Musical Theatre Workshop
July 7-27, 2013
Session Fee: $3,390
Application Deadline: January 18, 2013
U-M Faculty Director: Professor Brent Wagner
The Musical Theatre Workshop is a wide-ranging educational program that gives students the opportunity to work on the Ann Arbor campus with faculty members in the renowned University of Michigan Department of Musical Theatre. The Musical Theatre Workshop enrolls approximately 40 students and is designed for those who are considering BFA degree programs in college.
The workshop is open to 2012-2013 high school juniors, although applications from 2012-2013 tenth graders of exceptional ability and experience are considered. Admission decisions are based on a student’s application (including training and experience), recommendation, transcript, and audition. Applicants must have at least a B average in a rigorous college prep program in order to have their audition reviewed.
Workshop topics will include:
- an analysis of song lyrics
- acting techniques for song interpretation
- dance styles of major choreographers
- contemporary trends in musical theatre in New York City
- the vocabulary of the field
- voice study
- the wide range of repertoire for performers
- monologue exploration
- audition techniques
- tools for creating character and situation, and
- Musical Theatre history
Workshop students also will participate in a wide variety of master classes with faculty members from the Department of Musical Theatre, the Department of Theatre & Drama, and the Department of Dance. Current musical
theatre majors, as well as graduates of the Department, often assist in the classes. Extra sessions are devoted to the application and audition process for university programs.
On the final Saturday, parents will be invited to the last class of the workshop for an informal demonstration of the techniques studied during the three weeks of the workshop.
The application consists of four parts. (Applications are not complete until all requirement materials have been received.)
- Online Application
- Application Fee
- Audition Upload
- Letter(s) of Recommendation
Written Requirements (Upload)
- Resume: Upload a copy of your resume, giving details of your training and/ or experience in music, theatre, and dance. NOTE: Although not required for the audition, the ability to read music is extremely valuable for participation. Please be sure to describe your music reading skills in your list of training. Also, list any instruments that you play and the length of study.
- Photographs: Upload 2 Color Photographs. Photographs do not have to be professionally taken, but should be recent.
- ONE color close-up
- ONE color full-body (head to toe)
- Transcript: Upload a copy of your transcript acquired from your high school. Applicants must have at least a B average in a rigorous college prep program in order to have their audition reviewed. Transcript may be scanned and uploaded by applicant.
- Recommendation: (Maximum 2) Ask a teacher (performing arts teacher preferred) who knows your work well to write a confidential recommendation for you. In addition to your abilities, the letter should discuss your personal characteristics such as initiative, maturity, leadership skills, and the ability to work with others. To invite a recommender, submit your recommender's email address, when prompted, as you upload your audition. Once you finalize your submission, the recommender will receive a notification and link to submit your confidential recommendation.
Performance Requirements (Upload)
Upload each of the following required selections as a separate file. Make sure that your face is clearly visible, with your upper body fairly near the camera and the background simple, uncluttered, and not too bright (e.g., in front of a window). Try to include a full-body and close-up shot at some point in the recording. Place the microphone close to you and away from the piano. Use an acoustic piano (not electric keyboard) and make sure that the piano has been tuned. Announce your name and the title of each selection.
Voice (2 separate files)
Upload two songs from stage or film musicals. These should be a minimum of 32-bars, with one song written before 1970. We strongly prefer that your pianist be in the room and accompanying you on a tuned acoustic piano when the vocal recording is made. As a last resort, you can sing with an acoustic piano accompaniment that your accompanist has recorded for you at an earlier time. We do not accept any other types of recorded accompaniments.
Vocal Audition Preparation Suggestions
Suggestions for choosing your music.
- Choose songs with which you can communicate a specific situation in a clear context with an objective (goal). Make the situation as honest and specific as possible.
- Do as much as you can to give the song a progression. What happens or changes as the song proceeds?
- Select material that is suitable for your age and experience.
- Choose songs which fit comfortably within your range.
Suggestions for preparing your music:
- Include a 2-bar or 4-bar introduction for each song. Make sure that the introduction leads clearly and naturally to your entrance in the song.
- Be absolutely certain that you are singing correct words, notes, and rhythms. Explore the lyrics of the song as carefully as you explore the music.
Final vocal tips:
- Do not try to sing too high or too loudly. An enormous number of applicants present songs in keys that are too high for them to show themselves at their best vocally.
- It is wise to work with a skilled accompanist.
- Do not use a chair or props in the vocal audition.
- Check with a teacher to be certain that you are singing on pitch.
Acting (1 file)
Prepare a short monologue (no dialects) from a full-length American play written after 1935, memorized, and in context. Applicants should read and study the entire play. The monologue should be no longer than one and a half minutes.
Monologue Preparation Suggestions
- Choose monologues that are appropriate for your age and experience.
- It is best to select monologues from plays, as opposed to special material written for monologue books.
- Avoid historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry. Avoid dialects.
- Use good judgment in selecting the monologues, avoiding pieces that may be inappropriate because of language or situation.
Personal Statement - (1 file, Required)
- Speak about your experiences in music or in theatre.
- Discuss how you became interested in attending the MPulse Musical Theatre Workshop.
If you do not include the personal statement, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for consideration for the workshop.
Additional Material (optional)
If you would like to include recorded selections from stage performances, upload these after required materials. If you have any dance experience, you may also include performance excerpts.
- All application/audition materials are due by January 18, 2013
- Late applications may be submitted, however priority will be given to all applications received by the application deadline
- Notifications for all applicants will be e-mailed on March 1, 2013
- No decisions will be given by phone
As a courtesy to the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Workshop faculty and to the other applicants, please notify the MPulse office and withdraw your application if you commit to another summer program anytime during our review/decision notification process.
The General Information page includes many important items.