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Theatres and Theatre Companies

Theatres Staging New Musicals

Here is a partial list of professional theatres that stage new musicals. Some of them accept agented submissions and some accept unsolicated. In any case, it is helpful for anyone writing musicals to see new shows and meet the people involved with creating them. You never know what could happen through networking. Please also see the issues of our Musical Writerzine for interviews with theatre directors about their interests in new musicals.

NEW YORK

The York Theatre - New York City

Yorktheatre.org from their history: "The York Theatre Company is the only theatre in New York City - and one of very few in the world - dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past." Their programs for new musicals include developmental readings, a program for emerging writers, and main stage productions. Enjoy this short video about the York's programs The York Theatre vimeo.com/66569454

Manhattan Theatre Club - New York City

Manhattan theatre club ...Manhattan Theatre Club has grown in three decades from a prolific Off-Off Broadway showcase into one of the country's most acclaimed theatre organizations. One of the only institutions in the U.S. solely dedicated to producing new plays and musicals, MTC develops and presents works of the highest quality by both established and emerging American and international playwrights.

New York Theatre Workshop

This is the theatre where Rent began, and Once was workshoped before Broadway. www.nytw.org/ From their submissions page: NYTW accepts all types of submissions, including solo pieces, musicals, full-length and one-act plays. Please be Patient. We receive over 2,500 submissions each year. Turn around time for material sent to our office is about six months or longer.

Playwrights Horizons - New York City

Playwrights Horizons is an established Manhattan theater with a strong commitment to the voice of the American writer. They focus on original works and make an effort to support the development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists. They accept unsolicited manuscripts of full-length, original musicals (and plays) by American authors. They are looking for pieces with clear dramatic action that effectively utilize the resources of live theater. Here's what they DON'T want: musicals without original scores, translations of already written work, children's musicals, screenplay adaptations, one-acts, shows with chiefly biographical or historical material, topical "issue" shows, musicals that have already received New York City productions. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. Find details at Playwrights Horizons submissions

Prospect Theater Company

The Prospect Theater Company develops and produces new musicals, primarily those of the company membership. One way to become known is to get involved with their Annual Musical Theater Lab of 10-minute musicals. They also have concerts. On their submissions page, they explain how to notify them of an upcoming reading, or get on their radar. Prospect Theater - NYC

Public Theater

New York City's famed Public Theater regularly stages new musicals and plays that fit their mission. Their literary department accepts unsolicited "Synopsis Submissions" meaning something short. For musicals, this specifically includes a 10-page dialogue sample, a synopsis (1 page max) of the piece, a brief (100-200 word) statement about how your piece fits with the Public's Mission, and up to three demos of songs.

About the mission, as per their website: "The Public serves as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force in leading and framing dialogue on important issues of our day. These core democratic values, set in place by its visionary founder, Joseph Papp, inform all aspects of The Public's activities." See Public theater submissions

Second Stage Theatre

Second Stage Theatre is a leader in developing new works. They take agented submissions only. They tend to stage cutting edge work and have mounted the premieres of many new musicals, such as Next to Normal, Dear Evan Hansen, Dogfight, and Invisble Thread. 2nd Stage

CALIFORNIA

The Colony Theatre Company of Burbank

This group accepts agented or professionally recommended shows only, small only for four or fewer actors, with simple sets and minimal production requirements. "Looking for well-crafted, full-length plays and musicals of theatrical imagination and emotional resonance which treat universal human themes. Tell us a story, make us care, take us somewhere we've never been. We are not interested in partisan screeds, political correctness, or fashionable cynicism." Colony Theatre of Burbank

TheatreWorks - Silicon Valley

TheatreWorks ...TheatreWorks deepens its commitment to the creation and development of new works with the New Works Initiative. Broadly defined, this program includes traditional and non-traditional musicals, plays with music, and plays with soundscapes. The program encompasses staged readings, workshops, special events, and main stage world premieres. They do not take unsolicited material. NAMT member (considers shows at NAMT).

The Old Globe - San Diego

The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 plays and musicals. Their aim is to create "theatrical experiences of the highest professional standards." It has become a testing ground for new shows. Agented submissions only. NAMT member (considers shows at NAMT).

Rubicon Theatre Company - Ventura, CA

One of the Rubicon's goals is to mount new or seldom-produced musicals or musical revues. They also help sustain an International Theatre Festival. Rubicon Theatre

La Jolla Playhouse - La Jolla (San Diego area), CA

While they don't focus on musicals, some new musicals have tried out at the La Jolla Playhouse. The like to work with Southern California playwrights and accept agented submissions. Lajollaplayhouse.org/

Center Theatre Group - Los Angeles

The Center Theatre Group produces shows at the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, and their website is a place to look for seeing musical premieres and other shows. Center Theatre Group. For many years they have been active in new works development with commissions and with staging productions.

SEATTLE AREA

5th Avenue Theatre - Seattle

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of the nation's leading producers and creators of new work, having premiered over a dozen original musicals. They have an open submissions policy for new works and also have an ongoing workshop for local book writers, composers, and lyricists. They take works early in the development process, accepting submissions of scripts, treatments, or scene sample if a full draft hasn't been completed. Minimum number of songs on a demo CD is 3, though more would be better. 5th Avenue - New Works

The Village Theatre - Issaquah and Everett

The Village Theatre has a Village Originals program that nurtures new musicals and the company hosts an annual festival of new musicals. Five new musicals are presented in staged reading followed by a moderated talkback session. See Musical Writerzine issue 5 (bottom of page) for a full story about the festival.

OTHER AREAS

Alliance Theare - Atlanta

This Tony-Award winning theatre regularly produces new works. The Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions including The Color Purple, Aida, and Sister Act: The Musical. They accept agented submissions. Alliance in Atlanta

Asolo Rep - Sarasota, Florida

Asolo Rep is a well-known regional theatre in Sarasota Florida that stages some new works. They accept unsolicted scripts from Florida playwrights. Asolo Rep

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati Ohio is one of the oldest regional theaters in the US. They sometimes bring full-length new musicals to stage and accept submissions from agents. Unagented musical writers may contact them about a show with a letter of inquiry. For more information see Cincyplay - submissions.

Northlight - Chicago

Northlight Theatre mounts new musicals and is a good place to see them in the midwest. www.northlight.org/ . They have staged works in progress from such major writers as Stephen Schwartz, John Caird, Paul Gordon, Scott Frankel, Michael Korie, and others. From their submissions policy: "Northlight Theatre does not accept unsolicited scripts. However, in an effort to support the local artistic community, we do accept unsolicited ten-page samples exclusively from writers living in Illinois."

Norma Terris Theatre - Chester, CT

The parent organization, Goodspeed Musicals, does not accept unsolicited scripts. However their smaller, experimental space, Norma Terris, is a great place to see new works, attend occasional talk backs, and sometimes meet the writers. Norma Terris is designed to allow the creators of new musicals to see a fully staged version of their material. Inaugurated in 1984, The Norma Terris Theatre has launched over 50 musicals into the theatre world, including 25 world premieres. Goodspeed.org

Barrington Stage - MA

Barrington Stage, in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, develops new works for their productions. They don't take any submissions though, so it's a place to see shows. Those who can attract William Finn's attention elsewhere may have a chance. Barringtonstageco.org/

New Line Theatre - St. Louis, MO

New Line Theatre explores the edgier side of theater with "provocative, alternative, politically and socially relevant musicals. They accept submissions of new, small cast, issue-oriented musicals for production or readings but ask that you e-mail them first with a brief synopsis. See New Line

Pittsburgh CLO

Have a small musicals with a cast of five or fewer? (Or more if cast members double as the band.) This theater company in Pittsburgh is seeking new works, especially for a cabaret-like space. They take open submissions for works in all stages of development as long as there is a full script. Pittsburgh CLO new musicals

Festivals

New musicals are often tested in the context of a festival. See Festivals

Please also see our issues of Musical Writerzine

Guidebooks for Theatres and Grant programs

See our Reference guides section - RECOMMENDED BOOKS for more resources to support your new musical production.

 

Cabaret shows

In New York City where there are many cabaret venues, writers sometimes showcase their work or ask singers to showcase their work, such as at Don't Tell Mama and The Duplex. Usually individual songs are presented but in some places a concert version of a show could be offered. Other cities may have cabarets or bars where work could be seen. When a show is scheduled, you need to do your own publicity such as mailing post cards to get the word out.

Here's some links about cabaret: www.cabaretscenes.com/

The Siegel's column at Theatremania.com Theatremania.com

ASCAP Cabaret Showcase: Several times a year ASCAP offers a cabaret showcase for cabaret/theatre songwriters. See ASCAP cabaret showcase

Getting your musical produced

See Musical Writerizine 18 -"Five tips for Getting Your Musical Produced." by Kathy Evans, for ideas on getting your show seen.

Comment from Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz answers a question from a British writer about getting a show mounted: I don't know exactly how it works in London, but what one would try to do here in the States is invite as many potential producers and backers as possible to a reading.

Would it be possible to reassemble the cast who did your first well-received workshop for a day or so for such a purpose? If that's not possible, you could send the script and a CD of selections from the score to potential producers or agents, though sending unsolicited material is I admit a bit of a longshot.

I think it's mostly a matter of trying to get your work heard and seen in any way you can think of; if it's good, people will begin to get excited about it, and through the mysterious alchemy of networking, something may come of that. This is sort of what happened for me with my first show, PIPPIN, which I dragged around New York with me, playing it for anyone wno would listen, when I first got out of university. Above all, persevere!


To send suggestions, comments, or questions write to carol@musicalschwartz.com


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