The Shedd Institute’s Musical Theatre Training Academy was established to help high school performers committed to going on in the theatre to further develop and hone their existing training in the core musical theatre skill areas as well as delve into many of the other skill and knowledge areas needed for success in the profession, including auditioning, diction and dialects, period acting, musical theatre history, and general professionalism. The Academy emphasizes professional training, offering dedicated youth an opportunity to gain insight into the life of a professional musical theatre artist and build their skills in acting, voice, and dance under the guidance of working professionals.
The Academy runs 4 weeks. The first 2 weeks are dedicated fully to professional training. The second 2 weeks are dedicated to the creation of a musical revue, which will be presented publically Friday, July 13th, the final evening of the final day of the camp.
The Ed Ragozzino Merit Scholarship If you are thinking of attending the Musical Theatre Training Academy, we encourage you to apply for an Ed Ragozzino Merit Scholarship.
Theatre professionals recognize the attributes of serious performers—those who have mastered the basics of their craft, and gone on to hone their acting, voice, and dance skills in equal measure. Academy participants receive intensive professional instruction in the three essential aspects of musical theatre performance through daily core sessions and specialized workshops. With no worries about an upcoming performance, students can focus on truly improving their craft.
Musical Theatre Dance (9:30 - 10:45 am)
In musical theatre, a dance can connect scenes to characters, and is often one of the most important means of advancing the show and entertaining its audience. In addition to learning choreography, solo, and ensemble work, a musical theatre actor must learn how to perform the dance. In this session, students will receive training in musical theatre dance choreography and technique, and learn the isolated movements that professional dancers use to heighten a stage performance. By focusing on character-driven dances and choreography that establish a relationship and storyline, students will emerge from this session with a set of dance skills that make them a true “triple threat”. Laura Hiszczynskyj, instructor
Musical Theatre Voice (11:00 am - 12:15 pm)
One of the most important skills that musical theatre performers must develop is their voice. Beyond simply being able to sing in tune or keep a rhythm, singers must convince an audience that their songs are not just “performance” but rather, extensions of story, tone, and character. In this session, students will be coached in the art of refining their voices for musical theatre. Students will select and prepare a song from a musical theatre show. Over the course of the two weeks, they will receive focused training to develop their singing skills and perfect their technique on the chosen piece. This training will help students better perform stage numbers and prepare repertoire for any musical theatre audition—fundamental skills for musical theatre success! Cindy Kenny, instructor
Musical Theatre Acting (12:45 - 2:00 pm)
Designed as an “actor bag of tricks” for the developing performer, this daily session will cover fundamental acting techniques utilized in the professional world of theatre from stage presence and actor engagement to physicality and character development. Whether shining in the spotlight or filling in the chorus, acting requires a specific level of consciousness and a certain degree of engagement (both contextually and physically) that each call for a precise spectrum of skills. This class will provide aspiring actors with the tools they need to excel in musical theatre and the confidence to perform in front of any audience. Bill Hulings, instructor
How to Audition
Usually regarded as nerve-racking, an audition is one of the most important steps to making it as an actor in the professional world. This workshop will focus on the elements that can make or break an audition--poise, presentation, professionalism, and strength of delivery. Students will be asked to memorize a 1-2 minute monologue for use in the workshop, as well as bring sheet music for the same Broadway song they will prepare for their musical theatre vocal sessions.
Working With An Accompanist
When you audition, you are a probably meeting your accompanist for the first time. In this workshop, you will learn how to quickly connect with the pianist to make for the best showcase of your talent, how to prepare your music for anyone to easily read it, and how to create a solid performance team. (Robert Ashens, instructor)
The Voice on Stage
Though we all use our voices as a means of communication and expression, the voice of a performing artist is an instrument that requires specific care and use: voice brightness and darkness, volume and projection, transitions between speech and song will be among the key techniques and practices covered. (Robert Ashens, instructor)
Stage veteran Shirley Andress will work individually with all camp participants in a series of small group vocal coaching sessions. (Shirley Andress, instructor)
Doing A Show
Veteran director and actor Ron Daum covers a number of key aspects of profesional production work in preparation for the Academy's musical revue production. During these sessions, revue pieces will be selected and assigned and students will begin preparation for rehearsals, (Ron Daum, instructor)
The final 2 weeks of the Academy are dedicated to the creatio of a classic 1930s-style musical comedy revue, which will be presented to the public on Friday, July 13th in The Shedd Institute's Jaqua Concert Hall. The ensemble will be under the direction of Ron Daum with choreography by Laura Sue Hiszczynskyj.
Special emphasis will be placed on emulating, in this concentrated 2-week workshop setting, the protocol and atmosphere of a full professional production of the highest order.
The Show will be made up of song, dance and comedy numbers from the classic era of musical comedy (1924-1941). Special emphasis will be placed on historic performance practice on all fronts -- voice, acting, stanging and dancing. The basic concepts will be introduced during the opening 2 weeks of the camp in preparation.
A limited number of Ed Ragozzino Merit Scholarships of up to $500 each are available to applicants through the generosity of Shedd Institute donors in honor of Eugene musical theatre legend Ed Ragozzino (1931-2010). To apply for a Ragozzino Scholarship, request an application form and submit with any two of the three following work samples: (1) a 16-bar excerpt from a standard song from the musical theatre repertoire (preferably pre-Sondheim), with piano accompaniment; (2) a monologue (3 minutes or less) from a published play of your choice; (3) a 1 to 2 minute sample of movement or dance representative of skill level. Submit samples on VHS tape, DVD, or on-line (YouTube, etc.) Submit the scholarship application form along with your Academy registration form. Each submission will be evaluated within one week of receipt and applicants will be notified of award status immediately.