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!

      • Black box theatre:

        A simple performance space, usually square or rectangular, with black walls and no “wings”; often used for experimental theatre, or early development of shows and musicals.

      • Subtext:

        words which are unspoken; the meaning which is implied but not said by a character

      • 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).

      • Lead sheet:

        A sketch of a song, including melody, lyrics, chord symbols, tempo, and possibly a hint of an introductory groove, on a single staff, without any realization of an accompaniment.

      • Motif:

        A short musical idea or succession of notes which gets repeated and/or embellished, usually with additional layers of meaning.

      *** 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:

      • Jewish Ensemble Theatre Festival of New Plays (April 30)
      • Theatre Three One-Act Play Festival (April 30)
      • Baltimore Playrights Festival (April 30)
      • ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles (April 30)
      • Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting (May 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:

      • Clubbed Thumb (Accepts Plays / )
      • New York Stage and Film (Accepts Musicals / )
      • Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America (Accepts Plays / )
      • The Shakespeare Theatre Company (Accepts Musicals / )
      • Riverside Theatre Florida (Accepts Musicals / Plays / Young Audience material / )

      *** 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:

      • East O’ The Sun And West O’ The Moon (by Sir George Webbe Desent)
      • Zenobia’s Infidelity (by HC Bunner)
      • What Happened To Henny Penny (by Lady Bell)
      • Pierrot (by Guy de Maupassant)
      • That Costly Ride (by Guy de Maupassant)

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

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NEWS, SPECIAL OFFERS, and DISCOUNTS!

You’re a queer one, Julie Jordan!
You are quieter and deeper than a well.

--Oscar Hammerstein II


“Frank Girard and Charles Worley in a comic acrobatic act”–Hand-written on verso. Location: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts / Jerome Robbins Dance Division. From the collection Treasures of the American Performing Arts, 1875-1923



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:

      • April 6, 1941     The theater community gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria to pay homage to the recently deceased Antoinette Perry. The American Theatre Wing presented awards for achievement in the previous season. In recognition of Perry, they would come to be known as the Tony Awards. First year’s recipients included David Wayne and Michael Kidd for Finian’s Rainbow, Agnes de Mille for Brigadoon, and Kurt Weill for Street Scene.
      • April 16, 1927     Edith ‘Edie’ Adams was born today. Adams won a Tony for Best Featured Actress as Daisy Mae in L’il Abner. Then, she played Julie Andrew’s Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s television version of Cinderella.
      • April 7, 1949     Some Enchanted Evening…South Pacific opened on Broadway today.

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