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SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

The Academy for New Musical Theatre 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 ANMT for dramaturgical feedback at levels from evaluation to analysis to table reading to workshop to concert reading.

All musicals submitted (at any level) to ANMT by JULY 15 of any year will be automatically entered in the Search for New Musicals for the next season. 

Click HERE to get email reminders for the July 15 deadline

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 ANMT staff, and will be given a concert reading as part of the next STAGES FESTIVAL in Los Angeles.  

Note:  There are fees attached to all of the levels of development available through ANMT.  The entry level is $195 for a 20-30 minute audio Script Overview; the next level is an in-depth 2-3 hour video Analysis for $400.  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 Script Overview, 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. 

Click to view Evaluation Price List

SEARCH WINNERS

Announcing the results of
THE 2014 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

OFF THE WALL

Book & Lyrics by Sarah Rebell, Music by Danny Abosch

Off the Wall is a musical comedy loosely inspired by the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. In this ninety minute, original musical, the Mona Lisa is brought to life when Vincenzo, a museum worker who idolizes the famous painting, kisses her. Much to Vincenzo's dismay, Mona Lisa immediately starts causing chaos all over Paris. This fresh, tongue-in-cheek musical may take place in the Belle …poque, but it whimsically explores contemporary themes, including the glorification of celebrity, the obsession with physical beauty and the importance of taking a second glance at preconceived notions of love and art.

Off the Wall will receive an ARC Workshop, and will be presented as part of STAGES 2015 in Los Angeles.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE ANARCHIST GIRL

Book and Lyrics by J. Linn Allen, Music by Cris Wo

In a time of political chaos, a sexy, gun-waving radical invades the home of a famous philosopher-poet, intending to kidnap him to promote her anarchist group. But he is mute from a stroke, so she conceals her plot and sets out to help him speak again. She also seduces his suicidal math-genius son while battling the great man's bitter wife and party-girl daughter. Once her plan is revealed, the lives of the entire family change.

The Anarchist Girl will receive a workshop with ARC, and will be presented as part of the 2015 STAGES Festival of New Musicals.

THIRD PRIZE:

INVISIBLE

Book by David Hollingsworth, music and lyrics by David Orris

Invisible is the story of high school nerds Griff and Kemper, who are determined to get popular enough to take the hot girls to the prom, despite warnings from their under-appreciated goth friend Hemlock. When their scientific experiment goes horribly wrong, Griff needs to figure out who is really standing by him, and whether or not being popular is all its cracked up to be.

Invisible will receive a workshop with ARC, and will be presented as part of the 2015 STAGES Festival of New Musicals in Los Angeles.

Announcing the results of
THE 2013 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

IT HAPPENED IN ROSWELL

by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal

It Happened in Roswell (formerly titled I Come For Love) tells the story of an ambitious reporter who cooks up a bogus UFO story in Roswell, New Mexico (just after World War 2); and is thrown for a loop when he finds himself falling in love with an actual alien who has come to earth looking for the emotions she has heard about through radio transmissions but can't find on her home planet.

It Happened in Roswell received a workshop with ARC, and a developmental production at the NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood during the summer of 2014.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE LOOKING GLASS WARS

by Kurt Kuenne, based on the novel by Frank Beddor.

The Looking Glass Wars is a musical adaptation of the popular trilogy which tells the "real" story behind Lewis Carroll's "distorted" version.

The Looking Glass Wars received a staff table reading at NMI.

THIRD PRIZE:

INFAMOUS

book by Karen M. Cohen, music and lyrics by Stephen Kingsbury, and additional music and lyrics by Karen M. Cohen

Infamous tells the story of a rock star on the decline who runs into a rock star on her way up to stardom.

Infamouse was awarded a Detailed Analysis.

Announcing the results of
THE 2012 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

MAD BOMBER

Book and Lyrics by Charles Monagan
Music by Richard DeRosa

Mad Bomber tells the true story of a madman with a grudge against Con Edison who plants a series of bombs in 1950s Manhattan. Concerted effort by cops, politicians, reporters leads to his capture.

Mad Bomber received an ARC Workshop in January of 2013, and a concert reading as part of the STAGES Festival in summer of 2013.

SECOND PRIZE:

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Book, Lyrics, and Music by Stephen Telfer

Chapter Eleven depicts the collapse of a major corporation from the point of view of its indicted CEO, whose lawyer is preparing his defense in the form of a musical.

Chapter Eleven will receive a staff table reading and full evaluation.

THIRD PRIZE:

JACK THE RIPPER

Libretto by Dan Kehde
Music by Mark Scarpelli

Jack the Ripper is a new exploration of the iconic tale of the 1880's murderer who haunted the streets of London and was never apprehended.

Jack the Ripper has won a detailed Analysis by the ANMT dramaturgical staff.

Announcing the results of
THE 2011 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

EMERALD

book & lyrics by Chris Burgess, music by Denise Wright

An Irish-American woman returns to the land of her ancestors, and finds herself "haunted" by the famed Black Pig.

EMERALD received an ARC Workshop in May of 2011, and a concert reading at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood in February of 2012.

SECOND PRIZE:

LIFE AFTER LIFE

Written by Tracey Langran Corea; Music and Lyrics by Thaddeus Corea and Tracey Corea; Music by Thaddeus Corea

LIFE AFTER LIFE received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in the summer of 2011.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE SPIRIT OF RIVER CITY

by Randolph Hobler

THE SPIRIT OF RIVER CITY received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in the fall of 2011.

THIRD PRIZE:

SILAS MARNER

by Cathy Elliott

SILAS MARNER will receive an ANMT Analysis.

Announcing the results of
THE 2010 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

GILBERT & SULLIVAN ON WALL STREET

book and lyrics by Charles Veley, music by Arthur Sullivan.

Ex-billionaire Wall Street entrepreneur Frederick F. Freemarket is about to save the world's economy, make billions of dollars for his employees, and redeem his good name. What could possibly go wrong? This loving homage to the world of W.S. Gilbert , set to the music of Arthur Sullivan, is updated to the current stock market crisis.

GILBERT & SULLIVAN ON WALL STREET received a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company in May of 2010, and a concert reading on November 15 as part of the 2010-11 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

SECOND PRIZE:

THE NEXT FAIRY TALE

by Brian Pugach

Imagine the chaos in fairy-tale land when the object of the Prince's affection turns out to be - another Prince!

The Next Fairy Tale received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in May of 2010.

THIRD PRIZE:

STRANGER TO THE MUSE

book and lyrics by Patrick Gallagher and music by Adam David Cohen

An aspiring screenwriter who knows nothing about love but is told he must incorporate it into his screenplay, decides to examine the great philosophical, literary, and cinematic explorations of love - causing the stories to come alive around him.

STRANGER TO THE MUSE will receive an ANMT Analysis.

Announcing the results of
THE 2009 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

GREENBRIER GHOST

book by Susan Murray, music and lyrics by Clay Zambo

A dead woman's ghost comes back from the grave to accuse her husband of her murder.

GREENBRIER GHOST received a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company in May of 2009, and a concert reading as part of the 2009-10 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

SECOND PRIZE:

EMERALD

book & lyrics by Chris Burgess, music by Denise Wright

An Irish-American woman returns to the land of her ancestors, and finds herself "haunted" by the famed Black Pig.

EMERALD received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in the 2010-11 season.

THIRD PRIZE:

DULA

book by Paul Elliott, music by Jeanie Cunningham, lyrics by Cunningham & Elliott

A fresh look at the story behind the infamous ballad of Tom Dooley.

DULA received an ANMT Analysis.

SPECIAL MERIT:

GIRL DETECTIVE

book & lyrics by Alan Gordon, music by Mark Sutton-Smith

No secrets are safe now that the amazing Casey Ames is on the case!


Announcing the results of
THE 2008 SEARCH FOR NEW MUSICALS

FIRST PRIZE:

THE WATER

Book by Tim Werenko and Jeff Hylton, Lyrics by Jeff Hylton, Music by Georgia Stitt

A small American town comes to terms with the aftermath of a devastating flood.

The Water received a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company in May of 2008, and a concert reading as part of the 2008-09 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

SECOND PRIZE:

ROCKET BOYS

book by Homer Hickam, Jr., stage adaptation by Chris Budinich, music & lyrics by Diana Belkowski and Dan Tramon, dramaturgy by Carl Anthony Tramon

Based on the book by Homer Hickam, Jr. that was made into the feature film October Sky.

Rocket Boys received an ANMT staff table reading and feedback session in May of 2008.

THIRD PRIZE:

UNWRITTEN RULES

book by Danny Abosch and Tommy Noland, music & lyrics by Danny Abosch

A brand new teacher discovers high school politics.

Unwritten Rules received an ANMT Analysis.

SPECIAL MERIT:

IDAHO: THE COMEDY MUSICAL

book & lyrics by Buddy Sheffield, music by Buddy Sheffield and Keith Thompson

A loving (if slightly naughty) tribute to the musicals of yore.

Idaho received a concert reading as part of the 2008-09 Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. Also: winner of the Audience Pick prize at the 2008 New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Submit your musical...

NEW SUBMISSION

To make a submission, please visit this link at our new website:

SEARCH SUBMISSION AT NMI

SEARCH TESTIMONIALS

FEEDBACK FROM SEARCH PARTICIPANTS

Here is some feedback from writers about their written EVALUATION OVERVIEW or video ANALYSIS:

"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!"

-- Michael Dresser


"To get professional feedback for a ridiculously low fee, where else are you gonna go?"

-- David Fischer


"We are in receipt of your video and your analysis of the piece. After watching the video and taking notes, we feel as if a nurturing dramaturgical Mary Poppins has visited us with wonderful insightful nourishment. It appeared to us that you seemed to really relate to the characters we've established and are caught up with their plight and have come up with ways to strengthen them ... Your suggestions are invaluable to us and many will be integrated."

-- Ron Yatter


"I wanted to tell you how much we appreciated your very thorough evaluation of our Musical, Gift of the Magi: The Musical. Your comments & suggestions were right on and gave us great insight to things in the show that we hadn't noticed. We have already made many changes to the script & songs as a result of your input. Thank you!"

-- Beverly Bremers and Faith Grant


"Thank you SO much for your time in reviewing the Stardust Hologram treatment. I've got 12 pages of notes from your audio notes and found your critique wonderfully, deeply & objectively insightful."

-- Les Oreck


"I want to thank you one last time for the care and attention you gave to Mad Bomber. I think it is a much better play than it was when I first submitted it and any further improvements will have started with you and ANMT. I will always be grateful for your enthusiasm and professionalism. Thanks again. Best wishes, "

-- Charles Monagan, Mad Bomber


"Thank you so much for the evaluation. It was more helpful than I could have imagined. Your words inspired me to work most diligently ...You are more valuable than money and gold! I really appreciate your insights and clarity."

-- Peter Copani


"... we are both very very happy with the knowledge and experience you have brought to this evaluation, The time and thought you have put into it is quite evident and greatly appreciated....Thanks again for all the work you have done in helping us to make [our musical] as good as it can be."

-- Alan Riva


"Iím extremely pleased and appreciative of your evaluation. Itís the first constructive evaluation Iíve had. Your thoroughness and assistance pretty much blew me away. I am both impressed and enthused."

-- Michael McNeill


"And - just to let you know - another show of mine you analysed a while back - SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS - after much reworking - has been offered a four week run, opening mid-April at the Landor theatre, Clapham, LONDON. And it wouldn't be getting a professional outing without your guidance. So even more thanks.."

-- Chris Burgess


"Once again you put your finger on the things that need addressing - try to hide them though I may, you're in there like a pig discovering truffles. (Sorry, inelegant phasing!) . What's terrific is that you are interested in helping the writer write the best possible version of what he/she wants to write, Another critique I had done on GET THAT BEAT, was fine, but the 'critiquer' wanted it to be a different show altogether, with entirely different central characters. Might be a great show, but not the one I want to achieve. So thanks again for great feedback."

-- Chris Burgess


"Thanks for yet another amazing evaluation session, and the wonderful performers who did the reading. We are always incredibly moved by the dedication and focus of you people, and your devotion to the cause of 'putting it together'. What a powerhouse ANMT is, and an inspiration for all of us trying to create new musical work."

-- Chris Burgess


"As always, I am blown away by the amount of amazing feedback that you give - I am nodding along vigorously. Thanks again for giving us this amazing opportunity to work with you again, and your great bunch of actors."

-- Denise Wright


"[I have found] the evaluation to be very enlightening; I'd like to add that such a detailed treatment was far beyond my expectations and proved your organization to be totally sincere and definitely concerned with promoting quality and professional musical theatre."

-- Walter Johnson


"I am so impressed with your evaluation. It is far more thorough than I expected, and full of valuable critiques and suggestions."

-- Tracey Corea


"We appreciate your constructive review of our project. It was the best $100 weíve spent in a while. In fact, a substantially revised version, that includes many of your recommendations, is being staged this summer by the El Paso Community College."

-- Mark Watts, eleven


"Thank you so much for your evaluation. I'm gratified by how whole-heartedly you engaged with the piece, and your report is full of useful insights and suggestions which will help us greatly in the next phase. Thank you to you and your colleagues for running this programme."

-- James Reid, Probe


"Thank you for the notes ... Weíve made a lot of changes, many of which were based on your direct feedback. It was very good to get an opinion from someone with your expertise."

-- Mark Knowles, Killer in Drag


"Thank you so much for these valuable notes. They are an incredible help and will push the show to the next level. It's given me something to think about and dwell on before moving forward. I miss all you guys and the intensity, professionalism, and talent over at ANMT. "

-- Mark Garcia, Holy Cows of Credence North Dakota


"What can we say? We are DELIGHTED with your evaluation and we are now going to forge ahead with further revisions to make this show as water-tight as possible (before the forensic scrutiny it will eventually get in workshop rehearsal, when things will - inevitably - change again!!) You have an eagle eye and a pitch perfect ear and we treasure your insights and suggestions. A big thank you yet again from across the pond. We really wouldn't be where we are with this show without you."

-- Chris Burgess & Denise Wright


"Enormous thanks for your incredible analysis of 'FALLING FOR LARA'. Both your overview and your detailed analysis is invaluable and we marvel at your ability to really 'get inside' a story. Our previous treatment of 'ROCKSWOP' (which you also dealt with) went on to be scripted and has been optioned by Hopscotch Films and Ealing Studios; and this was in no small part due to your terrific critique. With all best wishes, Chris Burgess and Marc Zakian "

-- Mark Zakian


"Thank you for your evaluation of Eye of the Storm. WOW! That is all I kept saying to myself as I got thru Act 1's eval. I appreciate EVERYTHING you pointed out to me and believe me I have thought many of the remarks myself along the great writing way. You just confirmed so much of my gut feelings for the things I need to work on. I wanted to get my first thoughts off to you before I continue with Act II's eval. Again, Elise, thank you for all you did to make me want to continue to fix Eye. "

-- E.H. Milam


"Thank you SO MUCH for your absolutely fantastic analysis of 'EMERALD'. What a great opportunity we now have to strengthen and clarify the piece. If only life were like this, and you got a second and third shot at it! You put your finger on some story flaws that we are now working on, and it has been inspiring to build on what works and dismantle and re-invent those elements that need bolstering. We are am hoping to have this next draft completed sooner rather than later, and it would be great to get this to you, and pay for another session of feedback. Watch this space. "

-- Chris Burgess and Denise Wright


"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. I realize that 'jukebox' musicals are sometimes viewed as the step children of the genre and I suppose in many instances rightfully so. But in my head I see the narrative arc of these songs clearly so I think I'll keep revising to improve the telling of that story rather than work it into more of a musical revue type piece. I hope I can get to LA to see one of your productions sometimes soon. "

-- S.D. Williams


"I realize I haven't been in touch since our reading, and I wanted to tell you three that our day of feedback has been incredibly useful and launched me into a completely new phase of work on the show. You've inspired me to start a serious education as a musical theatre writer"

-- Brian Pugach


"I just finished reading your evaluation and want to thank you So Much for your perspectives and time. What you wrote is exactly the kind of fundamental theatrical feedback I was hoping to get for the work. Its always hugely helpful getting feedback revealing where the conceptual blind spots are."

-- Les Oreck


"Thanks again for your honesty and smarts. Your candor, insights and graciousness are much appreciated. It's the best tutorial I've ever had and, like most artists, I generally don't sit still for tutorials."

-- Ed Goldman, Composer/Lyricist/Librettist, Friday@5


"Any musical theatre project in development can benefit greatly from the objective, knowledgeable feedback services provided by the Academy for New Musical Theatre. Their efficient staff provides a supportive viewpoint, rare in the profession. "

-- Ramon Delgado


"ANMT offers something unique: an in-depth, thoughtful, honest appraisal of a work in progress. They deliver enormous value for a relatively small financial investment. I recommend the Search to any writer developing a new work for the musical stage. "

-- Stephen Telfer


"We submitted PLANET EDEN in one of its initial drafts and received amazingly detailed feedback. Clearly, whoever was assigned to our project had read the script numerous times and took copious notes and we got them all. This has been one of my most personally satisfying interactions with an arts advisory group that I have ever experienced!"

-- Aaron Kirk Douglas


"The Search evaluation provided not only insights, but also inspirations - ANMT transformed the rewrite process into something exciting and fun!"

-- Charles Veley, G & S on Wall Street


"Wow! So awesome! This is extremely helpful and Ė wow! I say it again! So amazing that you would spend your time helping us in this way. We cannot thank you enough."

-- Aaron Douglas, Planet Eden


"First of all, let me just say thank you ...for this amazing experience. I would be remiss if I didnít just say how grateful I am for this experience. I will certainly recommend ANMT to other writers I know. "

-- Susan Murray, Bookwriter, Greenbrier Ghost


"Wow. This was a really detailed analysis. Many thanks."

-- John Piraino


"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."

-- William Roetzheim, Producing Director


" I wanted to say one more time just how truly stimulating the feedback that you gave on the original submission has been, and I look forward to more...You did a fantastic job with the analysis, enormously helpful -- and I love the video format."

-- Stephen Telfer


"We are so grateful for your thoroughness and the insight of your comments. Your report has given us a fresh approach to the project."

"Iíve never received a more cogent and useable evaluation before. Iím very comfortable with the critique process but I have never finished reading a critique/evaluation with as much desire and energy to go to work on and polish a piece."

"Thanks for the fantastic feedback that you provided on the evaluation. It sounds like you really understood my vision for the show more than many of the people I've shown it to."

"The critique was spot on. I would say that the work that you are doing is the most helpful I have ever received from any arts organization. I only wish that more organizations were able to do as much for the field of musical theater. I think that your entire approach is great, serving a wide number of artists at many different levels in their careers. An incredible process really."

"I thought the critique was very thorough, thoughtful, and encouraging, and it inspired many new ways of thinking about my project."

"I found the feedback extremely helpful. It was thoughtful, thorough and very supportive. This is the first time I have attempted to write the music, lyrics and book and your comments have re-energized me and I am currently hard at work on a second draft of my piece. Thank you so much!"

-- 2008 Search Writers


"Elise Dewsberry's rare gift for analyzing plot and character is enormously helpful to writers.† Her story sense is phenomenal."

-- Stephen Oles, bookwriter, Seattle


"Wow! Almost 45 minutes of detailed analysis -- I'm frankly feeling a bit blown away! Such helpful insights. I've listened to the evaluation twice now. MANY THANKS for taking so much time to share such helpful insights. "

-- Stephen Telfer


"Elise Dewsberry has been the most influential, helpful, encouraging but brutally honest mentor in my six year attempt to write the book and many of the lyrics of a Broadway-style musical. I recommend Elise without reservation. Entering the Search was the beginning of a year-long association with ANMT, and I will continue to seek Elise's help and very happily pay for it."

-- Sandy Wolf, Marina


"Just a huge thank you for the feedback and suggestions. Way more detailed and involved than I expected, and extremely constructive. Feeling energized."

-- David Fischer


"Without ANMTís help this project would never have come this far! After last yearís search and Eliseís analysis before that, I have received top notch plot help, character development, and musical advice. Useful is not a strong enough word. ANMT has been a guiding force in this projectís evolution, for which I am most grateful. One of the most difficult things for writers is obtaining professional feedback. Working in a vacuum is almost impossible. Collaboration and constant outside feedback is part of the process. I would certainly recommend ANMT to fellow writers."

-- David Nelson


 

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