What are the best music theatre summer programs for high school students?

broadwaybaby418
Swing
joined:1/16/11
I have been interested in attending a music theatre summer program for quite some time. I was wondering what the best programs are for high school students. So far I have looked into Stagedoor Manor, NYU Steinhardt, NYU Tisch, and Interlochen. Which one of these (or other programs) are the most worth applying/auditioning for? If you have ever been to any of them, could you tell me of your experiences there? Also, what is the difference between the Tisch New Studio Summer Music Theatre program and the Steinhardt NYU Summer Study in Music Theatre? Thank you!
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Personally- I think programs where you have to audition to get in are really good. How old are you and how wealthy is your family? I ask because I have checked into some of these programs for my 16yo daughter and I couldn't believe how expensive some of them are! I'm talking thousands of dollars! My daughter knows girls at her school who have been going to Stagedoor for several summers and she said they are terrible- as in not much talent. All you have to do is apply and pay to go there. (I know there are plenty of talented kids who go there but it's not a guarantee). There's also Carnegie Mellon's pre-college program and MPulse at the University of Michigan- both are extremely competitive and expensive! My son is a freshman at NYU and he's in the New Studio on Broadway for acting. He has musical theatre students in his class and he says the program is very good. Of course, he's more partial to New Studio than Steinhardt. He believes musical theatre students get more acting skills at New Studio. Long story but my daughter has done some local all-high school shows that have only cost $200 for the summer- plus gas to get there. So good luck and start applying now. The audition processes for some of the schools is pretty lengthy! MTV did a show about French Woods a couple of years ago. That camp looks like it's tons of fun but it also looked like you had to work your way up to leads.
Orangesaretuesdays
Stand-by
joined:10/8/10
Long Lake Camp for the Arts is a wonderful camp! You will have the best summer of your life!
Shows in 2014: Jan. 2: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at The Shakespeare Theatre.
ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
New Studio at NYU is through Tisch. Since CAP21 left NYU/Tisch, New Studio of MT is Tisch's new musical theatre studio. Steinhardt's musical theatre program is more of vocal performance than acting. Degree-seeking students receive a BM (bachelors of music) at Steinhardt, where Tisch students receive BFAs (bachelors of fine arts). Tisch drama studios are focused more on acting, where Steinhardt is music. (The MT department is through the music performance, which covers all instruments and styles, and is technically classified under vocal performance.)

NYU Tisch drama majors don't actually do their studio through NYU- they're put into other studios in NYC, like Stella Adler, Atlantic Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, etc. For a summer, I'd try looking into the studios directly. You can also check out CAP21 (which is no longer affiliated with NYU) and Circle in the Square. I hear great things about both of them.
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
My son is in acting at the New Studio. He is in the inaugural class and even though he is in acting, there are also students in MT in his class. New Studio is a studio just like Atlantic, Playwrights, etc. New Studio takes the place of Cap21 and Strassburg.
ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
I'm not sure what you're saying. New Studio is a Tisch BFA acting studio (like Atlantic, Playwrights) but it is for musical theatre- it's an acting-based musical theatre studio, whereas the Steinhardt program is a singing-based musical theatre program.
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
New Studio on Broadway IS a BFA program at Tisch and a studio like Atlantic. There are 64 students in the studio- 32 are musical theatre and 32 are straight acting. In their studio classes, the students are mixed for the classes that aren't musical. My son does not study voice- as in singing- or dance. He does have classes in speech, movement... he has a yoga class. In those classes, there are musical theatre students mixed in with them. The New Studio is "owned" by NYU and the studio is at Tisch. You said that Tisch students don't actually do their studio through NYU. I was just pointing out that I don't believe that is true. I hope that helps! BTW- NYU is a wonderful school! My son loves it there!
ahhrealmonsters
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/10
Ohh.. ok. Misunderstanding. The studios are through the school, but they are technically not at NYU- they are at the outside studios (physically- ATC students do their studio in the Atlantic Theatre Company's space, and non in the Tisch building.) I did not know that New Studio had non-MT students, though. Good to know. I think New Studio is also the most NYU-integrated studio. My roommates are both Tisch acting students, and they're rarely in the Tisch building- always at their studios.
alliez92092
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
Check out the Cherubs program at Northwestern. The first five weeks are just acting based, but there's a musical theater extension and the stuff you do during the first five weeks is so important to the stuff you do in the extension. I was just an actor, not an MT kid, but my friends who did do MT loved it and we all loved the program as a whole.
DoReMi
Stand-by
joined:5/19/03
Oklahoma City University's Summer Music Program is one of the best and finest training prgorams in the nation. It is a serious training program with classes every weekday morning (music theory, piano, acting, dance) and master classes in the afternoon (like Kelli O'Hara) and then rehearsals for a fully staged musical at night.

Amazing and for students who are serious about music.
AdamQuinn
Understudy
joined:2/8/11
I would like to start this by saying I have only ever been to Stagedoor Manor so none of the statements I make are reflective of other camps.

Now that that is settled I think I should give you my experience at Stagedoor.
I have attended Stagedoor ever summer since the age of 10 years old, by the end of this summer it will be my eighth and final year. I have played everything from ensemble roles to leading and I can honestly say I enjoyed every single one.

In response to @supportivemom I have to say although there is no audition to get into Stagedoor I have seen more talent at Stagedoor then anywhere else in the world.

I've never attended any other camps but I have been to many national competitions and time after time I see Stagedoor Alum placing very high.

I can say honestly that Stagedoor is my 2nd home and I love every single person there and happens to be the most supportive place for young people I have ever seen.

During my time there I have been in, Oliver, Lucky Stiff, Me and My Girl, Avenue Q, Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man, The Pirates of Penzance, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Mis and Fiddler On The Roof.

I've also performed in the cabaret show, wrote and directed a play for their playwriting competition, have been involved in the camper talent show, performed in The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and filmed a pilot for a new TV show.

Stagedoor sells out every year so if you or someone you know truly wants to go...I would get on it right after the previous summer. So many returning campers come back that space fills up FAST!

I promise that you will love it if you try it.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions; i would love to answer anything :)!

Best of Luck on Your Search
ReggieonBway
Broadway Star
joined:1/29/11
It really depends on your ability and your dedication; some programs, like Boston Conservatory's summer Vocal/Choral Intensive, can be amazing experiences. However, we woke up at 7 AM and worked until 9 PM with only occasional breaks.

This summer I'll be doing the Broadway Artists Alliance program - the program is by audition, and while it's too late to audition now, definitely check if they come to a city near you for the 2011-2012 season. They're basically the most prestigious program available for young "Broadway-bound" performers. They do master classes with everyone from Jonathan Groff to Sutton Foster.
patty2550
Swing
joined:3/14/11
One of the best and most affordable is the Savannah Summer Theatre Institute. I've been for the past two years. You get to do a full musical in only three weeks. It's like professional theatre camp. You take union breaks and everything. This year they are doing HAIRSPRAY and now have a fourth week that is all guest artists from NYC. The housing is pretty sweet with your own bedrooms in a brand new dorms. there is a website at www.savannahsummertheatre.com
Updated On: 3/14/11 at 08:19 PM
NYC2012
Swing
joined:3/23/11
Oklahoma City University has by far one of the best summer programs for High School students. It's a 3 week program formatted to simulate the freshman year of a music theater major at OCU. They have acting/dance/acting classes in the morning, masterclasses with voice/acting faculty in the afternoons and then rehearsal for their final production at night. This year they will be doing Children of Eden. For more information, their website is:
http://www.okcu.edu/music/academy/summerprg.aspx
macchild
Swing
joined:3/30/11
There are 2 great summer programs for high school students--Interlocken and Open Jar. Both have amazingly talented staff and are by audition only.
Totally different settings, Open Jar is the true Broadway experience. Students train with the best on Broadway during the day and in the evening go to see their teachers perform in Broadway shows. lots of connectionist be made. Interlocken is more of a rustic camp setting. Wonderful staff and intense classes. You would not go wrong with either program--they are the best!
Updated On: 3/31/11 at 12:00 AM
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Open Jar is only for one week and the cost is $1850. That does not include room- which is another $400+ and not airfare. Also, I have seen some very untalented kids from my daughter's school get in the program. just being honest!
ReggieonBway
Broadway Star
joined:1/29/11
I'm going to Open Jar this year myself - they typically accept 10-15 people from each audition location, so it isn't like anybody can get in. That said, I won't argue that it's expensive; as far as cost goes, I'm doing Broadway Artists' Alliance this year as well (as mentioned above) and it's even more expensive. If a program is genuinely worth it (Broadway veteran teachers, great reputation) it will almost always be expensive.
Updated On: 4/19/11 at 07:58 PM
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Sorry- but expensive does not mean better. I'm sure you'll have fun at both camps because you'll be with people who like the saqme things. Personally, I have not been impressed with the talent of the students from our area who have been accepted into Open Jar. Again, just being honest!
ReggieonBway
Broadway Star
joined:1/29/11
Oh, I'm not saying that cost=quality, I'm saying that the cheaper programs tend to suck. I know; I've done them.
addybrown13
Swing
joined:4/25/11
I loved CMU pre-college. It was amazing!
-Addy
AdamQuinn
Understudy
joined:2/8/11
@supportivemom just wanted to mention something--
at EVERY program (yes every single one) there will be people who are untalented that come out of it. Not everyone that goes to these summer programs are fantastic so for you mention that you've seen untalented people coming out of certain places seems a little ridiculous.
Sure I have attended Stagedoor Manor for 8 years and I have seen some of the most incredible talent and some not so good. So every place has its stars and people there to just have fun.
Just throwing it out there...
supportivemom
Broadway Legend
joined:5/23/07
Adam- I understand what you're saying but have you been stewing over this for the past few months to bring it up now? I know that there are a lot of good people who have gone to Stage Door but it's also very expensive and they don't give scholarships. My point is- just because someone went there- it doesn't mean that they're extremely talented either. The two girls that I know of are horrible and they brag all the time that they have been going there for years- like they are better than everyone else. I can understand you being defensive about your camp and I don't think that's ridiculous! I also think that if I'm going to spend thousands of dollars, I would want my daughter to be with the best. When you have to spend your own money- you will understand that. Thanks for your input though! I appreciate your passion!
AdamQuinn
Understudy
joined:2/8/11
I actually totally forgot about this thread (not much of a blogger) but I totally understand what your saying. One thing to recognize that may be a bit overlooked.
Yes I totally agree that all these camps, including Stagedoor cost a lot of money.
But as well as being in a show you are paying for classes (4 a day,) food, housing, laundry, and all that extra stuff that we do. When you really look at the numbers for all the things you get it truly is a fare price. I'm not saying its not a lot of money but it is a fare price for what your getting.
grandlife
Swing
joined:1/23/12
I'm going to second the vote for Savannah Summer Theatre Institute. I've been to both it and Stagedoor. While Stagedoor has the larger staff and facilities, SSTI has a unique professional rehearsal environment that SM can't create. SSTI performs a full show for the public every summer and they only accept the number of students that would be cast in the show. For Hairspray last year we had like 27 people. So its really like youre rehearsing a professional show. And they get awesome guest artists. Last summer we had Tituss Burgess and he did a concert for us and we got to perform with him. On our breaks, we sat at the piano and he played from my songbook and we all sang. He's soooo nice! My vote is for SSTI. They're (hopefully we're) doing Legally Blonde this summer.
Gink
Understudy
joined:3/10/09
My son has gone to Stagedoor for the last three summers, loves it, and will go for one last time this summer. Having seen multiple shows at each performance weekend I can tell you that the majority of the kids are wildly talented. Each session has a clunker show or two and I've wondered if they put the less talented kids together in their own shows,(usually we're warned about what shows to avoid when we get there) but overall we have been blown away by the talent showcased here--and the fact they pull off these amazing shows in three weeks. My daughter and I actually liked the Stagedoor version of The Mikado more than the NYC Gilbert and Sullivan production we went to see shortly afterwards. It is very expensive--I could have remodeled my kitchen and resided my house for what we've paid, but my son loves it and has made fantastic friends for life.

The campus itself is a little rundown--we keep wishing a celeb alumni would pay for AC in the dorms and new carpeting, but these sessions are the highlight of my son's year and he and his friends count the days until they can go back.
NewYorkPulse24
Chorus Member
joined:1/28/12
I know people have different opinions on the program but i just did the CAP 21 summer program and LOVED it!

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