Bringing Theatre to the World for Over 70 Years

Bringing Theatre to the World for Over 70 Years

For the past 70 years, Music Theatre International (MTI) has been bringing theatre to the world by encouraging, nurturing and sustaining the licensing, production and performance of musical theatre.

From its humble beginnings representing the rights to approximately 40 shows in the US and in a handful of countries around the world, MTI quickly became a driving force in cultivating and licensing new works, offering solutions to common challenges through a host of innovative resources and expanding the theatre audience for generations to come.


In 1952, legendary composer/lyricist, Frank Loesser, and celebrated orchestrator, Don Walker, transformed a fledgling business into what is now known throughout the world as MTI.

Original orchestration for Frank Loesser's "A Bushel and a Peck".

MTI began by representing a small but important roster of authors and shows including The Boy Friend (Sandy Wilson), The Fantasticks (Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt), Guys and Dolls (Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows), The Music Man (Meredith Willson),The Pajama Game (George Abbott, Richard Bissell, Richard Adler and Jerry Ross) and West Side Story (Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim).

One of the earliest MTI catalogs circa 1962. 


MTI's logo, which features a left-handed conductor, was adapted from an illustration by legendary artist, Al Hirschfeld, that was commissioned by Music Theatre International.


In 1988, Freddie Gershon became MTI's principal owner, joined as co-owner in the early 1990s by Sir Cameron Mackintosh. Today, Mackintosh is MTI's Chairman and Owner, while Gershon continues to serve as MTI's Co-Chairman.


In 1996, Gershon conceived MTI's Broadway Junior musicals introducing musical theatre in 60-minute versions of Broadway works to elementary and middle schools adapted for performance by students. Launching with Annie JR., these musicals are re-thought with musical keys designed for age-appropriate vocal range and materials abbreviated with cross-curricula guides to tie the musicals into their academic subjects and into the entire school community.

Original Broadway Junior logo.


MTI's School Editions which launched in 2002 are musicals annotated for performance by high school students.

Original School Edition logo.


A few years after the positive reception in the market to MTI's Broadway Junior musicals, MTI expanded the collection by launching 30-minute KIDS versions of popular musicals including Disney's The Jungle Book KIDS and Disney's 101 Dalmatians.

Original KIDS Collection logo.


May 29th, 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of Music Theatre International, which New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially proclaimed "Music Theatre International Day". Read more.

Proclamation from 2012.

2012 also saw Freddie Gershon receiving a Tony Honor for creating the Broadway Junior Collection. Tony Honors are given annually for theatre accomplishments not eligible in established Tony Award categories. Read more.

Freddie Gershon at the Tony Honors celebration.


In 2015, having represented MTI in Europe for 25+ years, Josef Weinberger UK's musicals arm became MT's London Office, serving the UK, EU, and neighboring countries. Concurrently, MTI opened a Melbourne Office to best serve Australasia customers.


Still independently owned after 70 years, MTI is honored to represent over 600 shows and 300 award-winning composers, bookwriters, and lyricists including Lynn Ahrens, Howard Ashman, Sara Bareilles, Jerry Bock, Jason Robert Brown, Anthony Drewe, Stephen Flaherty, Green Day, Sheldon Harnick, James Lapine, Jonathan Larson, Alan Jay Lerner, Andrew Lippa, Frederick Loewe, Robert Lopez, Thomas Meehan, Alan Menken, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Stephen Schwartz, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, Stephen Sondheim, Jeanine Tesori, Frank Wildhorn, David Yazbek and many more.  

In addition to exclusively representing the musicals of Disney Theatricals for licensing, the MTI catalog features properties from all the major motion picture studios including DreamWorks, MGM, New Line, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers.

MTI currently serves over 100,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 150 countries worldwide, with over 100 foreign language translations of our shows.

Global Reach

Facilitating Global Theatre

The Reach of MTI Youth Editions

The Next 70 Years

“Over the 30 years I have been involved with MTI, it has always been the mission of Freddie Gershon and me that MTI would be equally the home for the talented up-and-coming authors as well as the established and even legendary,” shared Cameron Mackintosh, Chairman of MTI. “Over the years of our stewardship, including the two decades since Drew Cohen joined MTI, many of our fledgling talents have now become leading lights of the entertainment industry. We hope our status as the largest independently owned secondary rights library in the world, serving many of the best writers in musical theatre through our highly experienced, dedicated, and passionate teams in our offices in New York, London, and Melbourne, ensure that Music Theatre is truly International in its reach. MTI is already looking forward to the next 70 years being busier than the last and we intend to stay on the front line of innovation and the natural home of all artists that want to retain ownership of their own destiny.”

Freddie Gershon, Co-Chairman of MTI pointed out some of the ways in which MTI has brought traditionally underserved populations into the world of musical theater, “MTI has distinguished itself by providing bespoke materials to serve all groups and performers, from special needs children to seniors to other underserved communities around the country. Our adapted musicals provide joy and excitement to those immersing themselves in preparing and performing a musical, which in turn nurtures their love for the art form and insinuates musical theater into their entire community’s culture. MTI is committed to broadening the fan and audience base throughout the United States and elsewhere around the world for all musical theater. This is the greatest single accomplishment of MTI and the one which I am most proud to see continue beyond MTI's first 70 years.”

Drew Cohen, President and CEO of MTI added, "70 years is quite a milestone and one we could only have achieved thanks to the dedication of our incredibly talented team. The MTI staff are unmatched in their passion for serving our authors' work and the customers who license them. We are grateful for the trust placed in MTI and look forward to continuing to earn it every day."

As we look ahead to the next 70 years, will we do so guided by our mission of bringing theatre to the world and continuing to…

Encourage the global licensing of our catalog of shows while protecting the intellectual property of our authors.

Nurture the development of new works; promote arts education, particularly in underserved communities; and deliver innovative ways to create and produce theatre.

Sustain existing shows and the artform of musical theatre by supporting the creativity and talents of our authors, customers and employees.

"Oh, I would just like the shows to keep getting done, whether on Broadway, or in regional theatres, or schools, or communities, I would just like the stuff to be done, just done and done and done and done and done…"

-Stephen Sondheim (2008 Interview)