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…get some feedback


book time with an NMI dramaturge

search for new musicals

submit to our annual contest

new voices project

for writing teams aged 18-26

not sure?

we’re happy to help you figure it out

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


Check out the descriptions of the various different levels of developmental services available through New Musicals Inc.

NOTE: All Full Length Script options also include automatic submission to the Search for New Musicals.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, or have some questions this page doesn’t answer, please feel free to call us at 818-506-8500 or email us at admin@nmi.org

overview evaluation

An NMI dramaturg will read your script and listen to your demo and respond with a 20-30 minute audio overview evaluation addressing core topics such as: Is the plot clear and trackable? Is the theme clear and compelling? Does your lead have a clearly defined want and strong obstacles? Is the exposition delivered skillfully? Do the lyrics progress the story? Is there a partnership between the lyrics and the music? Does the score have variety and breadth? Is the author’s intent being realized as fully as possible?

$195 for 20-30 minutes of audio feedback.

detailed analysis

The Detailed Analysis consists of a 2-3 hour video feedback session.  It covers the same topics as the audio Overview Evaluation, but at a much more detailed level, often discussing the work page by page, even line-by-line. Focus is on specific songs, themes, characters, subplot, diction, story logic, as well as manuscript presentation, marketability, and recommendations for next steps.

$400 for 2-3 hours of video feedback.

full draft personal consultation

Spend time in person (or by video or telephone conference) with an NMI staff member who has read and made notes on a full draft of your developing musical.  The NMI staff member will spend up to four hours reading your show and making notes, and then arrange for a video conference call or in-person meeting with you for up to two hours.

$595 for prep and up to 2 hours of evaluation either in person, or by video or telephone conference call

first act personal consultation

Spend time in person (or by video conference) with an NMI staff member who has read and made notes on the first (or second) act of your developing musical.  The NMI staff member will spend up to two hours of prep time reading and making notes on your musical; then arrange for an in person or video conference for you for up to one hour.
(Additional hours of in person or video conference time at $80/hour)
(If you are interested in a personal consultation on your full script, please check out the full length script analysis options.)

$240 for prep and 1 hour in person session or conference call (additional hours at $80/hour)mprove your score.

hourly consultations

Outline Advice.
Feedback on plot points, character arcs, themes, target audience; before you begin writing.

Song Spotting.
Discussion, analysis, and brainstorming about song possibilities and their structures. Combining/condensing scenes; decisions about solos v. duets, or ensemble numbers. Structuring lyrics to convey the plot, character decisions, etc. 3 hr. minimum.

Lyric Crafting.
Detailed work, usually concentrating on one lyric. The goal of these sessions will vary, pending your needs, but typically, we’ll examine such elements as: character diction, rhyme, euphony, prosody, metaphor, as well as ensuring that each stanza is conveying exactly what you mean it to, that the jokes are landing, and that the storyline is clear.

Get advice on marketing copy, loglines, query letters, identifying potential producers, packaging, graphics, demos, and how to approach theatres with your musical.

Practical Advice about Producing.
Consultation about budgets, contracts, unions, producers’ checklists, raising money.

FEES: $80 per hour (including prep time).

staff table reading

Three NMI staff members read through the entire script/score, and then provide a detailed feedback session on book, music and lyrics. Authors can present the material, or the staff can cold-read/sing. The read/sing-through will generally take 2-3 hours; followed by a short break; and then up to four hours of feedback.  This can be done in person; or the authors may attend by video conference; or NMI can make a video recording of the session to share with the authors.


the sandbox

Maybe you don’t fit the usual mold.

Perhaps you’re looking for feedback, but don’t want structured classes. Or your dialogue is finished, but your score isn’t finished. Or you want to hear just a section with actors, but don’t need a whole reading right now.

We’ve designed something we call The Sandbox, where you get to play for a full year, determining your own pathway. You tell us your goals, and we’ll help get you there.

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. $1500 per project (can be paid in $500 installments)

Search 2015 Winner Invisible by David Hollingsworth and David Orris - in concert at the Colony Theatre

“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 & Robert Hull

Empire the Musical

new voices project

NOTE: The New Voices Project is on hiatus! 

New Musicals Inc. is proud to sponsor the annual 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 as of the February 15 submission deadline.)

past NEW VOICES winners

2021 New Voices Project winners: Charlie Romano and Harold Hodge Jr.; Clare Bierman and Erika Ji; and Dylan Schifrin. Excerpts from their work received in-house critiques from NMI staff, and were presented in a virtual concert in April of 2020. Merit Award winners are Erin J. Reifler and Zonia Tsang Lok Sze; James Pecore; Jordan Paul Clarke and Francesca Forristal; and Thomas Blakeley, Makena Metz, and Devin Weitz.

2020 New Voices Project winners: Charli Eglinton, Clayton Daniel Briggs and Molly Reisman, Emma Lockwood and Noah Sunday-Lefkowitz, and Martin Gold. Excerpts from their work received in-house critiques from NMI staff, and were presented in a live on-line concert in April of 2020.

2019 New Voices Project winners: Evan Johnson, Socks Whitmore, Ryan Martin, and Shayna Toh. Excerpts from their work received in-house critiques at NMI in the spring of 2019; and were presented in concert at the STAGES Festival in the summer of 2019.

2018 New Voices Project winners: Charlie Oh (book and lyrics) and Ross Baum (music); Monica Hannush (book & lyrics) and Julian Drucker (music and lyrics); and Natalie Stewart Elder (lyrics and book) and John Ervin Brooks (music and book). Excerpts from their work refceived in-house critiques at NMI in the spring of 2018; and were presented at GOT MUSICAL in May of 2018.

2017 New Voices Project winners: Anderson Cook, Amanda D’Archangelis, Luke Davidson, David Gomez, Cristian Guerrero, Edison Hong,  Jonathan Horn, Oliver Houser, Oscar Jacques, David Lancelle, Ariel Mitchell, Andrew Moorhead, Jude Obermüller, Eliot Rhys, Steven Schmidt, Jackson Teeley, and Marina Toft. Excerpts from their work received in-house critiques at NMI in the spring of 2017; and were featured at the STAGES Festival in July, 2017.

2016 New Voices Project winners: 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, and Zach Spound. Excerpts from their work were presented as part of the annual GOT MUSICAL concert at the Colony Theatre in Burbank on May 15, 2016 and at the 3D Theatricals Rehearsal Hall in Anaheim on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.  Prior to those presentations, the writers’ work received in-house critiques at NMI with input from Walt Disney magineering Creative Entertainment.

2015 New Voices Project winners: Jacob Combs & Madeline Myers, Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler, and Michael Finke.  The Merit Award Recipients were: Mark Sonnenblick, Andre Catrini, Sam Chanse and Bob Kelly, and Ben Boecker. Excerpts from their work were presented as part of the annual GOT MUSICAL concert at the Colony Theatre in Burbank on June 4, 2015; critiqued by NMI staff and members of the staff of Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment; and presented in concert as part of the STAGES Musical Theatre Festival in August, 2015.

2014 New Voices Project winners: Danny K. Bernstein, Santino De Angelo, and Zach Zadek. Excerpts from their work were workshopped at New Musicals Inc. in April of 2014.  After receiving feedback from WDI Creative Entertainment’s Michelle Baron and the NMI staff, the writers were given time to revise their work. The revised pieces were presented as part of NMI’s annual got musical concert at the Colony Theatre (Burbank) on May 6, 2014.

2013 New Voices Project winners: Chris Byron Pratt, Nick Jester, Amar Biamonte, Ion Constantine, and Noah Reece. These writers had their work presented as part of the STAGES Festival, and received feedback from a panel including WDI Creative Entertainment’s Vice President of Theatrical Development, Michael Jung, as well as NMI Staff Elise Dewsberry, Scott Guy, and Ross Kalling.

The New Voices Project is supported in part by Walt Disney Imagineering and the Helen & Jose Colton Foundation

Mission:  To nurture new  musical theatre writers under the age of 26 by offering them private and public  workshops of their writing.

annual deadline: February 15

Search 2013 Winner It Happened in Roswell by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal - in concert at the Colony Theatre

not sure?

We know that the many choices we offer can be overwhelming. So please check out the informational videos in which NMI’s Artistic Director talks about the various options NMI has on offer.

NOTE: Every project is unique, and requirements will differ. NMI staff will guide the musical to the appropriate level of feedback; nine times out of ten, we will steer you towards the least expensive version. We find, for instance, that the majority of musicals benefit most from the Detailed Analysis ($400), and that it’s unnecessary to involve actors or audience until the book is functioning. Give us a call at 818-506-8500, and we’ll be happy to help determine the right option for you.

“The Search evaluation provided not only insights, but also inspirations … and transformed the rewrite process into something exciting and fun!”


“Thanks for the honest evaluation. That’s not easy to come by and the level of detail you provided far exceeded my expectations so I feel I got more than my money’s worth.”


“If anyone is hesitant about the cost of submitting to you guys, be sure to have them talk to me. Your evaluations are worth ten times the fee.”

“Elise is the Sherlock Holmes of dramaturgy. 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