The Foundation for New American Musicals is one of the most exciting opportunities anywhere for young writers to develop.

-Grant Gustin (The Flash)

Throughout the history of this quintessentially American art form, musicals have not merely entertained, but often given voice to serious themes, challenging assumptions and changing minds.

The Foundation for New American Musicals supports the creation of new content and provides a voice for the next generation of creative talent. Embracing four powerful disciplines – story, song, dance and visuals – musicals have uniquely and memorably inspired deeper empathy and understanding across cultures, ethnicities and generations.

Today musical theatre has earned a top spot in the cultural conversation. But while there are many opportunities for performers and technical teams to learn and grow, there are very few introducing and developing promising writers, composers and lyricists from high school through post-college.

The cornerstone of all FNAM programs is to open up opportunities for talented young people to create art that translates their experiences beyond time and place.

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The first step is the Foundation’s educational PATHWAY Program, which launched the first-in-the-nation musical theatre writing courses taught in high schools, with a special emphasis on students in underserved schools and communities. FNAM facilitated the creation of an interdisciplinary Show Writing B.F.A. at the University of Southern California and is in a similar conversation with U.C.L.A. about an M.F.A.

The Foundation’s SHOWSEARCH is an annual contest for high school and college age writers to receive intensive mentorship, a public presentation of their work with a cast of Equity actors and a top musical theater director, and cash awards.

The Foundation’s MUSI-CAL showcases emerging Southern California musical theatre writers’ works-in-progress in a historic supper club giving its audience a behind-the-scenes opportunity to see, offer feedback on and celebrate musicals in different stages of development.

Through our Pathway, ShowSearch and Musi-Cal programs, FNAM has provided opportunities for DEVELOPMENT of dozens of musicals at every stage.  Several of these musicals have continued on their journey to local, regional and off-Broadway productions.

These four initiatives further the Foundation’s mission of educating, mentoring and showcasing the next generations of creators of musicals for stage, screen and new media to life.

Along the way the Foundation has had the good fortune to be assisted by such inspiring advocates for great musicals as STEPHEN SCHWARTZ, DARREN CRISS, STEPHEN SONDHEIM, RITA WILSON, JOEL GREY, KRISTEN BELL and many others.


Kevin Bailey is a Los Angeles based actor, producer and general manager. His company MB Artists produced the play Ann at Lincoln Center, earning its author and star, Holland Taylor, a Tony nomination for Best Actress. He also produced the four play Greater Tuna cycle, and represents TUNA playwright, Jaston Williams. As an actor, he starred in the original Broadway and LA productions of The Lion King and the revival of Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters. Bailey has also starred in national touring and regional productions of Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, 42nd  Street, Elf, Amadeus, and The Fantasticks, among others.

Hunter Bird is a director and developer of new plays and musicals at many venues, including: Ars Nova, Roundabout Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The McKittrick Hotel, Signature Theatre, Columbia University, The Getty Villa, Skylight Theater, Village Theatre, 59E59, Lincoln Center Education, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Musical Theatre Factory. He produced FNAM’s SHOWSEARCH in 2013 and 2015. From 2014-2016 he served as the Colony Coordinator of the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, working with more than 120 writers. Awards and affiliations include Line Producer of ANT Fest 2018 at Ars Nova, Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow (Manhattan Theater Club- 2017 & 2019), the Samuel J. Friedman Assistantship (MTC, 2015), The UCLA Emerging Director Award (2011), Gilbert Cates Fellowship (2009). Hunter has a BA in Theater Directing and Musical Theatre from UCLA.

 Mina Bloom (UCLA BA in Theatre, 2017) is an award-winning pianist, composer, flautist, music director and music teacher based in East LA. Mina first connected with FNAM as a finalist in ShowSearch. She is in her fourth year as the music lead for the PATHWAY. Mina founded Dually Noted Theatre Company which workshops and produces new musicals. She is a Music Director with the Miracle Project. Mina composed the song cycle THREE SISTERS based on Chekhov’s play. She is currently working on the full-length musical, FORMOSA GIRLS, loosely based on the experiences of her grandmother and great aunts as bride price immigrants to the United States.

C. Jay Cox is a writer and director. His first screenplay, The Thing in Bob’s Garage, was optioned by Norman Lear. He has since written projects for Bette Midler, Antonio Banderas, Walt Disney, Columbia, New Line and Paramount Pictures. His first produced feature script, Sweet Home Alabama, starred Reese Witherspoon and held the record for the best September opening for over 10 years. His directorial debut, Latter Days, won the HBO Award for Best First Narrative Feature at Los Angeles’ Outfest, in addition to numerous other awards at festivals from Fresno to Brazil. C. Jay also writes for television, including original scripts The Makeover for Hallmark Hall of Fame.

Michael Donovan, President, is a critically-acclaimed casting director based in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of 9 Artios Awards presented by the Casting Society of America for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.  Michael has cast over 1,000 theatre productions, including shows produced at the Hollywood Bowl, the Ahmanson, Pasadena Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, ICT, La Jolla Playhouse, and many more.  In addition, he has numerous film, television and commercial credits.  Michael also teaches at Pepperdine University

Noelle L. Hicks, Vice President, has had a life-long passion for the arts. Noelle has been a board member with the Foundation since its initial incarnation as the Festival of New American Musicals and is delighted to support the next generation of musical theatre creators. Most recently she has been a Broadway angel for Dangerous Liaisons and Dear Evan Hansen. Noelle is proud to serve on the advisory board of the USC School of Dramatic Arts Musical Theatre BFA.

Marty Iker, Treasurer, is an innovative marketing, branding, and post-production executive. He is President/Creative Director of MI Creative Group after nine years as Vice President/Marketing & Advertising at Warner Bros. and twelve years as a broadcast station executive, he is the President/Creative Director of MI Creative Group. At Warner his unit developed breakthrough brand identities and produced all on-air promotion, video presentations, electronic graphics, and radio and television commercials, and now he provides those services to the industry at large. Marty has a B.A. in Theatre from Grinnell College, and an M.S. in Telecommunications from Indiana University. He is particularly interested in encouraging the use of new technology, new forms and new media in the creation of the next generation of musicals.

Richard Israel is an award-winning theatre director and the recipient of an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Career Achievement Award for Directing. Most recently, he received the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his production of Violet. Recent LA directing credits include: The World Goes Round for Reprise 2.0!; West Side Story and Rent for McCoy/Rigby Entertainment, for whom he also directed the multiple Ovation award winning Floyd Collins. He currently has multiple original musicals in development, including the upcoming tour of A Very Brady Musical. In addition to his theatre work, he served as the theatrical coordinator for the multiple Emmy-award winning HBO series BIG LITTLE LIES, directing all of the on-screen Avenue Q sequences. He is currently on the musical theatre faculty at AMDA.

Bob Klein, Co-Founder is a musical theatre aficionado with exceptional experience in entertainment marketing. He founded KLEIN &, contributing significantly to the marketing of film from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Planet of the Apes to launching cable networks NICKELODEON, SHOWTIME and FX and advising arts organizations like the LA Philharmonic. In 1996 he cofounded Reprise! with Marcia Seligson to revive major musicals for the southern California audience. A decade later they founded the Festival of New American Musicals to showcase new works, creators and performers. Shortly thereafter, in response to the growing musical theatre Renaissance and the reduction of funding for the arts, Bob founded the Foundation for New American Musicals with a mission to educate, mentor and showcase the next generations of creators of musicals for stage, screen, and new media.

Anthony Lucca is an award-winning music director and orchestrator who develops and music directs new work for theatre and film.  His passion stems from a two-year residency as music director and accompanist at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center (2016, 2017). World premieres include: Bronco Billy (Skylight Theatre Company, LA Drama Critics Award for Best Musical Direction), Mutt House (Kirk Douglas Theater), Cult of Love (IAMA Theatre Company), Into Light (film), and varying workshop productions of new musical theatre in Los Angeles and New York City. Lucca also guest music directs and coaches at performing arts high schools and colleges in Los Angeles and New England.  He often performs in jazz and cabaret settings, including: the Hollywood Bowl, Feinstein’s 54 Below, Blue Whale, Birdland, Rockwell Table & Stage and others.

Ryan M. Luévano is a composer, conductor, playwright, professor of music and theatre critic. He’s worked as a professor of music at Woodbury University, Santa Ana College and Rio Hondo College. Ryan is a regular teaching artist at A Noise Within Theatre Company in Pasadena and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Musicals include: Shoot Ma! (Colony Theater in Burbank, 2010)  Experience Magic! (Sierra Madre Playhouse, 2011) and 57 Bus. Plays include: Passing Time, Love is Dead, La Lavadora and Dance Plague. Most recently he was accepted as Artists-in-Residence at Chateau d’Orquevaux in France for summer 2021, and awarded the Denis Diderot Grant for his work on the musical 57 Bus.

Deirdre Marlowe, Secretary, devotes much of her FNAM time to The Pathway as a Teaching Artist, program administrator, and grant writer. Marlowe was a 10-year member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. While she has written lyrics and music, her expertise is book writing. She has collaborated on six musicals, three of which have been produced.

Marcia Seligson, Co-Founder, has theatre in her blood. In 1996 she co-founded REPRISE! Broadway’s Best, and served as the Producing Artistic Director presenting more than forty events. In 2008 she was a co-executive producer of the Festival of New American Musicals presenting more than 150 events from Santa Barbara to San Diego to over 1,000,000 people. Marcia has co-produced shows which have been both off and on Broadway. Her Broadway show, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, became a film starring Gena Rowlands. She is Producing Artistic Director of REPRISE 2.0!

Christopher Sepulveda (Producer) is a film and theatre producer specializing in new work development and production. He is currently developing the new musical Airborn by Jordan Kamalu & Taylor Hatch with Apples and Oranges Studios.  Most recently he produced the Edinburgh Festival Fringe premiere of Sleeping Giant by Steve Yockey, Be A Good Little Widow by Bekah Brunstetter at The Odyssey Theatre and world premiere musical Mutt House at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Other work includes the Tony award-winning Broadway production, First National Tour and West End premiere of An American in Paris with Apples and Oranges and the hit revival of Spring Awakening with Deaf West Theatre, the 2013 Ovation Award-winning production of The Color Purple (Best Musical), 2011 Ovation nominated production of Take Me Out (Best Production) and Los Angeles premieres of Altar Boyz and Haram Iran (GLAAD Media Award Nom) among others. FILM: “No One Called Ahead,” “Emma,” “Followed,” “Manson Family Vacation,” “GBF,” “He’s Way More Famous Than You,” “Somewhere Slow,” “Exquisite Corpse,” and others.

Linda Shusett has experience in developing and producing for motion pictures, but her heart has always been with musical theatre. She serves as Co-Executive Producer for FNAM including co-producing past joint workshops with ASCAP. Linda currently produces the bimonthly MUSI-CAL showcase at Rockwell Table & Stage. Linda co-produced Ovation Award nominated Hoboken to Hollywood as well as other live musical events/concerts.  Her love for all styles of music is evident: she has performed in musical theatre, cabaret, and as a member of the Canaligators, a Venice rock n’ roll band.

Tegan Summer is the worldwide theatrical rights holder for the properties of James Dean, Bettie Page, The Nicholas Brothers, and Amelia Earhart. He is also an Ovation and NAACP award recipient. Current and Credited Projects: producer, bookwriter, and lyricist on the of the following: Steve Aoki’s Mozart² The New Musical, Carnegie Hall; Marilyn! The New Musical with Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas and The Ogunquit Playhouse; James Dean – Rebel, the authorized new rock musical based on the life on the Hollywood icon, Bettie Page, Queen of Pin-Ups-The Icon * The Musical; Lucky Numbers, The Story of the Peerless Nicholas Brothers; Amelia, the Broadway musical that tells the story of the pioneering aviatrix, Amelia Earhart; and the golden era musical, The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age. Summer wrote the book, lyrics, and directed a series of live theatrical events in Los Angeles and New York including The Loretta Young Centennial Celebration and The Nicholas Brothers Tribute featuring Dick van Dyke and Debbie Allen. Other events featured Martin Short, Gary Oldman, Malcolm McDowell, Sarah Silverman, Elliot Gould, and Nichelle Nichols, among others. He is the President of the Board of AMAS Musical Theatre.