The New York City program, now in its fourteenth year, was created to educate advanced musical theatre performers. Classes are offered in dance, voice, acting, song analysis, musical theater history, auditioning, and make-up preparation.
According to Richard Adams, vice president of the Manhattan School of Music, about 40 performers auditioned this year and exactly 16 were selected to participate in the four week program.
"The idea has always been to offer an intensive education for young professionals in musical theater," Richard Adams told Playbill.com. "You see a real transformation from the first audition to the final presentation and it's amazing to witness. We have an atmosphere of tremendous people and great camaraderie."
The backgrounds of this year's students range from having appeared in the Broadway company of Ragtime to having just graduated from New York University.
"They work on everyone's level. No one is made to feel inferior because we all want to get better," said 24-year-old Justin Thayer, who participated in the workshop. "My favorite part was working with Austin Pendleton. We did a scene from The Three Sisters. He has such a command of acting." Varied theater professionals act as faculty like Pendleton, Robert Kimball, Paul Ford, Jay Binder, and Jim Carnahan. The advisory committee includes Harold Prince (chairman), Fred Ebb, Angela Lansbury, Patti Lupone, and Stephen Sondheim.
Paul Gemignani, the program's artistic and musical director, has acted as a music director and conductor of more than 35 Broadway shows including Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Assassins, and Kiss Me Kate. He will also serve as music director of City Center's Encores! series next season.
The Manhattan School of Music is located at 120 Claremont Avenue. For more information visit www.msmnyc.edu.