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Updated: May 31, 2019

You've done it, you spent 2-5 years writing a musical. You've had it read, you've revised, you've recorded demos and now you're submitting to theatres, contests and pageants!

First off, congrats! You've done so much more than many others...

But now what?

I found out rather quickly that there aren't many opportunities to get my show on stage if I don't create it myself.

In fact, for Short North The Musical, I've had less than 10 contests, festivals and open submission theatres that the show was appropriate for... That's not a lot of opportunity to get it on stage. Especially with the popularity of musicals these days...

But... I have developed one way that works for me to ensure I am as successful as I can possibly be to get my show out there.

It starts with recordkeeping. I know - another boring topic. But keeping good records will help you along the way. I don't recommend just willy-nilly submitting your show to a theatre and hoping to hear back.

If you don't track who you sent it to, you may resend it and make them angry. Or, the person you sent it to may leave and you'd never know it unless you revisit each theatre every so often.

I started out with Google. I created a spreadsheet and searched Google for shows that are similar to mine. For Short North The Musical, I searched Reefer Madness, Evil Dead The Musical and Little Shop of Horrors.

For every theater I found a production at - I put their name, website and a contact (if I could find one) into the spreadsheet.

And one by one, I'll reach out to each theatre and introduce them to Short North The Musical.

I had to tamper my excitement though...

Most theatres only do 2-6 productions a year - and by the time you factor in their perennials, their big tentpole productions and holidays, they are only looking for maybe 1-2 additional shows.

I was a community level theatre producer for many years, but even though I may be focused on next year's slate, I was always thinking a couple years ahead and so even though Short North The Musical might not make it onto the stage in 2020. It might make it in 2021.

I think the key to success is to keep writing. Don't finish a show and then shop it around - start on another, and then another...

I currently have 2 shows I'm shopping around, it's time to start on another. With 3 titles in the game, I have a few more chances at getting one of them produced.

And don't forget the power of producing it yourself!

What are your tips and tricks for getting your show out to theatres?

Alan Saunders,

Friends told me I was late to the game for writing musicals, even though I've been writing them almost my entire life. so this blog is my journey into writing professionally for the stage.

Check out for how-to articles and resources for writing your own musical for the stage!

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