The Academy for New Musical Theatre is the academic branch of New Musicals Inc.
The West Coast version of New York’s BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, ANMT has been running for nearly 40 years in Los Angeles, offering musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists and composers many different options and levels of instruction.
If you want to join our community of musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers, then the Core Curriculum is the place you’ll need to start.
The first part of ANMT’s famed Writers’ Workshop, the Core Curriculum is where experienced writers and novice writers alike begin, concentrating on the unique vocabulary and collaborative process of creating new musical theatre.
The Core Curriculum is an in-depth, intense nine-month collaborative workshop, which culminates in a production of your 15-minute musical in a professional theatre in Los Angeles.
monthly collaborative workshop sessions
Beginning every September, the Core Curriculum meets one weekend a month to put together musical theatre, composers, lyricists and bookwriters on teams that receive collaborative musical assignments. The following month, the work is presented and given highly constructive feedback from the staff, guests, and peers. Then, participants are paired with a different set of collaborators and a new assignment is tackled.
assignments based on award-winning plays
During the Core Curriculum, participants will experiment with such song styles as: the Ballad, the Comedy Song, the Duet, the Musical Scene, the Ensemble, the Classic Charm Song, and the Contemporary Complaint Song. The Core Curriculum’s collaborative assignments are based on Pulitzer- and Obie award-winning plays written since 2000, as well as movie and television scripts.
online craft labs
Concurrently with the monthly collaborative assignments, each participant will also complete at least one craft-specific online lab focusing on his or her main area(s) of concentration, i.e.; composing for the musical theatre, lyric writing, or book writing.
your short musical produced in Los Angeles
Your final collaboration is a 15 Minute Musical, which we cast, direct, rehearse and produce for you. It’s a very intense and memorable experience where you and your team will write an original show for four specific actors. Over the course of eight very active weeks, you’ll write an outline and three drafts, receiving readings and feedback at every step of the way, before your final script/score is launched into production. The annual 15 Minute Musicals are a much anticipated sold-out event, attended by other ANMT bookwriters, lyricists, and composers anxious to check out the new talent joining the community.
staff instructors and feedback guests
The Core Curriculum is run by NMI Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry and internationally-acclaimed John Sparks, who has conducted workshops in Los Angeles and Chicago for thirty-five years. The staff are also frequently joined by guests from the writer membership and from the industry. Craft Lab instructors include Chicago-based Philip Seward and Larry Todd Johnson.
history of the program
We’ve been around for more than 40 years and have helped hundreds of writers and producers launch thousands of musicals. We began as the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop (the west coast branch of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop). We became the Academy for New Musical Theatre in 2002, adding additional curriculum such as the Lyric Lab, Music Lab, and Book Lab, all of which are now also available online.
The Core Curriculum meets one weekend per month from beginning in September each year.
Saturday: 2:30 to 6:30pm
Sunday: 2:30 to 7:30pm
Location: 5628 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood
ALSO: The 15-Minute Musicals section of the program (writing, revisions, rehearsals, and performances) take place from the last session listed above through (approximately) mid-July.
The fee for the Core Curriculum is $1500. This includes all of the monthly collaborative assignments and feedback, one online craft lab (Book, Lyric, or Music), and a production of your 15 Minute Musical.
Optional additional online craft labs are $495 each.
Fees are billed in quarterly installments of $375 (payments do not begin until after official acceptance).
Currently enrolled college students and recent graduates may inquire about our student scholarships.
how to apply
All bookwriters, lyricists, and composers (from accomplished to aspiring) are invited to join us in September to audition for the new season of our famed Core Curriculum program. We will put you a collaborative team and give you a couple of assignments which you will prepare and present at the October sessions – and after that, we will make a mutual decision about whether or not the program is right for you.
There is no fee or obligation: try it on for size and enjoy making musicals with us!
Just click the button below to sign up now.
NOTE: To apply for an audition spot, you will be prompted to CREATE AN NMI ACCOUNT first.
don't live in Los Angeles?
Talk to us about participating in the Core Curriculum via live video-conferencing.
Core Curriculum participants enjoying a collaborative workshop session
search for new musicals
New Musicals Inc. is committed to an ongoing search to find and nurture promising new musical theatre.
If you’ve written a musical, and you would like some honest, constructive, detailed feedback on how to make your musical better, you can submit your musical to NMI for dramaturgical feedback at levels from evaluation to analysis to table reading.
All full-length musicals submitted (at any level) to NMI by JULY 15 of any year will be automatically entered in the Search for New Musicals for the next season. Winners will be announced by November 15 following the annual deadline. The winner of the Search receives a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and will be given a concert reading in Los Angeles.
“The real value of this service is in its rarity: from genuine industry professionals who have the clarity and vision to provide feedback with no bias or agenda and which asks the right questions and suggestions to enable YOU to genuinely UNDERSTAND how to make your work a better piece of musical theatre – the long term benefits of which are incalculable!”
past SEARCH winners
THE 2018 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2017 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2016 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2015 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2014 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2013 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2012 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2011 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2010 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2009 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
THE 2008 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS
Note: There are fees attached to all of the levels of development available through NMI. We know that some writers do not feel that there should be fees attached to script submissions, but our feeling is that the fee is for the feedback, and the entry into the Search is a side benefit. If you are submitting your musical ONLY because you want to win a contest, then the Search probably isn’t right for you.
annual deadline: July 15
“I always thought I had it in me to write for musical theatre, but it took ANMT to lead me through the steps to learn the craft, develop the skills, and ultimately find my own voice as a writer.”
new voices project
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.)
January 1: Submissions Open
February 15: Final Deadline for Submissions
March 1: New Voices Project Winners Announced
The NMI staff will review all submissions and select the winning entries to move forward. If your work is selected, we will invite you to take part in online and live workshops with musical theatre actors, music directors, directors, and dramaturgs.
past NEW VOICES winners
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
Not local? Here’s how long distance participants take part in Core sessions via video conference
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.”
“Joining NMI has been my single most productive move in the furthering of my musical theatre writing career.”
Mary Marie (NAMT 2014)