Colleges Seeking New Musicals

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New Musicals Initiative At San Diego State University

Deadline: October 15, 2019. The New Musicals Initiative At San Diego State University was created to nurture the creation of new musical theater in San Diego and to provide an invaluable educational opportunity to our students to work directly with top professionals in the field.

Colleges and Universities provide some of the best opportunities for getting started in musical theatre and getting shows mounted as student productions. While in many cases, you would need to be enrolled or involved with the academic institution to submit a new musical, a few take outside submissions for their student productions. There is little to no cost for the writers, and you can see your show on stage for evaluation purposes and for production photos. Here are a few colleges seeking new musicals.

Have a drama department interested in being a partner in our MusicalWriters MainStage Development Program? Fill out our form here.

Alliance Theatre /Graduate Playwright…

Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre has mounted numerous new productions that later made it to Broadway or tours. Over the years, the Alliance has produced more than 40 World Premieres.

The entrance to their annual Alliance / Kendeda Graduate Playwright Competition requires being a graduate student in playwrighting, such as from Carnegie Mellon, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing, UCLA, Brown, Northwestern University, etc. Alliance Theatre New Play Competition

Berklee Theater Arts Collaborative (BTAC)

The Berklee Theater Arts Collaborative (BTAC) is Berklee’s premier musical theater training program dedicated to the development and professional success of new musical theater writers, music directors, conductors, arrangers, instrumentalists, stage managers, and performers. Our program encourages students to follow their passions and interests as well as explore new areas of study to become multifaceted musical theater professionals.

BTAC’s mission is to support the evolution of musical theater on Broadway and beyond; this includes empowering underrepresented theater artists to create and perform original stories and new theatrical works from diverse perspectives, as well as advocating for industry-wide inclusive hiring and casting practices. For more information, visit and click here to apply.

Millikin University

Millikin University is a small liberal arts school in Decatur, Illinois, south of Chicago. Their New Musicals Workshop has grown to be recognized as an opportunity for established writers to develop new musicals destined for Broadway and beyond. Read more and find a link to their submissions form at Millikin U – New Musicals Workshop

NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program The Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program is a master’s degree program specially designed for the major collaborators in the creation of new musical theatre and opera. Students and faculty include composers, lyricists, and bookwriters–those who put their individual talents together to write works for the musical stage.

The program’s aim is to give students the skills to be able to wed form to content in original ways that best fulfill their unique artistic visions. Each year, 22 full-time students embark on a two year course, participating in ongoing writing workshops that emphasize craft, the art of collaboration, rewriting, developing the student’s original voice, storytelling, and content (putting ideas on stage) ….The program culminates in the thesis musicals: the creation of full-length original works.

Northwestern University (The American Music Theatre Project)

The American Music Theatre Project is a new initiative of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois dedicated to “developing and producing new musicals in cooperation with some of music theatre’s top writers, composers and directors.”

Pace New Musicals

Pace University’s fully accredited BFA program includes around hundred students majoring in Music Theater. They often stage new works but have recently changed their policies and are handling the selection of new works without open submissions.

Penn State University – University Park, PA

Penn State University’s theatre department holds readings and a summer production to allows students and writers to work together. Their program is called a “festival” but it has downsized over the years. For writers whose work is accepted, it provides an opportunity to develop a musical without the burden of production costs.

San Diego State University – New Musical Initiative

SDSU MFA squareThe MFA Musical Theater Program at San Diego State is committed to the creation of new works of musical theatre.  Our objective is to nurture the creation of new musical theater in San Diego and to provide an invaluable educational opportunity to our students to work directly with top professionals in the field.

Current MFA students will rehearse and develop a new work of musical theatre under the guidance of faculty director Stephen Brotebeck and faculty music director (and Head of MFA Program) Robert Meffe.  Brotebeck and Meffe have years of Broadway experience developing new musical works for the stage including shows such as Peter and the Starcatcher, Ghost and Little Women.

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.  Because we are aspiring to have authors in our season equally represented amongst men and women, we are especially interested in creative teams that feature women authors.

Read more here

USC School of Dramatic Arts

LiveRead@SDA, a developmental series created to cultivate and provide critical support for the creation of innovative and contemporary new works for the American theatre. If selected, artists are invited to weeklong workshop residencies on the USC campus, where they can take bold steps towards refining their work with an incredibly diverse talent pool. The School of Dramatic Arts provides the necessary resources and staff to produce a concert-style reading in one of our campus theatre venues with professional photography and video of the performance. The School is currently selecting one or two new musical projects that illuminate a forward-thinking landscape of contemporary musical theatre with narratives from creative teams who authentically demonstrate diversity in their work. We actively support both emerging and established artists and musical projects that are not traditionally defined in the world of commercially-produced theatre.

Yale Institute of Musical Theater

Submission information for this annual program is posted in the autumn on their website at

The Yale Institute for Music Theatre is a program of Yale School of Drama, primarily for Yale students and alumni. It seeks distinctive and original music theatre works by emerging composers and writers to be developed in an intensive lab setting. During a two-week summer residency in New Haven, the Institute matches the authors of the selected works with collaborators, including professional directors and music directors, as well as a company of actors and singers that includes professionals from NYC and current Yale students. The residency culminates with open rehearsal readings of each project, presented as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre provides support for the Institute.


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