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Writing Musical Theatre

professional, engaging online classes in writing music, book and lyrics.

online courses for:

bookwriters

theme, diction, exposition, and more

lyricists

rhyme, prosody, progression, and more

composers

range, underscoring, formatting, and more

collaborative teams

duets, ballads, musical scenes, and more

  how it works…

Each of the courses at Writing Musical Theatre is broken down into multiple units.

Each unit contains videos, handouts, exercises, tests, and assignments.

Each assignment is personally evaluated by a live evaluator – so you get personalized feedback on your progress every step of the way.

live personalized feedback on all assignments

At the end of each unit, after you have completed all the videos, tests, and exercises, you will be prompted to upload an assignment.  Your personal evaluator will read your assignment and respond with an individualized audio feedback file.

watch informative videos

You will begin each unit by watching one or more videos packed with all kinds of information. You can re-watch the videos whenever you want during the course.

supplement the videos with handouts

Each unit will have one or more handout that you can print out as a handy reference for what you are learning in the unit.

reinforce your learning with exercises

For each unit, you can practice what you’ve learned with one or more optional exercises. (These exercises will not be graded.)

check out your learning through online tests

Each unit will have one or more online tests which will be automatically evaluated. The answers to the tests come with explanations to clarify the answers. You can take the tests as often as you want to improve your score.

start anytime and work at your own pace

All of the courses at Writing Musical Theatre are ready to start whenever you are, and you can proceed through the course at your own speed.

  curriculum

for bookwriters

For musical theatre bookwriters, we offer the BOOK LAB and the OUTLINING LAB; designed and evaluated by staff member Elise Dewsberry.

for lyricists

For musical theatre lyricists, we offer the Lyric and Advanced Lyric Labs, designed by staff member Scott Guy, and evaluated by Larry Todd Cousineau.

for composers

For musical theatre composers, we offer the Music Lab, designed and evaluated by Chicago-area staff member Philip Seward.

for collaborators

For musical theatre collaborative teams, we offer the Musical Theatre Song Lab with Scott Guy), and the Master Class with the Masters with John Sparks.

try the FREE demo…

Check out the video to hear details about the courses from the staff.

OR – to give you an idea of WMT’s technical interface, as well as some insight into the nature of the elements of our online courses, we have prepared a FREE Demo lab with excerpts and examples from actual courses.

  Details
  and Fees

Here are the details and fees for all of the labs currently offered by Writing Musical Theatre.

  staff

WritingMusicalTheatre.com is owned and operated by the top faculty at the Academy for New Musical Theatre.

Between us and our staff, we have nurtured nearly 2000 musicals over the years, for writers all over the planet.

We work out of New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles, developing musicals for producers, nurturing musical theatre writers and their careers, running musical theatre festivals, workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Elise Dewsberry
Elise Dewsberry

Book Lab / Outlining Lab

Elise has been involved in the development of new works for over forty years: as an actor/singer, as a director, as a dramaturge, and as a writer. In Toronto, Elise served as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Muskoka Festival; the Co-Ordinator of the festival’s annual Musical Theatre Writer’s Colony, the Associate Dramaturge of the Canadian Stage Company; the Resident Dramaturge of the Smile Theatre Company; and was the co-founder of Toronto’s Script Lab, and co-wrote Any Body Home? (with Carl Ritchie), which iis published by Dramatic Publishing. Elise joined ANMT as Associate Artistic Director in 2003; joined Founding Artistic Director John Sparks as Co-Artistic Director in 2010; and became Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc. in 2013. Elise also serves as a Los Angeles Ovation Award Voter.

Scott Guy
Scott Guy

Lyric & Advanced Lyric Labs / Musical Theatre Song Lab

Under Scott’s tenure as Executive Director, New Musicals Inc. has developed over 100 musicals for producers across the country, and over 200 independent musicals by ANMT writers. Scott has produced several NMI musical theatre festivals and multiple seasons of concert readings and concerts. Scott’s current and recent writing projects include: Script consultant for musical version of Pirates of the Caribbean for Disney; Unspoken for Deaf West Theatre; and Darby O’Gill and the Leprechaun Queen for McCoy-Rigby Productions; Soul of Darkness with Placido Domingo; and a two-year run in NY of Just So Stories. Six Emmy nominations, and over 100 produced television scripts for Warner Bros, FOX-TV, Disney, Discovery Channel, PBS, etc. www.scottguy.biz

Larry Todd Cousineau
Larry Todd Cousineau

Lyric Lab Evaluator

Larry Todd Cousineau’s musical, 40 is the New 15 (with composer Cindy O’Connor), had a critically-acclaimed run at the NoHo Arts Center, receiving a Best New Musical award from StagesceneLA and a 2010 GLAAD Media Award Nomination for Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre, and was chosen by Stephen Schwartz for the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop. Now and Then a Hero (with composer Jake Anthony) was seen at the Montana Rep as part of the Missoula Colony Festival; and his musical drama, All That He Was (with composer Cindy O’Connor) was seen at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York. For this same show, Larry also won the Kennedy Center National Playwright’s Award and the ACTF Musical Theater Award. His historical-fiction musical, The Last Princess, (with music by Allen Hong) was also featured in the Disney/ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop.

John Sparks
John Sparks

Master Class with the Masters

John was the founder/co-Director of the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, Inc. (1979-2002) and has been the Artistic Director of ANMT/NMI from 2002 to the present. He founded the Writers’ Workshop at Theatre Building Chicago in 1987 and also served TBC as Artistic Director from 1999 through 2009. Between the two workshops, John has mentored the work of over 250 writers, including Mark Hollmann, composer/lyricist of Urinetown; George Gorham and Dan Sticco, A Change in the Heir; Susan DiLallo and Ken Stone (both Kleban Award winners); and several Richard Rodgers Award winners. Nearly 400 shows written by workshop members have been produced in theatres across the country. Musicals for which John wrote the music, lyrics or book have been produced in Los Angeles and Chicago, including Buddy’s Plane Is Down; Babes In Barns, Hans Brinker, On The Brink and Wanting Miss Julie.

Philip Seward
Philip Seward

Music Lab

Philip Seward lists among his operatic and musical works, Nimue (2007, Edinburgh), Downtown (2007, Stages Festival Chicago), Sincerely Yours (2003), Juan Peron’s Hand (2002, Northtown Arts Center); High Fidelity (1998, Chicago Humanities Festival and 1999, Merkin Hall, New York); Spreading The News (1998, North Park University); Hans Brinker (1994, Theatre Building Chicago – recipient of several Jeff Citations and an After Dark Award); youth operas African Stories (2007), A Noteworthy Tale (2002) and Stone Soup (2001) commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago; Blessing (2003, Lira Chamber Chorus); and Psalm 8 (1997) commissioned by the Lyric Opera Chapters. He is an Artist-in-Residence at Columbia College Chicago, co-conductor of the Lira Ensemble of Chicago, music director at St. James Presbyterian Church, and serves as a free-lance conductor and a performer for many ensembles, musicals and operas.

  Testimonials

“I’ve been a poet all my life, but I feel like – at long last – the lab is giving me the skills and understanding to go beyond the poetic gifts I was born with and to build on those gifts with insight and intention. And what a difference that’s going to make to my efforts! So thank, you, thank you, thank you!!”

Randi Wolfe

Lyricist, Los Angeles

“These courses are what all we writers desperately need.”

Chris Burgess

Bookwriter/Lyricist, London

“Elise Dewsberry’s rare gift for analyzing plot and character is enormously helpful to writers. Her story sense is phenomenal.”

Stephen Oles

Bookwriter, Seattle

“Scott Guy has in-depth knowledge of forms, rhyme, and scansion in poetry and the knowledge of how to adapt this to create excellent prosody in writing lyrics for musicals. He also has a depth of practical experience in collaborating with musicians. I’ve benefited personally from his critiques.”

Marilyn Moore

Composer/Lyricist, Los Angeles

Contact Us

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Writing Musical Theatre

professional, engaging online classes in writing music, book and lyrics.

WritingMusicalTheatre is administered in Los Angeles by the staff of New Musicals Inc. and the Academy for New Musical Theatre.

818-506-8500

info@writingmusicaltheatre.com