Congratulations to Ryan Simon & Bri Hernandez, winners of 
the 2016 Texas Thespian Musicalworks!

Ryan Simon and Bri Hernandez are a writing duo from Cypress Ranch High School. Both are seniors. 

Bri Hernandez is an avid writer and film maker, with short films such as This isn’t Normal and What Was Left. Writing her first play last year, this year is her first time writing a musical. 

Ryan Simon is currently a Senior who is an composer and lyricist for now two musicals. His previous musical, Chrysalis, won the 2015 Texas State Thespian Musicalworks Competition as well as the 2016 National Thespian Musicalworks Competition.

Having worked together before as a composer/director duo on her short film What was Left, the pair are excited for the opportunity to present their musical, Sonder, and can’t wait to see what else is in store for them!

 2017 Musicalworks Deadline - October 13, 2017


Email submissions to Nicole Morgan.

Winning submission will receive complimentary festival registration! 

Rules and Guidelines, which follow the national model, are listed below.  Musicalworks promotes original musical writing by high school students and is open to members of the International Thespian Society. Beginning September 1, participants may submit the opening number to an original student-written musical for review. Selected student lyricists and composers will have the chance to workshop and stage their creation with professionals and student musical theatre actors at the Festival. One opening number will be chosen for workshops and a performance at Festival.

Early submissions are encouraged. Submissions will be acknowledged at the time of receipt and will not be returned.

Please include a headshot and a short bio at the time of your submission. 


Participants must be active members of the Thespian Society enrolled in high school during the current school year. All finalists must be available to attend Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. Finalists will be responsible for the cost of their travel to Festival. Their registration fees, which include room and board and admission to all Festival events, will be paid by their own Thespian Society.


  • All work submitted to the Musicalworks program must be original. No copyrighted materials (songs, lyrics, poetry) will be accepted.
  • The musical can be about any subject.
  • Student writers should submit only the opening number from their original musical, not the entire score. The opening number should be between three and six minutes in length.
  • Students may produce this work alone or with another student writing partner; maximum of two, no group submissions will be considered.
  • Cast of characters needed to stage the musical number should not exceed fifteen people.
  • Musical tracks submitted should include full sung lyrics and accompaniment either by instruments or a composition program such as Garage Band. A cappella pieces will not be considered unless the entire piece was composed to be performed a cappella.
  • Students may also include any dialogue that occurs before or during the opening number in the recording.
  • You may submit more than one opening number provided they are for different original musicals.
  • If selected to workshop your opening number at the Festival, you will be required to produce sheet music for your original song. Sheet music can be written on Finale Notepad (a free music writing, music notation, software download) or any other music notation program.

Submission Procedures :

Submissions should consist of the following:

  • The mp4 or mp3 file of your opening number.
  • A one-page plot summary of the entire show including information about the musical’s intended audience.
  • A lyrics sheet for the opening number.
  • A cover page with the following information: the title of your musical; your name, address, telephone number(s), and email address; your Thespian troupe number; the name of your school; the name and telephone number of your troupe director; and the words ‘‘Musicalworks Submission.’’
  • A headshot and a short bio.

Workshops and performance

Once a musical is selected, the winner will need to cast (from their own troupe) and rehearse their selection for workshopping with a Musicalworks professional.  Workshop sessions are during festival to rework and stage the number for a public performance on Saturday.


Your work is protected by copyright from the moment it is created. As the writer, you own the musical and have exclusive control of the rights to produce, publish, and adapt it. By submitting your opening number to the Musicalworks program, you are agreeing to allow the International Thespian Society, at its discretion, to mount a performance of your work. The Society may also, at its discretion, choose to publish the finalist music, or portions of it, in Dramatics magazine and on All other rights remain the exclusive property of the composer(s.)

Submit for the national competition via email