weekly email view | NewMusicalsInc /* Mobile Menu Retract ---------------------------------*/

weekly email view


NMI Weekly Email



GIDEON & THE BLUNDERSNORP: discounted tickets for previews this weekend!

In order to get things off to a great start - we would like to have full houses for our previews this weekend! So - we are offering all NMI Members the opportunity to use the discount code “PREVIEW_THE_ADVENTURE” to get pay-what-you-can (be that $50 or $0 or $1000) for the LIVE previews on Saturday, August 7th at 2pm and Sunday, August 8th at 2pm. More info about the show below!

A stablehand who wants to be a knight. A noblewoman who wants her freedom. And the monster who wants to eat them both.
GIDEON AND THE BLUNDERSNORP is a witty musical set in a medieval fantasy world. The plot concerns a stablehand and highborn noble girl teaming up to save a royal cavalier from a rampaging monster. The theme of the show is: are our futures determined by social class, or can we create our own destinies through choice and action?
Suitable for grownups, kids (6 and up), and well-behaved monsters.

A new musical from the creators of THE BULLY PROBLEM. (Encore Award Winner. Nominated for seven HFF19 awards including Best Musical, Top of the Fringe, and Fringe First.)
Directed by Matthew Toronto
Produced by Elise Dewsberry
Music, book, and lyrics by Michael Gordon Shapiro
Presented in association with New Musicals Inc.

Buy your tickets for LIVE performances or STREAM LIVE from the comfort of your home!

Saturday, August 7 at 2:00pm    Preview
Sunday, August 8 at 2:00pm    Preview
Saturday, August 14 at 2:00pm    Opening
Sunday, August 15 at 2:00pm
Saturday, August 21 at 2:00pm
Saturday, August 28 at 2:00pm

All performances (except August 7) are available either for either LIVE or STREAMED viewing

Link: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7121

New Fundraising campaign for the Veterans’ project

We JUST launched an Indiegogo campaign for our Veterans’ musical webseries.
The opening hours are critical.  Would you visit our campaign right now?
“So Proudly We Hailed” is a webseries which honors veterans by dramatizing and musicalizing their story in their own words. We pair our honorees with an artistic team comprised of a composer, lyricist, director, and dramaturg, and shape their story into a short musical retelling in a digital platform. We’ve filmed the first eight episodes of the series, and we’re now fundraising so that we can film the five remaining Finalists! Stipends go directly to Veterans.

“$6100?  How can you produce a webseries for $6100?”

$6100 covers just one episode.  We’re actually hoping to raise enough for the next five episodes ($30,500); and THEN a second season of another thirteen ($79,300) and a live stage show and additional seasons.  But we know it looks better if you make your Indiegogo goal, and then raise additional funds beyond that!

Sneak peek of the series

So Proudly We Hailed, a musical webseries honoring veterans in their own words, 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. Here’s a short excerpt of one of the episodes, Christmas in Afghanistan:

Here’s a sampling of several episodes, combined into one video:

The Five Finalists we’re trying to fund

This campaign hopes to fund these five Veterans’ stories to life:

The Shooter, by Brenda Garcia.  The U.S. Navy gave her a camera instead of a gun.
The Air Force Jumper, by Shannon Corbeil.  At some point, you have to pull your own rip cord.
The Observer, by Steve Bingley from the British Armed Forces.  You never forget watching a friend try to hang himself.
The Collector, by Diarra McCormick.  The worst job in the Air Force?  Tracking down your fellow service members who owe money to Uncle Sam.
The Ant Man, by Jeffrey Golden.  Attacked by fire ants.  Twice.

Where will your donation go?
Stipends go directly to the honoree Veteran, and all the writers and artists associated with the program receive compensation.  Additional funds we raise will offset the cost of cameras, lights, greenscreen studios, editing, etc.  (Plus any additional costs for COVID health/safety.) Each episode costs us about $6,100 to develop, film, and edit.  We found initial funding for eight episodes (approximately $49,000), through generous grants from the California Arts Council, the Helen and Jose Colton Foundation, and our own general operating budget.  We’ve already raised $7000 towards the five Finalists’ episodes, from The Peter Glenville Foundation, and the Anonymous Fund (Marin County)…now we have $23,500 left to raise.  You can help us get there!

Stretch goals!
If you respond with more funds than we need for the finalists’ episodes, we would then begin Phase Two of the project:  developing and producing a LIVE stage version of the series, to be offered in schools, veteran organizations, and commercial theatres. We’re also getting wonderful pressure to have another call for submissions, focussing in particular on veterans around the globe.  We would love to finance additional seasons of more episodes.

Testimonials from some of the Veterans and writers:

“NMI’s support of Veterans is truly inspiring. When I returned from Afghanistan, I was ready to make some changes in my life. Writing was my way of coping.  Writing is not only my passion. It’s also therapy. But I also like to get my work out there.  NMI understands that the experiences that Veterans go through, though often painful, have the potential to become art that not only entertains but educates. In a nation where less than one-half percent of the population has served in the military, getting this information out is vital.”

Elaine Little
Veteran of Guantanamo, Bosnia, and Afghanistan

“This project gave me the opportunity to tell my story of three different deployments, and face the emotions that have been hidden for over a span of fifteen years. I hope my story can help open up insights into other veterans to talk about their experiences. To realize to live and not choose to die by their own hands. To choose to live life now not in the past or even the future but now. To believe in themselves, and go for their dreams. I have had a wonderful team from Scott Guy, Elise Dewsberry, Angela Parrish, Evelyn Halus, and Johnny Coppola. New Musicals Inc. is an amazing company and so very proud to be chosen to represent my fellow veterans through this project. They made it look so easy even though it was difficult to dig in memories.   That each veteran and family members have a way of grieving and dealing with emotions that are scary to really look at but we need to.”

HM1 Estes Billie

“My story was among the first chosen for development, and it would be difficult to express exactly how much the interaction brightened up the long and lonely all-by-myself days of the pandemic.  My creative team from New Musicals, Inc., couldn’t have been any nicer or encouraging to me, nor more sensitive to keeping the authenticity of my story as we turned it into song.  Everything about working with New Musicals was so rewarding and strangely enough, something I didn’t expect:  It seemed to validate my military experience. Many veterans, especially female veterans, actually don’t believe their service is acknowledged, much less valued by society.  But no matter what job they held in the military — from dental techs to payroll specialists to Humvee mechanics — everyone works together to support the troops who are on the front lines to keep our country and its allies safe. Everyone who serves makes some type of difference even if it is not always apparent. More than twenty veterans a day die from suicide, at a rate of one death every 65 minutes.  Female veterans are 250 times more likely to commit suicide than a female who has never served in the military.  I know my own struggles. And my interaction with New Musicals helped me during a rough patch.  We will probably never know whether “So Proudly We Hailed” will save any lives, but honoring veterans is a step in the right direction.”

Melissa Renee Milich
Former LT, US Navy

“As a writer of musical theater and as a former Army spouse, I can tell you first-hand how meaningful and important this project is. When I was an Army wife I felt very isolated and misunderstood by the civilian world. I felt like non-military people just saw me as a stereotype and an object of pity and/or derision. I noticed the service people around me were viewed in a similar, one-dimensional manner, and the media’s portrayal of us felt like it mostly perpetuated these stereotypes. This project is doing an excellent job at dismantling that outlook, opening up the military world to an audience that is normally cut-off from it, and the narratives are diverse and complex. The episode I worked on centers around military sexual assault, the on-going “invisible” war our female service members battle in order to serve their country. It is appalling to me that this issue is still unknown to most people, and I know this episode will help to bring the awareness it needs. Lastly, this project is giving work to musical theater writers for which I know we are all extremely grateful, especially during a pandemic. It is such a privilege not only to work but to get to work in your chosen field. It has helped to restore a sense of purpose and dignity.”

Natalie Rebecca Lovejoy

Please visit our campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/so-proudly-we-hailed#/ Thank you.

On behalf of Veterans, and musical theatre writers, thank you for supporting this inspiring project.


This week we’re bringing you an interview with Billie Estes - about the episode of SO PROUDLY WE HAILED honoring her work as a hospital Navy Corpsman who discovers that her personal losses intersect with the wounded soldiers in a hospital tent in Kandahar. With music and lyrics by Angela Parrish. Featuring Evelyn Halus. Some of you may already be familiar with what we’re up to, but we’re now launching a new channel where each episode of this series will premiere. Go on over and subscribe to be notified when we finally release full episodes!

It’s a strange but exciting time at New Musicals Inc, as we explore the short-form online musical. Please visit us online for a new musical experiment every week. Free.

Link: https://youtu.be/bfqjT3f0XWY


Announcing the 47th post from NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry’s popular vlog series “How to Get NO FEEDBACK from Elise”. A conversation about the ‘lost’ art of the introductory verse. You can see the post on Facebook, or on NMI’s blog page at the link below.

Link: http://nmi.org/nmi-resources/elises-video-blog/


It’s time to start thinking about your NMI membership level for the 2021-22 season. Here is the info for members of the General Workshop:

$500 per year. General membership includes:

- One-on-One Dramaturgy. General Members are entitled to schedule up to 1 (one) one-on-one dramaturgical session with an NMI staff member per month during the membership season (September through June) to discuss whatever projects you have going. Just contact a staff member to set up your session. Note that sessions cannot be “banked” from month to month.

- Monday Night Readings. NMI will support a presentation of your musical for a live audience in our Main Hall. Readings available to General members for no additional cost, but you need to sign up for them ASAP, as slots are limited (see date listing below). Note that some of the Monday Night slots come with one or two Monday rehearsals prior to the event; and some are “cold” readings. Casting, directing, and music directing would need to be discussed and organized in advance.

- Virtual Workshop. Once a quarter you will be randomly paired with someone to write a song or short musical scene, like we did this spring with the National Theatre’s Twelfth Night and One Man, Two Guvnors. No feedback; just a celebration of working together.

- 15 Minute Musicals Re-do. Join the Core Curriculum participants from April through June, and write a 15-minute musical. Additional $700 to cover expenses of actors, music directors, and either theatre rental or greenscreen crew/editing.

Below is the schedule for Monday Night Readings and Virtual Workshops. If you want to book a particular Monday Night Reading date that isn’t already taken, please email admin@nmi.org with your request ASAP.


Mon, Oct 18 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #1 - HEARTLAND (Partin/Zimmerman)

Mon, Nov 22 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #2 - THE ART FORGER (Laura Watins)

Mon, Dec 6 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #3 (1 rehearsal: Nov. 29)

Mon, Jan 31 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #4 (1 rehearsal: Jan. 24)

Mon, Feb 28 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #5 - STILETTOS & STEEL (Isabel Storey)

Mon, Apr 4 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #6 - UNTITLED (Sergei Stern)

Mon, May 23 - 7:00 pm - MONDAY NIGHT READING #7 - PICKPOCKET (Kasten/Wolfe)


Sat, Oct 2 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Virtual Workshop Presentation

Sat, Dec 4 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Virtual Workshop Presentation

Sat, Feb 12 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Virtual Workshop Presentation

Sat, Apr 2 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Virtual Workshop Presentation

--The NMI Staff

LOGIN TO YOUR MEMBER ACCOUNT PAGE to update your profile/contact info; to view the Member Roster; Member Documents; info on Member Dues Status, and lots more.


The Path to Catherine Reading

Saturday Aug 14, 2021

Join us, Jan Roper and Patricia Zehentmayr, for our first reading of The Path to Catherine!

The Path to Catherine is about three women and their complicated relationships with power. It is the true back-story of the obscure teenage German princess who will eventually become Catherine the Great, her mother, Joanna, and the Empress Elizabeth of Russia.  Set in the 1740’s, it is a time when young noblewomen were expected to look no higher than a dream of love and the intrigues of court life. But our story follows a different kind of girl, one who began to dream of power, who eventually chooses to give up a dream of love in order to attain the position of Russia’s Grand Duchess, consort to the future Emperor.

This is a three-woman cast and a sung-through score with modern musical elements similar to Hamilton and Fun Home, featuring a combination of percussive grooves and emotional soaring melodies.

Link: http://www.thepathtocatherine.com/

Email the Member posting this item: Patricia Zehentmayr

Your News Item HERE

Did you know that you can enter your own Member News item?  Just click the button at the bottom of your Member Account Home Page, and then enter the headline, text, and start and end dates (the date you want your item to begin showing up and the date you want it to stop); and a link for more info if applicable - and you’re done!  Let us know what you’re up to …

Email the Member posting this item: Elise Dewsberry



  • David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize (July 31)
  • Samuel French Inc, Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival (August 1)
  • Aurora Theatre Company: Global Age Project (August 1)
  • Delaware Division of the Arts (August 1)
  • National Black Theatre Festival (August 2)
  • Sundance Theatre Lab – Women Write Now (August 5)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Public Programs/Humanities Projects in Media (August 14)
  • Theatre Oxford Ten-Minute Play Contest (August 15)
  • David C. Horn Prize (August 15)
  • PEN Center USA Literary Awards (August 15)

*** Visit the RESOURCE CENTER to see the full listings ***



Mon, Sep 27 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm


Sat, Oct 2 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Virtual Workshop Presentation

Mon, Oct 4 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm



Sat, Sep 25 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm

First Session Overview and Lecture by Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry.

Sun, Sep 26 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Continuation of Overview and Lecture by Elise Dewsberry.

All participants placed on collaborative teams for first assignments (to be presented in October.)

Sat, Oct 16 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Presentations. Feedback Guest:

Sun, Oct 17 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Presentations; and assignments for next month. Feedback Guest: Brian Graden


Sat, Sep 25 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Full Length Curriculum Monthly Writer Meeting: Outline review/discussion.

In this session, we will discuss and clarify the plan for this curriculum. Teams will have already been formed; projects identified; and outlines should already be well underway.

Please send outlines to admin@nmi.org for review PRIOR to this date to get a head-start on the process and make sure your team is ready to hit the ground running.

Sat, Oct 16 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Full Length Curriculum Monthly Writer Meeting: Deadline for Outline.

All teams must have a green-lit outline by this date, and can begin work on your rough draft of the book only.

All teams must also provide a CAST LIST with character descriptions to be used for casting the upcoming read-throughs.

Mon, Nov 1 6:45 pm to 10:30 pm

Full Length at ARC: Read through of Rough Book Drafts.

Teams will UPLOAD the Rough Draft of the Book; AND will provide at least FOUR hard copies for this Monday evening ARC rehearsal. (Ron NOT available)