NMI’s RESOURCE CENTER for musical theatre writers

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

Welcome to the musical theatre writers’ Resource Center.

This is a FREE page hosted 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 glossary of musical theatre terms (with audio/video examples)
  • access to short videos filled with tips and advice from NMI staff
  • access to critical feedback options and format guidelines from NMI

Everything on this main page is available to view for free!

If you want to be put on our mailing list to get NEWS and SPECIAL OFFERS – please use the SUBSCRIBE form at the bottom of this page.

Enjoy!


GLOSSARY OF TERMS


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!

      • Ensemble song:

        A song in which more than two singers sing, usually simultaneously, but perhaps in counterpoint.

      • Book:

        Refers to the dialogue AND storyline/structure of the musical. The “book” is often conceived of by the entire collaborative team, although the actual dialogue might be written by one person alone, the bookwriter.

      • Golden age of musical theatre:

        A period from approximately 1943-1963 which includes many of the most popular shows of Broadway.

      • Trochee:

        A two-syllable unit comprised of a stressed accent followed by an unstressed syllable, such as When I take you out tonight with me.

      • Iamb:

        A two-syllable unit comprised of a unstressed syllable followed by a stressed accent.

        I know a dark secluded place.

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


NEW MUSICALS ONLINE


Here is one of our featured new musical theatre videos:


CONTESTS

FREE LISTING of hundreds of contests for plays and musicals.

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

      • USA Songwriting Competition (May 31)
      • Kumu Kahua Theatre/UHM Department of Theatre & Dance Playwriting Contest (May 31)
      • Fresh Fruit Festival (May 31)
      • Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre Play Contests (June 1)
      • Alabama State Council on the Arts Fellowship (June 1)

      *** CLICK TO VIEW ALL THE CONTESTS ***


PRODUCERS & THEATRES

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


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

      • Kairos Italy Theater (Accepts Plays / Young Audience material / )
      • Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Accepts Musicals / Plays / Young Audience material / )
      • Nevada Shakespeare Festival (Accepts Musicals / Plays / Young Audience material / )
      • Cosmopolitan Cabaret (Accepts Musicals / )
      • Willows Theatre Company (Accepts Musicals / )

      *** COMPLETE LIST OF THEATRES/PRODUCERS ***


IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT


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.

FREE PROGRESSION HANDOUT


FORMAT LIKE A PRO


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.

Want more tools to help you get your formatting right?

*** VISIT OUR FORMATTING PRODUCTS PAGE ***



INSIDER TIPS AND ADVICE


Here is one of our videos with insider tips and advice:


NEED SOME FEEDBACK?


Have you written a musical? Are you working on one? NMI has smart, professional, detailed dramaturges who will help you make sure you are on the strongest path to fulfilling the promise of your work. From video and audio feedback packages to one-on-one dramaturgical sessions, we have what you need to take the next step forward. We even have an annual contest that results in a workshop and concert reading in Los Angeles.

"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 NMI's Feedback options ***


LIBRARY OF IDEAS (Royalty Free)

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!


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

      • The Literary Astronomer (by Ambrose Bierce)
      • Amazement (by Stephen French Whitman)
      • Elder Brown’s Backslide (by Harry Stillwell Edwards)
      • Sisters of the Golden Circle (by O. Henry)
      • A Lonely Ride (by Bret Harte)

      *** LINK TO COMPLETE LIBRARY OF IDEAS ***

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NEWS, SPECIAL OFFERS, and DISCOUNTS!

Life is a loveless tale
For a ship without a sail.

--Lorenz Hart


Left to right: Gene Buck, Victor Herbert, John Philip Sousa, Harry B. Smith, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George W. Meyer, Irving Bibo, and Otto Harbach. circa 1920. From the Musical Theatre History collection of the Library of Congress.



MUSICAL THEATRE ARCHIVES


Here's a sample of items from our vault of historical photos, and musical theatre trivia about events that happened THIS month in the past:

      • May 16, 1946     Annie Get Your Gun opened on Broadway today, and it became the biggest hit for composer Irving Berlin, running for nearly three years.
      • May 24, 1966     Mame opened on Broadway today starring Angela Lansbury, Bea Arthur, Jane Connell, and Frankie Michaels.
      • May 8, 1892     Italian baritone Ezio Pinza was born today. Primarily a star of opera, he gained lasting fame at the age of fifty-seven as the man Mary Martin wanted to ‘wash right out of her hair’ in South Pacific.

      *** Click to access the full archives. ***