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Northern Stage Announces Boot Camp

Northern Stage announces the successful launch of Boot Camp, a program designed to nurture young theater artists by providing in-depth training and mentorship for high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates who want to pursue a career in the arts.

With support from the Pussycat Foundation and created to honor the philanthropic and creative spirits of Helen Gurley Brown and David Brown, Boot Camp serves young artists who lack the resources to pursue professional-level arts training. Admission to colleges, BFA theater programs, and performing arts conservatories are highly competitive, and Boot Camp seeks to level the playing field by preparing students to compete at the highest level for continued arts and performance studies.

Run by Northern Stage's Director of Education Eric Love, Boot Camp provides personalized training tailored to each student's unique capabilities and aspirations, as well as assistance with college admission and financial aid applications. Boot Camp Cadets work one-on-one with professional theater artists, participate in group master classes, and perform with Northern Stage's Youth Ensemble Studio and in the Summer Musical Theater Intensive.

In addition to these opportunities, Boot Camp Apprentices receive training in theater administration and production while working part time in the Northern Stage offices. The Boot Camp program includes a trip to New York City to experience Broadway productions and participate in the National Unified Auditions, where Cadets and Apprentices are seen by top universities. Boot Camp Director Eric Love says, "A life in the arts is a thrilling journey. For students who know this is the life they want, Boot Camp will turn their first steps into leaps toward the future."

Boot Camp just began its second year of a two-year beta program, which restricted enrollment to a private application process. This past year's inaugural Boot Camp Company included Cadets James Bryan, Anna Caccavaro, Margaret Finley, Alia Gonzales, Lily Magoon, Kyle Mason, Emily Masteller, and David Stark and Apprentices Grace Davis and Rylee Pauling. With weekly voice and dance lessons, monthly master classes, audition preparation, and more, this rigorous program requires significant time and energy from the students.

"Boot Camp gave me all the opportunity and just asked me to give effort and have discipline," says Stark. In the first year, all seniors and recent graduates were accepted into college theater programs. "Getting accepted into college immediately after my first audition in the city was the most phenomenal feeling in the world," says Masteller. Pauling adds, "For the first time I am excited for what my future holds."

Northern Stage welcomes the 2018-19 Boot Camp Company, returning Cadets Margaret Finley, Alia Gonzales, and Lily Magoon, joined by Shane Boucher, Hayden Christensen, Ella Falcone, Samantha Gibbs, Thomas Page, Sydney Read, and Ana Laura Santana and Apprentice Marissa Montagno and is thrilled to continue this intensive program as part of their mission to change lives, one story at a time. "Boot Camp is the best thing that has ever happened to me," says 2017-18 Cadet Kyle Mason.

In collaboration with Northern Stage, the New London Barn Playhouse will offer "Boot Camp at the Barn." Run by Program Manager Sarah Case, students perform in the Barn's Junior Intern Company and are given mentorship and training focused on audition and college preparation. The Barn's summer activity offers a unique opportunity to work closely with the extraordinary emerging artists who make up the renowned Barn Intern Company. These artists are often in the most competitive theater programs in the country, and they offer an immediate and important perspective on theater training.

"The Barn Playhouse is the perfect collaborator for Boot Camp," says Northern Stage Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne. "It IS a Boot Camp for brilliant young artists. For our high schoolers and recent graduates, being mentored by those who are doing it now is an extraordinary experience."

Due to the explosion of growth in education, Northern Stage is in the process of purchasing an additional property at 93 S. Main Street in White River Junction, Vermont. With waitlists for the Summer Musical Theater Intensive and YES programs, the tripling in size of BridgeUP: Theater in the Schools, and the launching and flourishing of the Boot Camp program, the company is expanding its footprint to meet the demands on capacity. More information on the building and its specific use will be released in the weeks and months to come.

Northern Stage (northernstage.org) is a regional non-profit LORT-D professional theater company with a mission to change lives, one story at a time. Located in White River Junction, VT, Northern Stage actively involves its audiences with ambitious productions and expansive educational programs in its new home, the Barrette Center for the Arts. Founded in 1997, the company has offered more than 120 high-quality professional productions of new works, classics, and musicals. The company is now in its 22nd Season and annual attendance is over 35,000. Five years ago, the company launched a new play festival that has cultivated four world premiere productions and two Off-Broadway transfers.

We teach, nurture, and inspire all generations of theater artists and theater lovers. A robust educational program focuses on professional training in a nurturing and supportive environment for students ages 6 and up. Yearlong acting ensembles, by-audition summer musical theater productions, a regional theater in the schools program, a need-based mentorship and college preparatory program, and a Dartmouth College Experiential Learning Term (accredited by Actor's Equity) are hallmarks of the educational offerings.

New London Barn Playhouse (nlbarn.org) is one of the oldest continuously operating summer theaters in the country. Housed in an historic converted barn, the theater features professional Broadway actors alongside emerging young artists in an intimate, air-conditioned setting, and has received countless accolades.



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