Teen Institutes 2023 - The Theatre Lab

Teen Institutes 2023

In-person training programs, productions and performances in Acting and Musical Theatre for ages 13-19.
Musical Theatre Institute for Teens

Offered in two sessions at The Theatre Lab:
(Please note:  Students can audition to take part in both sessions!)

Session I: June 20-July 15

Afternoon/evening rehearsal schedule during first week accommodates students still in school; no class July 4

Need-based scholarships available.

The Prom
Directed by Deb Gottesman and Lucia LaNave

Book & Lyrics by CHAD BEGUELIN
Book by BOB MARTIN
Music by MATTHEW SKLAR
Based on an original concept by JACK VIERTEL

Be part of the homegrown area premiere of the 2019 Drama Desk Award-Winner for Outstanding Musical! Dubbed “a delicious new musical about Broadway narcissists, Indiana homophobes — and all that zazz” by The New York Times, The Prom was an international hit and widely celebrated as one of the funniest musicals ever written.  

The musical follows four eccentric Broadway actors who take up social activism in a quest to stay in the spotlight when their careers begin to fade. After a quick scan of social media, they head straight to the conservative town of Edgewater, Indiana, where trouble is brewing over a high school prom.  Local girl Emma Nolan wants to take her girlfriend to prom but the PTA is on a mission to keep the high school dance strictly heteronormative. All hell (and hilarity!) breaks loose when the Broadway celebrities muscle in to change the town and get Emma to the prom.  Most of all, the show has surprising heart and optimism as it explores identity in a polarized world.

From a creative team that wrote The Drowsy Chaperone, Elf: The Musical and The Wedding Singer among others, The Prom features boffo up-tempo dance numbers, soaring ballads, and a contemporary score that Variety says is “so full of happiness that you think your heart is about to burst.”  

The Prom features many memorable characters and a lively ensemble with break-out roles and solo opportunities.  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.

Schedule: Rehearsals Mondays-Fridays, June 20-July 15, 12pm-6pm (Note first week meets 4pm-8pm to accommodate DC school schedules) Evening rehearsals and performances July 11-15 + matinee July 15
*No class on June 19 or July 4

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Session II: July 17-Aug 12

CARRIE: The Musical
Directed by Aidan Quartana and Lucia LaNave
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Based on the novel by Stephen King

Speaking of proms…

One of the 20th century’s greatest works of horror (and most intense prom stories) takes center stage in Carrie the musical, about an outcast who discovers she has telekinetic powers. Painfully shy and bullied by her classmates, Carrie is also lost at home, where her fervently religious mother smothers her with overprotective love. Things take a turn for the better when Carrie is asked to the prom by nice guy Tommy as an act of contrition. But her moment of acceptance is cut short by her school tormentors. Pushed to the brink, Carrie unleashes her destructive power.

While the original 1988 version of Carrie the musical was full of campy gore, the 2012 rewrite, more aligned with the Oscar-winning movie adaptation of Stephen King’s book, is sensitive, poignant and offers ample opportunities for genuine connection.  From soulful ballads to frightening duets to raucous rock dance numbers, Carrie is a thrilling musical that showcases the singing, dancing and acting talents of its performers. 

Carrie features roles for students of all types and genders; the ensemble features the high school classmates who drive the story to its inevitable climax. 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.

Schedule: July 17-August 12, Mondays-Fridays, 12pm-5pm + Evening Rehearsal and Performances Aug 8-12 and Matinee Aug 12

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About The Musical Theatre Institute for Teens

The Musical Theatre Institute for Teens is an intensive four-week training program in which participants rehearse and perform a full musical production under the guidance of the area’s most esteemed directors. The idea behind the institute is to enable young artists to explore challenging, socially relevant material from the contemporary musical theatre world as they receive the intensive voice, movement and acting training essential for professional-level performance. Past productions, including performances of Big Fish, Urinetown, Newsies, Jesus Christ Superstar, Parade, and Rent, have played to critical raves and sold-out houses.

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 more. 

Classes and rehearsals will be held at The Theatre Lab in downtown DC. See schedules above. Note: On the second night of performance (Friday) there will be no classes; students will be expected to arrive at the theatre at 5pm for rehearsal and stay through performance time.

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.

Application Deadline:  March 1

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 of the Musical Theatre Institute is $1350. Please note:  If you audition and are accepted into both The Prom and Carrie, total tuition is $2,160

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.)  

Summer Acting Institute for Teens

A challenging four-week acting conservatory for ages 13-19 culminating in a public performance of Medea (a contemporary adaptation)
Randy Baker, Production Director

Schedule: Mondays-Fridays, July 17-Aug 11 12pm-6pm
(full day rehearsals on Aug 9- 11; evening performance on Aug 11)

The Theatre Lab’s Summer Acting Institute for Teens is designed to immerse young adults in the art of acting—from mastering the essential principles of the craft to participating in a public performance of a challenging contemporary work at the end of the four weeks. 

The curriculum includes audition seminars, improvisational workshops, voice and speech training, movement training, and scene study, as well as special programs designed to give interested students insight into the workings of the professional theatre community. In addition to the daily training, students will present a new telling of Euripides’ Medea, set in a modern day high school and reframed as a teenage revenge tragedy. 

The play: Medea–a perennial outsider in her school – is betrayed by her charismatic boyfriend Jason. But blood will have blood and Jason has no idea what’s coming. With great roles for students of all types and genders, this play offers a unique opportunity to experience the excitement of Greek drama while taking on contemporary acting challenges.

Please note:  Medea explores mature themes.

All institute classes are taught by professional actors and directors. The summer program is directed by actor Deb Gottesman, a founder and co-director of The Theatre Lab, and includes a staff of highly trained instructors and specialists including award-winning director/playwright Randy Baker (Rorschach Theatre), who will direct the final production.

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ACTING CLASSES

Summer Acting Institute participants take all of the following courses:

The Drama Workshop: An improvisational workshop designed to explore core acting skills, including: creating a character, activating needs, developing spontaneity and focus, and communicating effectively with others on stage. Students will be challenged to discover new ways of thinking, expressing themselves, and creating.

Auditioning:  An intensive seminar designed to prepare students to perform monologues in an audition setting, this course focuses on developing confidence, rechanneling nervous energy into creative energy, and using the body and voice effectively to tell a story. At the conclusion of the seminar, students use their monologues to audition for Medea. All students are guaranteed substantial and interesting roles.

Stage Movement:  Designed to increase the actor’s range of movement and physical expressiveness, this course incorporates elements of mime, dance, and improvisation, as well as training in relaxation and posture development, in order to maximize the potential of the body on stage.

Voice and Speech:  Designed to give students the skills they need for clear, effective speech on stage, this course focuses on developing proper breath control, improving diction and projection, dialect, and maximizing the flexibility and range of the voice.

Scene Study:  An intensive exploration of scripted work, this course focuses on developing the actor’s process through the introduction of powerful rehearsal techniques. Course culminates in a public performance of Medea.

In addition to the above classes, students participate in a variety of special workshops—such as acting for film and TV, mask work, and stage combat—led by guest artists from the Washington theatre community.

ADMISSION

The Theatre Lab is dedicated to providing affordable, accessible training for students seriously interested in learning about the acting process. Applicants will be accepted on the basis of their commitment to exploring the theatre craft and their willingness to collaborate in a group process of discovery with other young artists. 

All applicants must complete a written essay expressing their interest in the program. Applicants must also prepare a 90-second monologue for an audition that will be scheduled upon receipt of completed application.

Application Deadline: March 1

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.

For more information, or to apply for the Summer Acting Institute, please visit theatrelab.org

TUITION

Tuition for the Summer Acting Institute is $1250
Please note:  If you audition and are accepted into both The Prom and Medea your total tuition to participate in both programs will be $2,080.

Partial financial aid is available through our Work Study program. In addition, a limited number of scholarships will be awarded through the Rob Stein Scholarship Fund. (Criteria: artistic curiosity and financial need.)  

Performance Intensive for Teens

“The Performance Intensive will give you the building blocks you need to feel confident in auditions and performances alike.”

“The entire atmosphere of this class was so uplifting and supportive. Every minute of every day was productive.“

Two weeks of skill building for youth ages 13-19 culminating in a public showcase
Program Director:
  Buzz Mauro

A great way to start the summer, the Performance Intensive offers acting, auditioning and (optional) musical theatre training culminating in a public performance of scenes, songs and monologues to 13-19 year-olds who want to take their skills to the next level!  All students receive daily training in improvisation and scene study as well as an extended auditioning workshop that will focus on either monologues or musical theatre songs (students can choose musical or non-musical track). This program is directed by Theatre Lab Founder and Co-Executive Director Buzz Mauro with supplemental teaching by award-winning actor MaryBeth Wise. 

Schedule: Mondays – Fridays, June 26-July 7 – 3pm-6pm (No class July 4)
Final performance 7:30pm on July 7
Tuition: $450

*Students enrolling in both the Performance Institute and The Musical Theatre Institute Session 2  will receive a 20% discount on both programs ($1,440 total tuition).

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The Theatre Lab is a truly special place where I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a performer, made lifelong friends, and truly found a home.
2021 Participant

Philosophy:  We take teens seriously. That’s the secret to our wildly successful summer programs.  We respect the potential of every student and, through intensive training programs culminating in public performances, we commit to developing their artistry —whether they are new to the craft or already on a path to a life in the theatre.  And we believe skills can only be developed in a space where students feel a sense of belonging.  When you spend a summer at The Theatre Lab, whether you are participating in our two-week Performance Intensive for Teens, one of our month-long Musical Theatre Institutes, our Summer Acting Institute for Teens, or any combination of the three, you are guaranteed to find instructors and students who welcome your unique talents and are eager to make meaningful connections, both onstage and off.

Application and Admission

Admission to our Teen Institutes is by application and audition. Applicants will be accepted on the basis of their commitment to exploring the acting or 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 script or musical score. All applicants must complete a written essay expressing their interest in the program.

Due to the limited nature of our enrollment, admission is competitive. You will be contacted shortly after the application deadline to schedule an audition (prepare a musical theatre song for Musical Theatre programs or a monologue for the Acting Institute and Performance Intensive). Auditions will be held in mid-March. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only if space becomes available.

As always, we will offer need-based full and partial scholarships to ensure that our programs are accessible to students and families experiencing financial hardship.

COVID Safety Measures

The safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains of the utmost importance. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow all safety guidelines from the CDC and local government agencies.

COVID TESTING: Any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during the camp day may be sent home and required to show proof of a negative COVID test prior to returning to the classroom.  Specifics around testing protocols will be determined prior to the start of camp and will follow all local, state, and federal guidelines.  

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