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Musical Writerzine #40 - Winter 2018

Newsletter for Writers of New Musicals - Intro

Carol de Giere, author and editor of the Musical Writerzine newsletterFrom Carol de Giere

This is our first issue with an international theme. In the "Growing Stages" column below, William Squier describes a very special opportunity (possibly with paid air fare) in Munich, Germany. For those in the UK, you'll find some additional ideas for supporting your work. You'll also find USA submissions opportunities for new musicals and workshop information.

This summer in Connecticut I'm hosting a concert of songs from new musicals. I'm accepting song submissions through March 1st.

To read future issues of our Musical Writerzine newsletter, if you have not already subscribed, please fill out the form on Musical Writerzine. To view back issues, see the links to the left.

Carol de Giere is the website publisher for MusicalWriters.com and author of Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked, and The Godspell Experience.

USA Submissions Opportunities for New Musicals and Writers

SoundbitesFebruary 1 - for Sound Bites 5.0 for 2018 - NYC

Submissions deadline is February 1st, 2018 for the next festival of 10-minute musicals (or 10-minute excerpts). The tentative performance date is Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2018. The one-night event usually sells out and is a great place to either discover talent for future reference or to show off your own. See links at the top of the page at Soundbites.tnny for guidelines, timeline, and submission details.

MEET UP: Last year we had a fun writers meet-up dinner before the Memorial Day show. Contact me at carol@musicalwriters.com if you want to come this year.

February 14 - TRU Beginnings Workshop - NYC


I've been listing the TRU workshops for writers for four years now. In conjunction with this issue, I've written about the TRU Beginnings workshops, based on my experiences attending them. Please see BLOG POST: TRU Beginnings Workshops for details on the kinds of things one learns by attending or participating. I've also included selected tips from the November workshop.

The February 25th workshop "Conflict and Obstacles" is aimed at writers who want to test their musicals and improve their craft. TO APPLY see TRU Beginnings.

February 15 - San Diego State U. Seeking Musical with Cast of 8-10

The New Musicals Initiative of San Diego State University looking for:
• A new book musical with at least eight named characters; a cast of 8-10 would be preferable
• Preference is given to women authors
• A creative team that is open to feedback and the collaborative process

"Our plan is to collaborate with a creative team on a two-year process from staged reading to workshop to full production.
We are looking for completed scores and scripts from a team that is interested in developing their work in conjunction with
our graduate students."
Contact me and I'll mail you more information: carol@musicalwriters.com

February 15 - New Voices for writers under age 26

Know any young writers? This annual program can help them. The New Voices Project is supported in part by Walt Disney Imagineering and is run by New Musicals, Inc (NMI) in the Los Angeles area. Mission: To nurture new musical theatre writers under the age of 26 by offering them private and public workshops of their writing. New voices - NMI

February 23rd - Rhinebeck Writers Retreat for Summer 2018

Rhinebeck WritersA week-long retreat may sound like a small opportunity. But, in addition to the retreat time itself, being selected for this residency carries some prestige that may yield benefits in the years to come. Each year the nine writing teams selected are announced in the major Broadway-related publications, so you receive notice in that way, as well as through concerts and readings held in late summer. Being chosen by the selection committee can help producers gain confidence in your work. They've also added a "Triple R" program. One alumni writing team receives an additional Residency and 2 Readings that support further development of the team's musical.

The summer at the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat including a week-long stay for the writing team at a fully furnished private home in Rhinebeck, NY; food, piano, some travel expenses, and $500 stipend per writer. See Rhinebeck Writers to apply or to donate funds for other writers.

Note: If chosen, they do not take a royalty from future productions. They ask that a title page credit is given on future readings, showcases, productions, and publications. It's an honor for the show to be developed there, and shouldn't be a problem.

March 1st - Song Submissions for Concert

For my local theatre in Connecticut, I'm organizing "Fresh Baked Musicals: A Concert Sampling," to be held August 4th. I'm looking for solos, duets, and trios from new musicals. See Songs for a Summer Concert for specifics about what I need for this showcase.

April 29, A Little New Music - Los Angeles

Be heard this summer in Los Angeles. Submissions for A Little New Music are open until April 29 for the summer concert. Although it's too late to submit songs, you can attend and network at the March concert.

March 31, International MUT Author's Competition - Munich, Germany

Musical Writerzine - MUT story1See the Growing Stages column below about this adventure of an opportunity. This photo includes some of the writers who were part of the 2016 event. Our columnist William ("Bill") Squier is standing at the back at the far right.

Online Musical - with NMI

Just in from NMI: "New Musicals Inc. invites you to write an internet musical — and get it produced! We are hosting an online workshop for musical theatre bookwriters, lyricists, and composers which will culminate in the creation of short musicals for the internet, which NMI will then shoot in our new greenscreen soundstage!  The workshop will take place March 5-22 and will be entirely online so you can take part from anywhere on the planet." For more info, and to reserve your spot, visit nmi.org/internet-musical-workshop/

Check Back Soon - Virginia

As of this writing (January 2018) the Signature Theatre has not yet opened submissions for SigWorks in the summer of 2018, however they expect to have dates soon. We profiled this program a year ago. So add a note to yourself on your calendar for February or March, and see the "Growing Stages" column at the bottom of the page at Musical Writerzine issue 36.

Ongoing - NY Theatre Barn

See their submissions page at NY TheatreBarn - new works series.

Ongoing in London for British Writers

London continues to be a theatrical hot spot. In addition to productions of musicals on the West End and around the area, several active programs and facilities for developing new musicals have emerged over the half past decade.

1) One is at "The Other Palace," a theatre near Buckingham Palace. The Other Palace is a place to stage shows, attend open mics, and pitch new musicals. Last year it was the location of the "From Page to Stage" festival.

Here is a comment on their submissions page: "Discovering, developing and reimagining musical theatre is at the heart of The Other Palace. We're passionate about theatre and want our spaces to encourage and nurture the next generation of theatre-makers and musicals. Alongside our programme of fully produced work we will be opening the doors to the development process with a range of initiatives, from connecting theatre-makers to staging workshop performances." The Other Palace - submissions

2) Another major resource is Mercury Musicals Development. This is a membership organization dedicated to developing new musical theatre writing. They hold programs, administer awards, and much more.

January 31 - London - Deadline for submissions for the Stiles + Drewe Prize 2018. This includes the MTI Mentorship Award (including a retreat in France) and the Best New Song Prize. Award submissions

3) London's Iris Theatre has a new works initiative. See Iris Theatre for "Workin Process" events and New Musical Theatre Showcases.

4) NMDC - New Musical Development Collective - aims at supporting emerging writers from diverse populations through an annual Musical Theatre Lab. See nmdc.co.uk

5) London Playwritings Workshop also focuses on musical theatre. They are starting a new initiative to support women writers as well. See their website and blog at Londonplaywrights.org

Other Submission Ideas

See Growing Stages below! And if you're new to the Musical Writerzine, be sure to check the back issues as well (see links on the left) and our Theaters page more theaters.

Making Connections & Workshops

Musical Theatre Factory - NYC 2018

The Musical Theatre Factory is continuing their 4 x 15 series: 4 musicals, 15-minutes each. Read about this and other programs at MTF.NYC

Theatre Resources Unlimited - NYC 2018

TRU will sponsor several upcoming events. Among them is one held Sunday, February 4th: Raising Money for Theatre Boot Camp. It features a "wealth of first-hand experience from more than a half dozen producers who are currently active in the Broadway and off-Broadway worlds." This is aimed at producers and self-producing writers. There's also an upcoming writer-producer speed date, March 4th. See all of TRU's programs at TRUonline

Planning Ahead for an NYC Summer

If you're starting to plan your summer, here are a couple of reasons to head to New York City. The Dramatists Guild will hold its national conference July 26 to 29 in New York City. It's also a time to attend the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) and see the latest shows. TRU will have workshops or panels, so that could be another option.

Contemporary Musical Theatre - Connecting with Singers

See the Contemporary Musical Theatre site for information on making songs available for singers.

Keep Learning, Keep Growing: Workshops, Podcasts, and More

ASCAP/WALLIS, Stephen Schwartz, et al in Los Angeles

The 2018 ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop, in partnership with The Wallis and Universal Theatrical Group (UTG), returns to Beverly Hills on February 7 – 9, 2018. The three-day annual workshop gives select composers and lyricists the opportunity to present new original musical works-in-progress for professional critique.

The workshop session features a 50-55 minute presentation of The Bully Problem on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:30pm and Tenn on Thursday, February 8 at 7:30pm. Each session will also include a professional critique of each new original musical works-in-progress by a panel composed of prominent musical theater guests including producers, directors, performers and composers. Prominent panelists to be announced.

On Friday, February 9 at 7:30pm, ASCAP Artistic Director and Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz will be joined by writing partners he has mentored for a special one-night-only concert, An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: A Writers Circle. Special guests include Megan Hilty, Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich and Cinco Paul.

"We are delighted to continue our partnerships with Stephen Schwartz and ASCAP, as well as welcome this year's new partner Universal Theatrical Group to present our third collaborative effort of the ASCAP workshop," said The Wallis' Artistic Director Paul Crewes. "These workshops are an important part of the future of new musical theater."

Ticket Information:
Complimentary tickets for the two-day workshop on February 7 & 8 are now available for reservation by emailing Tickets@TheWallis.org. Requests are limited to two tickets per person for each evening of the workshop. Cancellations must be sent to Tickets@TheWallis.org at least 24 hours in advance of the performance. Tickets must be picked up from The Wallis' on-site will call by 7:00pm each night. Any tickets not picked up by that time may be released to standby patrons.

Single tickets for the Friday, February 9 performance of An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: A Writers Circle are now available for purchase ranging from $25 – $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Thewallis.org/Schwartz or call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.

NMI - Los Angeles - Biz of Musical Theatre Biz Conference 2018

Every other year, New Musicals Inc. hosts an information-packed weekend conference on the BIZ of the musical theatre BIZ. 2018 is a conference year and they are busy planning a conference for the last weekend in July. There will be an opporunity to pitch your show to producers. NMI Summer conference - check back for details.


February 5th-25th are the dates for the 2018 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Enjoy full productions, readings, and networking.


Enjoy online opportunities for expanding your background knowledge of the musical writing world.

Finding Consultants

Don't forget you can always get advice from experts. If you visited our Critiques page before, be sure to refresh your browser so you see the most current listings. Critiques - Feedback page here at MusicalWriters.com.


Many subscribers are already connected on the Facebook Show Off Your New Musical group.

"Growing Stages" by William Squier

Bill Squier

2018 International MUT Author's Competition for Musical Entertainment Theatre

You've got until March 31 to submit your musical to the 2018 International MUT Author's Competition for Musical Entertainment Theatre, to be held on Saturday, July 28, in Munich, Germany. The MUT Competition, as it's more commonly called, is a festival of excerpts from new works that are performed by musical theater students from the Bavarian Theatre Academy and ensemble members from the Gartnerplatztheater. The presentations are then evaluated by a panel that consists of a variety of theater professionals and cash awards are given out to the authors in three categories: a jury prize of 5,000 Euros and two 1,000 Euro prizes chosen by the media and the audience.

The MUT Competition is held biennially and I was privileged to have my musical Love on Ice (book & lyrics by Bill Nabel and William Squier, music by Jeffrey Lodin) chosen for the festival that took place in the summer of 2016. I've reached out to my contacts in Germany and have learned that the event will be virtually the same as it was two years ago. So, I thought I'd tell you a bit about my experience.

Musical Making in Munich

As indicated above, the MUT Competition takes place in Munich, cosmopolitan city situated in Germany's southwestern State of Bavaria. My collaborators and I were provided with airfare and lodging so that we could attend the event and the rehearsal that led up to it. We stayed at one of Europe's Motel One locations, which was convenient to both theater and many of the city's sights. The rooms were much smaller than most American motels, but comfortable, stylish and efficiently laid-out. The lobby, however, was expansive with lots of places to work, drink, socialize and enjoy the bountiful breakfast buffet that was provided with your room. The competition's organizers are hoping to be able to provide the same level of compensation for travel, etc., but the final budget has yet to be determined.

Rehearsals and the performance were held at the August Everding Theatre Academy about a 30-minute walk from the motel through winding residential streets. They took place in a flexible black box space over a period of six days, with each of the pieces receiving a half a day of rehearsal that was devoted to learning the music and staging the text. Friday was set aside to work through the full program in order and then do a run through.

The entire program was directed by Nicole Claudia Weber and choreographed by Fiona Copley, with music direction by Tom Bitterlich, all of whom proved to be very creative, quick on their feet and incredibly collaborative. So far, both Weber and Copley are on board for the next competition.

Writerzine story 2- MunichThe MUT Competition program was made up of fifteen to twenty minute excerpts from six new musicals. Three of the pieces were written by Germans teams and three were by Americans. Two of the German musicals were performed in their native tongue and one had been translated into English. The American works were all presented in English. Everything was done book-in-hand, but staged and choreographed, so scripts and scores were often set aside to allow for the action to be played full out.

The set and costumes were simple and practical: a few platforms, a screen onto which titles could be projected and a standard outfit of black pants and white tops to which other pieces suggestive of the characters could be added. Props were used where they were absolutely necessary to the storytelling. For example, in the first scene of Love on Ice a character makes an entrance pushing a coffin. No one on our creative team expected that to happen in a reading. So, we were delighted when Weber ingeniously substituted a small, cremation urn, which made the action immediately clear to an audience that wasn't fluent in English, yet was easy for the actress to handle and still carry her script.

Each of us presented the first ten or so minutes of Act One, followed by another five-minute scene from elsewhere in the show. In between the first and second segment, one of the cast members read a brief plot summary – in German – and a set up for the second scene. By keeping the excerpts to twenty minutes or less, there was even time enough during rehearsals for the creative teams to put in a few small changes.

The rules of the competition required that there be at least one solo number in your excerpt and one ensemble number. That was easy for us to comply with because Love On Ice opens with a full cast musical number that segues into an intimate scene that ends with the leading man's first solo. For our five-minute segment we continued on to the third scene in the show, which contained a fantasy production number.

What was particularly impressive about the program was how varied the individual works were. In addition to our musical comedy, the other American musicals included an intimate drama about a small town homecoming (Change of Heart, book, music & lyrics by Alan Becker) and a satirical look at challenges to civil rights in a dystopian future. (Patriot by Ilann Maazel – and the winner of the competition's Jury award). The trio of German entries included a rock musical set in the world of a violent video game (The Virtual Mirror, book & lyrics by Wolfgang Walk, music by Stefan Wurz, edited by Mark L. Barrett), an earnest political drama (Wolfsjagd, book, music & lyrics by Jasper Sonne) and an adaption of Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid "reloaded" as a send up of German medicine (Der (ein)gebildete Kranke – Reloaded! book & lyrics by Florian Stenek, music by Sebastian Brandmeir – winner of the Media and Audience awards).

The one big change for MUT 2018 is that this summer it will be held at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, a magnificent opera house that was undergoing renovation in 2016 but has since reopened. Founded in 1865, the theater presents a year round schedule of operetta, musicals, opera, ballet and concerts. The theater overlooks a lively square in the Glockenbachviertel district, which is known for its great shopping and nightlife. My collaborators and I had dinner on the square one evening and the vibe was very young, urban and cool. But, a short walk from there was the Altstadt, or "Old City," that has all of the touristy German things you might want to do – including the sprawling Viktualienmarkt with 140 stalls and shops offer flowers, souvenirs, food, and lots of beer.

"The MUT competition was a great experience from beginning to end," Ilann Maazel, the author of the Jury Award winning Patriot, feels. "It gave me the chance to see part of the show directed by a first-rate director and music director and performed by a talented cast in front a live audience. Winning the competition was a shot in the arm: it gave me confidence that Patriot is on the right path, and it's the first thing I mention when applying for readings, workshops, and festivals. I highly recommend the experience, win or lose."


Musical theater writers interested in being considered for this year's MUT Competition will need submit the libretto and score excerpts described above, plus a concept paper that describes your choice of material and your artistic approach (one page with title of musical at the top right) and a synopsis of the complete musical that includes a character breakdown with vocal requirements and short profile for each the role (two pages with the title of musical at the top right of each page). This is a blind submission, so the authors' names should be absent from all of the above materials. You should, however, include brief biographies of the authors (one page with title of musical at the top right) sent as a separate document.

All of the written materials need to be submitted in PDF format and demos of the musical numbers should be submitted in MP3 format to mut@gaertnerplatztheater.de. More than one application with different concepts can be submitted by the same authors.

Further details can be found at: Gaertnerplaztheater.de

Writerzine story 3 Munich


Josef E. Köpplinger (Vorsitzender der Jury, Staatsintendant des Staatstheaters am Gärtnerplatz, Regisseur)
Adam Cooper(West-End-Choreograf und Regisseur)
Matthias Davids (Regisseur und Künstlerischer Leiter der Sparte Musical am Landestheater Linz)
Eva Giesel(Geschäftsführerin der Litag Theaterverlag GmbH)
Séan Gray (Managing Director von Josef Weinberger Ltd. London)
Jürgen Hartmann (Dramaturg der Musik und Bühne Verlagsgesellschaft mbH)
Peter Lund(Regisseur, Autor und Leiter des Studiengangs Musical/Show an der Universität der Künste Berlin)
John Owen Edwards (West-End-Dirigent)
Michael Alexander Rinz (Geschäftsführender Dramaturg des Staatstheaters am Gärtnerplatz)
Werner Signer(Geschäftsführender Direktor des Theaters St. Gallen)
Markus Spiegel (Musikproduzent und Medienberater)
Moritz Staemmler(Geschäftsführer der Felix Bloch Erben GmbH & Co. KG)
Dr. Maria Teuchmann(Geschäftsführerin der Thomas Sessler Verlag GmbH)
Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz (Chefdramaturg der Volksoper Wien)
Johanna Wall (Dramaturgin der Komischen Oper Berlin)

Passing the Hat

Passing the Hat message: Many thanks to the person who responded to my first "pass the hat" message. My volunteer effort on these newsletters takes a lot of time and there are some expenses. If anyone wants to support the work with small contributions, please send them by mail: Scene 1 Arts, LLC, PO Box 909, Bethel, CT 06801-0909; or by Paypal, send money: carolmusical@gmail.com


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The Secret Life of the American Musical is helpful reading for musical writers.

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