BMI Workshop

BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop

The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop is a workshop in New York for musical theatre composers, lyricists and librettists.


The BMI Workshop was founded more than 30 years ago by Lehman Engel and the performing rights organization BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.).

Moderators, who lead the individual groups, include Patrick Cook, Richard Engquist, Frederick Freyer, Nancy Golladay, and David Spencer.

Famous participants have included Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Clark Gesner,Gerard Alessandrini, Paul Scott Goodman, Edward Kleban, Michael John LaChiusa, Ethan Mordden, Andrew Lippa, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, Alan Menken and Maury Yeston.

Participation in the Workshop

Composers and lyricists participate in three discrete phases of the Workshop. In the First Year Workshop, participants collaborate (and some composer-lyricists work independently) on specific, varied assignments. In the Second Year Workshop, individuals and established teams present pieces of a larger work in process as assigned. Some participants are then invited to join the Advanced Workshop, in which they present new work in progress.

There is an open competition for admission to the Workshop, which is operated by BMI at no cost to participants. Applications for admission to the first-year group of composers and lyricists are accepted until August 1 of each year. The application includes an application form and tapes or lyrics, as appropriate; auditions take place after the applications are screened. Applicants for the librettists' portion of the workshop must submit excerpts from their works by May 1 of each year. Writers need not be affiliated with BMI.


On May 21, 2006, the Drama Desk awarded the BMI Workshop a Special Award "for nurturing, developing and promoting new talent for the musical theater."

On September 22, 2006, it was announced that the BMI Workshop would be one of the recipients of the 2006 Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, to be celebrated at a luncheon ceremony at Tavern on the Green on Tuesday, October 24, 2006.

References to the BMI Workshop in Musical Theatre Works

Portions of the 2000 Broadway musical A Class Act take place in the BMI Workshop. Edward Kleban, who is the subject of the show, was a member of the Workshop.

External links


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