core curriculum handout detail
WHAT’S NEXT? HAND-OUT
TO ACCOMPANY THE: PREPARATION FOR 15 MINUTE MUSICAL LAUNCH ASSIGNMENT
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AT NMI?
New Musicals Inc. (and the Academy for New Musical Theatre) has many programs and opportunities, and we know that the possibilities ahead after your Core Curriculum year can be confusing to understand.
Briefly – if you continue with NMI next season, you will be asked to participate in our Fringe Curriculum and write a 30-40 minute musical by April of next year, which will have the possibility of produced at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. You would be considered a “Member” of NMI, and the cost of your second year would be $800 (billed in quarterly installments of $200). As a Member of NMI, you would also be asked to contribute eight hours of volunteer service during each season (more info on this later in this memo).
The rest of this memo will go into more detail about all the points made above, as well as provide additional info about other opportunities, and on-going opportunities after your second year with us.
EVALUATIONS OF CORE PARTICIPANTS
Writers who complete the Core Curriculum (including the 15 Minute Musicals) and at least one craft Lab will be evaluated by the staff at an end-of-year meeting (to be scheduled). This evaluation will have one of two possible outcomes:
1. The evaluated writer is invited to become a Member of NMI, entitled to all the rights and privileges thereof.
2. The evaluated writer is not invited to become a Member of NMI, in which case:
- The evaluated writer is invited to repeat the Core Curriculum; or
- The evaluated writer is encouraged to seek further education in music, playwrighting, lyric writing (including basic poetics); or
- The evaluated writer is advised that there is not a good fit between his or her approach to the crafts and NMI.
In the first year of Membership (after successfully completing the Core Curriculum and a 15 Minute Musical), writers can spend a season in the FRINGE CURRICULUM, working on a 30-40 minute, under a set of deadlines. You will write three drafts of your musical between September and April, with the possibility of having your show produced at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June.
Meetings will consist of one group session per month (on a Saturday morning from 10am to 2pm) and various Monday evening sessions which make use of the members of the Academy Repertory Company to present the material and allow for ongoing feedback.
Teams will be formed prior to the first session in September (to give a head start on the outline); and will be expected to meet all the writing deadlines for the phases of the project. All teams that are able to turn in a First Draft by the January session will be guaranteed a (low-budget) production as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June. (Each Fringe production evening will likely consist of two 30-40 minute musicals in a 90-minute Fringe presentation slot.)
February and March sessions will be dedicated to the presentations of Second Drafts. A final draft will be due in April; it’s this draft which will go into rehearsal.
Details about the process and the schedule are below.
Collaborators: Pick your own collaborators, or let us help you find a team…your choice. Ideally, start teaming up now around the pitches that were made by your colleagues in January.
Timeframe: Monthly meetings and assessment sessions from September through April. Rehearsals in May for June productions at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Topic: You may write about anything you like – even a shorter version of a full-length musical you’re contemplating for the future – but we are encouraging the use of stories/ideas in the public domain so you are starting with a solid structure.
Parameters: No parameter requirements. (You’re welcome.)
Filming: YES!, we’ll film these shows. We’ll be casting non-Union actors.
Guaranteed Production: We’ll guarantee production for every team that finishes a VIABLE First Draft by the January deadline. NOTE that NMI reserves the right to decide what “viable” means, but essentially it means a show that we can all be proud of.
Length: 30-40 minutes…but we won’t be sticklers…so long as we can get at least two shows into a single 90-minute Fringe slot.
Cast size: 4-10. We will likely cast each show separately, to include as many actors as we can!
Props/costumes. YES! You can have props and costumes if you provide them, and they take fewer than five minutes of set-up time.
Copies: Each team would also be responsible for copies for each of the drafts.
Tickets: Each writer would be responsible for selling a minimum of ten tickets to your final production (likely $15 per ticket).
Volunteer Shifts: You are obligated to help out a minimum of two shifts hours during production months of May and June: ushering, box office, running lights, etc.
Authors’ Royalties. Authors share 6% of the gross box office receipts.
Future Rights. You own your show; we won’t be expecting any ownership in these shows.
The fee for the Fringe Curriculum is $800 per year. (Paid in quarterly installments of $200.) NOTE that this applies to ONE project per member. If you elect to participate in more than one musical, you will need to pay a higher fee. (It won’t necessarily be double for two projects - we will have to assess the number of people doing multiple projects and figure out the impact on our over-all budget before deciding the exact fee.)
In the second year (and beyond) of membership at NMI, a writer is considered to be a GENERAL MEMBER. General Members have two main opportunities: the Monday Night Reading; and One-on-One Dramaturgy sessions.
MONDAY NIGHT READING: General Members have the chance to sign up for a MONDAY NIGHT READING slot for whatever new musical you are working on. Some of the MONDAY NIGHT READING slots come with 3 rehearsals; some come with 2; some come with 1; and some are just cold readings. These rehearsals will also take place on Monday evenings, and we will provide you with sight-singers for your readings from the Academy Repertory Company (ARC) and guests. You will be required to provide a cast list at least one month prior to your first scheduled rehearsal; and to provide copies for your cast, director, and musical director. You can invite whatever guests you would like to your presentation; and we will also live-stream and record your presentation.
ONE-ON-ONE-DRAMATURGY: General Members have the chance to sign up for one 90 minute dramaturgical session per month with a member of the NMI staff. These meetings can be set up on your own schedule; and for whatever project you are working on. They can take place in person or via video conference.
The fee for General Membership is $500 per year. (Paid in quarterly installments of $125.)
Non-Member Collaborators. In General Membership projects, Members may collaborate with non-members. Non-members must pay a $200 annual fee to compensate NMI for the feedback they receive at our sessions. Members are strongly encouraged to ask their non-member collaborators to join NMI at the appropriate level. Non-members may audit General Workshop, but may not participate in discussion (even of their team’s project).
All active Members of NMI (General and Fringe) are expected to contribute a minimum of four volunteer hours each semester. (To NMI, First Semester is September 1 through January 15. Second Semester is January 16 through June 25.)
We will make every effort to create volunteer projects that match your schedule, interest, and skills. Each semester, a list of volunteer projects will be offered on the website. To sign up for a volunteer task, go to the Member Homepage and find the “Your Volunteer Status” section. If you don’t find a task there that matches your schedule or interest, speak up! and help us create another project which is more appealing to you. The last thing we want to do is make you unhappy with a bunch of work that is odious to you.
Hours may not be carried over from one semester to the next. That is, if you’ve put in 6 volunteer hours in the first semester of the year, you can’t carry over 2 hours to the second semester. The “clock” is re-set each semester. Attendance in workshop or in committee meetings does not count toward volunteer hours.
Failure to meet these minimum expectations will cause you to be considered “not in good standing,” which will automatically disqualify you for participation in readings, productions, festivals and showcases. If you are not in good standing, we will revoke your rights to all other NMI privileges, such as access to the website, access to the ARCtors, NMI events, online newsletter, free theatre tickets, NMI passes to industry workshops (such as ASCAP/Disney), etc. You may restore your status to “member in good standing” the following semester by paying all expected dues and completing all required volunteer hours.
Buying Out Your Hours. If you prefer to contribute money instead of hours, you may contribute $50 for each hour you would like NMI to consider as “approved.” For example, you may contribute $200 to NMI instead of volunteering four hours that semester. You may contribute $400 and buy out your volunteer hours for the whole year. This hourly rate may seem extraordinarily high, and it is. We really want your help, not your money; we’re hoping you’ll prefer to help us, rather than pay us. In doing so, NMI wishes to foster a collaborative spirit which encourages participation, cooperation and a feeling of ownership.
Members may elect temporary Inactive Status by paying a fee of $100 per year ($25 per quarter). This is a great way to remain on the NMI Roster, and to support the organization, even if you do not currently have any active projects. Inactive members must reapply annually to retain Inactive Status. Inactive members may attend workshop sessions but may not present material, and may not receive feedback of any kind. Inactive members may not collaborate with active members for the $200 fee (and thus be treated as non-members). Inactive Members receive member discounts and the weekly e-newsletter, but no additional benefits of membership (such as discounted rehearsal room rental).
The Sandbox is an opportunity offered to all writers - not just members of NMI. It is designed as an individualized workshop for a specific writing team with a specific project. NMI General Members may choose to take advantage of the Sandbox if they find they are not able to commit to the specific schedule of the Full Length Curriculum or General Workshop.
Sandbox participants are not in a setting with other projects; Sandbox projects have sole focus in their time with staff members.
In your twelve months of membership in the Sandbox, you’ll have nine 2-hour work sessions with your selected staff member to work on such topics as outlining, song-spotting, presentation of scenes and songs, marketing advice, budgeting, feedback, music preparation, song structure, consultation about demo recordings, etc. - depending on the needs of you and your musical at any given moment in the process. Design your own schedule …choose two from column A, three from column B, etc. — whatever’s best for you and your musical…at your pace. Use your nine sessions however you like. Online or in-person.
The fee for the Sandbox is $1500 per project, which can be paid in three installments of $500.