Apply to BMI Theatre Workshop

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) is currently accepting applications for the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop’s first-year composer and lyricist class through August 1. The Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning workshop is a free weekly program where lyricists and composers collaborate with peers to develop and cultivate their skills under the guidance of experienced instructors and veteran guest lecturers. Classes take place every Monday at BMI’s lower Manhattan office located at 7 World Trade Center.

Notable Workshop alumni includes EGOT recipient Robert Lopez (Frozen, The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q), Academy Award-winner Kristen Anderson Lopez (Frozen, In Transit), Tony Award-winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek - The Musical, Violet), Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, The Book Thief, Between the Lines, Central Park) and Tony Award-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once On This Island, Seussical).

The first-year class is moderated by BMI’s Senior Director of Musical Theatre, Patrick Cook, and Workshop Administrator, Frederick Freyer, who met in the Workshop in 1983. The course is a two-year program designed to help establish the participants' foundational skills through writing assignments with different collaborators, discussions and in-depth analysis on select musicals throughout history and guest moderators. In the second year, participants choose their collaborator and work on creating an entire musical.

“One of my favorite things about this Workshop has always been working with the First-Years as they develop their skillset and grow as entertainers,” said Cook. “This year, we’re planning to introduce some new and exciting additions to the existing curriculum to provide a more comprehensive learning experience. I’m looking forward to working with the upcoming class and seeing the fresh perspective they bring to the musical theater landscape.”

To learn more, watch this video of Janine McGuire and Arri Lawton Simon, a writing team formed in the Workshop, explain the easy application process, their personal experience in the Workshop and what the upcoming class can expect.

To apply to the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, please visit: bmi.com/theatre_workshop

Applications should include:

  • Composer: Three contrasting compositions – up-tempo, comedy song, ballad. Please include copy of score which includes lyrics.
  • Lyricist: Three contrasting lyrics in PDF format – up-tempo, comedy song, ballad.
  • Composer/Lyricist: Three contrasting songs – up-tempo, comedy song, ballad. Please include copy of score that includes lyrics.While applying online is preferred, you may mail your application to:
    Patrick Cook, BMI
    250 Greenwich Street,
    Floor 31

    New York, NY 10007-0030

    Please note that all prospective participants must be fully vaccinated to audition and plan to live in the New York City area for an easy weekly commute and collaborations outside of the Workshop.