Eden Espinosa Joins Terrence Mann, Charlotte d'Amboise and More for Missoula Children's Theatre's NEXT STEP PREP This Summer

Aspiring Broadway teens will soon have the chance to work one-on-one with Eden Espinosa at Next Step Prep, a summer academy designed to give high school hopefuls an intense grounding in the triple threat skills of Acting, Dance and Music. Throughout the Next Step Prep 6-week session, daily instruction from accredited teachers is supplemented with 2-3 day master classes taught by some of Broadway's biggest names.

This summer, Eden Espinosa will be joining a lineup of Broadway luminaries and entertainment professionals that includes Terrence Mann, Charlotte d'Amboise, Erin Ortman, Alex Gemignani, Lynn Helding, Andy Taylor, Suzanne Carey and Bill Bowers.

Past guest artists have included Jason Robert Brown, Alan Campbell, Susan Egan, Seth Rudetsky, Elizabeth Parkinson, Mark Metcalf, Marni Nixon, Steve Smith, Marcus Olson, Joan Hess, Leigh Zimmerman, Georgia Stitt and Kate Baldwin.

As 2014 guest artist Kate Balwin put it, "What is unique about Next Step Prep is the access the kids have to all different kinds of artists... artists who specialize in vocal technique, in dance, in acting and in acting a song. It's not everywhere that you get all of those forces all applied to the same group of students! Plus you get people from all over the world. Students from different countries, different backgrounds, and that only enriches their experience here at Next Step Prep."

Next Step Prep is a program of the Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) which for over 40 years has brought theatre experiences to young people across the country and around the world with its week long residencies. Today MCT visits about 1200 communities a year, working with nearly 75,000 performers and reaching audiences of 500,000 or more. Many of these first time performers are bitten by the acting bug, but due to limited access have few ways to explore their skills further.

"There are three things which we feel make Next Step Prep unique," explains Managing Director Gregory Boris, "the Program, the Place, and the People."

The Program - challenges students individual abilities in acting, dance and music with teachers working together to maximize interdisciplinary growth. The session is open to all High School aged students and is a true summer school experience - running for 6 weeks and granting High School Credit in all three areas.

The Place - Next Step Prep classes take place at the world headquarters of the Missoula Children's Theatre in the beautiful Rocky Mountain town of Missoula, Montana. Students are housed in dormitories at the nearby University of Montana. And special activities include excursions to nearby Garnet Ghost Town, Morrell Falls, the National Bison Range, Flathead Lake, and the 4th of July Pow Wow celebration in Arlee, MT.

The People - Students are encouraged to learn from all the people they encounter: their teachers, their guest artists, and their fellow students.

According to Jason Robert Brown, this can be one of the most important learning opportunities. "You know it's a beautiful thing to be able to do to get around people who have that same passion as you do; the same way as if you wanted to go to a baseball camp," he said. "There's a reason you go to baseball camp, and it's that you can't do it by yourself sitting at home -- you need a team. I think the same thing is true of experiences like this where you're working on theatre stuff -- you need a team."

If you would like to join the 2015 Next Step Prep team, contact Managing Director Gregory Boris at gboris@mctinc.org. Next Step Prep is currently accepting applications for our 2015 session -- June 22 through July 31. Enrollment is open to students entering grades 9-12 in the fall of 2015, as well as recent graduates.

For more information about Next Step Prep, visit www.nextstepprep.org or find us on Facebook.

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