Actors in Curtains
“I was challenged in many different ways throughout the process, and felt like I grew as an artist and a musician. I learned an incredible amount from the directors and fellow students regarding creating characters, ensemble work, collaboration, professionalism, and more."
Participant, Musical Theatre Institute for Teens

Summer Musical Theatre Institute

A unique four-week training program for ages 13-19

About the ProgramLocation Admission • Tuition
Students can audition to take part in both sessions. 

2019 Session I

Alix in Wonderland: A Gender Journey Down the Rabbit Hole (World Premiere)
Directed by Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro, Music and Lyrics by Buzz Mauro. Book by Norman Allen

2019 Session II
Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Jack Feldman, Book by Harvey Fierstein, Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White
Directed by Josh Sticklin, Deidra LaWan Starnes, and Walter "Bobby" McCoy
July 22-August 17, Mondays-Fridays, 12pm-5pm, Performances, evenings August 15-17 + matinee August 17
(Please note: On Wed, Aug 14 and Thurs, Aug 15, classes begin at 9am. On Wed, Aug 14 there is also an evening dress rehearsal.)
About the Musical Theatre Institute

The Musical Theatre Institute is designed to challenge young performers — both artistically and personally — while providing a supportive, caring environment in which to develop. Roles are open to experienced performers as well as those looking to build musical theatre skills. While the emphasis is on performance, students will also receive training in a wide variety of musical theatre disciplines during the rehearsal process, including: vocal production, acting a song, proper breathing technique, movement, building a character, ensemble acting, and movement and dance. 

Location: Classes and rehearsals will be held at The Theatre Lab in downtown DC, 733 8th St NW Washington, DC (Gallery Place Metro - Red, Yellow and Green lines). 

Admission: Admission to the Musical Theatre Institute for Teens is by application and audition. Applicants will be accepted on the basis of their commitment to exploring the musical theatre craft, their willingness to collaborate in a group process of discovery with other young artists, and their ability to handle the demands of the musical score.  All applicants must complete a written essay expressing their interest in the program. Applicants must also prepare a musical theatre song for auditions that will be scheduled upon receipt of completed application.Due to the limited nature of our enrollment, admission is competitive. You will be contacted shortly after the application deadline to schedule an audition. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only if space becomes available.

Tuition: Tuition for each session the Musical Theatre Institute is $1,150. Please note: If you audition and are accepted into both Alix in Wonderland and Newsies, your discounted total tuition to participate in both programs will be $2,100. Partial financial aid is available through our Work Study program. In addition, a limited number of full scholarships will be awarded annually through the Dena Kohn Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Jane Pesci-Townsend Fund for Musical Theatre Excellence. (Criteria: exceptional community involvement and financial need.) 


About Alix in Wonderland: A Gender Journey Down the Rabbit Hole (World Premiere)

A celebration of personal discovery, Alix in Wonderland is a wholly original take on social norms, self-perception, and what it really means to grow up in today’s world. A tumble down that world-famous rabbit hole brings teenage Alix face-to-face with the wild, wacky, and annoying denizens of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, but none of them are quite as anyone remembers them. Alix’s journey becomes one of profound questioning and exploration on the way to becoming fully and joyfully oneself.

The musical features tour-de-force acting opportunities, old fashioned showstoppers, soulful ballads, great roles for singers and actors of all types and experience levels, and a large ensemble that is integral to the action. As part of their training, students cast in ensemble roles will also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform a solo in a student cabaret, open to the public, during the third week of the program.

Students will have the unique opportunity to participate in the development and premiere of a brand new musical, written by Helen Hayes Award-Winning Playwright Norman Allen and Theatre Lab Co-Founder Buzz Mauro (The Kids’ Table). In addition to the production itself, the cast will work with the artistic team to create an original cast recording.

About Newsies

Inspired by the New York Newsboy Strike of 1899, Newsies is a timely coming-of-age story with a fight for economic justice at its core.  When bigwig publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise the price of papers at the expense of the newsboys trying to carve out a living on the streets, a band of runaways and orphans working as “newsies” form a union and organize a strike.  Featuring inspiring anthems, soaring power ballads, and exquisite love songs by composer Alan Menken (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Shop of Horrors), Newsies is an uplifting testament to what can be accomplished when young people find their voices and stand together. 
Newsies will feature non-traditional casting (“newsie” roles, for example, may be played by students identifying as male, female and non-binary), and will provide great opportunities for students to improve their dance, singing and acting skills. In addition, as part of their training, students cast in ensemble roles will also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform a solo in a student cabaret, open to the public, during the third week of the program.