Musical Theatre Writers’ Resource Center | NewMusicalsInc /* Mobile Menu Retract ---------------------------------*/

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.   


Already a member? LOG-IN


How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 36 -ASSIGNMENT: PRONOUNS

The 36th post in the video blog from NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry - How to Get NO Feedback from Elise. Part of a short series giving you an ASSIGNMENT for your current musical. Assignment #6: CHANGE YOUR PRONOUNS.

To see more fom this series, subscribe to the vlog at

August 2, 2020     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 35 -ASSIGNMENT: TENSE

July 3, 2020     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 34 -ASSIGNMENT: AFTER THE SONG

June 8, 2020     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 33 -ASSIGNMENT: TRANSITIONS

May 2, 2020     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 32 -ASSIGNMENT: CHARACTER IDENTIFICATION

April 3, 2020     How to Get NO Feedback from Elise: Vlog 31 -ASSIGNMENT: CHARACTER DICTION

*** 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 16)
      • New Works of Merit (September 16)
      • Song of the Year (September 19)
      • John Lennon Songwriting Contest (September 20)
      • Mid-Atlantic Song 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!

      • Making Musicals:

        by Tom Jones. New York, Limelight Editions, 1998.

      • Neighbor exposition:

        Information exchanged between characters who know one another.  Compare to stranger exposition (below). The concept here is that characters who already know each other often can’t be used to deliver backstory/exposition, because they already know this information and wouldn’t explain it to each other.  Two people who know one another don’t have to reiterate information which they both know.  You don’t have to say to your father, “Hey, Dad, have you heard from my sister Stella, your youngest daughter?” or “Dad, we’re having a Fourth of July party to celebrate the Fourt of July, which is a national holiday which falls on the Fourth of July, the anniversary of the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence.”


        Online instruction in the craft of musical theatre; affiliated with sister organization the Academy for New Musical Theatre.

      • List song:

        The list song is a song whose prime characteristic is lyric which features a list centered on a topic. Secondary characteristics vary, but might include: rapid tempo or pace, clever rhymes, minimal grammar and a sense of absurdity. But not all list songs are rapid, and some are serious. Often the raison d’etre of a list song is to feature a performer or to show off a clever lyricist. Examples include: “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” (Pirates of Penzance); “The Elements” (Tom Lehrer); “Tchaikovsky and Other Russians” (Ira Gershwin); “You’re the Top” (Cole Porter); “My Favorite Things” (The Sound of Music).

      • Solving Your Script:

        by Jeffrey Sweet. New Hampshire, Heineman, 2001.

      *** 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.

The Music Man – 1957. From the New York Public Library collections.


Here are the newest additions to our Writer Bank:

  • Celeste Wolfe - Bookwriter   
  • Sara Cooper - Bookwriter, Lyricist   
  • Eamon O Tuama - Lyricist, Composer    SEEKING COLLABORATORS/PROJECTS
  • Rabiya Mansoor - Bookwriter, Lyricist    SEEKING COLLABORATORS/PROJECTS


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:

      • Idaho Repertory Theatre (Accepts Musicals / Plays / )
      • Nebraska Theatre Caravan (Accepts Musicals / Plays / Young Audience material / )
      • Jewish Theater of New York (Accepts Musicals / Plays / )
      • Seattle Repertory Theatre (Accepts Plays / )
      • Artpark and Company (Accepts Musicals / Plays / )



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:

      • Aristotle’s Bellows (by Lady Gregory)
      • Ananzi And The Lion (by Sir George Webbe Dasent)
      • Miss Dulane and My Lord (by Wilkie Collins)
      • The Shepherd In The Distance (by Holland Hudson)
      • The Pierrot Of The Minute (by Ernest Dowson)



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 13, 1948     Nell Carter, Tony Award and Emmy winner for Ain’t Misbehavin’, was born today. Later a television star, Carter’s also appeared in the 1979 film version of Hair and returned to Broadway two decades later to play Miss Hannigan in a revival of Annie.

September 10, 2000     Cats closed on Broadway, having run 7,845 performances. The show spent its last three years as the longest-running show in Broadway history, having eclipsed A Chorus Line for that honor on June 19, 1997.

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 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:

BWW Exclusive: John Lloyd Young Counts Down His Favorite Broadway Performances!

Tony and Grammy Award-winner John Lloyd Young returns to The Space in Las Vegas on Saturday, October 3 with John Lloyd Young’s Broadway, an intimate and unforgettable evening of Broadway favorites and classic showtunes. While we await he big night, we’re getting inside John’s head as he counts down ten Broadway performances that have excited, entertained, and inspired him throughout his life and career

Can You Name These 19 Broadway Stars From Their Early Playbill Bios?

How well do you know the beginnings of the careers of Meryl Streep, Stephen Sondheim, Audra McDonald, and more. Flip through the gallery below to see if you can recognize these people from their early Playbill bios: Can You Name These 19 Broadway Stars From Their Early Playbill Bios?

VIDEO: On This Day, September 19- Happy Birthday, Stephanie J. Block!

On this day we’re sending a loving birthday shoutout to one of the stars of Broadway’s The Cher Show, Stephanie J. Block.

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: September 19

1904 Julian Eltinge, the famed female impersonator, makes his Broadway debut in Mr. Wix of Wickham, the unsuccessful musical at the Bijou Theatre. 19-year-old Jerome Kern writes some of the songs for the show. Kern goes on to write music for Show Boat and Sunny during his long, successful career. Also on this date, E. H. Sothern, Shakespeare actor extraordinaire, stars in a Chicago production of Romeo and Juliet.1910 For the first time, George M. Cohan directs and writes a non-musical triumph. GRead more

David Korins-Designed ELF ON THE SHELF Drive Thru Experience Launches This November in Los Angeles

Global holiday phenomenon The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas Tradition will transformLos Angeles County into a magical wonderland this holiday season.

MJ the Musical on Broadway, Alliance Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, More Host Video Auditions

From auditions to administrative roles, Playbill is the go-to online source for careers in theatre. You can browse the full list of industry jobs in our extensive Job Listings database. With theatres dark for the time being, casting directors are encouraging performers to send in video auditions. Here’s a selection of upcoming Equity auditions around America, in chronological order by submission deadline.READ: How to Create Your Best Self-Tape Audition2020 RADIO DRAMAS EQUITY VIDEO SUBMISSIONS (Read more

Virtual Theatre Today: Wednesday, September 16- with Corey Cott, Aaron Lazar and More!

Today September 16 in live streaming Corey Cott and Aaron Lazar visit Backstage Live, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend reunites, and so much more

Join Playbill’s Watch Party for Mauricio Martinez’s De Mexico to Broadway Concert September 16

Playbill, in partnership with Jose Cuervo®, commemorates Mexican Independence Day September 16 with a 7 PM ET stream of the Feinstein’s/54 Below concert Mauricio Martinez: De Mexico to Broadway. Watch the concert here.The cabaret act, filmed in July 2018, featured special appearances by Tony nominee Orfeh (Pretty Woman, Legally Blonde) and Mariand Torres (Wicked, In Transit). The free 7 PM stream will also include pre- and post-performance interviews with Martinez.“Growing up I always dreamt ofRead more

VIDEO: On This Day, September 15 – Henry Miller’s Theater Renamed For Stephen Sondheim

The renaming of the theatre was dedicated toStephen Sondheim, the greatest and best known artist in American musical theatre on his 80th birthday.

Look Back at Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre September 15, 1976, following a run at The Public Theater. The production, arranged and directed by Oz Scott and choreographed by Paula Moss, played 5 previews and 742 performances before closing on July 16, 1978. The production would go on to be nominated for two Tony Awards, with Trezana Beverley winning for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Filled with passion, humor,Read more

new musicals ... important


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:

 Free v. Subscription?


Free Subscribers
Insider Tips
Contests Custom search
Producers/Theatres Custom search
Idea Library Custom search; recommended titles
Writer Bank
Glossary of Terms
Monthly Newsletter
Format Guidelines $15 FREE
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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I won’t send roses,
And roses suit you.

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 Free v. Subscription?


FREE to Registered Users

Insider Tips
(Subscribers get access to custom SEARCH options)
(Subscribers get access to custom SEARCH option)
Idea Library
(Subscribers get access to custom SEARCH and recommended titles options)
Writer Bank
Glossary of Terms

PERKS for PREMIUM Subscribers

Custom search/filtering options
Monthly Newsletter
Format Guidelines for FREE
DISCOUNTS on Creative Services
(from $50 to $400)