Skip to main content Skip to footer site map



Winners of the prestigious international Search for New Musicals were announced today at New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles.

First Prize goes to The Bully Problem with book, lyrics, and music by Michael Gordon Shapiro.

Second Prize goes to The Flesh Trade with book, lyrics, and music by Chris Holoyda.

Third Prize goes to Wayward Sons with book, music, and lyrics by Bradley Buck.

Special Merit goes to Got It All! with book, music, and lyrics by Sidney James.

The Search for New Musicals accepts entrants from around the globe; winners receive awards worth up to $25,000 in workshop productions, concert readings, feedback, and developmental support.

"We are thrilled to sponsor the Search," says Elise Dewsberry, Artistic Director of NMI. "We love seeing what writers are creating; and of course our mission is to nurture the folks who are writing musicals, so announcing the winners of the Search is one of my favorite things to do all year!"

In The Bully Problem, fourteen-year-old tech genius Kevin tries to steer clear of the struggle between nerds and bullies at Van Der Bort Junior High. But when he inherits an android from his inventor father, Kevin ends up providing robotic bodyguard service - and gets thrown into the thick of the conflict!

The Flesh Trade introduces us to Honey - a lady of the night working on the line in Tombstone, Arizona at the turn of the century. When a surviving member of the Donner Party asks her to start procuring meat for him and his rowdy gang of cannibal buddies - human meat, specifically - Honey dives into doing dirty deeds for not so cheap. Will she ever find her way out of the flesh trade, or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

Wayward Sons is a secular, operatic re-telling of the story of the Prodigal Son that follows said son on his adventures as he learns some valuable life lessons before coming home.

Got It All! is a multi media musical drama tracing a downward spiral of celebrity, race, sex and money through the labyrinth of the contemporary American justice system. Is there justice for all under the law? The accused claims innocence. Friends want to believe. Lawyers want to win.

The Bully Problem will receive a production at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in the summer of 2019. The Flesh Trade will receive a staff table reading. Wayward Sons will receive a Detailed Analysis from an NMI dramaturge.

NMI 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 to workshop to concert reading.

Past winners of the Search have included: The Water by Jeff Hylton, Tim Werenko, and Georgia Stitt (2008); Greenbrier Ghost by Susan Murray and Clay Zambo (2009); Gilbert & Sullivan on Wall Street by Charles Veley and Arthur Sullivan (2010); Emerald by Chris Burgess and Denise Wright (2011); Mad Bomber by Charles Monagan and Richard DeRosa (2012); It Happened in Roswell by Terrence Atkins and Jeffery Lyle Segal (2013); Off the Wall by Sarah Rebell and Danny Abosch (2014), Invisible by David Hollingsworth and David Orris (2015), Spellbound: A F@#$*d-Up Fairy Tale by Ben Boecker (2016), and Bravo by Cristian Guerrero, Steven Schmidt, and Andrew Moorhead (2017).

All musicals submitted (at any level) to NMI by July 15, 2019 will be automatically entered in the Search for New Musicals for next season. Winners of the 2019 Search will be announced by November 15, 2019. The winner of the Search receives a workshop with the Academy Repertory Company, detailed feedback from the NMI staff, and a concert reading in Los Angeles.

Information on submitting to the Search is available by visiting

Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You