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NMI’s RESOURCE CENTER for musical theatre writers

…producers, theatres, contests, ideas, feedback, definitions, links, glossary, insider tips and advice, and free videos

Welcome to the musical theatre writers’ Resource Center.

This is a FREE page provided by New Musicals Inc.  We’ve gathered in one place lots of info we think will be useful to writers of musical theatre:
  • hundreds of musical theatre contests
  • over 700 theatres and producers where you can submit your work
  • an idea library of thousands of royalty-free public domain stories and plots
  • a Writer Bank of potential musical theatre collaborators
  • a glossary of musical theatre terms (with audio/video examples)
  • a page of useful links to other resources for musical theatre writers
  • access to short videos filled with tips and advice from NMI staff

You can see the full listings for FREE!  You just need to register.   Take a look at some random highlights from the feature boxes of the Resource Center below.

We also offer a paid Premium version of the Resource Center which gives you the ability to SEARCH all the listings for contests, theatres, and ideas which are relevant to you and your work; and includes a monthly e-newsletter with up-to-date listings that come straight to you.   


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How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 48 – NMI’s MUSICAL THEATRE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP

The 48th post in the video blog from NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry - How to Get NO Feedback from Elise. I’m interrupting my regular vlog series to offer a short “commercial” for our upcoming Core Curriculum at New Musicals Inc. I’ll be back to my regular vlog - for year FIVE! - next month. Yay!

To apply for the Core Curriculum, be sure to watch this video for a secret code, and then visit https://nmi.org/curriculum/

To see more from the series, subscribe to the vlog at http://nmi.org/nmi-resources/elises-video-blog/

August 2, 2021     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 47 – THE INTRODUCTORY VERSE

July 1, 2021     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 46 – STATEMENT OF FACT

June 1, 2021     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 45 – TELLING A GLOBAL STORY

May 1, 2021     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 44 – TELLING A SHORT STORY

April 1, 2021     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 43 – TELLING AN ENSEMBLE STORY

*** Visit the INSIDER TIPS page to see the full listing of insider tips and advice videos. ***


FREE LISTING of hundreds of contests for plays and musicals.

Premium Subscribers: get the additional ability to search by keywords. Who’s running contests for ten-minute musicals or one-acts? Who’s looking just for musicals? Dramas? Comedies? Or search by special interest, or geography.

Here are some random samples from some upcoming contests/submissions listings:

      • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (September 17)
      • Song of the Year (September 24)
      • Summer Shorts Festival (September 30)
      • Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest (September 30)
      • City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest (September 30)



Here are some samples from our Glossary of definitions of musical theatre terms. We will be adding to this over time - as well as adding actual sample scores and sound recordings. Check back often!

      • Safety:

        A brief section of musical (usually 1-2 bars) with an optional repeat which may be played or ignored to time the music to the action on stage.

      • Allegory:

        An extended or continued metaphor, in which the metaphor is consistent throughout the entire plot, such as in Urinetown, Pippin, Candide, Animal Farm, and Lord of the Flies.

      • Page numbers — adding running page number footer:

        A screen-capture of adding running page numbers in a pdf program (Acrobat).

      • Sources for scores and books:

        If you are looking for scores and librettos, you might try: Brand Library (Glendale); Samuel French Bookstores; USC Music Library; UCLA Music Library; Santa Monica Public Library; Beverly Hills Public Library; Los Angeles Public Library (www.lapl.org)

      • Diegetic music:

        Music which occurs within the actual world of the characters. e.g., the characters are in a nightclub where there’s music, or they put a quarter into a jukebox, or pick up a guitar and start to sing.

      *** Click to access the full glossary. ***


Watch this FREE video to learn how to implement the FORMAT GUIDELINES specifically designed by New Musicals Inc. Make sure your script and score look professional and are ready to go into development.

Actor portrait for The Black Crook – 1866. From the New York Public Library collections.


Here are the newest additions to our Writer Bank:

  • Hudson Liverance - Lyricist, Composer   
  • Susan Rabin - Bookwriter, Lyricist, Composer   
  • Nicholas Franghias - Bookwriter, Lyricist, Composer    SEEKING COLLABORATORS/PROJECTS
  • Corinna Anne Hogan -    
  • T.J. Pieffer - Bookwriter, Lyricist   


You may peruse the Writer Bank for potential collaborators.

If you are a logged-in registered (free) user, you are also welcome to enter your own information into the Writer Bank.

Not yet registered? Just look for the registration form at the bottom of this page.


FREE LISTINGS of nearly 700 producers and theatres for potential submission of your work.

Premium Subscribers: get the additional ability to search by keyword or genre to identify who’s most likely to be interested in YOUR musical. (Large/small; comedy/drama; full-length/one-act; special interest like “women” or “LGBT” or youth theatre, etc.)

Here are some random samples from our listings of theatres and producers:

      • Everyman Theatre (Accepts Musicals / )
      • Moving Arts (Accepts Plays / )
      • Merrimack Repertory Theatre (Accepts Plays / Young Audience material / )
      • The Barrow Group (Accepts Musicals / )
      • Birmingham Childrens Theatre (Accepts Musicals / Plays / Young Audience material / )



Here is one of our featured new musical theatre videos:


FREE ACCESS to a library of 1000+ downloadable royalty-free stories, plays, plots and other inspiring indeas we’ve found in the public domain for you. There’s a brief excerpt of every item in the library, so you can take a quick glance to see whether or not you want to read the whole text. In addition, the NMI staff has made annotations and recommendations for many of the titles in the library about their potential to become musicals. Save hundreds of hours of research and reading!

Premium Subscribers: get the ability to search the library for genre (Comedy, drama, suspense, ghost story, fairy story, etc.).

Here are some random samples from our listings of story ideas in the public domain:

      • The Wedding Jest (by James Branch Cabell)
      • The Wolf turned Shepherd (by Jean de La Fontaine)
      • The Bracelet (by Alfred Sutro)
      • At Large–One Temper (by Ambrose Bierce)
      • Brothers (by Lewis Beach)



New Musicals Inc. offers a whole series of professional online LABS for bookwriters, lyricists, and composers who are serious about improving their craft. This video is a FREE sample of one of the lecture videos from the all new Lyric Lab 1 - Fundamentals.



Here is some musical theatre trivia about events that happened during THIS month in the past:

September 16, 1924     Lauren Bacall, star of Applause and Woman of the Year who came to the musical stage after 25 years of movie stardom, was born today.

September 26, 1957     The show created by one of the all-time starriest creative teams – Arthur Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (music), Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Jerome Robbins (director/choreographer), and Harold Prince (producer) – West Side Story, opened on Broadway.

September 2, 1910     Kitty Carlisle Hart, who appeared in numerous vaudeville shows and Broadway musicals – as well as on film with The Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera – was born. Also well known for her 20 year leadership of the New York State Council on the Arts and as the wife of My Fair Lady and Camelot director Moss Hart. She died in April 2007 at the age of 97.

September 18, 1905     Choreographer Agnes de Mille, who changed the face of dance forever with her integrated work on Oklahoma!, Carousel, and her Tony-winning Brigadoon, was born today.

September 23, 1987     Director/choreographer Bob Fosse died of a heart attack, leaving behind an opus of work few of his contemporaries could even begin to compare with.

news feed:

Jaap van Zweden to Leave New York Philharmonic in 2024

Jaap van Zweden, who has led the New York Philharmonic as music director since 2018, will step down from the podium at the end of the 2023–2024 season. The announcement of his resignation arrives the same week as the cultural organization launches its 2021–2022 season, which will take up various venues throughout the city as its usual home (Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall) undergoes renovations.”It is not out of frustration, it’s not out of anger, it’s not out of a difficult situation,” van ZRead more

BWW Interview: Tom MacRae Talks Adapting EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE for Stage and Screen

Interview with Tom MacRae the writer of EVERYBODYS TALKING ABOUT JAMIE for stage and screen which premieres on Friday, September 17th on Amazon Prime Video. Writer Tom MacRae talks about what it was like to cr

VIDEO: HAMILTON Celebrates Its Broadway Reopening with a Curtain Call Dance Party!

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical masterwork Hamilton resumed performances tonight at Broadway’sRichard Rodgers Theatre

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: September 15

1889 Robert Benchley, the acclaimed actor, critic, and humorist of the early twentieth century, is born. An example of his wit can be seen in his 1926 review of Jean Bart’s The Squall, which is about a gypsy woman who leaves her people to satisfy her lusts with an outsider. Included in the dialogue is: “Me Nubi. Nubi good girl. Nubi stay.” Responding in his review, Benchley states, “Me Benchley. Benchley bad boy. Benchley go.” Tallulah Bankhead, who was a friend of his, called him “as gay and thRead more

9 Plays Selected for 2021 Expand the Cannon List

The 2021 Expand the Canon list has been announced, featuring nine plays by women that deserve a spotlight as theatres consider what works to present to its audiences. The project is run by Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, in partnership with Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Sol Project, and The Classical Theatre of Harlem.The plays selected for 2021 are: The Frolicks by Elizabeth Polwhele; Amor, Agavio y Mujer by Ana Caro; The Beau Defeated by Mary Pix; Fatal Falsehood by Hannah More; Françoise by George SaRead more

Review Roundup: THE HUMANS Film Starring Jayne Houdyshell, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, & More

The Humanswas adapted from the Tony winning play of the same name. Its writtendirected by Stephen Karam, who helmed the play as well. The cast includes Beanie Feldstein, Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun, June Squibb and Jayne Houdyshell. Its a tense, intimate and occasionally funny drama with a haunting undertone throughout.

VIDEO: Kelli O’Hara Performs ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at New York’s 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara performed a rendition of ‘You’llNever Walk Alone’ at New York’s 911 memorial service yesterday. The traditional ceremony took place at ground zero twenty years after the tragic terrorist attack.

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: September 12

1866 The Broadway musical is born. The Black Crook, a musical extravaganza featuring a melodramatic plot and scantily-dressed ballerinas who serve as chorus girls, opens at Niblo’s Garden, . Tickets range from five cents to $1.50. It is the first Broadway show to run for more than a year. In 1954, a musical called The Girl in Pink Tights, which is based on the story of the show’s creation, opens on Broadway. Many other influences created the musical as it is known today, but Black Crook remainsRead more

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: September 11

1912 Jane Cowl becomes a star while performing in Within the Law by Bayard Veiller. The play is about a woman wrongfully accused of theft. It is also the premiere production at the new Eltinge Theatre on 42nd Street.1918 A report comes out commending the new army camp musical by Irving Berlin, Yip, Yip, Yaphank. The musical, which opened at the Century Theatre on August 19, showcases 350 Camp Upton soldiers and Berlin himself. The report applauds Berlin’s show because it makes a soldier’s life sRead more

Release Date Announced for THE LITTLE MERMAID Live-Action Remake

It has been revealed that the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is set to be released on May 26, 2023. The cast of the live action ‘Little Mermaid’ includes Halle Bailey, Daveed Diggs, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, and Jonah Hauer-King.

new musicals ... invigorating


Premium Subscribers receive a monthly email that lists 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.

FREE ACCESS right now; just register with us and pay no fees. But for $50 a year, Premium Subscribers get all the extra stuff listed on this page.  Here’s a summary of the additional perks for Premium Subscribers:

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Insider Tips
ContestsCustom search
Producers/TheatresCustom search
Idea LibraryCustom search; recommended titles
Writer Bank
Glossary of Terms
Monthly Newsletter
Format Guidelines$15FREE
Creative Services$50-$400 off
Advice$50 off

advice, and online classes

The Resource Center is a very powerful clearinghouse of information and source material. But what it does NOT include are workshops, feedback, or advice on how to get produced, all of which have some fees involved.

However, premium subscribers to the Resource Center get discounts on our services, ranging from $50-$400.  Here are some links to pages describing how New Musicals Inc. supports writers and composers of new musical theatre:

New Musicals Inc. Creative Services — Script Analysis, workshops, table readings, concerts.  You’ll also find here some options about developing your musical.  (Hint:  look at “The Sandbox” — and create your own pathway according to your budget and timetable.)

PREMIUM Subscribers get up to $400 off.

Consulting/Advice — We’re known for our supportive, practical consultations on producing, raising money, putting together budgets, as well as artistic issues like music notation, script doctoring, etc.

PREMIUM Subscribers get $50 off.

Format Guidelines — Want your script and score to look as professional as possible when making submissions?




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Idea Library
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Writer Bank
Glossary of Terms

PERKS for PREMIUM Subscribers

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