Dewsberry served as both dramaturg and director, and in our years of working on this show, no one person has been as helpful to us as she was. Prior to the reading, we received a set of notes that were as thoughtful as they were thorough. NMI’s suggestions led to a rewrite that greatly helped me shape the show and refine its style. I’m deeply impressed with the care and intelligence of their creative input, and would not hesitate to work with NMI again." ~~Mark Hollmann (Tony award-winning composer, Urinetown)




An Amazing Resource for Musical Theatre Writers

The Musical Theatre Writers’ Resource Center has just gotten an update and some new features.

CONTEST DEADLINES: Want to know what contest deadlines are coming up? The Resource Center is a very powerful clearinghouse of information and source material. You can filter contests for your particular genre or topic. Got a one-act you want to show to producers? …then filter just for one-acts. Or do you have a particular social issue in mind, such as women’s issues — then filter for theatres interested only in women’s issues.

NMI’s Executive Director Scott Guy says, “Elise and I have personally spent the month of January looking at every single one of our nearly 400 entries for contests, so at the moment, everything is as up-to-date as we can make it. We’ve checked the links, verified the deadlines, and even made some comments and annotations which we think might be useful.”

WRITER BANK: The newest feature on the Resource Center is the WRITER BANK, which is a spot where musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers can submit info about themselves, samples, links to their own websites, and can also indicate if they are looking for collaborators and/or new projects.  We’re hoping this will turn into a great resource for finding new collaborators.  We’ve only just started this feature - so you can be one of the first to get your information into the system!

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER: Another new feature will be a monthly newsletter sent out to Premium Subscribers.  This newsletter will list the upcoming contest deadlines; the newest members of the Writer Bank, some sample public domain ideas; as well as some fun musical theatre trivia like random lyric quotes, pictures from the archives, and listings of things that happened in the musical theatre world during this same month in the past.  We know that it’s not always easy to remember to come back to the Resource Center to remind yourself of what contest deadlines are coming up soon - so this newsletter will come to YOU.

And there’s lots more available at the Resource Center. You’ll also find lists of producers, agents, theatres, workshops, feedback, links and advice about writing and marketing your musical.  And perhaps most exciting of all is our categorized, filterable list of ideas, plots, short stories and plays in the public domain which you might consider for your next show.

Not the mention the fact that premium subscribers also get up to $400 of discounts on NMI’s various levels of dramaturgical feedback.

Check out the RESOURCE CENTER here.


A screenshot of the filtering options available for premium subscriberss




CRAFT CONFERENCE

Over the past season or two, we’ve had a lot of requests for a “craft conference” — in which writers get a chance to write/collaborate, receive critique, rewrite, attend lectures about the craft of writing for musical theatre, and finally see their works presented in concert in front of an audience.

We’ve put together a possible way to make this happen, and we’d like to know if you’d be as excited about it as we are.  To that end, would you take a brief survey about a “craft conference” and then give us your opinion about it?  (It’ll take about 90 seconds; honest.)

Link to the survey:  http://www.anmt.org/members/survey_form.asp?surveyid=32




Pick of the Fringe!

NMI: Pick of the Fringe!


New Musicals Inc. has just been awarded the Pick of the Fringe award.

Pick of the Fringe is Combined Artform and Fringe Management’s fourth year of offering this prestigious award.  Modeled after Edenborough’s similarly-named award, independent judges are sent to see productions across every genre, and then live highlights are presented from five different top Fringe shows.  Historically, many of their choices have gone on to win major awards, including several Encore winners.

“We’re thrilled and honored to be selected for Pick of the Fringe,” says Elise Dewsberry, NMI’s Artistic Director.  “We’ve been honing our musicals for several months, and now that audiences are beginning to flock to see them, it’s very rewarding to see the writers’ work recognized.”

NMI is producing four productions at the Hollywood Fringe this season, each comprised of three unique one-acts.  Production C has been chosen as Pick of the Fringe.  Production C features The Wedding Night, book by Jana Hejdukova, music by Stephen Coleman, lyrics by Keith Dale Gordon; Curses, book and lyrics by Harriet Belkin, music by Sandy Shanin, based on a short story by Norman Belkin; and Thanksgiving in Ithaca, book and lyrics by Mitch Glaser, music by Joe Blodgett.

Production C has already sold out one of its performances, and the remaining performances on June 14 at 9pm, June 15 at 7:30pm, June 18 at 3pm, and June 23 at 9pm are selling out quickly.  Tickets may be purchased through the Hollywood Fringe website:  www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/4412.

The other productions, named Production A, Production B, and Production D feature nine other one-act musicals written specifically for the Fringe Festival.  The one acts have a large range of topics and styles: from film noir parody, goofy nerd zombie role-playing, to R-rated naughtier fare about fetishes and video voyeurism.




STAGES 2017

Think producing 12 new musicals at the Fringe is crazy?

Wait ‘til you see what we have up our sleeves next…

Join us ONLINE for the 2017 STAGES FESTIVAL of New Musicals - a weekend marathon STREAMCAST of concert readings, interviews, productions, excerpts, songs, and much more. Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30.

A few of the events we’re planning are: a staged reading of the 2016 SEARCH Winner Spellbound by Ben Boecker; a reading and feedback session of The Bully Problem by Michael Shapiro; and a concert of works written by the young winners of our NEW VOICES PROJECT. We are working on the programming now and it’s going to be vast and amazing—so stay tuned for more info!

INFO:  nmi.org/develop/stages-festival/ OR email us at admin@nmi.org to be put an “email alert” list for updates




PRODUCTIONS FOR NMI MEMBERS

Members Richard Castle and Matthew will see the world premiere of their musical Oklahoma in Wisconsin on June 14th at Northern Sky Theatre in Wisconsin.  From the Northern Sky website: “Richard Castle (book and lyrics) and Matthew Levine (music) have written a charming homage to Door County with a musical that highlights the quirkiness of a family run inn in the 1950s. When a Hollywood scout pays a visit, the result is the birth of the tourist fish boil and the humorous clash of big city and small town culture. This is our third collaboration with New Musicals, Inc after the success of Windjammers and When Butter Churns to Gold.”

Says Artistic Director Jeff Herbst, “Oklahoma in Wisconsin is 90 minutes of pure fun, and … it has great energy and heart.”

For more info, visit http://www.northernskytheater.com/

City of Light, written by Gabrielle Wagner, Jan Roper and Julie Weiner, has been selected for the SheNYC Women’s Work Festival this summer in New York. They will be presenting their musical at the Connelly Theater on July 8 and 14. Tony award winner Cady Huffman will be directing a cast full of uber-talented Broadway actors, and Broadway credits abound with the production team as well.

For more info, visit https://www.shenycarts.org/tickets-and-info





STAGES programming chart

Programming begins Friday, July 28th at 7:00pm and continues through Sunday, July 30 – times listed below are APPROXIMATE.

Friday, July 28, at 7:00pm PST New Voices Project concert A LIVE concert presentation of selections from the winners of the 2017 NEW VOICES PROJECT at NEW MUSICALS INC. Featuring selections from new musicals written by: Marina Toft and David Lancelle, Amanda D’Archangelis and Anderson Cook, Jackson Teeley, Jonathan Horn and Luke Davidson, Ariel Mitchell and Edison Hong, Eliot Rhys & Oscar Jacques, Jude Obermuller & David Gomez, Oliver Houser, and Cristian Guerrero, Andrew Moorehead, and Steven Schmidt
8:00pm Feet First A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Chris Smith, Ross Plotkin, and Brad Beaver.
F**cked Up Fairy Tales A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Grace Jasmine and David Jayden Anthony.
Chaturbate: the Musical A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Dan Margules, David Jayden Anthony, and Chris Edgar.
Interview An interview with Grace Jasmine and David Jayden Anthony, the writing team of F**KED UP FAIRY TALES, written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Interview An interview with Dan Margules, David Jayden Anthony, and Chris Edgar, the writing team of CHATURBATE, from Hollywood Fringe 2017.
Dames, Dicks, & Butter Knives A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Bryon Richards and Clifford Tasner.
Hollywood Forever A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Robin Share and Ross Kalling.
11:00pm There’s An App For That A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by John Sparks and Ron Barnett.
Interview An interview with John Sparks and Ron Barnett, the writers of the 2017 Fringe Project short musical THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT.
Interview An interview with Anderson Cook and Amanda D’Archangelis, winners of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Broadway producer Ken Davenport.
Purple Cows A sample video from Broadway producer KEN DAVENPORT from NMI’s 2017 Musical Theatre Biz Conference: Working from the notion popularized by Seth Godin, about how to get your show to stand out. It’s a cluttered world out there, with hundreds of options competing for your audience’s attention. How do you make sure your musical stands out like a purple cow in a herd of black-and-white ones?
Interview An interview with Ariel Mitchell and Edison Hong, winners of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Oliver House, winner of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Eliot Rhys and Oscar Jacques, winners of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Andrew Panton (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and David Bell (American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University) about their ground breaking new collaboration.
Singing Sixty The original song “Rockin’ Chair” written by NMI writer Ron Barnett on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
Interview An interview with Jackson Teeley, winner of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Saturday, July 29 at 2:00am I Quit! The second “spontaneous musical” filmed by NMI back before flash mobs became popular!  The unsuspecting patrons of a sidewalk cafe are suddenly thrust into the midst of a musical!
A Little New Music - Going Down “Going Down”. Music and lyrics by Bryan Blaskie. Premiere! Performed by Tony® nominee and Disney television star Kevin Chamberlin at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 5.14.13. Bryan Blaskie on keys.
A Little New Music – A Boy of My Own Troy Iwata and Sittichai Chaiyahat, who recently starred in the world premiere of Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne’s musical THE BOY WHO DANCED ON AIR at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego, come to A Little New Music on 6.27.2016 to perform the duet ‘A Boy of My Own’, accompanied by #ALNM music director Bryan Blaskie, with Eliana Athayde on bass, Will Yanez on guitar, and Alex Stickels on drums.  The show focuses on a tradition in Afghanistan called Bacha Bazi: wealthy men take in poorer boys and train them to dance. The boys perform at parties and are often abused. This is the story of what happens when two of those boys fall in love.  Performed as part of A Little New Music 06.27.2016 at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood with accompaniment by music director Bryan Blaskie (piano), Alex Stickels (drums), Eliana Athayde (bass), and Will Yanez (guitar).
A Little New Music: You Have More Friends Than You Know By Mervyn Warren and Jeff Marx. Performed by Tony®-winning creator of Avenue Q, Jeff Marx at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 5.14.13. As seen on GLEE on Fox, originally presented as part of an “It Gets Better” show. Available for download with a portion of proceeds to support The Trevor Project.
Interview An interview with Santino D’Angelo, winner of the 2014 New Voices Project.
Interview An interview with Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, winners of the 2015 New Voices Project.
Interview An interview with Zach Zadek, winner of the 2014 New Voices Project.
Small Craft Warnings: Accents on small syllables It seems obvious to say, but…you want the stressed syllables in your lyric to line up with stresses in the music. Here’s an example of a little tiny syllable getting an unwarranted stress…and you don’t want that, do you?
Small Craft Warnings: Character through diction Ideally, each of your characters should have unique diction (vocabulary, syntax, slang, length and complexity of sentences, etc). Here’s a brief test — can you spot the phrase which isn’t the same diction as the rest?
Interview An interview with Victoria Bussert, Director of Musical Theatre at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio.
Singing Sixty The original song “Tall” written by NMI writer Jake Anthony on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
Interview An interview with T.J. Dawson, Artistic Producer of 3D Theatricals in Orange County, California.
3D Theatricals Season Three 15 second promos for 3D Theatricals productions of Spamalot, Young Frankenstein, and Million Dollar Quartet.
Rules of Your Universe Some tips from NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry on establishing the “rules” for the universe of your story.
A Little New Music: The Man I Never Knew Performed by Daniel David Stewart of the Third Street Theatre’s production at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 9.24.13. With David Lee on guitar, Eden Livingood on violin, and Gregory Nabours on keys.
A Little New Music: Kansas Highway Sky Music and lyrics by Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen from FUGITIVE SONGS.  Performed by Richard Hellstern, Philip Dean Lightstone, and Joe Donohoe (from the 3rd Street Theatre’s production of THE BURNT PART BOYS) at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 9.24.13. With David Lee on guitar, Brian Cannady on drums, Eden Livingood on violin, and Gregory Nabours on keys.
A Little New Music: Still I Rise Tinuke Oyefule sings “Still I Rise”. Music by Carmel Dean with lyric from the Maya Angelou poem. Performed by Tinuke Oyefule at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 9.24.13. With Brian Cannady on drums, Bryan Blaskie on keys.
5:00am Interview An interview with Amy Englehardt, co-creator of the new Off-Broadway musical BASTARD JONES.
Pursuit of Happiness from Bastard Jones The world premiere of Bastard Jones—a new rock musical inspired by Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel, The History of Tom Jones—which premiered Off-Broadway this summer. See the music video above for the the song “The Pursuit of Happiness,” featuring the show’s stars, Evan Ruggiero (Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show) and Elena Wang (Allegiance), along with Brian Davis, Josh Raff, and Don Howes. Created by Marc Acito and Amy Engelhardt, Bastard Jones is a musical adventure of deception, bed-hopping, and self-expression. Performances ran from June 14 through July 14 at the Cell Off-Broadway. The show is directed by Acito, who also wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics. Engelhardt wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics. All of the production’s proceeds will benefit Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. To support the fundraising campaign, visit GoFundme.com/CellJones.
Interview An interview with Matt Liu - music director for the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical BASTARD JONES.
Interview An interview with Joe Baros, Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn, and director of the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical BASTARD JONES
New Works Series @ the cell Dale Sampson sings “Sallie’s Song” in a scene from SAM’S ROOM with Mallory Hawks and Mara Jill Herman. (Book: Dale Sampson, Trey-Coates Mitchell; Music & Lyrics: Caitlin Marie Bell, Marc Campbell); New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 12/5/2016
New Works Series @ the cell “Dear Ryan” from RYAN WHITE performed by Blake Sheridan as Ryan White & Company. Book/Music/Lyrics: Joe Barros and Ryan Haase. Presented at New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 4/24/2017
New Works Series @ the cell “Got It? Good!” from PRETTY TO THE BONE, Sage Chase, Ella Martin, Lucy Taylor with Sydney Shuck. Music: Tom Kochan; Lyrics: Cheryl Stern; Book: Yvonne Adrian; Developed by Jack Cummings III; co-Adapted by Robyn Hussa, Eric R. Christiansen; Presented at New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 4/24/2017
New Works Series @ the cell “I’m Good, I’m Bad” PRETTY TO THE BONE, Evan Ruggiero, Sydney Shuck. Music: Tom Kochan; Lyrics: Cheryl Stern; Book: Yvonne Adrian; Developed by Jack Cummings III; co-Adapted by Robyn Hussa, Eric R. Christiansen; Presented at New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 4/24/2017
New Works Series @ the cell “One Step (Don’t forget Me)” from the musical FOR TONIGHT featuring Michelle Beth Herman & Company (Music/Lyrics: Shenelle Salcido, Spencer Williams; Book: Whitney Rhodes, Shenelle Salcido, Spencer Williams) Presented at New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 2/27/2017
New Works Series @ the cell “Wait for the Morn” from the musical FOR TONIGHT featuring Drew Arisco & Brandon Kalm (Music/Lyrics: Shenelle Salcido, Spencer Williams; Book: Whitney Rhodes, Shenelle Salcido, Spencer Williams) Presented at New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 2/27/2017
New Works Series @ the cell Jacob Keith Watson sings with Emily Ferrante, Nick Laughlin, Will Carlyon, Gillian Hassert, and Kirsten Scott. “I Wasn’t Doing Anything Wrong” from LUNA AND THE GOLD RIVER DOCKS (Book/Music/Lyrics by Eric Dietz); New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the Cell; NYC 3/01/2016
New Works Series @ the cell EJ Zimmerman, Kelly McIntyre, Drew Arisco, Charlie Levy, and Ben Bogen sing “We Are the Underground” from DAYS OF RAGE (Book/Music: Hyeyoung Kim; Book/Lyrics: Shoshana Greenberg); New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 11/7/2016
New Works Series @ the cell Joanna Carpenter, Matthew Hardy sing “Hey” from GOING SOUTH. Book/Music/Lyrics: Katya Stanislavskaya. Presented at New York Theatre Barn—New Works Series @ the cell NYC 5/22/2017
New Works Series @ the cell “Art in Me” as part of Theatre Barn’s Choreography Lab. Choreography by Joe Barros; Associate Choreographer: Katharine Pettit; Dancers: Michael John Hughes, Kenneth Michael Murray; Sung and accompanied by Vince Peterson. “Art in Me” is written by Jars of Clay.
The Coffee Quintet – Part One – Half-Caf The first segment of the Coffee Quintet short film. In this first of five episodes, our barista becomes frustrated that his art is unappreciated.
The Coffee Quintet - Part Two - Observant In this second episode, our barista helps a customer realize that being more observant will help her overcome her obstacles.
The Coffee Quintet — Part Three: The Interview In this third segment of the Coffee Quintet film, two people talk, but have very different conversations.
The Coffee Quintet — Part Four: Blessing in Disguise In this fourth segment, all the mistaken identities are revealed. Except one…
The Coffee Quintet — Part Five: It’s All About the Timing The final episode, where everyone ends up with something they didn’t expect!
Interview An interview with Kate Galvin, Associate Producer at 11th Hour Theatre in Philadelphia.
A Little New Music: Alive “Alive” from A PROPER PLACE.  Music by Curtis Rhodes, lyrics by Leslie Becker. Performed by Jessica Keenan Wynn at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 9.24.13. With composer Curtis Rhodes on keys.
A Little New Music: No One Goes to the Amusement Park Alone Joseph Morales “No One Goes To An Amusement Park Alone” (Carmel Dean/Sarah Underwood).
A Little New Music: Old Records Coby Getzug, fresh from his starring role in THE BLACK SUITS at CTG, sings “Old Records” at A LITTLE NEW MUSIC #3, December 10, 2013 at Rockwell:Table & Stage in Los Angeles. Featuring David Lee on guitar, Kevin Widener on drums, and musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys.
ANMT’s Core Curriculum Study the craft of writing musical theatre, online or join our Writers’ Workshop. The Academy for New Musical Theatre (the curriculum branch of New Musicals Inc.) in Los Angeles has supported and trained musical theatre writers for four decades, beginning when we were one of only three sister workshops to the BMI Lehman Engel workshops in New York.
Small Craft Warnings: Hearing the important voice in an ensemble Vocal layering and complexity are great, right? But what if you really need ONE character’s vocal line to stand out above the rest? Here’s a quick look at a couple ways to accomplish that.
Small Craft Warnings: Initial tempo marking Tips for getting the most mileage out of your initial tempo marking.
8:00am Interview An interview with Kellen Blair, co-creator of the Off Broadway musical MURDER FOR TWO.
Strolling Through Center Park Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair perform their song “Strolling Through Central Park” which leads to a discussion on how music supports comedy, the difference between “funny” and “clever,” and how structure can help and/or hinder humor.
Murder for Two: So What The song “So What” from the Off-Broadway show MURDER FOR TWO by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian
Murder for Two: Montage A montage of songs from the Off-Broadway show MURDER FOR TWO by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian
A New World for Murder for Two - Part 1 Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian prepare for the opening of MURDER FOR TWO at New World Stages
A Flyer Story - Episode 1 Kellen and Blair have made a fun video about the process of “flyering” Times Square in anticipation of their Off-Broadway opening night.
The Naked Truth A short documentary chronicling the creation, writing, and producing of a new 15 minute musical as the final collaborative assignment in NMI’s famed Core Curriculum program, as told through the eyes of the collaborative team made up of bookwriter Myrna Emata, composer Madley Katarungan, and lyricist Kellan Blair.
Interview An interview with Amy Corcoran of Aria Entertainment.
Interview An interview with Marco Gomez, Artistic Director of DOMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
Dorian’s Descent - Behind the Scenes A behind the scenes look at DOMA Theatre’s world premiere of the new musical DORIAN’S DESCENT
Dorian’s Descent - Sparrow “Sparrow” from the world premiere of DORIAN’S DESCENT at DOMA Theatre.
A Little New Music: All of My Friends Jessica Reiner-Harris entertains (to say the least) the sold out crowd with Drew Fornarola’s “All of My Friends” at A LITTLE NEW MUSIC #3, 12.10.2013 at Rockwell:Table and Stage in LA, accompanied by musical director Bryan Blaskie.
A Little New Music: Camp Little Notch Katherine Washington is not initially a fan of the great outdoors in Carmel Dean and Sarah Underwood’s delightful stand alone song, “Camp Little Notch” at A LITTLE NEW MUSIC 4, 03.04.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage in Los Feliz. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys and Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
A Little New Music: Saturday Alone Katrice Gavino delightfully performs “Saturday Alone” from the new musical CALVIN BERGER at A LITTLE NEW MUSIC #4, 3.4.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage in Los Feliz. She is accompanied by musical director Bryan Blaskie, with Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
Formatting a Score for Musical Theatre- the Basics NMI Director of Music Curriculum Ross Kalling discusses the basics of formatting your musical theatre score to make sure you maximize precious rehearsal time in the development process.
11:00am Interview An interview with Jeff Herbst, Artistic Director of Northern Sky Theatre in Wisconsin.
Northern Sky Theatre A video about the capital campaign to expand Northern Sky Theatre in Wisconsin.
Interview An interview with Broadway producer Cody Lassen (SPRING AWAKENING).
Indecent Testimonials about the Broadway production of the play-with-music, INDECENT.
Singing Sixty The original song “Park Bench” written by NMI writers Larry Todd Cousineau and Cindy O’Connor on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
The Customer Is Always Right A spontaneous musical erupts when an irate customer can’t get satisfaction from a store clerk. (The first “spontaneous musical” produced byNew Musicals Inc.
Interview An interview with Cheri Steinkellner, Tony nominee as co-bookwriter for Broadway’s SISTER ACT.
American Theatre Wing The American Theatre Wing interviews Cheri Steinkellner, Tony nomiated co-bookwriter of SISTER ACT, asking “Why Theatre?”
American Theatre Wing The American Theatre Wing interviews Cheri Steinkellner, Tony nomiated co-bookwriter of SISTER ACT, asking “What was the first show you ever worked on?”
Performing 1776 at Your School 1776 the Musical is a perfect show for any high school. Cheri Steinkellner from UpStage Left Productions in Santa Barbara, CA speaks about casting a gender blind cast and the advantages of this historical musical as a counterpart to students high school history courses.
How To Make Your Writing Funnier Tony nominated co-bookwriter of SISTER ACT, Cheri Steinkellner, does a Ted Talk on how to make your show funnier.
Hello My Baby Highlights from HELLO MY BABY by Cheri Steinkellner (from Goodspeed Musicals)
A Little New Music: Serve You LaVance Colley heats up an already warm Los Angeles evening with his performance of Katie Thompson’s “Serve You” at A LITTLE NEW MUSIC 4, 03.04.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage in Los Feliz, accompanied by musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys with Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
A Little New Music: Wall Lovin’ Payson sings about falling in love with the girl next door… who is NOT shy in “Wall Lovin'”, a MAC nominated song from Sam Carner and Derek Gregor’s ISLAND SONG, at ALNM 4 on 03.04.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys and Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
A Little New Music: All I Want Joseph Morales returns to ALITTLE NEW MUSIC, this time to sing Daniel Maté’s delightful song of unrequited longing, “All I Want,” at ALNM 5 on 06.10.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys and Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
What’s This About A Contest? NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry explains NMI’s annual SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS; an annual contest where the winning script receives a workshop and concert reading in Los Angeles.
Interview An interview with Broadway writing team Alan Zachary and Michael  Weiner (FIRST DATE and SECOND HAND LIONS)J.
Interview An interview with Rick Boynton, Creative Producer at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
Chicago Shakespeare Festival The six members of the doomed Saint Cassian chamber choir: Ricky Potts (Jackson Evans), Jane Doe (Emily Rohm), Noel Gruber (Kholby Wardell), Mischa Bachinski (Russell Mernagh), Constance Blackwood (Lillian Castillo) and Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg (Tiffany Tatreau) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s U.S. Premiere production of “Ride the Cyclone,” directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, in the upstairs theater through November 8, 2015.
Chicago Shakespeare Festival The world premiere musical SENSE AND SENSIBILITY from Tony Award nominated composer Paul Gordon, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, and Creative Producer Rick Boynton is now playing at Chicago Shakespeare through June 14. Visit www.chicagoshakes.com/sense for more info and tickets.
Chicago Shakespeare Festival This fresh urban take on the Bard’s tragedy, spun out and lyrically rewritten over original beats, comes from an artistic collaboration forged between Chicago hip-hop artists the Q Brothers and Chicago Shakespeare Creative Producer Rick Boynton. Playing April 12—May 8, 2016.
2:00pm Thanksgiving In Ithaca A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Mitch Glaser and Joe Blodgett.
Curses! A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Harriet Belkin and Sandy Shanin.
The Wedding Night A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Jana Hejdukova, Stephen Coleman, and Keith Dale Gordon.
Interview An interview with Mitch Glaser and Joseph Blodgett, the writers of the short FRINGE musical THANKSGIVING IN ITHACA
Interview An interview with Stephen Coleman, Jana Hejdukova, and Keith Alan Gordon, the writers of the short Fringe musical THE WEDDING NIGHT.
Kantata Koffee Kompany A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by John Piraino and Jerry Ranger.
Sybil’s Closet A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Grace Jasmine and Ross Plotkin.
A Zombie, A Dragon, and a Vampire Who Sparkles A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Maureen Borillo and Daniel Wessels.
Interview An interview with Maureen Borillo and Dan Wessels, writers of the short Fringe musical A ZOMBIE, A DRAGON, AND A VAMPIRE WHO SPARKLES.
Sample Feedback - Dramatic Action A three-minute excerpt of feedback. Discussion focuses on identifying the most dramatic moment of the action — and asks the writer to examine whether that drama is covered by the current song.
Which Option Should I Pick? NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry explains the different levels of dramaturgical feedback available through New Musicals Inc.
5:00pm Interview An interview with VOX LUMIERE creators Kevin Saunders Hayes and Victoria Levy.
Vox Lumiere- Phantom of the Opera An explosive mashup of new rock music, breathtaking live performances and classic silent film, VOX LUMIERE’S PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a completely original steampunk-inspired immersive and interactive experience for the 21st century. Part epic concert, part interactive movie, part cutting-edge theatre, Vox Lumiere’s singers and dancers serve up a fun and outrageously new twist on Phantom as they perform a fusion of original rock, pop, and EDM music, while dazzling multimedia and the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera propel audiences deep into the action, drama and romance of this timeless classic.
Vox Lumiere - Phantom - 1M01 The Opera House 1M01 - the opening scene to Vox Lumiere’s 2014 Los Angeles production of Phantom.
Let Me Love You Now “Let Me Love You Now” from Vox Lumiere’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Dance for Me “Dance for Me” from Vox Lumiere’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
The Ascent “The Ascent” from Vox Lumiere’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
The Grand Dame “The Grand Dame” from Vox Lumiere’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
2017-18 Season at La Mirada Theatre! Season Sizzle Reel from La Mirada Theatre.
Interview An interview with Gabrielle Wagner and Julie Weiner from the creative team of CITY OF LIGHT which just received a world premiere production in New York.
A Little New Music: I Come For Love The out-of-this-world Julie Tolivar kicked off A LITTLE NEW MUSIC 5 as an alien with one thing on her mind in “I Come For Love” from IT HAPPENED IN ROSWELL by Terrence Atkins and Jeffrey Lyle Segal on 6.10.2014
A Little New Music: With the Right Music Joseph Haro concludes ALNM 5 “With the Right Music”, a new song by Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne. He is joined by 5 finalists from the LA’s Next Great Stage Star competition: Adrienne Visnic, Amanda Knight, Cy Creamer, Daniella Painton, and Kimberly Hessler. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys, Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums. Video by Mitchell Glaser
A Little New Music: Everybody Wants to Be Her ALNM 9: The cast of We Are The Tigers “Everybody Wants To Be Her”. Cait Fairbanks, Callandra Olivia, Rachel King, Cailan Rose, Jade Johnson, Gabi Hankins, Charlotte Mary Wen, and Talisa Friedman from the World Premiere We Are The Tigers: A New Musical came by A Little New Music 9 and rocked our house with “Everybody Wants to be Her.”
Lift From the musical LIFT by Craig Adams
The Little Beasts A promo for a developmental workshop of the new musical THE LITTLE BEASTS
It Starts With A Note A musical video in support of new British musicals. “It Starts With A Note” Music by John-Victor, Lyrics by Chris Bush. Featuring Michael Xavier & Anna-Jane Casey. Produced by Perfect Pitch and milktwosugars.
Interview An interview with Robb Hunt, Executive Producer of the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington.
7:00pm Interview An interview with Broadway producer Cody Lassen (SPRING AWAKENING).
Indecent A promo for the Broadway production of INDECENT, a play with music.
Thanksgiving In Ithaca A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Mitch Glaser and Joe Blodgett.
Curses! A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Harriet Belkin and Sandy Shanin.
NMI - we develop new musicals At New Musicals Inc, we develop new musicals. Composers. Lyricists. Playwrights. Writing brand new songs and stories from page to stage. And now we’re experimenting with new musical theatre on the internet. Subscribe, and watch us as we push the boundaries of musical theatre. Join us. Come write with us. New Musicals Inc. The future of musical theatre. nmi.org
8:00pm The Bully Problem A staged reading of Michael Shapiro’s THE BULLY PROBLEM, developed through NMI’s Sandbox developmental program.
The Bully Problem - Dramaturgical Feedback An evaluation session from the NMI Staff following the concert reading of THE BULLY PROBLEM.
Interview An interview with THE BULLY PROBLEM writer Michael Gordon Shapiro and director Joshua Finkel.
Sunday, July 30 at 1:00am The Wedding Night A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Jana Hejdukova, Stephen Coleman, and Keith Dale Gordon.
Interview An interview with Mitch Glaser and Joseph Blodgett, the writers of the short FRINGE musical THANKSGIVING IN ITHACA
Interview An interview with Stephen Coleman, Jana Hejdukova, and Keith Alan Gordon, the writers of the short Fringe musical THE WEDDING NIGHT.
Interview An interview with Josh Katzker, Artistic Associate from Fingerlakes Music Festival in New York.
The Girl Who: The PiTCH 2015 A “Meet the Team” video from The PiTCH at Fingerlakes Musical Theatre Festival featuring writers Claire Mackenzie and Scott Gilmour
The PiTCH: Call for Submissions 2017 A video created by The PiTCH at Fingerlakes Musical Theatre Festival for their 2017 call for submissions. “Live Forever” written and performed by Zack Zadek (Deathless, 2016)
Singing Sixty The original song According to Aunt Rose” written by NMI writers Chana Wise and Carl Johnson on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
A Little New Music: Serve You LaVance Colley heats up an already warm Los Angeles evening with his performance of Katie Thompson’s “Serve You” at A LITTLE NEW MUSIC 4, 03.04.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage in Los Feliz, accompanied by musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys with Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
A Little New Music: Wall Lovin’ Payson sings about falling in love with the girl next door… who is NOT shy in “Wall Lovin'”, a MAC nominated song from Sam Carner and Derek Gregor’s ISLAND SONG, at ALNM 4 on 03.04.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys and Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
A Little New Music: All I Want Joseph Morales returns to ALITTLE NEW MUSIC, this time to sing Daniel Maté’s delightful song of unrequited longing, “All I Want,” at ALNM 5 on 06.10.2014 at Rockwell: Table and Stage. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys and Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
Interview An interview with VOX LUMIERE creators Kevin Saunders Hayes and Victoria Levy.
Vox Lumiere- Phantom of the Opera An explosive mashup of new rock music, breathtaking live performances and classic silent film, VOX LUMIERE’S PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a completely original steampunk-inspired immersive and interactive experience for the 21st century. Part epic concert, part interactive movie, part cutting-edge theatre, Vox Lumiere’s singers and dancers serve up a fun and outrageously new twist on Phantom as they perform a fusion of original rock, pop, and EDM music, while dazzling multimedia and the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera propel audiences deep into the action, drama and romance of this timeless classic.
Vox Lumiere - Phantom - 1M01 The Opera House 1M01 - the opening scene to Vox Lumiere’s 2014 Los Angeles production of Phantom.
4:00am Kantata Koffee Kompany A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by John Piraino and Jerry Ranger.
Sybil’s Closet A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Grace Jasmine and Ross Plotkin.
A Zombie, A Dragon, and a Vampire Who Sparkles A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Maureen Borillo and Daniel Wessels.
Interview An interview with Maureen Borillo and Dan Wessels, writers of the short Fringe musical A ZOMBIE, A DRAGON, AND A VAMPIRE WHO SPARKLES.
Interview An interview with Gabrielle Wagner and Julie Weiner from the creative team of CITY OF LIGHT which just received a world premiere production in New York.
A Little New Music: I Come For Love The out-of-this-world Julie Tolivar kicked off A LITTLE NEW MUSIC 5 as an alien with one thing on her mind in “I Come For Love” from IT HAPPENED IN ROSWELL by Terrence Atkins and Jeffrey Lyle Segal on 6.10.2014
A Little New Music: With the Right Music Joseph Haro concludes ALNM 5 “With the Right Music”, a new song by Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne. He is joined by 5 finalists from the LA’s Next Great Stage Star competition: Adrienne Visnic, Amanda Knight, Cy Creamer, Daniella Painton, and Kimberly Hessler. With musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys, Eric McCann on upright bass, and Brian Cannady on drums. Video by Mitchell Glaser
A Little New Music: Everybody Wants to Be Her ALNM 9: The cast of We Are The Tigers “Everybody Wants To Be Her”. Cait Fairbanks, Callandra Olivia, Rachel King, Cailan Rose, Jade Johnson, Gabi Hankins, Charlotte Mary Wen, and Talisa Friedman from the World Premiere We Are The Tigers: A New Musical came by A Little New Music 9 and rocked our house with “Everybody Wants to be Her.”
Perfect Pitch (London): Lift From the musical LIFT by Craig Adams
Perfect Pitch (London): The Little Beasts A promo for a developmental workshop of the new musical THE LITTLE BEASTS
Perfect Pitch (London): It Starts With A Note A musical video in support of new British musicals. “It Starts With A Note” Music by John-Victor, Lyrics by Chris Bush. Featuring Michael Xavier & Anna-Jane Casey. Produced by Perfect Pitch and milktwosugars.
Interview An interview with Robb Hunt, Executive Producer of the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington.
ANMT’s Core Curriculum Study the craft of writing musical theatre, online or join our Writers’ Workshop. The Academy for New Musical Theatre (the curriculum branch of New Musicals Inc.) in Los Angeles has supported and trained musical theatre writers for four decades, beginning when we were one of only three sister workshops to the BMI Lehman Engel workshops in New York.
Interview An interview with Betsy King-Militello, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) in New York.
Singing Sixty The original song “Mr. Whiskers” written by NMI writers Richard Castle and Matthew Levine on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
Interview An interview with Rick Boynton, Creative Producer at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
Chicago Shakespeare Festival The six members of the doomed Saint Cassian chamber choir: Ricky Potts (Jackson Evans), Jane Doe (Emily Rohm), Noel Gruber (Kholby Wardell), Mischa Bachinski (Russell Mernagh), Constance Blackwood (Lillian Castillo) and Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg (Tiffany Tatreau) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s U.S. Premiere production of “Ride the Cyclone,” directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, in the upstairs theater through November 8, 2015.
Chicago Shakespeare Festival The world premiere musical SENSE AND SENSIBILITY from Tony Award nominated composer Paul Gordon, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, and Creative Producer Rick Boynton is now playing at Chicago Shakespeare through June 14. Visit www.chicagoshakes.com/sense for more info and tickets.
Chicago Shakespeare Festival This fresh urban take on the Bard’s tragedy, spun out and lyrically rewritten over original beats, comes from an artistic collaboration forged between Chicago hip-hop artists the Q Brothers and Chicago Shakespeare Creative Producer Rick Boynton. Playing April 12—May 8, 2016.
Interview An interview with Donna Lynn Hilton, Line Producer at Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticutt.
Obstacles A sample video from NMI’s 2016 Musical Theatre Biz Conference: Insider’s tip: The more difficult things are for your characters, the more we root for them. NMI Executive Director Scott Guy talks about the mechanics of making things harder for your characters to get what they want, so the musical is all the more satisfying or heartbreaking.
8:00am NMI Craft Conference Over the last two weeks, 12 writers have been working via video conference with different sets of collaborators writing new songs.  The last collaborative asignemnt was to write a ten minute musical in just one week.  The five resulting short musicals had two short rehearsals; and were then presented in concert form.
Dames, Dicks, & Butter Knives A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Bryon Richards and Clifford Tasner.
Hollywood Forever A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Robin Share and Ross Kalling.
There’s An App For That A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by John Sparks and Ron Barnett.
Interview An interview with John Sparks and Ron Barnett, the writers of the 2017 Fringe Project short musical THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT.
Interview An interview with Tim Kashani and Pamela Winslow Kashani of Apples and Oranges Studios.
Show Biz U Luminaries - Elise Dewsberry Tim Kashani (Apples and Oranges Studio) interviews NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry
Show Biz U Luminaries - Junkyard Dog - Parts 1-4 Tim Kashani (Apples and Oranges Studio) interviews commercial producers Sue Frost and Randy Adams of Junkyard Dog
A Little New Music - The Egg Nog Song Sit back, relax, and take a little trip with Emily Clark and “The Egg Nog Song” by Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, from A Little New Music 10 at Rockwell Table & Stage on 12/08/15.  Emily is accompanied by music director Bryan Blaskie and the ‎ALNM 10 band: Will Yanez on guitar, Eric McCann on bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
A Little New Music: Summer Fling “Summer Fling”.  Music by Jeff Thomson, lyrics by Jordan Mann. Performed by emcee Jordan Kai Burnett at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 5.14.13. Bryan Blaskie on keys.
A Little New Music: Pretty Funny Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul from DOGFIGHT, with a book by Peter Duchan based on the film. Performed by Broadway star and recording artist Shoshana Bean at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 5.14.13. Bryan Blaskie on keys.
Interview An interview with Kent Nicholson, Director of Musical Theatre at Playwrights Horizons in New York.
Interview An interview with Michael Rubinoff, Producer at the Canadian Musical Theatre Project at Sheridan College in Toronto.
Singing Sixty The original song “My Memoirs” written by NMI writers Mitch Glaser and Bryan Blaskie on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
Small Craft Warnings: Mixed Metaphor Are you missing the boat because you’re jumping the gun? Are you counting your chickens before the cows come home? A quick example of mixed metaphors — and why your choreographer, designers and actors will all thank you for a unified metaphoric scheme.
Small Craft Warnings: 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.
Small Craft Warnings: Why is that syl-la-a-a-ble so long? You mean, “Why is THAT syllable so long?” or maybe “Why is that syllable so lonnnn-n-g?” Here’s a brief look at LINEAR PROSODY, a fancy word which means “Don’t break up phrases which shouldn’t be broken up.”
Fixing Prosody NMI Lyric Lab Creator Scott Guy discusses the concept of “prosody” (matching musical beats to word stresses) and why it is so important!
Singing Sixty The original song “The Person You Would Be” written by NMI writers Lori Jaroslow and Morgan Hollingsoworth on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
1:00pm Feet First A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Chris Smith, Ross Plotkin, and Brad Beaver.
F**cked Up Fairy Tales A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Grace Jasmine and David Jayden Anthony.
Chaturbate: the Musical A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Dan Margules, David Jayden Anthony, and Chris Edgar.
Interview An interview with the writing team of F**KED UP FAIRY TALES written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Interview An interview with the writing team of CHATURBATE for the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
A Little New Music: Not Funny If you only watch one video about the soprano struggle, you want it to be this one! The incredible Kelley Dorney proves the title totally wrong, with Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid’s incredibly funny “Not Funny” at #ALNM 8, June 3 at Rockwell, accompanied by music director Bryan Blaskie on piano.
A Little New Music: Bathtub in the Beverly Hills Hotel Ms. Jasmin Richardson, who you may have seen in the national tours of MEMPHIS or DREAMGIRLS, delivers a blazing performance of Michael R. Jackson’s “Bathtub in the Beverly Hills Hotel” at #ALNM 9, 9.15.2015 at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz.   She’s accompanied by music director Bryan Blaskie and the #ALNM 9 band: Will Yanez on guitar, Xander Lott on bass, and Brian Cannady on drums.
Interview An interview with Anderson Cook and Amanda D’Archangelis, winners of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Broadway producer Ken Davenport
Purple Cows A sample video from Broadway producer KEN DAVENPORT from NMI’s 2017 Musical Theatre Biz Conference: Working from the notion popularized by Seth Godin, about how to get your show to stand out. It’s a cluttered world out there, with hundreds of options competing for your audience’s attention. How do you make sure your musical stands out like a purple cow in a herd of black-and-white ones?
4:00pm Interview An interview with Ariel Mitchell and Edison Hong, winners of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Oliver House, winner of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Eliot Rhys and Oscar Jacques, winners of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
Interview An interview with Andrew Panton (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and David Bell (American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University) about their ground breaking new collaboration.
Singing Sixty The original song “Rockin’ Chair” written by NMI writer Ron Barnett on the occasion of Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s 60th birthday.
Interview An interview with Jackson Teeley, winner of the 2017 New Voices Project (featured in the New Voices Concert).
I Quit! The unsuspecting patrons of a sidewalk cafe are suddenly thrust into the midst of a musical!
A Little New Music: Going Down “Going Down”. Music and lyrics by Bryan Blaskie. Premiere! Performed by Tony® nominee and Disney television star Kevin Chamberlin at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 5.14.13. Bryan Blaskie on keys.
A Little New Music: A Boy of My Own Troy Iwata and Sittichai Chaiyahat, who recently starred in the world premiere of Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne’s musical THE BOY WHO DANCED ON AIR at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego, come to A Little New Music on 6.27.2016 to perform the duet ‘A Boy of My Own’, accompanied by #ALNM music director Bryan Blaskie, with Eliana Athayde on bass, Will Yanez on guitar, and Alex Stickels on drums.  The show focuses on a tradition in Afghanistan called Bacha Bazi: wealthy men take in poorer boys and train them to dance. The boys perform at parties and are often abused. This is the story of what happens when two of those boys fall in love.  Performed as part of A Little New Music 06.27.2016 at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood with accompaniment by music director Bryan Blaskie (piano), Alex Stickels (drums), Eliana Athayde (bass), and Will Yanez (guitar).
A Little New Music: You Have More Friends Than You Know By Mervyn Warren and Jeff Marx. Performed by Tony®-winning creator of Avenue Q, Jeff Marx at LA’s new musical theater series A LITTLE NEW MUSIC on 5.14.13. As seen on GLEE on Fox, originally presented as part of an “It Gets Better” show. Available for download with a portion of proceeds to support The Trevor Project.
Interview An interview with Santino D’Angelo, winner of the 2014 New Voices Project.
Interview An interview with Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, winners of the 2015 New Voices Project.
Interview An interview with Zach Zadek, winner of the 2014 New Voices Project.
Small Craft Warnings: Accents on small syllables It seems obvious to say, but…you want the stressed syllables in your lyric to line up with stresses in the music. Here’s an example of a little tiny syllable getting an unwarranted stress…and you don’t want that, do you?
Small Craft Warnings: Character through diction Ideally, each of your characters should have unique diction (vocabulary, syntax, slang, length and complexity of sentences, etc). Here’s a brief test — can you spot the phrase which isn’t the same diction as the rest?
6:00pm Interview An interview with Victoria Bussert, Director of Musical Theatre at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio.
Interview An interview with Broadway producer Ken Davenport
The Wedding Night A short musical written for the Hollywood Fringe Festival by Jana Hejdukova, Stephen Coleman, and Keith Dale Gordon.
7:30pm Spellbound! A LIVE concert reading of SPELLBOUND! A F@$KED-UP MUSICAL FAIRYTALE by Ben Boecker, winner of the 2017 Search for New Musicals.




$5 a month?

for $5 a month you can be our friend


If you’re like us, you’re tapped out.  Hurricanes, wildfires, Hamilton tickets.  There’s not much left over at the end of the month…and yet…you still want to support writers and creators of new musicals.

You can become a Friend of New Musicals for $5 a month.  You could do that, couldn’t you?  $5 for the month of December.  We’re thinking there are a lot of you who can help us as we launch a three-year $120,000 campaign (see the first article in this newsletter)

As a Friend of New Musicals, you would:

  • help us with our three-year $120,000 renovation campaign
  • receive a quarterly members-only Musical Theatre Insiders e‑newsletter
  • subsidize a portion of our programs to study, create and produce new musicals
  • get special treatment for our events and concerts
  • be filled with pride you’re helping to preserve America’s unique artform: the musical

We know you’ve been giving, and giving, and giving to a world which needs you.  We know this isn’t the right time to ask for $1000 donations…but can you become a Friend of New Musicals for $5 a month?

(Just click this link to our FRIENDS OF NEW MUSICALS page online…)




Search 2017 Winners Announced

Winners of the prestigious international Search for New Musicals were announced today at New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles.

First Prize goes to Bravo with book and lyrics by Cristian Guerrero and Andrew Moorhead, and music and lyrics by Steven Schmidt .

Second Prize goes to Alexander with book and lyrics by Gabriel Rotello, and music by Gabriel Rotello based upon the piano sonatas of Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Third Prize goes to Santa Returns with book, music, and lyrics by Stefan Broadley.

The Search for New Musicals accepts entrants from around the globe; winners receive awards worth up to $25,000 in workshop productions, concert readings, feedback, and developmental support.

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Search,” says Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of NMI. “We love seeing what writers are creating; and of course our mission is to nurture the folks who are writing musicals, so announcing the winners of the Search is one of my favorite things to do all year!”

Bravo takes place in Italy during the second World War.  It tells the story of Renzo, a sharp tongued and misunderstood fourteen year old, who struggles to fit in with his peers in a faction of the Mussolini Fascist Youth movement. When he finds himself helping a group of Jewish children hiding in the tunnels beneath the city, he begins to question whether or not the hate he’s been taught is morally right.

Alexander is about the life of the infamous Alexander the Great - focussing on his relationship with his mystical mother Queen Olympias (who believes Alexander is the son of Zeus); and his best friend Hephastion (who dreams of a world united by the ideals of ancient Greece).  Hailed in Asia as a living god, Alexander begins to believe in his own divinity, setting in motion an epic betrayal of his Greek ideals, his Macedonian companions, and his oldest friend Hephastion.

Santa Returns is the adult parable of little doubting Tommy who becomes a true believer after meeting Santa (in a dream), and forms a club with his friends to preach the good news. But a war breaks out with the evil Easter Bunny believers, and the Santa kids steal their toys on Christmas Eve expecting Santa to return to prove them right. But only when Tommy gets knocked unconscious does Santa return and reveal that (like god) he’s spiritually, not literally true.

Bravo, which was featured at this summer’s STAGES Festival of New Musicals (as part of the New Voices Project), will receive a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company and a concert reading in Los Angeles.  Alexander will receive a staff evaluation.  Santa Returns will receive a Detailed Analysis from an NMI dramaturge.

NMI 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 to workshop to concert reading.

Past winners of the Search have included: The Water by Jeff Hylton, Tim Werenko, and Georgia Stitt (2008); Greenbrier Ghost by Susan Murray and Clay Zambo (2009); Gilbert & Sullivan on Wall Street by Charles Veley and Arthur Sullivan (2010); Emerald by Chris Burgess and Denise Wright (2011); Mad Bomber by Charles Monagan and Richard deRosa (2012); It Happened in Roswell by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal (2013); Off the Wall by Sarah Rebell and Danny Abosch (2014), Invisible by David Hollingsworth and David Orris (2015), and Spellbound: A F@#$*d-Up Fairy Tale by Ben Boecker (2016).

All musicals submitted (at any level) to NMI by July 15, 2018 will be automatically entered in the Search for New Musicals for next season. Winners of the 2018 Search will be announced by November 15, 2018. The winner of the Search receives a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and a concert reading in Los Angeles.

Information on submitting to the Search is available by visiting THE SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS page online.


The Academy Repertory Company and guests rehearse for a reading of a new musical.




NMI@Fringe

New Musicals Inc. will again be invading the Hollywood Fringe Festival - this time with a world premiere full-length musical, and with seven brand new 15-minute musicals. Tickets go on sale officially at the Hollywood Fringe Festival site on May 1st - but we’re giving insiders a chance to get their tickets early, and to get some great deals.

Our 15 Minute Musicals are split into two separate programs this year - but you can save money if you buy tickets to BOTH programs in one package. We also have a couple of great deals where you can see both of our 15 Minute Musicals programs AND our world premiere of MANSON’S GIRLS in one marathon day - and get a great deal on the tickets!

For more information on our 15 Minute Musicals and our world premiere of MANSON’S GIRLS, keep reading this newsletter.

Then – VISIT OUR FRINGE DEALS PAGE to get your discounted tickets before they sell out!




NEW VOICES 2018

What a thrill it is, getting to work with the winners of the 2018 NEW VOICES PROJECT (for writers under the age of 26)!  We had the pleasure of presenting their work through the Academy Repertory Company on Monday, April 9th.  Not only that, we were honored to be joined by special guest Michael Serna, Associate Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering as we presented three selections from each of three collaborative teams, then gave them feedback, encouragement, and some possible direction for their next drafts.

The writing teams we got to work with were: Julian Drucker and Monica Hannush, Natalie Stewart Elder and John Ervin Brooks, and Charlie Oh and Ross Baum.

The performers for the evening were Conchita Belisle Newman, Lia Peros, Jordan Goodsell, Randy Guiaya , and Tedd Szeto; with Ron Barnett at the piano.

The young writers now get to mull over all their feedback, and make revisions (or not), as we present one song from each of the teams at got musical on May 6th.  Join us!




New Voices Project 2019

New Musicals Inc. is proud to sponsor the seventh year of the New Voices Project, open to writers under 26 years of age.

We’re looking for writers in whom we see potential. We’re not pigeon-holing that potential: that is, we’re not looking for “Broadway musical” writers per se, or “ground-breaking” or “commercial” or “avant-garde”. We’re looking for writers who are exploring their voices through the blend of music and voice. The stronger your voice and vision are, the more likely we’re going to respond to your work. We’re not looking to buy new musicals … we’re searching for the new writers of tomorrow’s musical theatre stages.

We’re particularly interested in writers who submit as a collaborative team. Solo writers will certainly be considered on an equal footing as writing teams, but as musical theatre is such a collaborative art form, we encourage writers to submit to the New Voices Project as a team.  (NOTE:  At least ONE member of the team MUST be under 26 years of age.)

SUBMISSION TIMELINE

January 1, 2019: Submissions Open
February 15, 2019: Final Deadline for Submissions
March 1, 2019: New Voices Project Winners Announced

Submission material: Writers will be asked to submit a short biography and artistic statement from all team members.  Writers are encouraged to submit up to three selections, either from a single work, or separate works, for a total of a maximum of 20 minutes of material.  All submissions will be electronic: script/score submissions will be accepted in PDF format; demo/sound files will be accepted in MP3 format; and we will also accept links to YouTube or Vimeo video files.  The NMI staff will review all submissions and select the winning entries to move forward.

If your work is selected, we will invite you to take part in online and live workshops with musical theatre actors, music directors, directors, and dramaturgs. Your participation would come in two phases:

Initial phase: Professional actors will prepare and present your work in an in-house concert at NMI on Monday, April 8, 2019.  Following the presentation, there will be an evaluation session with the NMI Staff and other industry professionals.

Second phase: Your revised work will be presented, again by professional actors, as part of the 2019 STAGES FESTIVAL in the summer of 2019.

Although welcome to come to Los Angeles to participate in either or both phases, writers will be able to participate in all rehearsals and presentations via video-conferencing from anywhere in the world.

To submit, visit NMI’s New Voices Project page.


Music Director Bryan Blaskie and performers Jordan Kai Burnett and Daniel Stewart work on New Voices material for presentation.




Mother’s Mothers’ Day

Elise Dewsberry will star as 84-year-old Anna Jarvis in "Mother's Mothers' Day"


Stage lights rise on a Philadelphia sanatorium, about 50 years ago.  A frail and nearly blind 84-year-old woman makes her way from chair to table to chair, using the backs of the furniture to find her way to the over-stuffed chair which dominates center stage.  This is ANNA JARVIS.

Anna triumphantly regales us with tales of her greatest creation:  Mothers’ Day!  And then…she proceeds to tear it to shreds.

Mother’s Mothers’ Day is a one-woman musical, based on the true story of Anna Jarvis, who spent the last 40 years of her life trying to destroy Mothers’ Day, the holiday which she created.  NMI is giving ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY, starring Elise Dewsberry as Anna Jarvis, on Saturday June 23 at 3:00pm, as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival

“They destroyed it. Commercial contamination, and charlatry and mooching the milk from the expectant mother coterie. They ruined what I built; they murdered me.”

Save the date:  June 23rd.  Tickets will go on sale May 1st.




The Bully Problem

Coming to Fringe this summer


This summer, NMI is producing The Bully Problem, a family-friendly musical with witty humor, catchy tunes, humorously distinct characters, and a smidge of science fiction.

It’s written by NMI member Michael Gordon Shapiro.  It won NMI’s Search for New Musicals in 2019, and we’re proud now to be presenting it at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

The Bully Problem tells the story of fourteen-year-old tech whiz Kevin Dijkstra who just wants to build robots, but the bullies at Van Der Bort Junior High are making that tough. When Kevin gets the idea of using a high-tech android to defend his classmates against the bullies, he’s suddenly thrown into a conflict that could change the school forever.

“This musical focuses on the subjects of bullying, intellectual virtuosity, and the importance of human connections,” says Shapiro.  “It’s suitable for both grownups and young audience members alike! But not bullies.”

The Bully Problem had its first workshop production at the 2017 STAGES Festival (North Hollywood, CA) and was one of only two shows to be accepted in the 2018 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, run by Academy-Award winner composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

CAST XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Director XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Quote from Michael:  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Michael Gordon Shapiro, music, book and lyrics




“Destroy Mothers’ Day?”

Elise plays both mother and daughter in "Mother's Mothers' Day"


We’re producing “Mother’s Mothers’ Day” — a one-woman musical about Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mothers’ Day, who spent the rest of her life trying to destroy the holiday because of its over-commercialization.  It stars NMI’s own Elise Dewsberry as Anna Jarvis, and was written as a star vehicle for her by NMI’s Scott Guy.

“Elise came to me saying ‘I want you to write this musical for me.’ ” says Scott.  “And I initially thought there wasn’t much more to it than a woman grousing about commercialization of a holiday…but then I read that Anna Jarvis ended up in a sanatorium, thinking she was haunted by her deceased mother, and suddenly I thought there was much more to this musical than grousing!  It’s an exploration of the value of your life’s worth, told via the tortured mother-daughter relationship.  It’s funny, touching, and a little provocative too.”

Elise plays both the mother and daughter characters, as well as President Woodrow Wilson, and John Valentine, the first president of FTD (the floral company which makes over a billion dollars on flowers each Mothers’ Day, much to Anna’s horror).  “There’s an amazing scene in which all four characters are feuding with each other all at once,” says Elise, “I’m having a blast playing them all!”

The music is by American composer Amy Beach, a contemporary of Anna Jarvis.  The book includes some of Anna Jarvis’ original letters, and many imagined scenes between mother and daughter.

We’re presenting one performance only, as a fundraiser for NMI, on Sunday June 23 at 3:00pm.  $20 tickets can be purchased at www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5901




The Bully Problem

What if you had a ROBOT to protect you against bullies?


This summer, NMI is producing The Bully Problem, a family-friendly musical with witty humor, catchy tunes, humorously distinct characters, and a smidge of science fiction.

It’s written by NMI member Michael Gordon Shapiro.  It won NMI’s Search for New Musicals in 2019, and we’re proud now to be presenting it at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

In The Bully Problem, 14-year-old whiz kid Kevin Dijkstra yearns to escape his bully-infested school for an elite tech academy. But when he inherits a (mostly) functional android bodyguard, he’s able to turn the tables on the local bully population! Sweet, poignant, and action-packed, The Bully Problem is an all-ages musical about bullying, standing up for yourself…and robots.

The show has already earned accolades. Out of hundreds of submissions to theatre legend Stephen Schwartz’ Musical Theatre Workshop, writer, composer and Fringe veteran Michael Gordon Shapiro was honored to have his newest work as one of two selected for the 2018 Los Angeles program. Not long after, he was awarded first prize in New Musicals Inc.’s 2018 Search for New Musicals. From there, Shapiro wanted the next stop to be a production at Fringe.

“Growing up, I was one of the smart kids who were too easily pushed around,” Shapiro said. “Years later this led me to the idea of a musical about outsmarting the bad guys through technology. Bullying being such a grim and ever-present topic, I felt that a fun adventure musical set in a larger-than-life universe was a great medium for making this kind of story accessible and emotionally resonant. Also, I like robots.”

Despite the futuristic subject matter and contemporary musical style, Shapiro said The Bully Problem is a throwback in many ways in that it is character and plot-driven and follows a very traditional musical theater story arc. With an age range of eight and up, it’s suitable for kids and grownups alike.

“Above all, I hope audiences experience laughter, a sense of uplift and some melodies that linger in their heads when they see this show,” he said. “And for my fellow ‘smart kids’ out there (young and grownup) perhaps a sense of self-recognition amongst the eccentric characters in the story.”

The Bully Problem is under the helm of director/choreographer Joanna Syiek, music director Jennifer Lin, and stage manager Jenn Dupre; with costume design by Michael Mullen, sound design by Graydon Schlichter, and scenic and props design by Mitchell Webb.  Starring James Everts as Kevin and Jordan Mitchell-Love as Oscar (the robot), the cast also features Adam Ballard, Melvin Villajin Biteng, Clint Blakely, Tianna Cohen, Allie Costa, Josh Hillinger, Andrew Landecker, Malissa Marlow, Hallie Mayer, Jayna Sweet, Socks Whitmore, and Frankie Zabilka.

There are only six performances during the Hollywood Fringe Festival, so get your tickets right away. You can order them directly from the festival’s site at:

https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5900

PREVIEW: Thursday, June 6th at 6:30pm
PREVIEW: Saturday, June 8th at 11:00am

Friday, June 14th at 8:00pm
Saturday, June 22nd at 5:00pm
Thursday, June 27th at 6:30pm
Saturday, June 29th at 7:00pm

at the Broadwater Mainstage
1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood

Preview tickets are $12
Performance tickets are $20


Michael Gordon Shapiro, music, book and lyrics




Acting for Writers

There’s a bunch of wonderful courses in this summer’s Musical Theatre Boot Camp (see the article in this newsletter), but we want to highlight one of them because it’s being taught by an instructor new to NMI, and we want to launch her properly.  We’ve seen RACHEL BAILLIT in action recently, teaching an acting class for for animators, and we thought NMI writers might really enjoy a brief summer course with her.  We’ve invited her to teach four Tuesday evenings in August.

Tuesday, August 6
Tuesday, August 13
Tuesday, August 20
Tuesday, August 27

Course Fee: $160

This four week class will engage writers in the acting process to help the create and further develop their characters in scripts, plays and books.  Writers will participate in in-depth character work, training, and improvisational acting and writing. In this small and supportive environment, students will have the opportunity to explore and embody subtext and character in their writing.

Rachel Bailit is Faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and teaches in LA and Boston. She also created Acting for Animators which she teaches at Warner Animation Group, Dreamworks, The Animation Guild and in private classes. She is an Educator at The Getty Museum and volunteers teaching Acting for Military at SAG-AFTRA.




Musical Theatre Summer Boot Camp

We have just announced our summer BOOT CAMP courses for musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers. Come join us for some intensive learning and fun in August!

MUSIC THEORY FOR LYRICISTS with John Sparks and Wayne Self
TWO four-hour sessions.
Sunday, August 11 from 2pm to 6pm and Sunday, August 18 from 2pm to 6pm
Learn just enough to do it right!

PITCH BOOT CAMP
Instructor: Scott Guy
30 to 60 minute online sessions - scheduled around YOUR schedule
You’ve written a great musical….now what?  How do you get producers to give your musical a look?  What do you need before you’re ready to approach producers and theatres?

OUTLINE TO ROUGH DRAFT
Instructor: John Sparks
Six Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 10pm
July 23, 30 and August 6, 13, 20, and 27
Only five teams can be accommodated
Writing teams of two or more will be involved in this 6 week immersive experience designed to give each team a rough draft of a new musical.

CORE COMPOSER WARM-UP
Instructor: Angela Parrish
Four Monday evenings from 7pm to 10pm
August 5, 12, 19, 26
This course will prepare you to enter NMI’s Core programs with notation confidence.

A SUBJECTIVE HISTORY OF MUSICAL THEATRE
with Noel Katz
A lecture in two parts.
In a brisk, emotional and entertaining talk punctuated with vocal and piano performances, theatre historian Noel Katz tells the story of how musical theatre came to be, how it evolved, and what it’s become.
The author of more than a dozen musicals produced in New York, Noel Katz taught for more than twenty years at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre School, thirteen years at Fairleigh-Dickinson University and taught a generation to improvise songs at Second City, Artistic New Directions and the People’s Improv Theatre.
PART ONE: Wednesday, August 7 (7:30pm to 9:30pm)
OR
Saturday, August 10 (10:00am to 12:00pm)
PART TWO: 
Thursday, August 8 (7:30pm to 9:30pm)
OR
Saturday, August 10 (1:00pm to 3:00pm)
Course Fee: $25 per part (OR purchase Part One AND Part Two for $40)

And more! Check out all the info (and register for your spot) at http://nmi.org/study/summer-boot-camp/




NMI’s free “Library of Ideas”

Looking for ideas? Here are thousands of them...free!


For the past several years, the staff at New Musicals Inc. has been culling promising ideas for musicals from the Library of Congress, the Gutenberg Project, Best Short Stories anthologies, and our own private collections.  We’ve created what we call our Library of Ideas.

It has more than a thousand short stories, novellas, plays, and other sources designed to inspire musical theatre writers.

With the year 2020, there are lots of works which have just entered the public domain.  This year alone, we added nearly 200 new plays and 400 new stories. You’ll find works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Galsworthy, James Joyce, James M. Barrie, Katherine Mansfield, and of course the classic writers like Mark Twain, Guy de Maupassant, etc. But you’ll also find a treasure trove of wonderful stories by lesser known writers (we adore Susan Glaspell’s writing, and have just discovered the amazing stories of H.C. Bunner and Djuna Barnes).

There are also hundreds of new fables by the cynical Ambrose Bierce, and the sweeter Jean De Fontaine.  (Bonus:  Fontaine’s fables are already in verse, giving you a head-start on lyrics.)

There are plenty of ideas in our library, suitable for adapting for 10-minute musicals, one-acts, and full-lengths…of every genre from spooky stories to dramas, comedies, fantasies, children’s stories, etc.

You can access all the stories and texts in our library…FREE.  Or you can get a Premium Subscription, which lets you filter by genre, author, length, and so on…and even more valuable…see comments, suggestions, and warnings from the NMI staff on about about a third of the ideas.  (Fair warning: not all the stories have NMI comments…but many of them do.)

If you’d like to see our new Resource Center and the Library of Ideas, just CLICK HERE




NATIONAL MUSICAL THEATRE WRITERS’ CONFERENCE — ONLINE

For the last 14 years, NMI has hosted the Biz of the Musical Theatre Biz Conference in Los Angeles, giving writers a rare opportunity to network directly with producers, agents, union reps, attorneys, and fellow writers.  But social distancing is going to change that this year.

This summer’s conference will come to you in your own home.  This will be our first ever ALL VIRTUAL conference designed to give participants the chance to prepare, practice, and present pitches of their new musicals to producers and other industry professionals.   We’ll provide video conferencing, and breakout Zoom rooms, so you can still have intimate one-on-one interactions.

The Conference traditionally costs $595 to attend.  But thanks to some much-needed government underwriting, you can attend the conference for only $175.  California residents might have an option for even more underwriting (ask us about the California Creative Initiative fund).

Here’s how the Conference will work:

The weekend will launch with a Friday evening session on the art of pitching from NMI Executive Director Scott Guy, who will share many years of experience in the world of writing and producing television for Disney, Warner Bros., PBS, NBC, etc.

Saturday’s sessions will give all teams the chance to try out their 3-minute pitches on NMI staff for feedback and help in making their pitches stronger and more compelling.

Sunday’s sessions will give all teams the chance to practice their refined pitches on chosen industry professionals who will give constructive and specific feedback on improving the pitches.

The week following the conference weekend, each participating team will be given two separate opportunities to pitch live to a group of industry professionals. Pitch sessions will be two hours long; there will be a morning and an afternoon pitch session from Monday to Friday during the week. Participating teams will be pre-assigned to two specific sessions.

In addition to all of that, we’ll set up a web page just for your show, so you can upload demos, script excerpts, and recorded version of your pitch.  These pages will be made available to all of the industry professionals who have taken part in the conference; as well as a much longer list of industry professionals across the country.

NOTE: A maximum of 60 participating writing teams will be accepted.  Additional auditors who don’t want to pitch during the conference will still get the opportunity to have a webpage that will be circulated to the same list of industry professionals after the conference.

Want to make sure you are extra prepared for your chance to pitch? You can also sign up for Scott Guy’s PITCH BOOTCAMP prior to the conference and polish your materials in advance. (Bonus! Conference registrants receive a $100 discount off the regular Pitch Boot Camp price. For more info about the Pitch Boot Camp - see the article later in this newsletter.)

For more info, and to register, CLICK HERE





Biz of the Biz PITCH CONFERENCE

NMI’s been hosting national conferences for musical theatre writers every other year for nearly fifteen years.  During the last conference in 2018, we thought, “What if we held the next conference online…would anyone attend?”  Well…it turns out, yes, many writers will attend an online conference.  We’re almost sold out — we have only twelve registration slots left.

New Musicals Inc.’s eighth national conference for musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers will be our first ever ALL VIRTUAL conference designed to give participants the chance to prepare, practice, and present three-minute pitches of their new musicals to industry professionals.

The weekend will launch with a Friday evening session on the art of pitching from NMI Executive Director Scott Guy, who will call upon his many years of experience in the world of television.

“I’m going to share lots of industry insider tips and tricks,” says Guy, “having seen what pitching looks like from both sides of the table.  How do you pitch your musical if you have 30 seconds in an elevator?  What if you get two minutes…how is that different?  I’ll give you the tools you need to be ready to pivot on the spot, whenever an opportunity presents itself.”

Saturday’s sessions will give all teams the chance to try out their three-minute pitches on NMI staff for feedback and help in making their pitches stronger and more compelling.

Sunday’s sessions will give all teams the chance to practice their refined pitches on chosen industry professionals who will give constructive and specific feedback on improving the pitches. We will be bringing in two amazing producers: Michael Alden (Broadway’s “Grey Gardens,” “Come From Away,” “The Kings Speech”) and Brian Graden (President, MTV; producer “South Park”, and Brian Graden Media.)

During the week of July 27th, each participating team will be given two separate opportunities to pitch live to a group of industry professionals. Pitch sessions will be two hours long; there will be a morning and an afternoon pitch session from Monday to Friday during the week. Participating teams will be pre-assigned to specific sessions.

We’ve lined up a deep and wonderful list of producers who are eager to receive your pitches. There will be ten sessions during the week - and each particiant will be randomly assigned to two of the sessions - each of which will include at least six producers. The producers who will each be attending one or two of the sessions include:
Joe Barros (New York Theatre Barn)
Jane Bergere (Producer)
Bill Berry (5th Avenue Theatre)
Rick Boynton (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)
Victoria Bussert (Baldwin-Wallace University)
Cate Caplin (Director)
John Coppola (Director)
Michael Einfeld (Producer)
Mark Fleischer (Pittsburg CLO)
Sue Frost (Junkyard Dog Productions)
Marco Gomez (DOMA Theatre Co)
Dana Harrel (Disney Parks Live Entertainment)
John Holly (Producer)
Randy Johnson (Producer)
Josh Katzker (Finger Lakes Festival)
Cody Lassen (Cody Lassen & Associates)
Simon Levy (Fountain Theatre)
Tom McCoy (McCoy Rigby Entertainment)
Carolyn D. Miller (Creative Endeavor Office)
Ann-Carol Pence (Aurora Theatre)
Paige Price (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Heather Provost (Provost Entertainment)
Matt Quinn (Asylum Theatre)
James Rocco (5th Avenue Theatre)
Michael Rubinoff (Canadian Music Theatre Project)
Blair Russell (Show Shepherd LLC)
Giovanna Sardelli (TheatreWorks)
Matt Schicker (Show Shepherd LLC)
Christopher Sepulveda (Apples and Oranges Arts)
Michael Sheppard (Director)
Sara Skolnick (Broadway Licensing)
Johnna Tavianini (Ball State University Discovery Festival)
… with more to come!

Following the entire process, all participating teams will be able to submit material that will set up a web page on NMI’s website that will include a recorded version of their pitch; as well as more info about their show including song demos. These pages will be made available to all of the industry professionals who have taken part in the conference; as well as a much longer list of industry professionals across the country.

NOTE: There are only 12 spots left for participating writing teams to sign up for the full conference, but we are also accepting auditors for the conference who will not get to pitch live, but will still get the opportunity to have a webpage that will be circulated to the same list of industry professionals after the conference.

For more info, and to register for the Conference, visit the BIZ OF THE MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ page.





GIDEON & THE BLUNDERSNORP – an adventure musical – THE STREAMING EVENT

Join us on Sunday, October 11 (4pm PST) for a streaming presentation of a workshop of GIDEON AND THE BLUNDERSNORP.

Gideon and the Blundersnorp. A stablehand who wants to be a knight. A noblewoman who yearns to be free. A monster who just wants to eat everyone. Gideon and the Blundersnorp is a musical about adventure, aspiration, and the importance of deeds over social class. Suitable for people of all ages, provided that those people like adventure.

Originally slated to premiere at the 2020 Hollywood Fringe, Gideon is now an online “Zoom-sical”, recorded at home by a fabulously talented cast. Featuring abundant wit, a cinematic/sort-of-medieval-folk score, and the most exciting chase sequence ever collectively filmed in eleven actors’ living rooms, this resourceful production will prove to you that adventure stops for no quarantine!

The workshop is free, but we have limited number of slots available.

Reserve here to guarantee your spot!




Musical Theatre Song Lab

New Musicals Inc. has announced a new online lab through their sister site - WritingMusicalTheatre.com.

The Musical Theatre Song Lab provides an opportunity to create iconic musical theatre songs and receive critical feedback – even if you don’t have a collaborator.

“We’ve had a lot of requests from lyricists or composers wanting to hone their skills but they don’t a collaborator,” says Elise Dewsberry, one of the prime creators of this new songwriting lab, “So we’ve built a library of lyrics needing music, and music needing lyrics. It’s a great way to work on your craft on your own.”

Composers will have several sets of lyrics to choose from; lyricists will have several pieces of music to use. The lab contains six different types of songs. The song types are: The Ballad, The Comedy Song, The Conflict Duet, The Ensemble, The Musical Scene, and the Disappointment Song.

Each song is its own unit includes a definition of the type of song; a play to read; and an assignment to write a song based on a moment in that play. Your completed songs will be critiqued by WMT Staff.

If you are a lyricist/composer wanting feedback on your work, or you are signing up as team, you can experience the entire Song Lab, writing original music and lyrics, without using the library.

The Musical Theatre Song Lab represents the newest offering at WMT. The other online labs already available include the Lyric Lab, Advanced Lyric Lab, Book Lab, Outlining Lab, and Music Lab. (The Book, Music, and Lyric Labs are pre-requisites for the Academy for New Musical Theatre’s Core Curriculum.)

Sign up any time, take the labs at your own speed. Each lab consists of online lecture videos, interactive tests, exercises, handouts, and assignments that are evaluated one-on-one by an NMI staffer.

Here is some feedback from writers who have taken WMT’s online courses:

“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 realize 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)

“I wanted to give you a final round of thanks for your great work presiding over my lyric lab experience. I found your comments to be insightful and valuable supplements to the main body of the lectures. And I especially appreciated your patience with my numerous questions.” (Michael Gordon Shapiro)

“The Outlining course will teach you how to use fundamental principles to construct a rock-solid, self-consistent structure that embodies the story that you are trying to tell. Following an introduction to the basics of story-telling, the course offers you the opportunity to build your own story in layers of increasing complexity, with guidance from an expert dramaturge at every step along the way. I would recommend the Outlining course for anyone trying to write an original story for the musical stage.” (Stephen Telfer)

The new Musical Theatre Song Lab, as well as the other Labs offered by WritingMusicalTheatre.com, can be found at www.writingmusicaltheatre.com. The site also offers samples and demos of the Labs.

 




GOT MUSICAL! 2015

Join us for a concert presentation of musicals we’ve been developing this season, for producers all around the country:

  • ASCAP/Dreamworks
  • McCoy Rigby Entertainment
  • 2014 Search for New Musicals
  • Northern Sky Theatre
  • NMI’s new Sandbox project
  • Previews for Stages Musical Theatre Festival
  • Highlights from our amazing crop of Core writers
  • The New Voices Project

Showcasing the tradition of creating and writing musicals, got musical! takes place at 7:30pm on June 4th at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

Tickets are $15, or you can support NMI with $50 and enjoy the show from special reserved seating - the best seats in the house! - and join us after the show for a reception with the cast and writers.

MAKE A RESERVATION


Randy Guiaya, Sari Rose Barron, and Evelyn Halus at GOT MUSICAL 2014




THE FRONT ROW

We’ve begun preliminary work on a resource center for AUDIENCE members:  The Front Row.  The idea is to create a central location for listings of what new musicals are playing around the world.  We’re hoping that folks like YOU will visit The Front Row, and share news about what’s happening in your neck of the woods.  We’ve seeded the Front Row with a handful of upcoming readings and productions, but we’re hoping that YOU will use The Front Row as a platform to tell the world what’s happening near you.

We hope that The Front Row will also be a central hub for viewing and recommending online musical theatre videos.  We’ve found a bunch of wonderful online musical theatre shorts (and a couple of, uh, duds)…plenty to keep you singin’ and tappin’ your keyboards for a while. We’ve provided a way for you to share links to videos which YOU would like the world to know about.

Plus, we’ve added a bunch of musical theatre trivia and history, and links to a gob of musical theatre websites.  All for you.  And all for free.  Because, after all, we’re doing this for you, right?, sitting right there in the Front Row….

VISIT THE FRONT ROW




4×10 Ensemble presents:

“Bagels!” is the almost-true story of the man who invented the automated bagel-making machine; how it almost tore apart a family, and got some union bagel makers pretty upset.  A family comedy, but with some adult moral dilemmas for the young inventor, this show has a charming, witty book and a lovely joyful score.

It’s having eight special performances this month and next, presented in a bare-bones workshop production by the 4×10 Ensemble and guests at our Main Hall in North Hollywood.  Two of those performances will also be included as a part of Stages Musical Theatre Festival.

Here are the dates and times of performances:

Friday, August 1 at 8pm
Friday, August 7 at 8pm
Saturday, August 8 at 8pm
Friday, August 14 at 8pm
Saturday, August 15 at 8pm
Sunday, August 16 at 2pm

AND as part of the STAGES Festival of New Musicals:

Saturday, August 22 at 4pm at NMI
Friday, August 28 at 8pm at 3D Theatricals in Anaheim

Bagels! book and lyrics are by Chana Wise, with music by Carl Johnson.  Directed by John Henry Davis, with musical direction by Emily Cohn, and stage management by Pat Loeb.

Tickets now on sale on our website’s tickets page.




Simply Singing Sondheim…almost

A benefit for the NMI’s 4 X 10 Ensemble.  Starring Paul Wong.  Directed by Joshua Finkel, music directed by Jake Anthony.  Saturday, July 25 at 8pm at New Musicals Inc.

Autobiographical stories as told through the prism of the works of Stephen Sondheim including words and music from:

Anyone Can Whistle, Assassins, Company, Evening Primrose, Follies, The Frogs, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gypsy, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Marry Me a Little, Merrily We Roll Along, Pacific Overtures, Passion, Road Show (Bounce), Saturday Night, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, West Side Story.

and more…

RESERVE YOUR SEAT





Do YOU want to write a musical?

bookwriters, lyricists, and composers

New Musicals Inc. is the home of the Academy for New Musical Theatre; the West Coast version of New York’s BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.  It’s been running for nearly 40 years in L.A.  We offer musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists and composers many different options and levels of instruction:

Want to finish your current musical first?  Take a look at the Incubator…a program designed to guide you towards completing your new musical.




SUMMER BOOT CAMP

Summer is full of music at NMI!

  • Performer Master Classes with Joshua Finkel and Jake Anthony included Building Your Audition Book and the ever-popular Cabaret Slam!  For more info, check out ACTOR MASTER CLASSES.
  • SIGHT-SINGING with Scott Guy.
  • OUTLINING LAB with Elise Dewsberry.
  • THEATRI-CAMP: a summer musical theatre camp for kids from 3rd grade through high school. Mentored by Lori Ada Jaroslow and Darryl Johnson.

Missed the fun this summer?  Be sure to check out the Summer Boot Camp in 2016!

Don’t live in Los Angeles?  Check out our ONLINE MUSICAL THEATRE WRITER LABS for bookwriters, lyricists, and composers.




New Voices Project — a record number!

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 of 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 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 the New Voices Project, and this year’s writers, can be found at the NEW VOICES PROJECT page.

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


Music Director Bryan Blaskie with performers Jordan Kai Burnett and Daniel Stewart rehearsing for the inaugural New Voices season.




An Open Letter to the Los Angeles Theatre Community

An Open Letter to the Los Angeles Theatre Community

from New Musicals Inc., the Academy Repertory Company, and The Academy for New Musical Theatre

Dear Colleagues:

Actors Equity has chosen to put us on the public “Do Not Work” list.  We want you to know the facts.

For the last year, we have been attempting to have the Academy Repertory Company (our member company that was established in 2003) designated as a Member Company.  We have been denied that classification.  Equity’s official reason for that denial was that our application didn’t include “Academy Repertory Company”.  According to Equity:

Your company was registered as New Musicals Inc./Academy for New Musical Theatre.

The demonstrably provable fact is that we registered all three of our branches in the same application, including our Member Company, the Academy Repertory Company.  But Equity seems to be determined to deny our repertory company’s status as a Membership Company by somehow invalidating our paperwork.

We have asked for a meeting with Gail Gabler and Allison Harma about our membership company on ten separate occasions over the past thirteen months, but Equity has refused to take a meeting with us on this subject on all ten occasions, insisting instead that we take a meeting with them to discuss the new minimum wage contract.  We have, on each occasion, respectfully informed Equity that contracts are inapplicable when we are clearly a Membership Company and our members are joyful volunteers, and have been for 14 years.

Instead of agreeing to meet with us about our Membership Company status, and explain to us why they are insisting that our paperwork was incorrect when we can prove that it wasn’t, Equity has chosen to put us on the national public “Do Not Work” list, causing very real damage to our name and reputation across the country.

Those of you with whom we have had the pleasure of reading and singing new musicals know how respectful we are of actors, stage managers and all theatre artists.  Please continue to know that you are all always welcome at the Academy Repertory Company, New Musicals Inc, and the Academy for New Musical Theatre, whether you’re a member of Equity or not.

Scott Guy, Executive Director
John Sparks, Founding Director
Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director
New Musicals Inc.
The Academy for New Musical Theatre
The Academy Repertory Company




KANTATA KOFFEE KOMPANY

There's more to their coffee than you think...


Book and Lyrics by John Piraino, Music and Lyrics by Jerry Ranger
The FBI discovers the owner of Kantata Koffee uses his global chain of coffee shops to launder money. The FBI plans a sting led by Robert Rightwood, who recruits Kate Kalispell (owner of a coffee house across the street from Kantata) to help stage the sting operation. When the sting goes wrong, Kate is threatened. In the shoot-out that ensues a shocking discovery protects the heroes, Guido is taken into custody, and love unexpectedly blossoms.




STAGES FESTIVAL

We’re trying something new for our STAGES Festival of New Musicals this year: we plan to live-stream non-stop new musical theatre related content from the evening of Friday, July 28 through the evening of Sunday, July 30 (something like 50 hours of programming).  Some of the events will be streamed live - such as a staged reading of Spellbound, the winner of the 2017 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS (by Ben Boecker); and much of the content will be pre-corded.

Got an idea for some content you’d like to see included?  A stage reading; an interview of musical theatre writers; a commercial for your upcoming world premiere?  Please contact us - we’d like to chat about it!




PRODUCTION A

Kantata Coffee Company.  The FBI discovers the owner of Kantata Koffee uses his global chain of coffee shops to launder money. The FBI plan, a sting led by Robert Rightwood, who recruits Kate Kalispell (owner of a coffee house across the street from Kantata) to help stage the sting operation. When the sting goes wrong, Kate is threatened. In the shoot-out that ensues a shocking discovery protects the heroes, Guido is taken into custody, and love unexpectedly blossoms.  Book and lyrics by John Piraino, music and lyrics by Jerry Ranger.  Starring Allen Corben, Tomas Dakan, Alexandra Nicole G-Smith, Ken Patton, Caity Ware and Richard Lewis Warren.  Directed by Warren Davis, with music direction by Kevin Mathie, and stage management by Jerry A Blackburn.

Sybil’s Closet.  Sybil, a new age granny, and her uptight sister, Prudence are planning a bridge game—but they need replacements! Prudence wants to get that handsome new parson to come. Sybil wants to invite the interesting new woman next door—Betty. It turns out everyone has something to hide as Sybil bonds with Betty over tea and secrets are revealed. Will Prudence sit in judgment, will the parson be shocked? Anything can happen when you’re playing games.  Book and lyrics by Grace Jasmine, music by Ross Plotkin.  Starring Sandy Kaufman, Kurt Koehler, Bette Smith and Terri Baker Weiss.  Directed by Warren Davis, with music direction by Kevin Mathie, and stage management by Jerry A Blackburn.

A Zombie, a Dragon and a Vampire who Sparkles.  Just another teen-angst-post-apocalyptic-fantasy-horror-in-a-role-playing-game musical love story.  Ginny is determined to date the cutest guy in school. She’ll do anything to impress him, even if it means playing along in his nerdy world filled with zombies and dragons.  Book by Maureen Borillo, music and lyrics by Dan Wessels.  Starring Megan Duquette, Aaron Eberhardt, Jordan Mitchell-Love and Desiree Nicole Staples.  Directed by Alison Eliel Kalmus with music direction by Kevin Mathie, and stage management by Jerry A Blackburn.

Production A’s performances:  June 9 at 7:30pm; June 10 at 5pm; June 11 and 4:30pm; June 15 at 9pm, and June 22 at 11pm.




Missed our live streamcasts? Here’s how to catch up….

Over the summer, NMI streamcast nearly 60 continuous hours of videos celebrating new musical theatre — live. We are now launching those videos - two or three per week - so you have a chance see whatever you missed!  Our videos include full presentations of our Fringe Festival productions of short musicals from June of 2017; interviews with musical theatre luminaries from across the country; and various readings, workshops, and concerts.

Check out the videos as they are released at by visiting THIS LINK.


One of our featured videos: HOLLYWOOD FOREVER - starring our own John Sparks!




MANSON’S GIRLS

You don’t want to miss this one.

It’s a musical about the Manson Family murders, told from the perspective of the girls.  We’re presenting seven performances during the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June with an awesome cast and a rock band.

With a driving, mesmerizing score and book/lyrics which explore the psyche of the girls, this story is all-too-relevant today, being a parable and warning to any of us who follows the voice of authority without stopping to question. Book by Scott Guy, music by Ron Barnett, lyrics by Mitch Glaser.

It’s gonna be groovy.

Performance dates for MANSON’S GIRLS:

PREVIEW: Thursday, May 31 at 6:30pm
PREVIEW: Sunday, June 3 at 6:30pm

Thursday, June 7 at 8:00pm
Friday, June 15 at 8:00pm
Saturday, June 16 at 11:00pm
Thursday, June 21 at 11:00pm
Saturday, June 23 at 10:00pm

at the Broadwater Mainstage
1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood

Preview tickets are $12
Performance tickets are $20

MAKE A RESERVATION




BIZ of the MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference

NMI’s biennial conference for musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers is back for the seventh time! Our theme this year is: Pitch, Pitch, Pitch! Three days of insiders’ tips about finding and approaching producers. July 27, 28, and 29.

Join us in the musical theatre trenches, practicing, polishing and perfecting your pitch. Hear first-hand from writers and producers about epic fails and successes.  Thrill to fantastic networking as you’ll be joined live and online by fellow writers as well as producers from all over the country, representing regional, commercial, and touring theatres of every size and taste.

Every conference registrant will be eligible to have one musical included in our complete pitch catalogue which we’ll send to nearly 100 producers across the country two weeks after the conference.

We’re also offering an additional optional add-on: a personal five-session PITCH Boot Camp leading up to the conference in which NMI’s Executive Director will guide you and make you hit deadlines for your pitch materials; with a final follow-up session after the conference for individual advice on targeted marketing.

Register by June 1 to receive the EARLY REGISTRATION discount of $100.

To check out the agenda, view re-caps of past conferences, and to register, VISIT OUR CONFERENCE PAGE.


Broadway producer Ken Davenport answers questions during his panel at the 2016 BIZ Conference.




Manson’s Girls – Pick of the Fringe

We thought Manson’s Girls might find a following at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, but we weren’t prepared for the AMAZING reviews and awards it got!  Including:

  • BEST MUSICAL – Tvolution
  • Pick of the Fringe
  • Outstanding Song writing / A Little New Music
  • TVolution Gold Medal Award
  • 100% on the Better Lemons Audience meter
  • Nominated for BEST MUSICAL – Hollywood Fringe

We are thrilled to announce that we’re in discussions with a major Los Angeles producer for a commercial run, scheduled to open in August.  We’ve had a number of meetings about Manson’s Girls, and are THIS close to being able to announce it officially.  But in the meantime, we’re still basking in the reviews from the Fringe:

“Undoubtedly, the jaw dropping surprise of the festival was New Musicals Inc.’s Manson Girls”

“Massively entertaining. Broadway bound. · thoughtful · creative · original”

“Hummable, toe tapping, memorable songs in a Manson musical, hilarious.”

“Great score and script;great cast and well directed.”

“One of the best Musicals I have seen at Fringe.”


Megan Ruble, Christine Anatone, and Lia Peros in MANSON'S GIRLS




Hell’s Kitty — the Musical

A new musical based on the hit internet series


NMI is joining forces with Smart Media LLC to produce a musical based on an Amazon Prime Video movie, Hell’s Kitty at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this summer.

It’s an exciting new creative collaboration between independent film and independent theater.

Hell’s Kitty: the Musical, is a comedy-horror musical based on the hit Amazon Prime comedy horror movie about a Hollywood writer and his possessed pussycat.  “There’s even a musical exorcism of a cat,” says series creator and star Nicholas Tana.  “It’s sung mostly in Latin, but there’s some meowing involved as well.”  The music ranges from pop/rock to contemporary musical theatre, with song styles reminiscent of Tin Pan Alley, burlesque and cabaret.

We first met Nicholas when he cold-called us a year ago saying he had this crazy idea for a musical, and we’ve been nurturing the adaptation along ever since.  We’ve workshopped the songs several times with our repertory company, leading Nicholas to put the action of the show into the songs.

Adapted for the stage by Hell’s Kitty writer/director and star, Nicholas Tana, HELL’S KITTY: the Musical is a collaborative contribution between Nicholas Tana and Alexa Borden, a Los Angeles based composer, who arranged most of the music while Tana contributed to the lyrics and melody. Other musical contributors include Richard Albert, a German based film composer, who also worked on the film and web-series, and Spanish born composer, Miguel Coiz. The song “Chainsaw Kitty,” written by Richard Albert and Nicholas Tana, was an American Tracks Winner for Best Song in a Film in 2018 and will appear in the musical.

Yes, you read that right…Chainsaw Kitty.  Want a taste of the music?  Here’s a music video which Smart Media made of Chainsaw Kittyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzNXoJyRiHU

The amazing cast includes Joey Hunt as Nick, Isabel Caxide as Angel, Patrick Steward as Adam, Maeve Osgood as Lisa, Gia Mora as Dr. Strode, with costume design by Michael Mullen, and choreography by John Paul Batista.  It’s directed by veteran musical theater director, Denis McCourt.

There are only seven performances during the Hollywood Fringe Festival, so get your tickets right away.  You can order them directly from the festival’s site at:

https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5899

DATES:
1st Preview:    Sunday, June 9 at 10:30pm
2nd Preview:   Thursday, June 13 at 8pm
Opening:         Friday, June 14 at 10pm
2nd Show:       Friday, June 21 at 10:30pm
3rd Show:       Saturday, June 22 at 10pm
4th Show:        Friday, June 28 at 9:30pm
5th Show:        Saturday, June 29 at 9pm

LOCATION:
The Broadwater Theater
1076 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90038


NICHOLAS TANA, Creator and star of the Amazon Prime Video movie.




Greenscreensicals

See our new internet musicals on YouTube's "Channel 5678"


Ghosts, gypsies, talking goat-people, outlaws in the Wild West, cartoon jazzy cats…welcome to our greenscreen playground!  We’re having a wonderful time writing short musicals for the internet.

With our new greenscreen soundstage and some nimble work in Photoshop and After Effects, we’re creating dozens and dozens of short musicals, 3-15 minutes long.

We’ve launched our own new YouTube Channel to feature these internet musical theatre shorts.  It’s called “Channel 5678.”  Please visit Channel 5678 and subscribe.  (Seriously; subscribing really really helps NMI, and it doesn’t cost a penny.)

We’re currently writing musicals for four separate webseries:  The Ghosts of Stowell Hill…an anthology series starring ghosts from a hundred years ago, warning us not to make the same mistakes they made back then.  The music for this series is by Charles Ives, one of the freshest (strangest?) voices in the American canon.

Tales from a Darkening Wood is set in a sort of animation/rotoscope fantasy world in which storytellers tell fairy tales, myths, folk tales, and other stories from their magical forest.  We’re applying a cartoon-like filter in post-production to get a fantasy storybook look.  Tales are coming from NMI writers as well as Ambrose Bierce, Lord Dunsany, Frank L. Baum, and Lucy Clifford.

Trunk Songs features songs which got cut from musicals, or ones which haven’t yet been produced.  We present these in concert format (at music stands), allowing us to go anywhere the song takes us.

Second Verses features some of the strange, obscure verses to familiar songs.  There’re some very bizarre lyrics out there, dear friends.  (“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore that the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion a home and a country should leave us no more?”  That’s from our National Anthem!)

We’ve partnered with Booksicals to musicalize some children’s books.  We’ve shot some standalone one-offs, such as the 15-minute musical The Legend of the Brothers Legrand, and we’ve already begun shooting episodes of three additional series, to be released later in the year.  Antebellum women writers, along with singing walruses, potatoes, and devils.

We’re releasing a video a week (!)…on our new YouTube Channel called Channel 5678.  Search YouTube for “Channel 5678” and subscribe, so you won’t miss a video.

We’d say the sky’s the limit, except Mother Nature also makes an appearance, dazzling the night sky with warnings for us.

Please do subscribe to Channel 5678.  It’ll really help us.





Subscribe to Channel 5678!

Channel 5678: Musical theatre internet shorts and musical webseries.


We’ve been posting a new video every week! You’ll want to subscribe to Channel 5678 to make sure you don’t miss a single one.  It’s free, at least for the moment; just go to the channel on YouTube and click the SUBSCRIBE button.

Come visit Channel 5678 where you can expect to find storytellers sharing musical Tales from a Darkening Wood andGhosts of Stowell Hill; and our very own Elise Dewsberry as Mother Nature, Khassandra the Psychic, and earnest Edna Fervor singing Second Verses from American patriotic tunes.  And there’s lots more coming - so check it out!


Gia Mora in "Tales from a Darkening Wood"




NEW ONLINE LABS

A whole new look for the Lyric Lab


New Musicals Inc. - working with WritingMusicalTheatre.com - has just released some exciting new online courses for musical theatre bookwriters and lyricists.

We’ve completely overhauled both the Lyric Lab, and the Book Lab.  We’ve shot 31 new HD videos, and updated our examples.  “It’s been really exciting to look at contemporary Broadway musicals like Hamilton, Evan Hansen, Hadestown, and compare them to the classic musicals from Golden Age,” says Scott Guy, creator of the Lyric Lab.  “It’s fascinating to see the form evolve and thrive.”

In the new Lyric Lab I – Fundamentals, you’ll focus on key areas of craft, including musical theatre song structure, telling your story through lyrics, perfect rhyme and near rhyme, matching the accents of lyric to the music, how to decide which songs to write, and how to format your musical to get it ready to submit to theatres and producers.

For the Book Lab, which has been a popular course available for the last ten years, all of the online videos have been revised and reshot by New Musicals Inc. Artistic Director and Dramaturg Elise Dewsberry, author of the popular vlog series “How to Get No Feedback from Elise” that is posted monthly on Facebook and YouTube.

As a special inaugural offer, both the new Lyric Lab 1 - Fundamentals and the updated Book Lab are being offered for a $100 discount until June 1. Register now and enter the discount coupon code LABS-2020-PR to get your $100 discount at checkout.

All of the online labs include are videos, exercises, tests, handouts, and assignments. Your assignments are evaluated by an instructor who gives you personal, individualized feedback on your assignment via mp3.

Both the Book Lab and the new Lyric Lab 1 Fundamentals qualify as the required Lab element for NMI’s Core Curriculum program.

The course was designed by multi-Emmy-nominated writer and producer Scott Guy (Disney, NBC, PBS, Warner Brothers), who delivers the lectures. Feedback is from award-winning lyricist Larry Todd Johnson (All That He Was, Flies! the Musical, 40 is the New 15).

For more info, and to register for the Labs, CLICK HERE


The Book Lab -- now in HD!




New Voices Project 2020

The four musical theatre writing teams who were chosen to participate in the 2020 New Voices Project might have thought that their April 20th presentation date would have to be cancelled or at least postponed because of the world-wide “safer-at-home” lockdown orders. But we at NMI had other plans - and we quickly shifted to an entirely online version of our annual workshop.

For the last couple of weeks, we have been meeting by Zoom with the writing teams (who hail from all over the globe, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and London).   We’ve lined up some brave generous singers who will be bringing their songs to life for the workshop presentation from their own homes. (We’ve been learning SO much about “audio latency” — trying to synch up remote pianists with remote singers. It’s been equal parts frustration and hysteria. But last week we had great success, and we’re all ready to go!)

On Monday, April 20th, we will present some live readings and some recorded musical selections from all four writing teams, and then have a lively feedback session with our guests, the NMI staff, and the writing teams.  Joining us for the e-feedback will be Malcolm K. Darrell, leader of Live Entertainment Advanced Development Studio for Walt Disney Imagineering; and recent LA transplant Thomas Mizer, half of the writing team of Mizer and Moore who who most recently composed five songs for the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—the first original songs ever to be featured on the Emmy-winning hit.

Our amazingly promising young writing teams this year are: Charli Eglinton; Clayton Daniel Briggs and Molly Reisman; Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz and Emma Lockwood; and Martin Gold.

WHAT THESE NEW VOICES ARE SAYING:

Here’s what some of our New Voices teams had to say about what it meant for them to be able to go ahead with this project despite the current state of the world:

“It is a very strange time to be a theater artist. Molly and I both work for several theater companies in NYC, and one fateful Thursday all of our jobs vanished into thin air. NMI taking the New Voices Project online has been a shining ray of hope in these murky and uncertain times. The opportunity to witness the creative process of other young writers and actors, as well as the chance to learn from and collaborate with Scott, Elise and Ron has been inspiring, and this experience has proven to be an excellent creative outlet for us in a time where finding focus and energy to create is in incredibly short supply.  It is an absolute gift to be able to see our work performed—as writers we already live in a lonely vacuum, but to see people come together remotely to perform our work gives us reason to keep writing.”

~~ Clayton Daniel Briggs and Molly Reisman, New York and Toronto

“Even if the entire world shuts down, the show must go on! I am both amazed and in total admiration of the NMI team for powering on in the face of adversity, finding new, innovative ways to make theatre happen when all the traditional routes are closed. Aside from still providing its original intention of bringing together and nurturing a community of new Musical Theatre, the New Voices Project now also proves that theatre is no longer defined by its conventional boundaries. This project is a beacon of hope for the industry’s future, both in the way we work and the new, upcoming content being made.”   

~~Charli Eglinton, London

For more info about the New Voices Project, visit NMI’s New Voices Project Page page.


The 2020 New Voices Project writing teams




SO PROUDLY WE HAILED

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.


We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve received a grant from the California Arts Council to support the launch of NMI’s musical webseries, So Proudly We Hailed.  It’s a webseries honoring veterans in their own words.

Twelve finalists will be announced. Four to six honorees’ stories will be workshopped and filmed as musical video shorts. The grant will allow us to give fees directly to our veteran honorees, as well as authors’ royalties for lyricists and composers who will join the team to help adapt the veterans’ stories.

We’re in early discussions with several different veterans’ organizations, and veteran arts groups, assembling an advisory panel to help us in our selection of the right stories for the series.

“This program has been in the works for about two years,” says Scott Guy; “I’ve been working on the infrastructure of the process, pushing the capability of our greenscreen studio, and testing out musical storytelling in front of an intimate camera…I can’t wait to start seeing the musicalization of these inspiring veterans and their amazing and important stories.”

The California Arts Council grant will cover an initial four episodes.  We are hoping that the first season will be about twelve episodes.  (A subtle request for some financial support…if you’d like to sponsor one of these veterans’ stories, please email us at admin@nmi.org.)

If you’re interested in submitting yourself as a writer, or you’re a veteran and you have a story to tell, here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Veterans with compelling personal stories to tell. This will be a devised writing process, so no pressure. If you can tell it, we can write it.
  • Scriptwriters/lyricists to adapt the stories into musical episodes.
  • Composers to create songs and tracks for the episodes.

Each story will be no more than 10 minutes long. These will be filmed as singular, one person, pieces.

For more info, and to submit as a veteran or a writer, visit the SO PROUDLY WE HAILED page.





FLY FLY FLY and UNITED WE TWEET

Direct from what would have been our presentations at the 2020 Hollywood Fringe Festival, we invite you to enjoy:

Fly Fly Fly. The story of two suddenly emptynesters whose grown-up children “visit” one last time. Book, music, and lyrics by Katie Brady. Directed by Megan Rees; music directed by Ron Barnett, starring Troy Armand Barboza, Carissa Kriby, Lia Peros, Ryland Shelton, and Lindsay Zana.

Shot mid-Covid one-actor-at-a-time, we’ve made it look as though five actors were all in the theatre together at the same time.  They weren’t.  Come see what we’ve done through the miracle of greenscreening!

Seriously — you really want to see this video.  With Fly Fly Fly, we’ve completely pushed far beyond anything we have any right to attempt.

CLICK TO SEE FLY FLY FLY

United We Tweet is the story of a clown who holds the Highest Office in the Land (literally…a clown, complete with Bozo wig and red nose). His favorite way to resolve disputes is…rock-paper-scissors…and nothing less than the fate of Texas is at stake. Book and lyrics by B.K. Wells, music by Jane Wong. Directed/choreographed by John Coppola; music direction by Ron Barnett; stage managed by Carrie Lynn Certa; starring Elise Dewsberry, Casey Hunter, Mindy Montavon, and John David Wallis.

This piece was shot in a Zoom meeting, with all of the participants working from their own homes.

Hurry! Before the November election makes this musical satirically moot!!

CLICK TO SEE UNITED WE TWEET

Both of these videos are FREE to view (although donations are gratefully accepted! Again — a reminder you were going to pay $20 to see it in the theatre; s-so….))





PAST NEW VOICES PROJECT WINNERS TELL THEIR STORIES

We asked some of previous winners in the New Voices Project (all of whom were under 26 at the time) to share some of their memories.  They said:

“Being a part of NMI was an incredibly informative experience. 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.”

— Chris Byron Pratt, 2013

“I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to work with everyone at NMI; the people there were helpful, thoughtful and talented, and they helped me truly understand what the professional world of musical theatre, its creation, and its execution looked and felt like.”

— Danny Bernstein, 2014

“New Musicals Inc. offers a great opportunity to get the exposure that all young writers so desperately need. 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. If you are a young writer looking for a safe and creative place to start your musical theater career, New Musicals Inc. is the place for you.”

— Santino DeAngelo, 2014

To hear more from previous NVP winners, as well as listen to samples of their work, VISIT OUR STORIES PAGE.


One of the "stories" available at www.nmi.org




FORKS IN THE ROAD:  seven short musicals about life-changing events

We have a bumper crop of seven brand-new 15 Minute Musicals this year!  They will be presented on June 29 and 30, and July 1, at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. These musicals are a decades-long tradition at the New Musicals Inc.’s academic wing, the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and one of the hottest tickets in town.

The 15 Minute Musical Project concludes each season of the Academy’s world-famous Core Curriculum of the writers’ workshop, which has been in existence for over 40 years.

For the final project of the curriculum, composers, lyricists and bookwriters are put together on writing teams and are given eight short weeks to write, revise and polish a brand-new musical written for a cast of actors whom they’ve never met before.

“We have so many writers this year, we get to have TWO teams of actors,” says Elise Dewsberry, the Academy’s Artistic Director and dramaturge/producer of this season’s 15 Minute Musicals. “We design the process to imitate a full-length show in a professional theatre: draft, rehearsal, rewrites, rehearsal, opening. It’s really a wonderful experience, but it’s often stressful, just like a million-dollar opening night. Our writers’ names are in the program, and it’s important to them they write the best show they possibly can, in the short amount of time we’ve given them.”

The writers taking place this year are: Rich Cook, Chris Edgar, Mitch Glaser, Howard Ho, Morgan Hollingsworth, Lori Jaroslow, Jeff King, Marissa Kochanski, Dan Margules, Raphael Nemes, David Rackoff, Kristen Rea, Danielle Roderick, Shawn Ryan, Weston Scott, Molly Siskin, Sahara Spain, Lucy Wang, and Laura Wardrip. Some of the writers this season are locals (from the Los Angeles area); but others are participating from slightly farther away (Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, and Oakland); and, thanks to live streaming, even further (Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Edmonton!).

The actors they are writing for are: Conchita Belisle Newman, Melvin Biteng, J. Bailey Burcham, David Crane, Elise Dewsberry, Amanda Kruger, Shannon Martinous, and Louis Silvers.

Tickets will go on sale in June. Save the dates: June 29 and 30, and July 1.  Although we’ve added a third performance in anticipation of lines around the block, you’ll want to reserve your seat early; we often sell out!

LEARN MORE ABOUT CORE CURRICULUM





Please welcome Bo Powell

We are so excited to have our wonderful intern Bo Powell with us this summer.  Bo is helping head up the 18th Annual Stages Musical Festival.

“We were expecting some smart assistant,” chimed Scott and Elise (in unison), “but when Bo showed up, he had so much experience and savvy, we put him in charge of ALL the stage managers in the Festival.  Everyone’s answering to him!”

Bo is a recent graduate of the University of La Verne, where he majored in theatre. His concentration was in stage management and directing. He began stage managing professionally in his sophomore year and has been doing so ever since.  He has ambitions to open his own theatre company in the next few years, and was hoping an internship could give him some insights into how to make that happen.

“I was looking for a summer internship related to the arts,” says Bo, “and man, I really lucked out finding NMI.  Not only do I get to stage manage, which I love, but I get to boss people around. PLUS, I’m learning all kinds of things about non-profit management, and what it’s really like behind-the scenes. Glamorous!”

Bo’s internship is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 74 undergraduate interns will participate in the program this year at 74 performing, presenting, and literary nonprofit arts organizations and municipal arts agencies throughout LA County. We were lucky enough to snag one.

“It’s a great pleasure having Bo in the office,” continue Elise and Scott. “We have less to worry about knowing he is here and taking care of a lot of the festival necessities.”




SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

Have you written a great new musical, and are you looking for feedback and/or an opportunity for a concert reading? Don’t miss the July 15 deadline for the annual Search for New Musicals at New Musicals Inc.

The Search for New Musicals accepts entrants from around the globe; winners receive awards worth up to $25,000 in workshop productions, concert readings, feedback, and developmental support.

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Search,” says Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of NMI. “We love seeing what writers are creating; and of course our mission is to nurture the folks who are writing musicals, so I’m am looking forward to seeing what submissions we will get this season.”

Established in 2008, the Search for New Musicals has awarded concert readings and/or workshops to twenty promising new musicals including Off the Wall by Sarah Rebell and Danny Absoch; Invisible by David Hollingsworth and David Orris; The Anarchist Girl by J. Linn Allen and Cris Wo; It Happened in Roswell by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal; The Looking Glass Wars by by Kurt Kuenne, based on the novel by Frank Beddor; Infamous by Karen M. Cohen and Stephen Kingsbury; Mad Bomber by Charles Monagan and Richard de Rosa; Emerald by Chris Burgess and Denise Wright; Chapter Eleven by Stephen Telfer;Gilbert & Sullivan on Wall Street by Charles Veley; The Water by Georgia Stitt, Jeff Hylton, and Tim Werenko; Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, Jr., Chris Budinich, Diana Belkowski, Dan Tramon, and Carl Anthony Tramon; Girl Detective by Alan Gordon and Mark Sutton-Smith; Greenbrier Ghost by Susan Murray and Clay Zambo; The Next Fairy Tale by Brian Pugach; and Life After Life by Tracey Langran Corea and Thaddeus Corea.

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 to workshop to concert reading.

The submission deadline this season is July 15, 2015. All submissions will receive either an audio Overview Evaluation or an audio/video Detailed Analysis. The winner of the 2015 Search will be announced by November 15, and will receive a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and will be given a concert reading in Los Angeles.

Writers can submit their shows electronically via NMI’s website, or submit materials by mail after completing an online submission form.

SUBMIT YOUR MUSICAL




Our “Sandbox” is proving really popular!

Last year we tentatively began to test the waters with a new approach to developing musicals: something we called “The Sandbox.”  The idea is for musicals which don’t fit a usual mold.  You want a little bit of THIS and a little bit more of THAT — a unique mix of feedback, workshopping, marketing advice, or perhaps some insider tips and tricks of the trade.  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 your musical at any given moment in the process.

We’ve put together four samples of pathways you might choose — but again, you can 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.

For more info, VISIT THE SANDBOX PAGE.




INVISIBLE AGAIN!

The hit of the 2015 STAGES Festival, a freshly revised version of the new musical Invisible will be the third presentation in the new 3DT/NMI Concert Reading Series.

Invisible tells the story of two nerdy high school guys who decide to create a potion to make themselves popular, so they can go to prom with the school’s cheerleading twins.  But miraculously, the potion turns one of them invisible!  As you can image, that’s a good thing (ambush the bullies!) and a bad thing (but the twins can’t see you!)

Invisible features a driving, joyous score with humor that’s edgy and contemporary (but still family friendly!)  Book by David Hollingsworth, lyrics and music by David Orris.

The first presentation of Invisible will be Monday, June 6 at 8:00pm at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.  For reservations, CLICK HERE.

The second presentation will be at the 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall in Anaheim on Tuesday, June 7 at 8pm.  For reservations, CLICK HERE.


The 2015 STAGES Festival audience at 3D Theatricals.




A Teaser

Spoiler alert:  We’re producing twelve — count ’em twelve! — musicals in the Hollywood Fringe Festival.   They’re all short one-act musicals, which we’re grouping into four separate programs which you won’t want to miss.  They’re on a wild range of subjects, from the comic to the serious, and from the traditional to the fringe-y.  (Yes, yes, some of the shows are quite, um, uncensored.)  We’ll be announcing dates very shortly; we’re booking 21 performances at the Sacred Fools Theatre smack-dab in the heart of Fringe!

The shows headed for Hollywood are:

A Zombie, A Dragon, and A Vampire Who Sparkles - Maureen Borillo (Book); Dan Wessels (Music)
Chaturbate: The Musical - Christopher Edgar (Lyrics); Dan Margules (Book); David Jayden Anthony (Music)
Curses! - Sandy Shanin (Music); Harriet Belkin (Book & Lyrics, Curses!)
Feet First - Brad Beaver (Lyrics); Chris Smith (Book); Ross Plotkin (Music)
Fucked Up Fairytales - Grace Jasmine (Book and Lyrics); David Jayden Anthony (Music)
Hollywood Forever - Ross Kallling (Music); Robin Share (Book and Lyrics)
Kantata Koffee Kompany - John Piraino (Book and Lyrics); Jerry Ranger (Lyrics & Music)
Looks Aren’t Everything - John Sparks (Book & Lyrics); Ron Barnett (Music)
Lost Causes - Clifford J. Tasner (Music and Lyrics); Bryon Richards (Book)
Sybil’s Closet - Grace Jasmine (Book and Lyrics); Ross Plotkin (Music)
Thanksgiving in Ithaca - Joe Blodgett (Music); Mitch Glaser (Book and Lyrics)
The Wedding Night - Stephen Coleman (Music); Jana Hejdukova (Book); Keith Gordon (Lyrics)




SYBIL’S CLOSET

What’s hiding in your closet?


Book and Lyrics by Grace Jasmine, Music by Ross Plotkin
Sybil, a new age granny, and her uptight sister, Prudence are planning a bridge game—but they need replacements! Prudence wants to get that handsome new parson to come. Sybil wants to invite the interesting new woman next door—Betty. It turns out everyone has something to hide as Sybil bonds with Betty over tea and secrets are revealed. Will Prudence sit in judgment, will the parson be shocked? Anything can happen when you’re playing games.




NEW VOICES 2017

New Musicals Inc. is proud to announce that nine writing teams (with a total of 17 writers and composers) have been selected to participate in the 2017 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 fifth 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.

“We had a record number of submissions this year,” explains Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc., “and we are excited to be able to offer support to so many of these young and talented artists.”

All of the teams will receive workshops and feedback with NMI’s resident theatre ensemble, the Academy Repertory Company, and will then have excerpts of their work presented as part of the STAGES Festival of New Musicals this summer.

“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:

  • Amanda D’Archangelis and Anderson Cook
  • Ariel Mitchell and Edison Hong
  • Cristian Guerrero, Andrew Moorhead, and Steven Schmidt
  • Eliot Rhys and Oscar Jacques
  • Jackson Teeley
  • Jonathan Horn and Luke Davidson
  • Jude Obermüller and David Gomez
  • Marina Toft, David Lancelle
  • Oliver Houser

The public can see a selection of works from the New Voices Project as part of the STAGES Festival of New Musicals, currently scheduled to take place at the end of July, 2017.

“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:

Anderson Cook is a playwright and lyricist currently pursuing an MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University. His musicals have appeared at the PIT (NYC), the Reckless Theatre (NYC), the Boston Conservatory, and will appear next season at Dad’s Garage and in Stockholm, Sweden.

Amanda D’Archangelis is a New York based actress, composer, and performer currently in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Her music has been performed by The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, featured in the Musematch series at 54 Below, and in the NYMF song cycle, Outliers.

Ariel Mitchell has a BA in Playwriting (Music minor) from Brigham Young University and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing NYU. She was awarded the KCACTF Harold and Mimi Steinberg 2013 National Student Playwriting Award, and the 2011 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award.

Edison Hong, a New York and São Paulo based composer, is a proud recipient of the Richie Jackson Fellowship, and has been chosen for Prospect Theatre’s Musical Theatre Lab and the National Asian Artists Project’s Discover Series. He received his MFA at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU.

Cristian Guerrero is an LA based actor and writer who holds his B.F.A in Acting from Chapman University, is currently a teaching artist at Theatre 360 Performing Arts Academy in Pasadena, and Co-Artistic Director of his theatre company founded with Moorhead and Schmidt, play/ground theatre company.

Andrew Moorhead is an LA based writer, actor, and director whose original work has been produced at Berkeley Repertory Theater and The Actor’s Company in West Hollywood. He holds a BFA in screen-acting from Chapman University, and is currently the co-artistic director of play/ground theatre company (which he founded with Guerrero and Schmidt).

Steven Schmidt is a writer, musician, and educator from the Los Angeles area who has a BMA in arranging and composition from Azusa Pacific University, is the Music Director of play/ground theatre company in Hollywood, and currently teaches at the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and Balboa Magnate Elementary.

Eliot Rhys and Oscar Jacques are writing partners working out of Edinburgh known for their short films that have been finalists at festivals such as Edinburgh International Film Festival. Eliot is an award-winning composer, and Oscar is a veteran musical-theatre performer.

Jackson Teeley is a musical theatre writer and performer who currently lives in Brooklyn and is participating in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.

Luke Davidson is in his final semester at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY where he is studying to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. He has acted in a variety of roles and performed in numerous venues across Minnesota and areas of New York.

Jonathan Horn is set to graduate in May 2017 with two degrees – one in Theatre, and one in Music – from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN. He has served as an actor, director, musical director, and accompanist for productions in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and has released an album of piano music, including several original pieces.

David Gomez is a NYC based composer/lyricist, and librettist whose first mini-musical debuted at Joe’s Pub, and whose second musical was selected for a developmental lab through the Pace New Musicals program. Rumple, his newest musical with Jude, has been selected to debut in Kansas City in 2018 through MTKC.

Jude Obermüller recently won the Menken Remixed competition at City Center and had several works included in NYMF’s 2016 season. He is the music director/arranger for Frances Ruffelle and has provided several arrangements for Cynthia Erivo. Bardo, his musical webseries will be filmed and recorded this year in the UK.

Marina Toft is a lyricist and bookwriter who is currently an MFA candidate at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. With composer Benji Goldsmith, she was a 2016 New Voices Project finalist with NMI and Walt Disney Imagineering.

David Lancelle is a composer who is currently an MFA candidate at NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program. His 10-minute musical, The Qualms, was produced at Barrington Stage last summer.

Oliver Houser is an actor and musical theatre writer who is a recent graduate of the Macaulay Honors Program at Hunter College and is a member of ASCAP, MTF, and the Advanced BMI musical theater workshop.

For additional information on the New Voices Project, visit NMI’s website (www.nmi.org) or contact Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry at admin@nmi.org; 818.506.8500.




PRODUCTION B

Dames, Dicks & Butter Knives.  Adventures in noir.  Bekka, the brilliant secretary to a hapless Private Eye follows him on his search for a killer. Their journey leads them into the dark underbelly of 1940’s LA and into the thrall of a gorgeous songstress and a crime boss and his henchmen in this broadly comedic noir musical.  Book by Bryon Richards, music and lyrics by Clifford J. Tasner.  Starring Lauryn Michelle Downey, Jaq Galliano, Luke Klipp, Kerr Seth Lordygan, Chelsea Pope and Graydon Schlichter.  Directed by Allison Bibicoff, with music direction by Jan Roper, fight choreography by Andrew Joseph Perez, and stage management by Jerry A Blackburn.

Hollywood Forever.  Tinseltown Teens all grown up.  An accidental meeting of long-ago friends stirs up some buried memories of time together during the golden age of Hollywood.  Book & lyrics by Robin Share, music & lyrics by Ross Kalling.  Starring veteran performers Gwen Hillier and our very own Founding Director, John Sparks.  Directed by Jessica Snow Willson, with music direction by Jan Roper, and stage management by Jerry A Blackburn.

There’s an APP for That.  Looks aren’t everything!  After giving in to his son Jack’s insistence that he use a dating app to create a social life, Charlie proves more adept at technology than his son expects.  Charlie, impatient with his son’s itinerant dating style, turns the tables on Jack and uses the app to bring about a meeting between Jack and a young woman Charlie deems to be an appropriate match.  Book and Lyrics by John Sparks, Music by Ron Barnett.  Starring Elyse Bertani, Andy Goldenberg, Luke Klipp, Hayley Marshall, Suzanne Mayes, and Lloyd Pedersen.  Directed by Allison Bibicoff, with music direction by Jan Roper, and stage management by Jerry A Blackburn.

Production B’s performances:  June 9 at 9pm; June 11 at 3pm; June 15 at 11pm; June 22 at 9pm; and June 23 at 7:30pm.




A LITTLE NEW MUSIC

Love new musicals?  Then you’ll love…

A LITTLE NEW MUSIC

Monday, August 21, 8:30pm

Catalina Jazz Club

Discover your new favorite musical theater songs, before they become the stuff of Broadway legend!

TICKETS/INFO: ALittleNewMusic.org

“Bringing the best of new musical theatre to LA, one song at a time.” -LA WEEKLY




Elise’s Vlog

Face it: you want the response to your musical to be, “It’s greatI have no feedback.”

At the risk of putting ourselves out of business, NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry has launched a new monthly video blog called “How to Get NO Feedback from Elise”.   Its purpose is to guide writers to become self-sufficient and self-evaluating.

“Each month,” Elise says, “I plan to chat for a handful of minutes about topics that come up over and over again when I am giving feedback on drafts of new musicals. I’d like to think that if you keep these basics in mind while you are writing, you might be able to write a musical that would result in NO critical feedback from me!”

So if you want to put Elise out of a job, start watching her vlog.  Visit Elise’s Vlog HERE.





Evensong Services

Our monthly services.


NMI is hosting monthly “services” called EVENSONG, in which we gather together, kind of like a community church, to read and sing excerpts from musical theatre, both contemporary and from the Golden Age.  Imagine a service in which the Congregation is calling in response:  “The Internet is for Porn!” or all joining in singing My Favorite Things or Be My Guest, and you’ll have some idea of what Evensong is like.

“I’ve always said that musical theatre is like my religion,” said one new congregant, “and this confirms it.  It’s so great to hear a reading from our scriptures — that is, the writings of Stephen Sondheim — and to be able to sing along with our beloved songs.  It’s a wonderful, refreshing experience.  I come out of Evensong feeling rejuvenated!”

After the service, we gather for breaking of bread (well, tea with jam and bread), and share our thoughts about  musicals we’ve just seen or are working on.

We’ll often tie the service to some other presentation…for instance, our annual report from our artistic directors about what they saw at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Works in New York; or perhaps some live singers presenting a small concert, or perhaps joining together to watch an online musical.

Evensong is free and open to the public.  Please join us.  Our services are generally the first Saturday of the month, at 7:00pm, at our facility at 5628 Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood.  Upcoming services are scheduled for December 2nd, February 3rd, and March 3rd.  No reservations are required, but they’re useful so we know how much tea and jam and bread to prepare. (email us at admin@nmi.org)




15 MINUTE MUSICALS

We’re doing something we’ve never done before:  we’re presenting our annual 15 minute musicals as part of a festival.  These shows, you might recall, haven’t been written yet!  The first drafts are coming in this week.  We’re presenting the final drafts on June 21st and 23rd at the Broadwater Second Stage as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

These musicals are a decades-long tradition at the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and one of the hottest tickets in town. The 15 Minute Musical Project concludes each season of the Academy’s world-famous Core Curriculum of the writers’ workshop, which has been in existence for over 40 years. For the final project of the curriculum, composers, lyricists and bookwriters are put together on writing teams and are given eight short weeks to write, revise, and polish a brand-new musical written for actors whom they’ve never met before.

The seven musicals this year are split into two programs - PART ONE (four short musicals) and PART TWO (three short musicals). The Red Program (Part One) has four short musicals written by Deb Cohen, Linée Ferguson, Makena Metz, Kevin Mathie, Michael Mussman, Claire Partin, Angela Parrish, Jennifer Rosenfeld, Wayne Self, and Kat Zimmerman. The Blue Program (Part Two) has three short musicals written by Scott Kriloff, Rhonda Lageyre, Eliza-Jane Morris, Leslie Sloan, Clifford Tasner, Sissy Van Dyke, Melanie Watson, Peter Welkin, and Scott Wilkinson.

These seven shows are a wildly varied bunch of shows, ranging from comedic to tragic, including stories about bank robbers in the Wild West, an Amish couple, Tony the Tiger, a jilted nurse, ghosts of dead parents, some quarreling gallons of ice cream, and the chicken who crossed the road.

Performance dates:

Thursday, June 21st
Part One at 7:00pm
Part Two at 9:00pm

Saturday, June 23rd
Part Two at 1:00pm
Part One at 3:30pm

at the Broadwater Second Stage
6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood

Tickets are $15 (or see BOTH shows on one day for $25)

MAKE A RESERVATION




PITCH Boot Camp

You’ve written a great musical….now what?  How do you get producers to give your musical a look?  What do you need before you’re ready to approach producers and theatres?

NMI has created a special six-session Boot Camp is designed to get you up and running in about a month and a half.  (One session a week.)  You can complete the Boot Camp faster if you like…but not slower.  You can start any time you like, but once you do start, there’s no procrastinating.  New Musicals Inc.’s Executive Director Scott Guy will put your feet to the fire as you complete and polish the following, all of which you’ll want:

One-sentence elevator pitch
One-minute pique pitch
Five-minute hook pitch
logline
100 word synopsis
half-page synopsis
Wall-street paragraph pitch
song-synopsis (“record jacket”)
demographic description
query letter
authors’ bio

You’ll also get all the knowledge and materials you need to prepare:

a successful demo (how many songs? how well produced?)
logo/artwork
website to present your musical
legal protection/copyright
a targeted list of producers and theatres to approach
secondary targets:  festivals, workshops, contests
a timetable of your next steps

Here’s how it will work:

Session One:  Planning Ahead
This session is all online.  A pre-taped lecture, introducing you to the syllabus, the worksheets, and a list of things to do/write before your next session.

Session Two:  Taking Stock
A one-on-one session with Scott (one hour via teleconference), going over your preliminary pitches and half-page synopsis.  Discussion about demographic and spin.  Goals and timetable for demo, website, launch of pitch campaign.

Session Three:  Polishing Materials
Teleconference (half hour) with Scott, discussing your 100-word synopsis, Wall Street synopsis, elevator pitch.  Review/reiterate your theme and demographic.

Session Four:  Practice Pitch
Pitch to Scott.  Tips, tricks, feedback.  The query letter.  Half-hour teleconference.

Session Five:  Marketing Campaign
One hour teleconference with Scott, reviewing timetable and targeted producers/theatres.  Realistic goals and next steps.  Final practice pitch.

Session Six:  Follow-Up
2-3 months after you’ve launched your campaign, you’ll have a follow-up half-hour teleconference with Scott to determine what’s working and what’s not; how are producers responding to you and your musical…what steps of your campaign warrant revising?

Regular price of $595 includes all six sessions, five teleconferences, handouts, worksheets and pre-taped lectures. Early Registrants for the BIZ OF THE BIZ Conference receive $100 off this price.

More info on our SUMMER BOOT CAMP page.




The Plot to Kill Charlie Chaplin

On Monday evening, February 11 at 8:00pm, NMI is hosting a reading of The Plot to Kill Charlie Chaplin.  It’s a “vaudeville based on true events,” which took place on board the yacht of William Randolph Hearst, involving Hearst’s mistress, Marion Davies, and rival studio heads, and three dead chorus girls.  Music by Kevin Mathie, book and lyrics by Scott Guy, featuring the actresses in the Academy Repertory Company, and a bunch of guest stars.  It runs about 90 minutes, and admission is free.

This is a sloppy first draft; the authors are looking at the material for the first time, so they’re hoping you can point out things which are unclear, redundant, or redundant.

RSVP, please to admin@nmi.org, so we have a sense of the number of chairs to set up.

Thanks.




The Bully Problem — ecstatic reviews at the Fringe

The Bully Problem sold every single seat of its run at the Broadwater Mainstage during the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  And deservedly so!   Did you read the reviews!!?  We include some reviews in this article, and some of a seemingly infinite number more at the end of this newsletter.

The Bully Problem was developed at NMI through the “Sandbox” program, and went on to win NMI’s Search for New Musicals.

Fresh off showcasing at the prestigious ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, NMI’s own Michael Gordon Shapiro’s  The Bully Problem, tells the story of 14-year-old whiz kid Kevin Dijkstra as he yearns to escape his bully-infested school for an elite tech academy. But when he inherits a (mostly) functional android bodyguard, he’s able to turn the tables on the local bully population!

Even before Fringe, the show has already earned accolades. Out of hundreds of submissions to theatre legend Stephen Schwartz’ Musical Theatre Workshop, writer, composer and Fringe veteran Michael Gordon Shapiro was honored to have his newest work as one of two selected for the 2018 Los Angeles program. Not long after, he was awarded first prize in NMI’s 2018 Search for New Musicals.

“Growing up, I was one of the smart kids who were too easily pushed around,” Shapiro said. “Years later this led me to the idea of a musical about outsmarting the bad guys through technology. Bullying being such a grim and ever-present topic, I felt that a fun adventure musical set in a larger-than-life universe was a great medium for making this kind of story accessible and emotionally resonant. Also, I like robots.”

The Bully Problem was fortunate to be directed and choreographed by Fringe award-winner Joanna Syiek (The Pokemusical, Giraffenstein, Merely Players), music directed by Jennifer Lin, and stage managed by Jenn Dupre. The sizeable cast was made up of Adam Foster Ballard, Melvin Biteng, Clint Blakely, Tianna Cohen, Allie Costa, James Everts, Josh Hillinger, Casey Hunter, Andrew Landecker, Malissa Marlow, Hallie Mayer, Jordan Mitchell-Love, Jayna Sweet, Socks Whitmore, and Frankie Zabilka,

The Bully Problem garnered many awards and nominations including:

AN OFFICIAL 2019 COMBINED ARTFORM “PICK OF THE FRINGE” SELECTION!

WINNER! 2019 ENCORE PRODUCER’S AWARD

NOMINATED FOR SEVEN 2019 HOLLYWOOD FRINGE AWARDS:
Top of the Fringe
Fringe First
Fringe Award for Musicals and Opera
Fight the Power Award (Chatter Productions)
No Room in the Green Room Award (MB Stage Productions)
ShoWorks Don’t Wait. Create! Award (ShoWorks Entertainment)
Standout Song Award (For The Love Of Parody Productions)

TVolution.com Gold Medal Winner

And here’s just a sample of the boffo reviews The Bully Problem received.

“This is definitely one of the best musicals we have ever seen at Fringe.” 
- Bob Leggett, Indie Voice Blog

“So far, this is my favorite musical to come out of Hollywood Fringe this year.”
- Monique LeBleu, Better-Lemons.com

“Very Highly Recommended”
- GiaOnTheMove.com

“I am delighted I checked this show out. With certainty I recommend The Bully Problem.”
- Mike Reyes, mike-check.com


The cast of THE BULLY PROBLEM




Elise stars in “Mother’s Mothers’ Day”

We had a wonderful time producing Elise Dewbserry in “Mother’s Mothers’ Day” — a one-woman musical about Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mothers’ Day, who spent the rest of her life trying to destroy the holiday because of its over-commercialization.

We presented it for one performance only as a fundraiser for NMI at the Fringe.  Our own Executive Director, Scott Guy, wrote it as a star vehicle for Elise, and did she ever star!  Elise played both the mother and daughter characters, as well as President Woodrow Wilson, and John Valentine, the first president of FTD (the floral company which makes over a billion dollars on flowers each Mothers’ Day, much to Anna’s horror).  “There’s an amazing scene in which all four characters are feuding with each other all at once,” says Elise, “I had a blast playing them all!”

“Elise came to me saying ‘I want you to write this musical for me.’ ” says Scott.  “And I initially thought there wasn’t much more to it than a woman grousing about commercialization of a holiday…but then I read that Anna Jarvis ended up in a sanatorium, thinking she was haunted by her deceased mother, and suddenly I thought there was much more to this musical than grousing!  It’s an exploration of the value of your life’s worth, told via the tortured mother-daughter relationship.  It’s funny, touching, and a little provocative too.”

The music is by American composer Amy Beach, a contemporary of Anna Jarvis.  The book includes some of Anna Jarvis’ original letters, and many imagined scenes between mother and daughter.

The audience mobbed Elise and Scott afterwards, urging them to find a way to stage an encore performance.  (Maybe.  Stay tuned.)

Here is some of what folks had to say about the performance:

“Brilliant. A tour de force. I was blown away. [Dewsberry] was Tony Award Winning worthy. Congratulations!!”

“Most striking about the show was Dewsberry’s ability to shift between roles almost instantly, allowing for quick rejoinders between characters with distinct body languages, voices and personalities. Period tunes added atmosphere and charm, and an underlying message offered a constructive suggestion as to how mothers can be sincerely celebrated without excess commercialism. The performance was unapologetically part fundraiser, but the panhandling moments were handled in-character and with endearing humor.”

“It was STUNNING work and carried all by a single brilliant actor. Two tables, one chair, a flower arrangement, and a picture frame. That was the set. GOOD. We needed the space to watch Elise command that space! I loved the seamless and yet striking transitions between characters, even a DUET sung distinctively by two different characters, AMAZING!! Elise Dewsberry is a force.”




Online Musical Theatre Writers Creative Summit

On February 15th and 22nd, New Musicals Inc. is hosting an online Creative Summit for musical theatre writers.  And what is an creative summit for musical theatre writers, you ask?

It’s an online forum where writers and composers (and producers) join together to create and try out new ideas for musicals, and to meet potential new collaborators.

At the beginning of the summit, we’ll all gather together in one big e-room, and then as the summit progresses, you’ll get a chance to duck in and out of breakout rooms, tasting ideas and speed-dating collaborators.

Between the sessions, you’ll “slow-date” at least one collaborator, nurturing a handful of ideas together, and then after the summit you’ll get a chance to work with at least two more collaborators.  NMI will be the matchmaker; you can be as shy as you like…we’ll find you someone to work with.

Where do the new ideas come from?

NMI’s Executive Director, Scott Guy, will guide you and then teach you the techniques he learned from his years in television working at Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC, etc.  He’ll show you how to weave multiple stories from a single nugget, and share a trunkful of techniques starting with a target theme or demographic to create characters, conflict, plots, and story arcs.

“These techniques work for contemporary shows as well as traditional and experimental,” says Scott.  “I’ll kickstart creative brainstorming sessions, and guide you and your new collaborators to explore from there.”

Participants in the Creative Summit can have these ideas.  It’s one of the perks of the summit — the ideas which burble up in the summit belong to everyone — they’re yours to use, free and clear.  (“This means,” says Scott, “that you should be looking for new ideas to come out of the Summit; if you’re not ready for someone to develop your own private idea, then you’ll want to keep those to yourself.  I’ve led a lot of these sessions, and many, many productions and collaborations have been born in them.  Come join us!”

You can participate in the Creative Summit from anywhere; it’s all online.  All you need is a webcam and an internet connection.

The cost for the Creative Summit on February 15 and 22 is $125.  The deadline to sign up is February 5, 2020.

To sign up for the summit CLICK HERE




The Work Continues!

One of the key phases of developing a musical is a reading…not yet in a theatre, but live, in front of an audience.  Well, we’re still doing the live readings — we’ve done two of them in the past 20 days.  It’s just our audience is watching from home, not from the new comfy seats we just bought for them.

We read/sang through the second draft of “The Lake” by Stephen Coleman, Jana Hejdukova, and Keith Dale Gordon as well as the current draft of “The Foursight Saga” by Wayne Self and Scott Wilkinson.

We are also currently putting together future virtual readings for NMI writer members Claire Partin, Kat Zimmerman, Jan Roper, Joel Bailey, and Patricia Zehentmayr.

Here are some of their thoughts about the value of continuing the development work through these times:

“As a physician, I have been asked to work on the front line of the Corona pandemic. It has been a difficult time from the standpoint of running a medical practice, and watching so much illness and death. Working with NMI to do a virtual reading for a show we have been working on, was like receiving a nice dose of oxygen for the soul. The arts are so important in a time of crisis..”

~~ Dr. Scott Wilkinson, Surgeon and Composer, Detroit, Michigan

 

“Kat and Claire are excited to see act one of our musical Heartland read for NMI, whether virtually or in person. Having the reading online provides more, not fewer, opportunities to develop our piece.   We are grateful NMI is ahead of the curve having successfully used the Zoom online platform in their classrooms.  The romantic leads from “Bundled Together,” the original 15 minute version from 2018, are now a couple living together in NYC and available to pre-record songs and read the roles, whereas they couldn’t have participated were this in-person.  We are honored to have an excellent cast eager to participate in the online reading.  This virtual reading of Heartland is a great chance to connect with the NMI community and further our piece in the middle of a pandemic.”

~~ Claire Partin and Kat Zimmerman, Los Angeles




KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – six short musicals about separation

At the end of every season for nearly 25 years, we’ve produced an evening of fifteen-minute musicals.  It’s our annual final project for the writers who have been taking the Core Curriculum writers’ workshop since September.

We’re not going to be able to produce this year’s 15-minute musicals in a theatre.  And it’s breaking our hearts.

But wait! Not so fast.  Here’s what we’re doing.  For three of this year’s shows, we’re filming the musicals in our greenscreen studio, and we’re going to make it LOOK like we shot them in a theatre.  Whhaaat!?  That’s right.  We’ve given our Main Hall a makeover just for the occasion, and we think we’re going to pull off some good ol’-fashioned theatre magic.  The show must go on!

For three other 15-minute shows, the writers have adapted their original concepts to take place in cyberspace — so that’s where we’ll be shooting them!  There’s a Zoom wedding, an online dating service, and a separated family e-gathering for the first time in a long time.

These shows were going to be presented next month at the Broadwater Theatre in Hollywood for $25 a ticket.  But, thanks to some generous help from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (for their special project called Restarting Community Business with Live Theaters Headquartered in Council District 2), we’ll be able to make those performances available for free.  (Don’t despair; we’ll give you an opportunity to make a donation if you wish.)

“I’m so grateful for this grant,” says Elise Dewsberry.  “The DCA asked for proposals from L.A. theatres to see whether anyone could possibly adapt their July/August performances to take place online, and we’re honored to have been chosen.  Fortunately, the writers have been able to pivot very quickly, and were able to choose which pathway they wanted their musical to take:  an online Zoomsical, or in our modified theatre space at NMI.  It’s actually very exciting to see everyone coming together like this.”

The three musicals being shot at NMI are:

The Traitor. Book and Lyrics by Stephen K. Nolly, Music by Ron Barnett. Set in a dystopian post-Covid future in which touching has become outlawed and even insurrectionistic. We’re in a prison cell, in which an interrogator is trying to get two of the prisoners to turn on the third…any two…so long as someone’s found guilty. It has a dramatic, almost operatic score.

A View from the Moon. Book by Richard Holland, Music by Ben Ginsberg, Lyrics by Stacey Weingarten. Set in a tropical paradise, in which a Covid-stranded couple has run out of money, and an entitled rich woman thinks she can buy their gratitude and the affection of the hotel proprietor. This is a bittersweet, aching romance.

I Need Space. Book and Music by Sergei Stern, Lyrics by Jordan Toopes. Poor Andrey…he’s scheduled to leave on a flight for Mars in two hours, but fear of germs and sudden lack of toilet paper confines him to a bathroom, to the eternal horror of his roommates who have been trying to get rid of him for months. Can the unscrupulous Toilet Paper Blackmarketeer save the day?

Directed by Scott Guy. Music Direction by Ron Barnett. Ensemble: Ashley Felkner, Casey Hunter, Jordan Mitchell-Love, and Lindsay Zana.

The online zoomsicals, directed and choreographed by Studio C’s Johnny Coppola are:

Close (But Not Too Close). Book by Paloma Sierra, Music by Dusty Sanders, Lyrics by Julia Koyfman. Too nervous to meet that special someone in person just yet? Why not try “CloseButNotTooClose.com” where you can check out the person of your dreams online. But watch out for scammers who may be looking for something other than love!  A charming intimate musical featuring Taji Coleman, Jesimiel Jenkins, Tonoccus McClain, and Katherine Washington.

A Perfect Wedding. Book by Nicola Scott, Music and Lyrics by Laura Watkins. How can a mother give her daughter the perfect wedding that she never got to have when COVID forces everyone and everything to cancel at the last second?  This wry, sweet musical features Judi Domroy, Marcello Padillo, Lelia Symington, and Luke Wall.

Breakout. Book by Lalit Sritara, Music by Evan Johnson, Lyrics by Kellan Meador.  Siblings Jean and Jake are finding it extremely difficult to move on with their lives when divorced Mom and Dad are still openly feuding. One family Zoom session probably can’t make up for all the lost time, but can it at least help find a path forward?  This contemporary no-holds-barred musical features Wilson Bell, Carrie Lynn Certa, Camden Espino, and Socks Whitmore.

See you opening night!


Screenshots from virtual rehearsals for this year's 15 Minute Musicals




The NOW Campaign; and the AMPLIFY program: a message from the President of our Board

Hello!  I am John Mitchell, President of the Board of Directors for New Musicals Inc.  I hope that you will all be joining us for our streaming events on October 10th and 11th. In ordinary times, we would be in a theatre, waiting for the house lights to dim, surrounded by other patrons, the excitement of a live performance energizing the air in the room.  For these events, and for our other internet musical offerings, we will be in the comfort of our own homes, enjoying the work of our fine writers, composers, lyricists, and actors.  Clearly these are not ordinary times.

Looking across the landscape of the world, we see how many things have changed.  We wear masks, we socially distance, we are constantly washing our hands and avoiding crowds.  There are political movements, social movements, protests, and a challenge to redefine the organizations we have known for so long.  We are all called in this hour to answer in one way or another.  And recently, NMI issued a statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.  But we also felt a call to action as well as words.  We have created a new program and I am excited tonight to tell you a little more about it.

Amplify is a program for writers whose voices are all too frequently ignored by mainstream theatre.  We’re hoping to create an environment in which working professionals collaborate with writers looking to break through, as they create new pieces and new visions.  This is a natural extension of what NMI has been doing for so many years and allows us to expand our reach into the larger community for all of our programs.  Our initial season has begun already, by concentrating on black writers working with black mentors; and we’re already looking to our second season in which we expand our focus to include Latinx writers, and subsequent seasons in which we’re amplifying all kinds of voices through musical theatre.

To fund this program, as well as several others you will hear about tonight, we have launched our most aggressive fundraising campaign in the history of NMI.  The NOW Campaign is a five-year initiative to fund new programming, reach new audiences and celebrate our history while securing our future.  We invite you to become a charter member of our NOW Campaign and come along with us as we redefine and expand the place of the great American musical in our culture and history.

We are at a crossroads in the theatre industry and with your help and support, we can redefine what the road ahead looks like.

FIND OUT MORE


NMI's President, John Mitchell, introduces two exciting new campaigns.




FORKS IN THE ROAD – sold out run

Cast members David Crane, Conchita Belisle Newman, Shannon Martinous, and Louis Silvers.


Congratulations to our 18 Core writers and all the folks involved in presenting their 15-minute musicals!  Forks in the Road: seven short musicals about life-changing moments was completely sold out for every exciting performance at the Lonny Chapman Theatre last month.  We added a performance to accommodate everyone, and even still there were some folks left standing.

“We’re especially proud of the shows this year,” says NMI’s Executive Director, Scott Guy,” All of the shows were interesting gems of musical theatre, and the evening was extremely varied, from goofy farce to very serious.  A great evening!”

The seven shows were split between two separate production teams:

Fork You! by Lucy Wang, Molly Siskin, and Shawn Ryan
Can I Help You Out? by Weston Scott, Laura Wardrip, and David Rackoff
End of the Line by Howard Ho, Kristen Rea, and Chris Edgar

Starring: David Crane, Shannon Martinous, Conchita Belisle-Newman, and Louis Silvers

Directed by Scott Guy
Music Directed by Ron Barnett
Choreographed by Noel Britton
Stage Managed by Rita Cannon

Have A Nice Trip by Dan Margules, Raphael Nemes, and Marissa Kochanski
Margot’s Blessing by Lori Ada Jaroslow and Morgan Hollingsworth
Half Off by Rich Cook and Jeff King
Queen Hamembsheput Says What? by Danielle Roderick, Sahara Sunday Spain, and Mitchell Glaser

Starring: Melvin Biteng, J. Bailey Burcham, Elise Dewsberry, and Emma Sperka

Directed by John Coppola
Music Directed by Ross Kalling
Stage Managed by Angel Hernandez

The annual 15 Minute Musicals are the culmination of the Core Curriculum.  To find out about the program now enrolling for 2015-16, visit the Core Curriculum page.

To check out more pictures - and pictures and info from past incarnations of the 15 Minute Musicals, check out the 15 MINUTE MUSICALS HIGHLIGHTS page.


Cast members J. Bailey Burcham, Melvin Biteng, Emma Sperka, and Elise Dewsberry.




NMI Alum at the Fringe

Congrats to NMI alum who made a splash in the recent Hollywood Fringe Festival!

Erik Przytulski (Core 2012):  Erik’s show Alien vs. Musical won a bunch of Fringe awards!  The show was nomination for ten awards, and won “Best World Premiere Production”, “Outstanding Songwriting”, and “The Encore! Producers Award”. For more info on the show, visit ALIEN VS. MUSICAL.

Ben Boquist (Core 2013) got great reviews for his new musical The Songs of the Fall.  The show was chosen for an Encore performance, and Ben was nominated for the Inkwell Playwright Promise Award. For more info on the show, check out their FACEBOOK PAGE.

Bryan Blaskie (Core 2012) won kudos for his new musical Assistants the Musical; which was awarded “Best Full Length Musical of the Fringe” by StageSceneLa, and was extended  for extra performances. For more info on the show, check out their FRINGE PAGE.




Want to Get Involved? (We could use your help.)

Do you get a charge out of seeing all the exciting stuff we do at New Musicals Inc.?  Do you wish you could help, say, helping out with an event, or being on an advisory committee, or maybe serving on the Board of Directors?  Whether you have a little bit of time or a lot, there’s a place for you at NMI.  We’re working 15 hour days, and there’s still more we’d love to be doing.  We COULD do more, if we had a little help. Come join us. Help us help musical theatre.

Drop us an email at admin@nmi.org and let us know what areas interest you, and we’ll find the right spot for you!




SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

Have you written a great new musical, and are you looking for feedback and/or an opportunity for a concert reading? Don’t miss the July 15 deadline for the annual Search for New Musicals at New Musicals Inc.

The Search for New Musicals accepts entrants from around the globe; winners receive awards worth up to $25,000 in workshop productions, concert readings, feedback, and developmental support.

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Search,” says Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of NMI. “We love seeing what writers are creating; and of course our mission is to nurture the folks who are writing musicals, so I’m am looking forward to seeing what submissions we will get this season.”

Established in 2008, the Search for New Musicals has awarded concert readings and/or workshops to twenty promising new musicals including Off the Wall by Sarah Rebell and Danny Absoch; Invisible by David Hollingsworth and David Orris; The Anarchist Girl by J. Linn Allen and Cris Wo; It Happened in Roswell by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal; The Looking Glass Wars by by Kurt Kuenne, based on the novel by Frank Beddor; Infamous by Karen M. Cohen and Stephen Kingsbury; Mad Bomber by Charles Monagan and Richard de Rosa; Emerald by Chris Burgess and Denise Wright; Chapter Eleven by Stephen Telfer;Gilbert & Sullivan on Wall Street by Charles Veley; The Water by Georgia Stitt, Jeff Hylton, and Tim Werenko; Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, Jr., Chris Budinich, Diana Belkowski, Dan Tramon, and Carl Anthony Tramon; Girl Detective by Alan Gordon and Mark Sutton-Smith; Greenbrier Ghost by Susan Murray and Clay Zambo; The Next Fairy Tale by Brian Pugach; and Life After Life by Tracey Langran Corea and Thaddeus Corea.

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 to workshop to concert reading.

The submission deadline this season is July 15, 2015. All submissions will receive either an audio Overview Evaluation or an audio/video Detailed Analysis. The winner of the 2015 Search will be announced by November 15, and will receive a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and will be given a concert reading in Los Angeles.

Writers can submit their shows electronically via NMI’s website, or submit materials by mail after completing an online submission form.

SUBMIT YOUR MUSICAL


IT HAPPENED IN ROSWELL, winner of the 2014 Search, received a developmental production in the summer of 2015 at the NoHo Arts Center.




NEW TALENT BANK

The Talent Bank is a resource of musical theatre performers in the Los Angeles area.  For the last eight years, we’ve hosted it at the website of the Academy for New Musical Theatre.

Now that we have our new website - we’ve launched a spiffy new and improved version of the Talent Bank at the New Musicals Inc. website.  You can still see a gallery of musical theatre performers, but now you can filter the listings by various parameters such as height, hair color, ethnicity, sight-singing skills, union affiliation, etc.

The Talent Bank is free; it’s one of our ways to help our community of producers connect with our giant pool of performers.  Producers can view the array of possible performers, as well as post their audition notices.

Performers can join the Talent Bank listings for free, and can upload a picture, resume information, and link to audio and video samples of their work.  Visitors to the Talent Bank (like producers, directors, casting directors, writers) can send messages to Talent Bank participants, but the actual personal contact information is kept private.

VISIT THE NEW TALENT BANK HERE





THE 15 MINUTE MUSICALS

Last year's theme was "Forks in the Road" -- what will it be THIS year?


Save the dates:  Next month we launch the 2016 15 Minute Musicals - the culmination of our famed Core Curriculum.  This year’s shows will take place on June 20 and 21 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre.

Shhh…we can’t tell you this year’s theme, because the writers won’t learn that until the very first day of writing, April 3.  On that day, they’ll be matched with their collaborators, they’ll learn the theme, the parameters and their director.  Then 24 hour hours later, their first outlines are due, and we fire the confetti cannons…the 15 Minute Musicals have begun!

These shows are traditionally our most popular tickets, and we expect we’ll once again sell out.  So mark your calendars, and prepare to pounce as soon as tickets go on sale, probably around May 1st.  Stay tuned!

For more pictures, and info on past 15 Minute Musicals, CLICK HERE.




A ZOMBIE, A DRAGON, AND A VAMPIRE WHO SPARKLES

Just another teen-angst-post-apocalyptic-fantasy-horror-in-a-role-playing-game musical love story.


Book by Maureen Borillo, Music and Lyrics by Dan Wessels
Ginny is determined to date the cutest guy in school. She’ll do anything to impress him, even if it means playing along in his nerdy world filled with zombies and dragons.




PRODUCTION C

Awarded Pick of the Fringe!

Thanksgiving in Ithaca.  A modern reimagining of the last 15 minutes of Homer’s Odyssey: Odysseus has been missing in action for a decade since the end of the war. His greedy relatives pressure his wife Penelope to declare him dead so they can carve up his estate like a thanksgiving turkey. But the Goddess Athena has other plans.  Book and lyrics by Mitch Glaser, music by Joe Blodgett.  Starring Heidi Elizabeth Appe, Amber Hurst Martin, Robert Leh, Shannon Martinous, Kila Packett, Pamela Welky Paul, Chandler Reed and Tedd Szeto.  Directed by Elise Dewsberry, with music direction by Emily Cohen, cello by Cameron Lloyd Stone, and stage management by Morgan Aiken.


Curses!  “Curses” is a hilarious musical fable about the shocking things that befall the residents of Retchitza, a Russian Shtetl in 1900 when Gittle arrives in town and curses everyone who irritates her. She was imported to marry an uneducated slob of a wagon driver. You might curse too if you had to marry him. But she’s no bargain either.  Book and lyrics by Harriet Belkin, music by Sandy Shanin.  Based on a short story by Norman Belkin.  Starring Toni-Lynn Chaco, Kelly Couglin, Patrick Geringer, Orlando Perez, Lia Peros and Tedd Szeto.   Directed by Elise Dewsberry, with music direction by Emily Cohen, cello by Cameron Lloyd Stone, and stage management by Morgan Aiken.

The Wedding Night.  Based on a traditional Czech poem.  A girl was engaged to a young man who was drafted into the army. After not hearing from him in over a year, the girl desperately prays to the Virgin Mary, saying that she will do “anything” to have him back. Just then, there is a knock on the door, she opens the door, and it is her fiance! Or is it?!?  Book by Jana Hejdukova, music by Stephen Coleman, lyrics by Keith Dale Gordon   Starring Luke David Carlsen, Jordan Darin Erickson, Katie Hume, and Randle Rankin.  Directed by Joshua Finkel, with music direction by Emily Cohen, cello by Cameron Lloyd Stone, and stage management by Morgan Aiken.

Production C’s performances:  June 10 at 7pm; June 14 at 9pm; June 15 at 7:30pm; June 18 at 3pm; June 23 at 9pm.




Your formatting can hurt your musical

We see a lot of really messy scripts out there, formatted rather haphazardly, or in screenplay or TV formats…which really hurts a writer’s chances to be taken seriously.  So we’ve been working on a series of videos about how to format a musical theatre script and score.

“It’s a lot more complicated than you might think,” says Scott Guy, our indefatigable format guru (okay, anal-retentive), “There are several ‘standard’ formats out there, all of which are good…but there are some SUB-standard formats out there which will flag you as someone who doesn’t yet know what you’re doing…and that’s not good, right?”

ANMT’s standards are based on the very traditional guidelines formulated by Samuel French. We don’t recommend using the musical theatre templates which come with various word processing softwares, as they tend to be incomplete and might flag you as not-as-professional-as-the-other-writers.

A manuscript prepared according to our guidelines will look professional when you submit it to producers and theatres, and it will enable actors, directors, music directors (etc.) to be able to rehearse your show efficiently and accurately.

Take a look at Scott’s series of friendly, helpful videos on formatting.  You’ll want to visit them on NMI’s new Insider Tips and Advicevideo page.





SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

Have you written a great new musical, and are you looking for feedback and/or an opportunity for a concert reading? Don’t miss the July 15 deadline for the 11th annual Search for New Musicals at New Musicals Inc.

The Search for New Musicals accepts entrants from around the globe; winners receive awards worth up to $25,000 in workshop productions, concert readings, feedback, and developmental support.

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Search,” says Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of NMI. “We love seeing what writers are creating; and of course our mission is to nurture the folks who are writing musicals, so I’m am looking forward to seeing what submissions we will get this season.”

The winners of the 2017 Search were Cristian Guerrero, Andrew Moorehead, and Steven Schmidt. Their new musical BRAVO received a workshop with NMI’s Academy Repertory Company and is currently being revised for a concert reading as part of the 2018 BIZ of the MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference (July 28th, 2018).

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 to workshop to concert reading.

The submission deadline this season is July 15, 2018. All submissions will receive either an audio Overview Evaluation or an audio/video Detailed Analysis. The winner of the 2018 Search will be announced by November 15, and will receive a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and will be given a concert reading in Los Angeles.

Writers can submit their shows electronically via NMI’s website, or submit materials by mail after completing an online submission form.

SUBMIT YOUR MUSICAL




SUMMER BOOT CAMP

NMI’s Summer Musical Theatre Boot Camp is a series of workshops, lectures, and practicums designed to give participants a chance to work quickly over a concentrated six week period.  It’s also a great place to check us out before committing to our full curriculum in the fall.

The 2018 Boot Camp will take place between July 7 and August 12 2018.  We have already announced a few courses (see below) - and over the next few months,  more courses will be added - so check back often!

For more info about each course - and to make a reservation - visit the BOOT CAMP page.

==========================================

OUTLINING LAB

Instructor: Elise Dewsberry
Six Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 10pm
July 11, 18, 25, and August 1, 8, and 15
Course Fee: $395

 

================================================

OUTLINE to ROUGH DRAFT

Instructor: John Sparks
Six Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 10pm
July 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 7 and 14
Course Fee: $295 (per team)

================================================

BOOK LAB

Instructor: Elise Dewsberry
Six Monday evenings from 7pm to 10pm
July 9, 16, 23, 30, and August 6, and 13
Course Fee: $395 (discounted from the regular online fee of $595)

==========================================

GENRES & STYLES for COMPOSERS

Instructor: Jake Anthony
Two Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 10:00pm
July 18 & 25
Course Fee: $150

==========================================

A SUBJECTIVE HISTORY OF MUSICAL THEATRE
A lecture in two parts.

PART ONE: Wednesday, August 1 (7:30pm to 9:30pm) OR
Saturday, August 4 (10:00am to 12:00pm)
PART TWO: Thursday, August 2 (7:30pm to 9:30pm) OR Saturday, August 4 (1:00pm to 3:00pm)
Course Fee: $25 per part (OR purchase Part One AND Part Two for $40)

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The PITCH Boot Camp with Scott Guy

(see longer article in this newsletter)

==========================================

GETTING YOUR ACT TOGETHER – BUILD AND PERFORM YOUR OWN CABARET SET

Instructors: Joshua Finkel and Jake Anthony
Five Monday evenings from 7pm to 10:30pm
July 9, 16, 23, 30, and August 6
plus one 30 minute private session at Joshua’s Studio between weeks 4-5
Course Fee: $450

==========================================

TUESDAYS WITH JOSH AND JAKE

Instructors: Joshua Finkel and Jake Anthony
Five Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
July 10, 17, 24, 31, and August 7
Course Fee: $100 per evening, or $450 for all five

Session 1: MASTERING SINGING IN DIFFERENT GENRES AND STYLES (Legit, Pop, Jazz, and Country)
Session 2: NAILING THE CALLBACK
Session 3: MASTERING THE ELEMENTS OF COMEDY
Session 4: SAFELY SING LIKE A ROCK STAR!
Session 5: SINGING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION

======================================================

For more info about each course - and to make a reservation - visit the BOOT CAMP page.

 




More Reviews for Manson’s Girls

We got so many GREAT reviews for last summer’s production of Manson’s Girls - we just had to share a few more with you!


“I loved all the music and the actors were strong…enticing and scary at the same time.”

“Brilliant show. Great approach to a somewhat taboo subject… It’s written very well, music and lyrics are incredible. Hardly noticed 90 minutes flew by. .. When everyone on stage was singing together it was electrifying…Cast is top notch. Well done. I hope it goes beyond this festival.”

“Manson’s Girls is a chilling story made all too human through a fantastic production. Each of the women are clearly defined and instantly relatable; the actresses excel in their performances. Charles Manson’s menacing presence, while not always on stage, is apparent in each of their doting eyes. The well-rounded and beautiful score is full of thought-provoking lyrics, even the cheeky song-and-dance number “Help Yourself.” The production is an absolutely fascinating and remarkable exploration into what it means to lose one’s identity in someone else.”


Troy Armand Barbosa and Christine Anatone in a scene from MANSON'S GIRLS




“A Dozen Roses” for a $20 contribution

If you missed Elise in the Mother’s Mothers’ Day fundraiser, but you’d still like to support NMI with a small donation, please consider buying A Dozen Roses, a concert album available for $20.  In one of the funniest moments of the show, one of Elise’s characters actually comes out into the audience to sell Dropcard versions of the concert, only to have them snatched back by the lead character, who is so upset by such rampant commercialization.  But you, you don’t think of it as commercialization, do you?  It’s a way to support NMI.

A Dozen Roses is a concert of twelve songs written by American female composer Amy Beach in the 19th-century.  Elise recorded them in the character of Ann Reeves Jarvis, a Southern Belle/diva (and the mother of the woman who actually founded Mother’s Day).  We’ve released them on a Dropcard, so that you might help us raise some vital funds for NMI.  In the words of Mother Jarvis:  “Amy Beach!  Support female composers rah!”

You may purchase a Dropcard for $20 at this link (where you can then hear the concert):

http://www.nmi.org/mothers-mothers-day

Thank you.




Hell’s Kitty — from Amazon Prime Video to Fringe!

We had a purrfectly great time producing Hell’s Kitty at Fringe this year…to screaming crowds, a wonderful artistic team, and shockingly great reviews.  Its author, Nicholas Tana, approached us about a year ago, saying he was thinking about writing a musical based on his hit internet series and Amazon Prime Video movie.  We gave it some workshpping help through the Academy Repertory Company in the fall and winter, and partnered with Smart Media LLC to produce one of the more fringey Fringe shows this season!

The result is HELL’S KITTY, a musicalized version of the hit Amazon Prime comedy horror movie about a Hollywood writer and his possessed pussycat.

It was inspiringly directed by Denis McCourt, music directed by Ron Barnett, and stage managed by Jessica Greenhoe.  Our wonderful cast included Joey Hunt as Nick, Isabel Caxide as Angel, Patrick Steward as Adam, Maeve Thompson Osgood as Lisa, and Jordan Knapp as Dr. Strode.Featured performers included Antoinette (Toni) Attell, Denise “The Oracle” Lyles-Cook, Elisa Janele Alpizar, Giane Morris, and Brian Snyder. Our sexy, crazy cat ensemble was comprised of Mellisa Carvajal, Sawyer Fuller, Elizabeth Frolich, Elisa Janelle Aplizar, and Lindsay Kate Ballif, with costume design by Michael Mullen, and a show-stopping star-turn by drag performer Miss BarbieQ as an over-reacting spurned girlfriend.

Here’s a small sample of the dazzling reviews we received for Hell’s Kitty:

“Good, campy fun, Hell’s Kitty is a horror comedy musical anchored by strong cast performances all round.”

“Absolutely delightful.”  (Haunting.net)

“The musical version of Hell’s Kitty successfully leans into the camp and silliness of the story with cat puns, over-the-top characters and accents, nods to horror films, and an ensemble of (human) felines meowing, hissing, and growling along.”  (Haunting.net)

“Exquisitely blends horror, camp, and cats. The strength and vitality of the cast is deeply entertaining and engaging, ”  (Haunting.net)

“A fun idea with lots of energy and commitment”

“The cast brought tremendous energy and commitment to the ensemble numbers, with fun choreography, prop work, and a funny “meowed” lyrical motif. Isabel Caxide as Angel the Cat, stole many scenes with small moments of charming feline business, alternating between affectionate engagement and total indifference, with surprisingly accurate growls of warning and discontent. Cats are often like this!”

“Fun and entertaining musical with a great comedic score.”

“An impressive performance with memorable songs, lyrics, and performances and a crazy cat ensemble that kept me watching, listening, purring the whole time. ”

“The show was hilarious. I felt it really moved quickly and kept me engaged.”

“Very funny. Loved the songs. Great acting, great singing,. Want to bring friends and see it again!”


The cast of HELL'S KITTY




New Voices Project 2020

New Musicals Inc. is proud to sponsor the eighth year of the New Voices Project, open to writers under 26 years of age.

We’re looking for writers in whom we see potential. We’re not pigeon-holing that potential: that is, we’re not looking for “Broadway musical” writers per se, or “ground-breaking” or “commercial” or “avant-garde”. We’re looking for writers who are exploring their voices through the blend of music and voice. The stronger your voice and vision are, the more likely we’re going to respond to your work. We’re not looking to buy new musicals … we’re searching for the new writers of tomorrow’s musical theatre stages.

We’re particularly interested in writers who submit as a collaborative team. Solo writers will certainly be considered on an equal footing as writing teams, but as musical theatre is such a collaborative art form, we encourage writers to submit to the New Voices Project as a team.  (NOTE:  At least ONE member of the team MUST be under 26 years of age.)

SUBMISSION TIMELINE

January 1, 2020: Submissions Open
February 15, 2020: Final Deadline for Submissions
March 1, 2020: New Voices Project Winners Announced

Submission material: Writers will be asked to submit a short biography and artistic statement from all team members.  Writers are encouraged to submit up to three selections, either from a single work, or separate works, for a total of a maximum of 20 minutes of material.  All submissions will be electronic: script/score submissions will be accepted in PDF format; demo/sound files will be accepted in MP3 format; and we will also accept links to YouTube or Vimeo video files.  The NMI staff will review all submissions and select the winning entries to move forward.

If your work is selected, we will invite you to take part in online and live workshops with musical theatre actors, music directors, directors, and dramaturgs. Your participation would come in two phases:

Initial phase: Professional actors will prepare and present your work in an in-house concert at NMI in April 2020.  Following the presentation, there will be an evaluation session with the NMI Staff and other industry professionals.

Second phase: Your revised work will be presented, again by professional actors, in the summer of 2020.

Although welcome to come to Los Angeles to participate in either or both phases, writers will be able to participate in all rehearsals and presentations via video-conferencing from anywhere in the world.

To submit, visit NMI’s Submissions Page page.


Music Director Bryan Blaskie and performers Jordan Kai Burnett and Daniel Stewart work on New Voices material for presentation.




15 Minute Musicals — Live? Or Online? Both!

NMI’s annual 15-Minute Musicals launched on April 5. Since Los Angeles is still in the middle of our government mandated “safer-at-home” orders, we decided to embrace the situation and assign the theme “Keep Your Distance”. We are also going forward with three possible scenarios: 1) present our musicals live at the Broadwater Theatre on July 14 and 15 as previously scheduled; 2) present the musicals at our own space in North Hollywood but film them rather than have a live audience; or 3) film all of the musicals with all the participants taking part from their own homes. Which of these scenarios goes forward will depend completely on how events unfold over the next few weeks as the shows are being written.

Our fabulously adaptive writing teams for this year’s 15 Minute Musicals are:

Stephen Nolly (book and lyrics) and Ron Barnett (music)

Lalit Sritara (book), Evan Johnson (music), and Kellan Meador (lyrics)

Sergei Stern (book and music), and Jordan Toopes (lyrics)

Paloma Sierra (book), Dusty Sanders (music), and Julia Koyfman (lyrics)

Nicola Scott (book), and Laura Watkins (music and lyrics)

Richard Holland (book), Ben Ginsberg (music), and Stacey Weingarten (lyrics)

Check back in a month to find out where and when these shows will be happening!


The launch of the 2018 15-Minute Musicals - which already included distance participants!




HOLLYWOOD FRINGE RE-IMAGINED

The GreenScreen set for FLY FLY FLY


A few months ago, we were expecting this week to include closing night of The Hollywood Fringe Festival, where we would be scooping up our fourth year in a row of top honors and sold-out performances, and jaw-dropping five-star reviews.  But, as you know by now, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is cancelled for 2020.

Cancel a festival?  Ha!  That won’t stop New Musicals Inc.

It’s been costly, and very very very challenging, but we’re about to bring you two amazing musicals which you would have seen at the festival, but now you can see on the digital screen of your choice.

United We Tweet is the story of a clown who holds the Highest Office in the Land (literally…a clown, complete with Bozo wig and red nose).  His favorite way to resolve disputes is…rock-paper-scissors…and nothing less than the fate of Texas is at stake.

With book and lyrics by B.K. Wells, music by Jane Wong; directed and choreographed by John Coppola, music directed by Ron Barnett; starring: Elise Dewsberry, Casey Hunter, Mindy Montavon, John David Wallis.

“Bringing this musical to the zoom format was a fun and amazing wild ride,” says director/choreographer Johnny Coppola, “Directing and choreographing on zoom was an exciting challenge that strengthened us all as artists. I love what we came up with - it looks and feels like a whole new genre!”

Another musical we were going to be presenting at Fringe is called Fly Fly Fly, with music, book and lyrics by Katie Brady.  It’s the story of a woman whose three kids suddenly all move on with their lives all at once, and the empty nest which confronts her and her husband as they contemplate the next stage of their lives.

Fly Fly Fly is directed by Megan Rees, music directed by Ron Barnett, and stars Troy Armand Barboza, Carissa Kriby, Lia Peros, Ryland Shelton, and Lindsay Zana.

Fly Fly Fly just didn’t want to be a Zoom musical.  It begged to look like it was taking place in a theatre.  But we weren’t able to film in a theatre these days.  So what to do, what to do?  Then Scott had the ambitious thought, “What if we shot it at NMI but made it look like we’d shot it in a theatre?”  Sounded good — except, we couldn’t bring in the actors all at the same time.

Undaunted, Scott said we could bring the actors, one-by-one, into our greenscreen studio, and then in post-production, we could make it look as though they’d all been in our space together.

But even that wasn’t enough for Scott.  He thought we could make it look not only as though the actors had been together, but that they’d been together in a theatre.  “We built a digital set,” explains Fly Fly Fly‘s line producer, Troy Armand Barboza. “We shot the actors individually, and then layered them into a digital set with fake curtains and Photoshop scenery. It’s a massive puzzle to edit together properly, but I’m really loving the challenge! I’m excited to see how seamless we can make it and can’t wait to share it.”

So — take that, Covid!  We’ll bring Hollywood Fringe Festival to you, even if you can’t come to us.  Watch for United We Tweet and Fly Fly Fly in the next few weeks, and tell us whether we’ve pulled it off….


Screen shots from the shoot for UNITED WE TWEET - now in editing




MUSICAL THEATRE FOR THE DEAF

We have been thrilled this season to work with Deaf actors in four very special episodes of our musical webseries, “Tales from a Darkening Wood.” After some initial workshops with Deaf West Theatre, our Executive Director, Scott Guy, studied ASL specifically to be able to work with these actors, to explore the artform of musical theatre for the Deaf.

We’re exploring whether we can create theatre which is equal in impact to hearing audiences as well as to Deaf community. The digital format is allowing us to put the Deaf actor front and center, speaking in storytelling sign-language, with a voice-over track for the hearing audience. We’re very excited by the possibilities of this merging of artforms.

Tales from a Darkening Wood features slightly spooky tales, enacted by storytellers in an enchanted wood.

This fall, we are the recipients of a grant from California Arts Council to produce a 12-minute episode featuring some of these actors, in a disturbing musical fable called, “Burning the Cradle.”

We’re releasing these ASL episodes weekly beginning this week,, at www.nmi.org/online.


Scott tells you about our online musicals, including special episodes featuring Deaf actors




RESOURCE FOR MUSICAL THEATRE WRITERS

We’ve been working very hard for about a year on a new service for writers.  It’s a rich resource center listing upcoming contests and workshop opportunities, as well as providing links to a comprehensive list of 700 producers and theatres who are looking for new musicals.  But wait, there’s still more.

One of the crown jewels in the resource center is a library of hundreds of free ideas and stories from the public domain which we’ve put on a recommendation list.  Plus, the library is filterable, so writers get the ability to search the library for genre (Comedy, drama, suspense, ghost story, fairy story, etc.). We’ve made annotations and recommendations for many of the works in the library, along with hints for ideas which we’ve read and think have some potential to become musicals.  We’ve been working on these annotations for a couple of years, and have finally released them in this brand-new resource center.

There’s a free version, which gives writers full access to everything in the center.  The filters and annotations are available to folks who subscribe.

VISIT THE NEW RESOURCE CENTER




OUR NEW LOOK

Just in time for our 2015 summer programming, NMI got a facelift with a new paint job celebrating our new name and logo.  Come visit us some time!

We also rent out our space for rehearsals, auditions, and classes.  For more info, visit our RENTAL OPPORTUNITIES page.





WORDS OF WISDOM FROM JOHN

Beginning on March 15 - our beloved Founding Director, John Sparks, will be penning an on-line blog for the musical theatre community.  It will be available through NMI’s website - www.nmi.org.  Here is a tease from John about what’s to come:

Coming March 15:  How Not To Write A Musical.  My new blog takes the point of view that no one really knows “how to,” so we have to sort of back into success by studying what others have done, comparing classic shows with current ones, and applying litcrit values to works from Showboat to Hamilton, and beyond.  You will read some short posts devoted to points of craft, and some longer ones devoted to critical analysis and musings.  Please join the discussions.  I look forward to your comments.

About John:  John Sparks 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 ofUrinetown; 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.




HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

Tinseltown Teens all grown up


Book and Lyrics by Robin Share, Music by Ross Kalling
An accidental meeting of long-ago friends stirs up some buried memories of time together during the golden age of Hollywood.




PRODUCTION D (the naughty ones!)

Production D is rated R.  Don’t bring the kids. All three shows are directed by Denis McCourt, with music direction by Kevin Mathie and stage management by Morgan Aiken.


Feet First. NYC roommates, Jace and Parkie, are planning a foot orgy with a few sailors in town on Fleet Week. Unfortunately, the footsteps at their door belong to Jace’s mother and his ex-boyfriend, whose unexpected arrival threatens to stomp on all their fun. Book by Chris Smith, music by Ross Plotkin, lyrics by Brad Beaver. Starring Elise Dewsberry, Anthon Michael Meyer, Frankie Rodriguez, and Matt Valle.


F**ed Up Fairy Tales. The Magic Bean bar in Fairy Tale Land has always been a haven for the dysfunctional characters who call it their home away from home. But when they come together to celebrate bar owners Jack and the Giant’s engagement–all hell breaks loose! Evil King Midas’ henchmen crash the party with new laws and vile threats. Will they fight the new regime? Can they save Fairy Tale Land? Only if they have an amazing plan and find a way to work together. Book and lyrics by Grace Jasmine, music by David Jayden Anthony. Starring David Epstein, Joey Hunt, Matt JJ Miller, Michael Steven Mraz, Lia Peros, Megan Rees, Tayla Jan Schaffner, James Braxton Sherrill, and Tyler Stouffer.

Chaturbate: the Musical!. Starry-eyed Broadway hopeful Laura London has a dirty little secret: To make ends meet, she takes it all off every night live on the internet. But when the producer of the family-friendly musical she’s auditioning for discovers her online command performances, Laura’s unwholesome double life threatens to end her stage career forever. Book by Dan Margules, music by David Jayden Anthony, lyrics by Chris Edgar. Starring Theodore Georgios Crosby, Mackayla Hill, Miatta Ade Lebile, Matt JJ Miller, Tamara Philbrick, Chandler Reed, and Richard Van Slyke.

Production D’s performances: June 10 at 8:30 pm; June 14 at 11:00 pm; June 15 at 6:00 pm; June 18 at 4:30 pm; June 23 at 11:00 pm.




Online Holiday Auction

It’s that most wonderful time of year again! NMI’s annual Online Holiday Auction will launch the day after Thanksgiving (November 24) and run until Sunday, December 10.

As usual, we will have lots of exciting items available for bidding including:

RESTAURANT GIFT CARDS:
$100 Gift Certificate for the Tam O’Shanter
$25 gift card for Il Capriccio on Vermont
$50 at any Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
$50 Gift Card for Boccacio’s Restaurant
$50 Gift Card for Casa Guadalajara Restaurant in Old Town San Diego
$50 Gift Card for The Landing Grill & Sushi Bar

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:
Script Evaluation from Elise Dewsberry
2 Career Coaching Sessions with iCadenza
4 Songwriting Lessons (30 minutes each) by Harriet Schock
One Hour of Private Coaching with Joshua Finkel
Singing Lessons – 5 hours of lessons with Terri Weiss
Tax Preparation

THEATRE TICKETS:
2 tickets at the Geffen Playhouse
2 Tickets to ALLEGIANCE at East West Players
2 Tickets to CRAZY FOR YOU at the Ahmanson Theatre
2 Tickets to LOVE NEVER DIES at the Pantages Theatre
2 Tickets to Musical Theatre West
2 Tickets to one performance at Center Theatre Group
2 Tickets to STOMP at the Pantages Theatre
2 Tickets to THE COLOR PURPLE at the Pantages
2 Tickets to the Ensemble Theatre Company
2 Tickets to the Pasadena Playhouse
2 Tickets to THREE LA Theatre Works Performances PLUS DVDs

SPORTS ITEMS:
2 Tickets to LA Kings Game and Kyle Clifford dog tag
Dodgers Tickets
Jeff Carter signed Canvas with COA
LA Kings Stanley Cup Photo-Dustin Brown

UNIQUE ITEMS:
Martian Chronicles signed poster by Ray Bradbury 43/175
James Taylor autographed Album
2 VIP Tickets to a Live Taping of Conan
San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park Adventure
VIP Warner Brothers Studio Tour

…and tons more!

Get a sneak peek of all the amazing stuff by visiting our ONLINE AUCTION PAGE (and use this same link beginning November 24 to make your bids!)





We’re looking for friends…

We’re looking for 100 new friends.  Would you be one?

Being a Friend of New Musicals Inc. means that you pledge $5 a month to help us create new musicals.  $5 a month.  (We know you’re tapped out; we get it — EVERYONE’s asking for money these days.  So we’re asking for only $5 a month.)

In the very immediate future, we would use your friendship to:

  • finish renovations of our Main Hall
  • become a broadcaster of internet musicals
  • produce musicals on a national scale
  • market 20 of the musicals we’ve developed in the past few seasons
  • expand our writers’ workshop (streamcasting; global outreach)

Will you help us?  Make a musical; make a difference.

BECOME A FRIEND TODAY!





Even more amazing reviews from “The Bully Problem”

Finally, we leave you with more glowing praise from audience members who saw The Bully Problem, because…well, we’re just gloating now….

“90 minutes flew by! Terrific show. Very enjoyable, with fun music and great talent and lots of energy!”

“Fantastic! This show was full of energy and exciting to watch! Beautifully written, choreographed, and executed. I loved everything about it!”

“This show was a lot of fun to watch! The energy of the show was fantastic. The actors really brought a lot of heart to their characters, and the message was relatable and full of hope. Great for kids to come see!”

“This is a must see musical! Refreshing, uplifting, and comical. Very entertaining from start to finish. I applaud the creator, the director, actors and all who took part in spreading this wonderful message.”

“This was a delightful show. Fun, well-paced, and impressively choreographed, with a good cast and and a story that clicked nicely and moved at a solid pace.”

“Loved the story line and that robot had such depth and great timing. I could totally see this coming to Broadway or Pantages.”

“Michael Shapiro’s musical is delightful and energetic. The cast is invigorated by Joanna Syiek’s precise and inventive direction and choreography. Jennifer Lin’s musical direction makes the wonderful score shine. There are many fantastic performances delivered by the cast, none more so than the work of Allie Costa and Jordan Mitchell-Love. Costa soars as both the adorkable love interest as well as the moral center of the show. Mitchell-Love’s gentle positivity and subtle humor as the artificial life form provides unexpected heart. This show has a great future.”





SEARCH for NEW MUSICALS – annual deadline

A concert workshop featuring one of the winners of NMI's Search for New Musicals


The annual deadline for submitting to NMI’s SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS is July 15, 2020.

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.




Dramaturgy is Virus-Proof

One thing at NMI that can go foward without change is our dramaturgical services. We are continuing to offer one-on-one dramaturgy sessions - although now they are ALL via Zoom instead of just many of them. And once again - writers are finding these sessions to be even more valuable than ever.

“Online dramaturgy sessions are incredibly important during this difficult, scary time. Our musical theatre creative community is, by nature, collaborative, and online sessions are a much-needed personal connection vital to the development of our projects. In addition, there is hope in the reminder that our projects are still relevant, still necessary, and still have a purpose. Sometimes it takes the feedback and support of another human to remind us of these truths. “

~~ Angela Parrish, composer, Los Angeles

“Working with Elise in our one-on-one dramaturgy sessions was a fantastic experience. Elise took me from rough to final draft of a full play in only a few months. Based on her insightful comments, I was able to visualize the work as it would appear on stage rather than just on paper, and I made changes that make the work more likely to be produced. I will continue to work with Elise for assistance with all my future theatre projects.”

~~ Sissy Van Dyke, bookwriter, New York

WHAT ABOUT YOUR MUSICAL?

Please do submit to our annual SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS. Writing teams with a new musical in development can submit for feedback at several different levels, and also get entered into a contest to win a workshop and concert reading in Los Angeles.  The submission deadline is July 15.

For more info about the SEARCH and other dramaturgical services, visit NMI’s Submission Page.


The annual deadline for the SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS is July 15, 2020




A MUSICAL FILM – WITH DEAF ACTORS

NMI is producing a 12-minute musical film starring onscreen Deaf actors, with hearing actors supplying the musical soundtrack.  We’re delighted and honored to announce that this activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

Burning the Cradle tells the story of a woodcutter and his wife, so desperate to have a child, they ignore their righteous upbringing and turn to dark magical forces, with terrible consequences.  Burning the Cradle, told entirely in sign language, is part of a musical internet series of spooky tales and stories of the slightly bizarre, called Tales From a Darkening Wood, developed and produced by New Musicals Inc.

To date, New Musicals Inc. has shot five short 6-minute episodes featuring solo Deaf actors — but Burning the Cradle is an expansion of the vision, in a longer format, and featuring multiple storytellers.

We passionately believe in the power of the combination of words and music to tell human stories, whatever the writer’s background.  Our mission is to help writers use the platform of musical theatre to say what they have to say, to tell their stories.  For the past decade, we have been aggressively launching programs to diversify our pool of writers (Asian-American initiatives with East West Players in 2006 and in 2016; Latinx initiative with the Latino Theatre Company in 2007, the Deaf community with DeafWest Theatre in 2016 and 2019; and most aggressively in 2020, with the recent episodes featuring solo Deaf actors in our videos).

“I actually learned sign language specifically for this project,” says NMI’s Executive Director Scott Guy, “Well — I’ve been studying it…I can’t say I’ve learned it…but at least I can communicate directly with the Deaf actors, and run rehearsals without an interpreter.  It’s very moving to me to be able to communicate, however haltingly, in ASL. Separately, of course, I hope that this film will create not only opportunities to compensate Deaf actors, but also to showcase their talent, and share it with a digital public.”

The film shoots later this year.  Please be on the lookout for our opening night of Burning the Cradle!


Deaf actor Josh Castille in an episode of NMI's "Tales from a Darkening Wood"




SO PROUDLY WE HAILED

We are thrilled to be the recipients of grants from the California Arts Council AND the Helen and Jose Colton Foundation to develop a musical webseries honoring veterans in their own words. Their combined generosity is allowing us to film the first six episodes of the series.

This project provides a vibrant record of veteran experiences, and through the creation of musical theatrical short films, participants and audience may experience more insight and understanding of the military experience. This project develops the creative expression of veterans and elevators their voices, narratives, and perspectives, giving them a platform to share their stories in a public forum.

Veteran participants work with an NMI mentor to create musically theatrical pieces of approximately 5-12 minutes. Each episode is developed, rehearsed, filmed, and edited, and then distributed free on the internet.

We have completed an initial call for submissions, by reaching out to additional veterans/organizations such as the United States Veterans Artists’ Alliance; Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative (at USC); Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families; The Soldiers Project; and others.

The pair of grants has allowed us to put together an amazing team of veterans to help with the project: Melissa Milich, Artistic Ambassador; Jeffrey Lewis, Marketing Director; and Megan Howell, Fundraiser and Creative Consultant.

Filming for the first episodes is scheduled for spring of 2021; additional episodes will be filmed in the fall of 2021.

We’re honored, thrilled, and a little moved to be working on this series.




CURSES!

Gittel curses everyone who irritates her - and her curses come true!


Book and Lyrics by Harriet Belkin, Music by Sandy Shanin
Based on a short story by Norman Belkin

Retchitza, a Russian shtetl. 1900. A lowly wagon-driver seeks a wife. Who in Retchitza would marry off his daughter to an uneducated slob like Herschel? Nobody. The matchmaker travels to a distant town and returns with Gittel. Gittel has an uncanny talent and a temper. She lets loose with volatile curses – which come true! Her final curse ends in a disastrous lesson that sometimes you don’t want your wishes to come true – too late for Gittel.




THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Looks aren't everything


Book and Lyrics by John Sparks, Music by Ron Barnett
A Gen-Y type urges his father to try a dating app in order to improve his widower’s blues.




DAMES, DICKS, & BUTTER KNIVES

Adventures in Noir


Book by Bryon Richards, Music and Lyrics by Clifford J. Tasner
Bekka, the brilliant secretary to a hapless Private Eye follows him on his search for a killer. Their journey leads them into the dark underbelly of 1940’s LA and into the thrall of a gorgeous songstress and a crime boss and his henchmen in this broadly comedic noir musical.




THANKSGIVING IN ITHACA

The gods work in mysterious ways.


Book and Lyrics by Mitch Glaser, Music by Joe Blodgett
Odysseus reappears after 15 years at war to find that something is rotten in Ithaca, New York.




THE WEDDING NIGHT

Be careful what you wish for!!!


Book by Jana Hejdukova, Music by Stephen Coleman, Lyrics by Keith Dale Gordon
A girl wishes that her fiancé will come back from the army. He has been missing for over a year. In her desperation, she passionately prays to painting of the Virgin Mary on her wall. Apparently, some wishes are granted, just not in the exact way you would expect!




$120,000 from Google! (Well, sort of.)

We’ve just received a $120,000 grant from Google!  It’s not CASH, so we can’t apply it towards our capital campaign.  It’s a non-profit grant of Google AdWords — which means, they’re gifting us $10,000 every month in advertising.  We had one of these grants a few years ago, and didn’t know what we were doing with keywords, so we were innundated with folks looking to buy tickets to new musicals, or songwriters from all over the globe who wanted us to introduce them to Taylor Swift and Rihanna.  It turns out that the number of people searching for “I’d like feedback on developing my new musical” isn’t as vast as we would like.

So we’re starting our keyword campaigns from scratch, analyzing various hits and searches and trying to teach Google’s algorithms what we do at New Musicals Inc.  We’re averaging about $100 a month, not $10,000…but with each passing month, we’re getting better quality outreach to lyricists, composers, playwrights and producers who, when they land on our website, write us to say “We’re so glad to have found you guys!  How come I’ve never heard of you?”

Maybe the combination of Google and our “Crescendo!” campaign will change that question to, “You won HOW many Tony Awards this year!!?”




SNEAK PEEK at Summer

We're planning as many as ten musicals at Fringe this summer


We’re signing contracts this month for theatre space at the 2020 Hollywood Fringe Festival.

We’re once again producing at the classy Broadwater Theatre, smack-dab in the heart of the Fringe Festival.  We’re expecting to produce at least TEN musicals this year!  This will include a mainstage production, a concert production, and four double-bills of one-acts.

We are almost ready to announce titles…but the e-ink isn’t yet dry on all the writers’ agreements and the theatre rental space.  But suffice it to say that you’ll want to clear your June calendar to see as many new NMI musicals as you can!

And because we know you’ll still be thirsting for more new musicals even after the Fringe Festival, we’ll tease you with the news that it looks like we’ll be be producing as many as seven 15-minute musicals from our Core Curriculum writers (assuming they all complete the newly-revised Book Lab and Lyric Lab!).

Our biennial Conference for Musical Theatre Writers is scheduled for the weekend of July 24/25/26.  You’ll absolutely want to attend this year…we’re focussing on pitching to producers, and how to get your musical the audience it deserves.

Stay tuned.  Another busy, wonderful, creative summer!


This Conference's focus is on PITCHING




What about the Hollywood Fringe Festival?

For three years’ running, NMI musicals have been selected as Pick of the Fringe, and scooped up truckloads of other awards and accolades at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June.  We’re determined to continue our streak.

In the Socially-Close Times, NMI had been planning to produce one full length world premiere musical; eight 40-minute premiere musicals; and two concerts at the Fringe Festival. But now the Fringe has postponed the festival until October (tentatively) - which sent us brainstorming what to do with all these amazing brand new musicals looking for a way to get out into the world.

Right now, we have several innovative approaches we’re actually very excited about, including 1) filming some of the shows in June; 2) producing some shows at Fringe in October; 3) writer-self-producing at Fringe; and 4) filming highlight reels of some of the shows in the later fall.

It has been truly inspirational how everyone has come together to make adjustments - all of us understanding that none of us know exactly what to do - but we are all determined to find a way forward that will help the development of these shows and these writing teams.

The shows and teams currently whirling through these four options are:

GIDEON & THE BLUNDERSNORP with book, lyrics, and music by Michael Gordon Shapiro
FLY, FLY, FLY with book, lyrics, and music by Katie Brady
HOLLYWOOD GHOST STORY with book and lyrics by Marilyn Haese, and music and lyrics by Joelle Sahar
THE WEDDING NIGHT and THE LAKE with book by Jana Hejdukova, music by Stephen Coleman, and lyrics by Keith Dale Gordon
COFFEE: THE MUSICAL with book and lyrics by Thomas Blakeley, and music and lyrics by Joely Zuker
UNITED WE TWEET with book and lyrics by B.K. Wells, and music by Jane Wong
FREE THE FISH by Everhard and Zuker
A DREAM AT THE END OF TIME with book and lyrics by Thomas Blakeley, and music by Duncan Smith





PITCH BOOT CAMP with SCOTT GUY

Prior to the BIZ of the Musical BIZ Conference, writing teams can take advantage of a head-start on their pitch by taking this information-packed online intensive.

Instructor: Scott Guy

FOUR 30 to 60 minute online sessions - scheduled around YOUR schedule

Course Fee: $495 (OR save $100 if also registering for the BIZ OF THE BIZ Conference)

You’ve written a great musical….now what?  How do you get producers to give your musical a look?  What do you need before you’re ready to approach producers and theatres?

This four-session Boot Camp is designed to get you up and running in about a month.  (One session a week.)  You can complete the Boot Camp faster if you like…but not slower.  You can start any time you like, but once you do start, there’s no procrastinating.  New Musicals Inc.’s Executive Director Scott Guy will put your feet to the fire as you complete and polish the following, all of which you’ll want:

One-sentence elevator pitch
One-minute pique pitch
Five-minute hook pitch
logline
100 word synopsis
half-page synopsis
Wall-street paragraph pitch
song-synopsis (“record jacket”)
demographic description
query letter
authors’ bio

You’ll also get all the knowledge and materials you need to prepare:

a successful demo (how many songs? how well produced?)
logo/artwork
website to present your musical
legal protection/copyright
a targeted list of producers and theatres to approach
secondary targets:  festivals, workshops, contests
a timetable of your next steps

Here’s how it will work:

Before the Boot Camp
This session is all online.  A pre-taped lecture, introducing you to the syllabus, the worksheets, and a list of things to do/write before your next session.

Session One:  Taking Stock
A one-on-one session with Scott (one hour via teleconference), going over your preliminary pitches and half-page synopsis.  Discussion about demographic and spin.  Goals and timetable for demo, website, launch of pitch campaign.

Session Two:  Polishing Materials
Teleconference (half hour) with Scott, discussing your 100-word synopsis, Wall Street synopsis, elevator pitch.  Review/reiterate your theme and demographic.

Session Three:  Practice Pitch
Pitch to Scott.  Tips, tricks, feedback.  The query letter.  Half-hour teleconference.

Session Four:  Marketing Campaign
One hour teleconference with Scott, reviewing timetable and targeted producers/theatres.  Realistic goals and next steps.  Final practice pitch.

Regular price of $495 includes all of the teleconferences, handouts, worksheets and pre-taped lectures. Early Registrants for the BIZ OF THE BIZ Conference receive $100 off this price.


NMI Executive Director and Emmy-nominated writer Scott Guy at the 2016 Conference




MENTOR PROGRAM

NMI’s Board President, John Mitchell, has just launched The Musical Theatre Mentor program — it pairs musical theatre mentors with underserved writers who can’t afford to enroll in programs at NMI.

Mentors work with writers for ten weeks, one-on-one, an hour a week, to create whatever.  Whether it’s just a song or two, or something more structured, is entirely up to the writer and the mentor to figure out.  The focus is on expression, on creating, on process, not on product.

NMI’s vision is to present whatever comes out of the Musical Theatre Mentor program in an online showcase — some combination of live performers or prerecorded-from-remote locations.

The mentor and the writer receive $2000 each.

“Initially we will start with twelve writers, with a focus on black writers,” says President Mitchell. “But our commitment to diverse communities will allow us to grow and expand the program as funding and scheduling warrants.”

We are looking for an initial $100,000.  This could cover twelve mentors, twelve writers, some administrative costs for NMI, and then production costs for the concert (tracks, music directors, camera crew, singers).

If you’d like to join us in this initiative, please send us an email at admin@nmi.org, and we’ll put you in touch with John.




BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

As you see, we’ve been a beehive of creative active since COVID forced us out of the theatres and onto the digital stage.  But we’re not done yet.  Wait till you see what we have cooked up for the following weeks.   The Learned Ladies (a sort of Masterpiece Theatre set in the post-Civil War, featuring women writers and women composers of the time); The Last of Its Kind, featuring original musical shorts on the theme of finality, both good and bad; The Devil’s Dictionary, in which we get to play around with motion-capture technology; and finally, the series you’ve been waiting for, Slow Time with the Potato Face Blind Man — nostalgic stories and songs from a bygone era…brought to us, yes, by a potato-faced blind man, a character created by Carl Sandburg.

Our ambitious plans are to launch one new online musical a week. Please check them all out at www.nmi.org/online- and keep coming back every week for more!

NMI ONLINE





VIRTUAL CONCERT READINGS

We had plans to produce some full-length one-act musicals at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June, but, no, the Festival got postponed until October — oh no! — postponed again until Who Knows When.

But we’re moving forward with them by planning workshops and virtual readings.  So we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of three of them:

Gideon and the Blundersnorp.  Poor Gideon, growing up in a world in which stableboys can never, ever, ever become knights.  Or can they?  Well, not if the haughty Princess Alanna has anything to say about it.  This musical emboldens all of us who feel the world just will not accept that social stature just will not hold back the boldest and bravest among us.  With music, book and lyrics by NMI’s own Michael Gordon Shapiro, with whom we co-produced the standing-room-only and stratosphericly-reviewd The Bully Problem at last year’s Fringe Festival.

The Lake. We are working on what will eventually be a musical containing three parts, all of which are based on Czech folktales with very spooky elements. All three book by Jana Hejdukova, music by Stephen Coleman, and lyrics by Keith Dale Gordon.

Two years ago we presented the first part of the series - The Wedding Night, as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it won “Pick of the Fringe” under Joshua Finkel’s direction and the talents of Luke David Carlsen, Jordan Darin Erickson, Katie Hume, and Randle Rankin.

We are currently working on Part 2 - The Lake - the story of a girl who is tempted by love…in the form of a goblin who lives at the bottom of a lake. 

The Foursight Saga. A two-person musical romance which tells the story of mathematician Liz, who time-travels to prevent her disastrous marriage from happening, only to discover several other time-traveling versions of herself who want to stop her from stopping herself.  Their competing agendas set in motion a comedy of errors that can only end when Liz and her fiancé each learn that love, like fate, is a matter of both devotion and timing. Book and lyrics by by Wayne Self, music by Scott Wilkinson.

The time-traveling premise requires that each actor play multiple versions of the same character at different stages in life and from the different timelines resulting from their excursions back in time. The music, lyrics, and book must all support the actors in the challenging task of portraying these different-but-similar personas in a way that makes the story clear and compelling.

The Foursight Saga is about regret, redemption, and what it means to say that something is “meant to be.”

Stay tuned for these three fascinating musicals, just around the corner.





MUSICAL THEATRE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP goes VIRTUAL

We have officially launched the 2020-21 season of our famed Musical Theatre Writers’ Workshop, and since we’ve been using Zoom already for nearly a decade, we are not letting a little quarantine get us down.

Here’s an overview of the various branches of our writers’ workshop:

Our Core Curriculum (the intensive collaborative workshop that culminates in the production of the annual 15-Minute Musicals) launched this past weekend with over 30 composers, lyricists, and bookwriters from all over the world - including all across the United States, Toronto, London, Moscow, Tokyo, and Australia.

Our General Workshop members are busy this season writing five new full length musicals; preparing Monday Night Readings of works in development; taking part in online dramaturgical sessions with the NMI staff; forming new collaborative teams to write songs for plays that are available for streaming in our new “Virtual Workshop”, and for our greenscreen studio.




NOW ENROLLING FOR CORE CURRICULUM 2020-21

In the midst of a time when many theatre companies are looking at having to delay their seasons potentially until 2021, we consider ourselves very lucky that we actually have already been offering our main programming via video conference for quite a while now. In the past several years, we have had musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers joining us via Zoom from all over the world, including: Seattle, Detroit, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa, Boston, New York, Edmonton, Switzerland, Bangkok, Singapore, and Australia.

Because we are able to offer the option to join us via video conference, we are very happy to be able to say that New Musicals Inc. is issuing an open invitation to musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers to take part in an open audition for the famed Core Curriculum at the Academy for New Musical Theatre.

Bookwriters, lyricists, and composers interested in joining the Core Curriculum for the 2020/21 season are invited to audition by taking part in the September and October sessions. (September 26 & 27; October 17 & 18; from 2:30pm to 6:30pm PST)

“We’ll put all applicants on collaborative teams in September, and give them assignments that are due in October,” says Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc., “After the October session, we will evaluate whether or not the Core Curriculum is the right place for you.”

Successful applicants will then take part in monthly workshops (collaborative and individualized) through fall and winter. In the late spring, writers are paired one final time for a 15 minute musical which this season will be produced via the internet (or in a theatre if that option is available by the spring).

Bookwriters, lyricists and composers can apply online to reserve a space for the September auditions, or can simply show up at 5628 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, on Saturday, September 26th at 2:30pm. (Just email admin@nmi.org for instructions on how to join the live streamcast on September 26 and 27 from 2:30pm-6:30pm PST).

The heart of the writers’ workshop at ANMT is the Core Curriculum, in which composers, bookwriters and lyricists are matched together in different teams each month, and each month write a song or a scene based on an assigned text. The curriculum studies both contemporary and historical musicals, giving writers and composers the chance to create traditional and cutting-edge musicals, while studying contemporary variations of timeless ballads, charm songs, comedy songs and musical scenes.

We work hard to keep our source material up-to-date and relevant to the times, and we are currently reading a whole ton of short plays that were recently commissioned by the Play at Home Project - created by a group of theatre companies (Baltimore Center Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Public Theater, Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Old Globe, The Fornés Institute, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Plan-B Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 16th Street Theater, Relative Theatrics, Yangtze Repertory Theatre, Encore! Theater Group, a todo dar, Two River Theater, NewYorkRep, Northlight Theatre, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, The Sol Project, State Theatre New Jersey, and Indiana Repertory Theatre) who came together to create the Play At Home project, a series of short plays commissioned specifically for this moment of unprecedented isolation to inspire joy and connection for all.

Throughout the decades, the writers workshop has trained over 400 writers, who have gone on to created hundreds of successful musicals all across the country and the world.

If you are a current college student or recent grad, ask about our Student Discounts through the Helen and Jose Colton Foundation.

For more information, visit the CURRICULUM PAGE at www.nmi.org.


Participants in the Core Curriculum - both in person and via Zoom video conferencing




A Virtual Workshop

This weekend we had a glorious, joyous “Virtual Workshop” in which we’d all written songs for our hypothetical musical based on “One Man Two Guvnors.”  We all watched the National Theatre Live broadcast of the play, then Scott paired composers with lyricists and challenged us to write a song from a hypothetical musical version of the show.   We had about a week and a half to write the song, and then we shared what we wrote online.

We had a gas!  We have to admit, we spent just as much time gabbing with each other and catching up (some of us hadn’t seen each other for several seasons).

“It’s fantastic that NMI has the creativity and community spirit to make a place for writers and composers to collaborate virtually while shut in by the pandemic. It’s a relaxed, fun way to stay connected in a disconnected time, and keep the skills sharp for when the world and the theaters open again. Thanks!”

~~ Greg Beattie, lyricist

“What a wonderful experience! So nice to get our creative juices going while we’re all isolating at home! Great to work with and share with our fellow musical theater creators! Thank you Elise and Scott and NMI!”

~~ Bonnie Janofsky, composer

We’re now gearing up to have another virtual workshop on the next National Theatre Live broadcast of “Twelfth Night”, and present those songs in two weeks.

“I came to the Zoom workshop not having a collaborator yet and after meeting offline, I now have two. I have always loved the friendships and professional relationships I have made through NMI. I think the idea of having a no-critique space during this time of Covid really encourages creatives to get moving again without the added stress. I am looking forward to the next session!”

~~ Grace Jasmine, bookwriter/lyricist

“The virtual workshop was just what I needed to experience during this time of working home bound. It made my office & mind into a creative space. I loved seeing both familiar and fresh voices and faces! Thank you thank you, NMI!”

~~ Jill Craddock, bookwriter/lyricist

 





80 Years of Sparks – SAVE THE DATE!

Our Founding Director, John Sparks, turns eighty in less than a year.  Eighty!  We’re celebrating this once-in-his-lifetime event with a spectacular Virtual Birthday Party for John on June 24, 2021.

Buy a ticket, or a pair of tickets, or an entire virtual “table”, and you will be rewarded with a fabulous event, some great perks, and the opportunity to support the new programming of our NOW! Campaign that will take this organization forward into the NEXT 80 years!

More details to come - but SAVE THE DATE now!

(And if you are interested in helping us plan the event - please do get in touch at admin@nmi.org!)


John Sparks: “I’m turning 80 next year.”




WANNA LEARN TO SIGHT-SING?

Over the years, we’ve had a lot of requests for some crash courses on reading music and sharpening sight-reading skills.  So we’re thinking about offering two courses this July and are polling folks like you whether you have any interest.  No need to commit right now – we’re just trying to get a sense whether two people or two hundred would be interested in either of these courses:

  • What Are Them Dots All About? A Crash Course for Actors and Lyricists Who Don’t Read Music.  The idea would be to give some Big Picture kind of information so you can read the rhythm accurately, and a basic sense of the melody.  Our goal for actors would be to help you be able to follow along in rehearsals or callbacks, and not be completely dependent on making a rehearsal recording.  For lyricists, the goal would be to enable to you croak out the basic contour of a melody in the right rhythm, to help you with things like prosody and rhyme schemes etc.   Two sessions a week in the month of July.
  • Improvin’ that Sight-Singin’: A Crash Course for Actors and Writers Who Can Kinda-Sorta Read Music.  The idea would be to give some fundamentals which are common to sight-reading fiends (essentially a little bit about basic harmony, and how the note you’re trying to sing relates to the chord which the piano is playing.  We’ll be looking to identify “Is my note the root of the chord?  Does my note make the chord major, or minor?  Is this the fifth, the seventh, the third, the sixth, etc?”  We’re aiming this crash course at folks who can plunk out notes with one finger on a piano, but never really paid much attention to harmony or chords or third or fourths, etc.  Warning:  Though we’d only meet four times (in July), there would be a LOT of practice in between sessions; you won’t be able to just pick this up during class times.  However, you could do almost all of the homework in your car, just listening and singing along.  The goal isn’t to turn you into a sight-singer in four sessions…however, in the four sessions we think we can give you enough tools to work on and drills that if you’re diligent, you should see huge results by, say, November or December.

If you have an interest, please take a two-question survey about schedule and pricing, and we’ll see whether these courses are a go.




The Latency Issue

The world is out of synch.  Literally.  You might have noticed if you try to sing along with someone in Zoom, you’re out of synch.  This is maddening (read: crazy-making) when we’re rehearsing a live pianist and a singer.  The singer is always behind the beat (because they’re receiving the pianist’s audio a little bit delayed.  Where’s 6G, 7G when we need it?)

But we’re bull-by-the-horns kind of artists, and we’ve been playing around with all kinds of software which can capture the pianist separately from the singer, and re-align them, so it sounds like everyone’s in synch.

We’re not alone in this.  We know of musicians and producers all over the country (nay the world!) who are trying to conquer this problem with audio latency.  We are proud to announce that after many many spectacular failures (and lots of hysteria, both of laughter and frustration)…we actually pulled it off!  One pianist, and three singers…all in synch! … even though we know we’re actually all slightly off from each other, as the e-crow flies.

We recorded the moment of triumph.  Take a look (especially watch for the expressions on our faces at the moment we discovered we’d pulled it off!

See the (very short) video at this link:  Latency Test


See the (very short) video at this link: https://youtu.be/EqI0GLQ-3Mo




AND LASTLY, A WHINE FROM SCOTT

I’ll be the second to admit that the world is a very sad place right now, and I really have no right to complain, because I have a job helping people launch musicals into the world….seriously, what’s there to whine about?  But I’m going to do it anyway.

1) We were burglarized (twice!), so there’s been a Rydertruckful of receipts and pdfs and Excel spreadsheets.  2) There’s been NO income from tickets, workshops, renters…nothing!  And most whineworthiest of all, 3) my job has turned into an insurmountable mountain of COVID-related paperwork.  There are funding opportunities out there which have not been available to NMI before, and I’m trying to apply for them all.  I have applied for something like 25 grants since April 1st; and there are some 22 more go to.  It’s really all I do these days.

A little bit of bragging:  It turns out that, unfortunately for me but fortunately for you, I’m good at getting grant money, at least during a pandemic.  Who knew?  We’ve been fortunate to receive some financial assistance from the city, county, state, and federal governments, as well as some funding from private foundations.  Celebrate that with me, if you would.  (I’ll pause for your token celebratory hand motions.)

Join me, too, in thanking our generous partners:  City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts Development Fee Program; the Los Angeles County Arts Commission;  the Payroll Protection Program of the Small Business Administration; the Helen and Jose Colton Foundation; and The National Arts and Disability Center (NADC) at UCLA.

But please shed a silent tear for me, as you contemplate me tackling the next batch of 22 grants.

If you’d REALLY like to help me, you’ll reduce my grant-load to 21 applications, by donating when you watch one of our videos at  www.nmi.org/online; or by making a donation directed at any of our programs — just check out the info (and donation link) at www.nmi.org/now - or mail a check to NMI / 5628 Vineland Ave / North Hollywood, CA  91601.  (Indicate on your donation whether you’d like your donation to go towards sponsoring a veteran’s story?  Want to help us amplify black voices?  Interested in supporting Deaf actors?)…I would be grateful if you would donate even just a little bit; it would help me, and musical theatre writers ev-‘ry-where!  (Cue the cornball music.)  Thank you.




FEET FIRST

A Musical with Heart...and Sole


Book by Chris Smith, Music by Ross Plotkin, Lyrics by Brad Beaver
NYC roommates, Jace and Parkie, are planning a foot orgy with a few sailors in town on Fleet Week. Unfortunately, the footsteps at their door belong to Jace’s mother and his ex-boyfriend, whose unexpected arrival threatens to stomp on all their fun.




BURGLARS AT NMI

In the past six weeks, NMI has been burglarized.  Twice.  The first time, the thieves took a great deal of our audio and camera equipment — speakers, cables, digital cameras, tripods…and all of our snacks.  More sinisterly than that, they stole one framed poster from our hall of production:  Manson’s Girls.

It took a lot of paperwork and calls to our insurance company to get this equipment replaced…then darned if we weren’t burglarized a second time — and all the new stuff was stolen, plus some more.  ALL of our cameras were stolen, and our brand-new mixing board, and cool wireless lav microphones.

We’ve changed the locks.  We’ve installed bars on the windows.  We’re looking into motion detectors, and alarms.  We’ve alerted our neighbors.  We’ve filed police reports, and we’ve strategized with our insurance company.  But we fear it’s the same band of thieves both times, and they now know our floor plan and our inventory, and they just might come back a third time.  We have a little grainy surveillance video, so we think we know approximately what they look like (two of them — a girl on a bicycle, and a guy with a sweatshirt; she’s the lookout; he’s the muscles.)

Wish us luck there won’t be any more of this.




F**KED UP FAIRY TALES

Love trumps hate in Fairy Tale Land


Book and Lyrics by Grace Jasmine, Music by David Jayden Anthony
The Magic Bean bar in Fairy Tale Land has always been a haven for the dysfunctional characters who call it their home away from home. But when they come together to celebrate bar owners Jack and the Giant’s engagement–all hell breaks loose! Evil King Midas’ henchmen crash the party with new laws and vile threats. Will they fight the new regime? Can they save Fairy Tale Land? Only if they have an amazing plan and find a way to work together.




CHATURBATE: THE MUSICAL

Where Broadway Gets Off!


Book by Dan Margules, Music by David Jayden Anthony, Lyrics by Chris Edgar
Starry-eyed Broadway hopeful Laura London has a dirty little secret: To make ends meet, she takes it all off every night live on the internet. But when the producer of the family-friendly musical she’s auditioning for discovers her online command performances, Laura’s unwholesome double life threatens to end her stage career forever.




HOW TO GET TICKETS

So, please help us out with our INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN AND reserve your tickets NOW. Hurry - the Sacred Fools Black Box only has 50 seats; and at least one of our performances is already sold out!

Buy your tickets through us, now, before they go on sale to the general public on the Hollywood Fringe Festival site on May 1.




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
Michael Silversher
Thomas White

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ron Barnett (Member Representative)
Michael Blaha (President)
Elise Dewsberry
Noelle Donfeld (Secretary)
Kevin Meyer (Treasurer)
John Sparks
Larry Verbit
Sue Warford (Emeritus Board)




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
Michael Silversher
Thomas White

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ron Barnett (Member Representative)
Michael Blaha (President)
Elise Dewsberry
Noelle Donfeld (Secretary)
Kevin Meyer (Treasurer)
John Sparks
Larry Verbit
Sue Warford (Emeritus Board)




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
Michael Silversher
Thomas White

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ron Barnett (Member Representative)
Michael Blaha (President)
Elise Dewsberry
Kevin Meyer (Treasurer)
John Sparks
Larry Verbit
Sue Warford (Emeritus Board)