Artistic Director: Melissa Bencic

Program Coordinator: Steven Gallagher

Led by Canadian director/writer, Steven Gallagher, the NTMI Writers' Workshop will explore the fundamentals of writing for the musical theatre through a series of assignments and exercises. Work with like-minded artists as you navigate the challenging and rewarding process of building a musical from scratch! Daily writing sessions with your collaborators will push your creative abilities to the limit while exciting workshops with music theatre guest artists build your knowledge of the craft and expand your writing toolbox. The two-week workshop will culminate in a presentation of your 10-15 minute original musical!

The Writers' Workshop will return in 2022. Check back for details!

Program coordinator Steven Gallagher (top row, second from right) and the 2020 Writers

Program coordinator Steven Gallagher (bottom left) and the 2018 Writers

Past Workshop topics and Guest Artists include:
  • Finding your Muse: Kevin Wong
  • Book Writing: Steven Gallagher
  • Songwriting as a Team: Colleen Dauncey & Akiva Romer-Segal
  • Lyrics: Adam Sakiyama
  • Daring to be Dreadful: Britta Johnson
  • Comedy Writing: Matt Murray
  • The Producers Perspective: Michael Rubinoff
  • What Producers are interested in: Mitchell Marcus
  • Masterclass: Leslie Arden

Program Dates

Spring 2022 (dates TBA)





Program Coordinator: Steven Gallagher

Based in Toronto, Steven is a writer, director, and actor. His play, Memorial, the winner of the Trafalgar 24 Play Festival, premiered in Toronto at the Next Stage Festival in 2013, and it’s US Premiere at Half Moon Theatre in New York. His play Stealing Sam premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2013 and was also seen off-Broadway at The United Solo Theatre Festival in 2014 where it was awarded Best Drama. With his collaborator Linda Barnett, his musical Pollyanna was shortlisted for the 2016 Playwrights Guild of Canada Best New Musical Award. Drama 101, written with Kevin Wong, was commissioned by Bravo Academy in Toronto and. was presented at the Toronto Fringe in 2018, where it won Patron’s Pick and NOW Magazine’s Outstanding Production. Wally Flynn, written with composer Eli Bolin, is being developed by Yonge Street Theatricals in Toronto. His latest musical, Blackout written with Anton Lipovestsky will premiere at Candian Stage in 2021. Recent Directing credits include Chelsea Sunrise, Rumspringa Break, Crack of Doom, Myth of the Ostrich, The Stars of Mars (Theatre Sheridan) and Fully Committed (The Grand Theatre). He is a Merritt Award nominee and the recipient of a 2013 Harold Award.

  • The NMTI Writers' Workshop was a fantastic experience to meet different collaborators and start to discover my identity as a writer. Steven does a fantastic job of maximizing your output, giving you a bunch of daily exercises and always throwing something new into the mix. When you generate that much material you’re bound to learn a lot, plus the guidance of all of the guest artists was always relevant and well-rounded. Most opportunities like this are geared toward writers who already have lots of experience, I feel very lucky to be afforded the space and time to try out new things, write lyrics, scenes, and songs, study the craft of writing a musical. I highly recommend the Writers’ Workshop to any aspiring young writer.
    Ben Page
    2018 NMTI Writers' Workshop
  • Participating in the writer's workshop was invaluable to me as a music theatre creator. From a networking and collaboration perspective - I gained several fruitful writing collaborations, along with an incredible mentor in Steven. Additionally, New Music Theatre Intensives is an ongoing supportive force for me as a writer. The workshop is a great opportunity to hone your skills, focus your craft, and to start developing your voice!
    Hayley Goldenberg
    2018 & 2020 NMTI Writers' Workshops
  • The NMTI Writers' Workshop gave me the opportunity to unbridledly create among a group of passionate, hilarious, affirming, and wickedly talented theatre-makers. Every day, I'd feel like I'd open new horizons in my own artistic growth — and I really couldn't think of a better space in which to explore those avenues. I especially appreciated the opportunity to experience workflows with different collaborators — not only did this give me a better sense of what I prefer my working style to be, but also established a robust sense of community among us creators that, for me, epitomizes the wonder of writing new theatre.
    Ian Chan
    2021 NMTI Writers' Workshop


Ben Page (NMTI Writers' Workshop 2018) along with collaborator Germaine Konji has been selected for the Bad Hats Theatre's New Bad Ideas program in 2021. Their original musical, The Lobster Who Cried Person, is about a corporate lawyer who wakes up one day in the body of a lobster off the coast of Nova Scotia. Truth, identity, and exploitation are what lie below the waters in this folk/funk jamboree! The piece will be presented in Spring 2021.

Ben Kopp and Jake Schindler (NMTI Writers' Workshop 2020) along with book writer Margot Greve were featuring in the January 2021 Next Stage Festival with their original audio piece The Light Goes RoundThe Light Goes Round is a new musical that tells the true story of J.P. Radelmuller and the lighthouse he kept at Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands. In 1815, Radelmuller was known to store bootleg alcohol which he would serve to Fort York soldiers who visited the point. The musical was performed by Ben Kopp, Jake Schindler, Margot Greve, and Ben Yoganathan.

Ian Chan (NMTI Writers' Workshop 2020) orchestrating and musically directed at the American Repertory Theater (home of Waitress, Great Comet, Jagged Little Pill, and more) in Fall 2020. Come watch Jack and the Beanstalk: A Musical Adventure, a virtual musical for all ages, ran live on demand November 27 2020 - January 4, 2021. The original cast recording is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.
Hayley Goldenberg (NMTI Writers' Workshop 2018 & 2020) and Jamie Graham (NMTI Writers' Workshop 2018) collaborated on an original musical To Family! which was presented in a workshop/reading at the Bravo Academy Zlotnik Studio Theatre in Spring 2019. To Family! is a new musical dramedy, follows Jenn and Nora, two sisters from a wealthy family in suburban Virginia, as they attempt to reconnect after four years of not speaking. Nora, the black sheep of the family, comes home with her life in shambles, and the women attempt to navigate their tumultuous relationship as Jenn plans her wedding. This story is about finding common ground when it appears there is none, and explores the complexity of the family dynamic. Follow Goldenberg & Graham on Instagram.
Ben Page (NMTI Writers' Workshop 2018) along with collaborator Jenny Waxman debuted their original musical Leaving Eden at the New York Musical Festival. The production won the 2019 NYMF Award for Best Musical. Leaving Eden is a punk-rock creation myth that asks: Is there wisdom in the Garden? And will we have to leave Eden to really know?