I cannot recall a time when I felt more creatively inspired or more humbled by the generosity of others than my time with ShowSearch.
ShowSearch is the Foundation’s juried competition for new short musicals by high school and college age creators. ShowSearch starts with an online competition, in which unedited 10-minute videos of musicals in development are submitted to the Foundation. Submissions are judged on storytelling, musicality and originality.
Six finalists are selected; three from the high school age group (13 to 17), and three from the college age group (18 to 25). Each finalist is paired with a top musical theatre professional for a month-long intensive mentorship. Mentors have included: Broadway and film songwriter MICHELE BROURMAN (Land Before Time series), Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), RYAN SCOTT OLIVER Date), BRENDAN MILBURN and VALERIE VIGODA (Ernest Shackleton Loves Me), JOHN BUCCHINO (A Catered Affair) and JEFF MARX (Avenue Q).
The finished 10-minute musicals then receive a staged reading, which is cast, produced and directed by top Los Angeles musical theatre professionals. The musicals are performed by a company of Equity actors in rotating venues across southern California. Previous venues include the Performing Arts Center at Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, UC Irvine, and Santa Monica College’s Main Stage.
All ShowSearch finalists receive cash awards, with the winner in each category receiving an additional award.
Attendance at the culminating ShowSearch event has increased every year. In 2017 the high school winners were Jessica Nava and Maria Hernandez, participants in the Pathway program at VAPA Legacy High School, with their show Grandma’s Keeper. Since then, they have expanded it into a full-length musical.