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BRINGING UP BROADWAY: The Ultimate Guide to Enrolling in Summer Theatre Intensives

It's an exciting time to be a Broadway hopeful as interest grows, and summer program offerings expand!

BRINGING UP BROADWAY: The Ultimate Guide to Enrolling in Summer Theatre Intensives

If you're like me, you feel like you're just getting the laundered extra-long twin sheets re-assimilated into the linen closet, and the shower basket and mesh laundry bag finally stored away until next summer. And yet, it's that time again. It's time to start planning for next summer's training. It feels almost as surreal as registering for Santa appointments in July (which we actually do here in Atlanta).

It's an exciting time to be a Broadway hopeful as interest grows, and summer program offerings expand! In fact, it can be a challenge to narrow down the choices. We hope that this list helps you to choose a few programs to consider. Here are a few ideas for what to keep in mind when paring them down:

Student Goals/Focus

Some programs are show-focused, some are dance-heavy, and others may concentrate solely on college audition prep.


Know your student and how comfortable he/she is being away from home and for what period of time.


There seems to be considerable variability in the cost of the different options based on the location and length of the program. Many intensives, however, do offer scholarships (some merit-based, some talent-based), so it would be worth exploring those possibilities before ruling one out based solely on cost.


How will your student get there? Will you will be able to get there for a post-camp show or showcase. Don't forget to factor travel into the cost.


Would your student prefer an integrated "camp-like" experience (Stagedoor Manor, Long Lake Arts, or French Woods), a New York City exploration (AMDA), or a program where they spend their downtime on a beach (SSTI)?

Beyond the stage

Which program resonates with your family values, and what is best for your student's overall development? Do you want your child to learn holistic approaches to caring for their own wellbeing as a performer (Texas State) or to have opportunities for "graduated independence" (SSTI)? Does your child want to focus more on college auditioning (TPAP Blueprint)?

Photo courtesy of Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute
Photo courtesy of the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute (SSTI)

Programs Currently Open for Registration:

AMDA High School Summer Conservatory

AMDA offers two campuses (New York and Los Angeles) and five tracks in their summer conservatory, including musical theatre, acting for the stage, dance theatre, film and tv, and pop star recording artistry. In the musical theatre track, participants will explore both classic and contemporary musicals and will have the opportunity to train with experienced Broadway performers and directors. Students will complete an online application and schedule a phone interview to be considered for the program. Only after acceptance will a video be submitted to determine class placements.

Dates: Session I: June 21 - July 4 (LA only); Session II: July 5-18 (NYC and LA); Session III: July 19 - August 1 (NYC and LA); Session 4: August 2-15 (NYC only)

Carnegie Mellon University School Of Drama Pre-College Program

This six-week intensive is modeled after the University's School of Drama BFA curriculum and helps to prepare students for the college interview and audition process. Because this Pennsylvania program focuses on process instead of product, there is no final production. Coursework is presented weekdays with optional classes and workshops offered evenings and weekends. Students interested in applying will be required to complete an online application, submit an unofficial transcript, one recommendation letter, and essays based on two given prompts. No video audition is required since students will be working on these skills as a part of the college application prep portion of the program. Students are admitted on a rolling basis and will be notified of a decision within three weeks of applying.

Dates: June 27- August 8

French Woods Performing Arts Camp

French Woods Camp offers its performing arts students the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of both theater and traditional camping activities. It puts on more than 70 full-scale productions each summer in its five on-site theaters. Students can choose to be involved in a number of areas such as performance, costuming, lighting, sound, and makeup. Auditions are held on the first full day of camp, and shows are divided by age groups (7-9, 9-11,11-14, and 11-17). Students design their own schedules from a variety of options and may choose classes in areas including improvisation, acting technique, commercial technique, creative writing, directing, dialects, musical theater, Shakespeare, stage combat, and scene study. Check the website for application information.

Dates: Multiple Sessions running June 7 -September 6

Institute for American Musical Theatre's (IAMT) Broadway Bootcamp

IAMT offers a three- and four-week New York City-based program for students ages 11-19. Students will work daily with dance captains and choreographers from Broadway shows, casting directors, Tony-nominated producers, and Broadway performers. The program offers classes in voice, acting, ballet, jazz, commercial dance, musical theater dance, tap, and fitness. The intensive culminates with a showcase performance. Interested students can apply with a video audition or attend one of the live auditions being held around the country. Required audition materials for singers include two contrasting songs and a dance video for dancers.

Dates: Session I: June 15 - July 3; Session II: July 6- July 31

Interlochen Summer Arts Camps

Interlochen, located in northern Michigan, offers a variety of options for musical theatre students, including a one-week audition institute, a one-week musical theatre techniques institute, a three-week contemporary musical theatre showcase, a six-week musical theatre production program, and a one-week Shakespeare boot camp just to name a few. Audition requirements vary by program, and additional information can be located on the Interlochen website. Regional auditions are held across the country in January. Dates and locations for these can also be found on the website.

Dates: Vary by the numerous programs. See website for details.

Long Lake Arts Summer Sleepaway Musical Theatre Camp

Located in the Adirondacks mountains in New York, Long Lake offers three- and six-week sessions for campers ages 8-16. The program allows students to design their own schedules around desired musical theatre topics, including choreography, costuming, scenic design, lighting, stage makeup, and more while also enjoying the outdoor camp experience. Campers will produce a variety of shows with live orchestra accompaniment in one of the four theaters on site. No auditions are required for this program.

Dates: Session I: June 28 - July 19; Session II: July 20 - August 9; Session III: August 10 - August 30

NEXUS at Texas State

This musical theatre pre-college intensive is based on Texas State's BFA program with immersive theatre training utilizing a holistic approach to the vocal, physical, and mental health of the performer. The intensive is taught by Texas State Musical Theatre faculty in conjunction with Summer 2020 guest artists, including Tyler Haynes, Tom Delbello, and Neil Patrick Stewart. NEXUS accepts video auditions with requirements for vocal, acting, and dance.

Dates: June 5-21

Northwestern University High School Theatre Institute

Northwestern University offers a five-week Theatre Arts or a Design/Tech summer program with an optional two-week Musical Theatre extension. During the Theatre Arts program, the students attend both classes and rehearsals for a culminating show presented to the public. This summer intensive is open to rising high school seniors who rank in the top 30% of their graduating class. Applications will include a resume, two essay responses, one letter of recommendation, a current transcript, and standardized test scores (if available). Those interested in the musical theatre extension must first complete the five-week Theatre Arts program. During the extension training will include additional instruction in acting, dance styles, musical theatre history, and voice. The Extension will conclude with a showcase.

Dates: Theatre Arts or Design/Tech June 28 - August 1, Musical Theatre Extension August 2 - 15

NYU Tisch Summer High School Program

This four-week program is open to rising high school juniors and seniors. Each week, students receive 28 hours of conservatory training in what NYU calls a "condensed version" of its undergraduate drama program. Additionally, participants will attend a weekly seminar with rotating guests, including professional actors, directors, designers, and stage managers. While the program focuses on process over product, students will have two performance opportunities. To apply, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and transcripts.

Dates: July 12 - August 8

Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory

Rutgers, located in New Jersey, offers Musical Theater Track during their four-week conservatory-style program for high school students to develop their acting, singing, and dancing skills. Students are also exposed to theater history, stagecraft, stage combat, miming, and other theater-related topics. Attendees will also get to see Broadway shows and participate in post-show analysis. Three college credits are available for an additional cost with participation in the program. Interested students will need to register for a live audition or submit a digital one with one monologue, a full song, and a 15-minute interview. Additional audition materials will include an essay, one letter of recommendation from an acting coach/drama teacher and one letter of recommendation from a dance teacher

Dates: June 30 - July 28

Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute (SSTI)*

SSTI offers a number of summer training options over the course of the summer for middle and high school students. The program takes place in Hilton Head, SC, with a second campus announced for this year in the nearby Beaufort, SC. Middle and high school students can choose to participate in a week-long intensive (SSTI Junior), a 12-day intensive (SSTI Essentials), or one of the four show production programs, which will include participation in a fully-staged production and a week of masterclasses with Broadway professionals. SSTI also offer a unique and highly sought-after theatre tech program. Interested students will complete an online application and submit an audition video. Those interested in the tech track will submit a resume and references and will schedule a Skype interview.

Dates: Session I: June 2 - 28; Session II: June 8 - July 5; Session III: July 6 - Aug 2; Session IV: July 13 - Aug 9; SSTI Junior: June 30 - July 4; SSTI Essentials: June 29 - July 10

*If you would like to hear more about our experience with SSTI and about how the program started, listen to the "From Atlanta to Broadway" podcast episode with SSTI founder Ben Wolfe here.

Stagedoor Manor

This program for 10-18-year-olds offers what it calls "total theatre immersion, plus all the fun of a great summer camp." Stagedoor is held in Loch Sheldrake, New York, and offers three sessions. During the summer, they produce 14 full-scale shows every three weeks in their eight indoor and outdoor theatres. All students will have a chance to perform. Registration for new campers opened mid-September and is well underway, so I'd recommend acting quickly for this popular program. Only an online application and deposit are required. Placement auditions will be conducted during the first two days of camp.

Dates: Session I: June 15- July 5; Session II: July 6-26; Session III: July 27- August 16

S.T.A.T.E. at Penn State

S.T.A.T.E. (Summer Theatre Artistic Training Experience) is a two-week intensive for rising high school juniors and seniors. Students will get a taste of the Penn State Musical Theatre training program, advice for navigating the college audition process, and both individualized and private triple-threat instruction. After daily studio classes, students can participate in evening master classes and cabaret opportunities. Interested students will apply by submitting a headshot, resume, and video clips of a monologue, two contrasting vocal pieces, and a dance sample.

Dates: June 21 - July 4

The Performing Arts Project (TPAP)

TPAP offers three different summer intensives, which take place on the campus of Wake Forest University. This non-profit program offers students the opportunity to train with working professionals. The three offerings include Blueprint, which has a focus on training and audition preparation; Compass, which focuses solely on beginner/intermediate dance training; and Panorama, which develops not only the disciplines of acting, singing, and dancing but also connected fields including songwriting, choreography, conducting, and directing. Students can apply at a live audition or submit a digital one. They will be asked to perform a song, a monologue, and a dance (or dance call).

Dates: Blueprint: June 28th - July 11th - for ages 14 to 18; Panorama: July 12th - August 2nd - for ages 16 to 25; Compass: Dance for Movers: July 11th - July 18th - for ages 14 to 18

Photo courtesy of the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute (SSTI)
Photo courtesy of the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute (SSTI)

Other Programs to Watch for Registration Details:

Boston Conservatory at Berklee Musical Theater Acting Intensive (MTAI) and Dance Intensive (MTDI)

Boston Conservatory has two main program offerings for students ages 15-25 interested in musical theater, one focused on dance and the other on acting. The three-week programs both incorporate singing, dancing, and acting, but each specializes in the stated area. The dance intensive is intended for students with "significant dance experience." The acting intensive is modeled after Boston Conservatory's musical theater degree program and will allow students to explore topics ranging from Shakespeare to clowning, or to pop/rock vocal techniques. The Conservatory also offers a Vocal/Choral Intensive for those with a primary interest in music. MTAI auditions require a headshot, monologue, one song, and one creative piece of your choosing. MTDI auditions require a headshot and video of a one-minute dance piece. Check the program website for additional application details as they become available or sign up for email notifications to be notified.

Dates: MTAI: June 22 - July 11; MTDI July 13 - August 1

Boston University Summer Theatre Institute

This five-week conservatory-style intensive for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors mirrors the BFA program at BU and offers four college credits for completion of the program. Two tracks are offered: one for performance (not straight musical theatre) and one for design. Training areas include acting, design, voice and speech, movement, improv, and theatre techniques. BU focuses on developing what they call a "multi-disciplinary theatre artist." Applications are typically available in December and require a headshot, resume, personal essay, and letter of recommendation.

Dates: June 28 - August 1

CCM's Musical Theatre Workshop

This University of Cincinnati program is offered to rising sophomores through seniors who want to focus on triple threat training in a college setting. Participants can choose to attend one or both weeks of the program, which is taught by CCM faculty. The session will conclude with a Cabaret of solo pieces rehearsed during the week. Auditions may be done in person or online. Applicants will be asked to submit a headshot, resume, an essay question response, a monologue video, two contrasting song videos (one from a Golden Age musical, one contemporary), and a letter of recommendation. Watch the website for additional application information as it becomes available.

Dates: June 15 - June 27

Drama Summer Intensive at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers a four-week program for rising high school sophomores and older. Attendees will spend at least 30 hours a week in dance, voice, and acting classes. Additionally, students will participate in evening workshops and masterclasses and a college audition workshop. Evening workshop classes include topics such as acting for the camera, musical theatre, directing, Shakespeare, improv, and stage combat skills. The session ends with a showcase presentation. Watch the program website for updates about dates, pricing, and application requirements.

Dates: not yet posted on their website at the time of publication

Emerson's Pre-College Musical Theatre Studio Program

Emerson's five-week intensive for rising high school juniors and seniors is intended to introduce students to a college-level training program with technique-based training and skill development in singing, dancing, and acting. Emerson faculty members, alumni, and guest artists will provide instruction. The program will also address college audition preparation, and rising seniors will have the option to audition for Emerson's BFA program during the last week of the intensive if they choose. Four college credits are available for those who complete the course. The program website states that those who apply should "have the desire and maturity to receive constructive criticism about their work and give helpful feedback to others." Interested students will be required to submit a statement of purpose, an essay, one letter of recommendation, a headshot, a resume, and (if pursuing course credit) a transcript and applicable test scores.

Dates: not yet posted on their website at the time of publication

Florida State University's Music Theatre Intensive (MTI)

The three-week MTI program, open to rising high school juniors and seniors, is taught by FSU faculty, including the heads of the musical theatre and acting programs. It is designed for those who wish to pursue a career in this field and will offer daily classes in acting, movement, voice, and dance. Time will be spent on developing audition skills and packages for both college auditions and casting opportunities. The intensive culminates in a Cabaret open to the public. Audition materials will include a headshot, resume, a video of two contrasting songs, a dance clip, and a contemporary monologue. Check the website for updates on when applications are accepted.

Dates: July 5-25

MPulse at University of Michigan

A variety of music, dance, and theatre tracks are offered at this school. The Musical Theatre Workshop program is for rising juniors and seniors. During the two-and-a-half week session, students take master classes with the University of Michigan faculty and explore the college audition process. New student registration will open in late November. Applications consist of an online application, audition videos, personal statement video, resume, photos, letters of recommendation, and transcripts (students must maintain a B-average in a college prep program to be considered).

Dates: not yet posted on their website at the time of publication

Oklahoma City University High School Musical Theater Program

Oklahoma City offers two program options for high school students, including a 10-day Pre-College Intensive and a three-week High School Music Theater Program. The 10-day program focuses on college audition preparation and will provide students with feedback during a mock-audition process. Participants will also have daily curriculum in dance styles, repertoire building, music theory, and more. Those who wish to participate in a fully-staged musical should consider the three-week program where they will rehearse a show in addition to receiving daily triple-threat training modeled on the college program. Students can apply to one or both programs. Audition materials should include a monologue and two song selections. Check the website for updates on when application materials will be available.

Dates: not yet posted on their website at the time of publication

Rider University's Pre-College Musical Theatre Institute

This two-week residential program in New Jersey is open to rising sophomores through newly graduated high school seniors. Taught by Rider's faculty with Broadway guest artists, the program will offer participants triple-threat training with classes including scene study, commercial singing techniques, a variety of dance styles, and college auditions. Students will also perform in a showcase and semi-staged version of a Broadway show. Keep an eye on their website for additional program information, including application procedures, dates, and pricing.

Dates: not yet posted on their website at the time of publication

UArts Summer Theatre Institute

This Philadelphia-based program offers a four-week intensive modeled after the UArts undergraduate experience. Participants will choose one of four tracks, including acting, musical theatre performance, directing, or playwriting and production. In addition to training led by faculty, attendees will have the opportunity to attend masterclasses with theater artists, visit Philadelphia theatres, and travel to NYC for a Broadway production. One highlight of this UArts program is that participants will earn three college credits for the session, and rising seniors can audition for college admission. Additional information and application details will be posted in January.

Dates: July 6- 31

Have another summer program suggestion? Email Jenny at to have it added to our list! Be sure to check back for updates!

All photos courtesy of the Southeastern Summer Theatre Institute (SSTI)

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