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Musical Theatre Workshop

Key Information

U-M Faculty Director: Professor Brent Wagner

July 13 - August 2, 2014

Priority Deadline: January 17, 2014 (CLOSED)

 

Description

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.

Eligibility

The workshop is open to 2013-2014 high school juniors, although applications from 2013-2014 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 offerings

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.

Application Procedure

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

Audition

Written Requirements (Upload)

  1. 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.
  2. Photographs: Upload two 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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 (two 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

The following are suggestions for choosing and preparing music for your MPulse MTW audition upload.

Choosing your music:

  1. 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.
  2. Do as much as you can to give the song a progression. What happens or changes as the song proceeds?
  3. Select material that is suitable for your age and experience.
  4. Choose songs which fit comfortably within your range.

Preparing your music:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. It is wise to work with a skilled accompanist.
  3. Do not use a chair or props in the vocal audition.
  4. Check with a teacher to be certain that you are singing on pitch.

Acting (one 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

The following suggestions may assist you in choosing and preparing monologues for your MPulse MTW audition upload

  1. Choose monologues that are appropriate for your age and experience.
  2. It is best to select monologues from plays, as opposed to special material written for monologue books.
  3. Avoid historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry. Avoid dialects.
  4. Use good judgment in selecting the monologues, avoiding pieces that may be inappropriate because of language or situation.

Personal Statement (one file, required)

  1. Speak about your experiences in music or in theatre.
  2. 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.

Admission Notification

Priority deadline for all application/audition materials is January 17, 2014. Admission notifications for priority applicants will be e-mailed on February 28, 2014. Decisions will not be given by phone.   

Late applications may be accepted while space is available, however priority will be given to applications received by the priority deadline. Admission and notification after the priority deadline will be on a rolling basis.

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.

 

Tuition, Fees, and Scholarships

 

Please visit the Tuition, Fees and Scholarships page for more information.

 

 

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The General Information page includes many important items.

"MPulse provides the perfect balance between learning skills that will help you throughout your life and career from an exceptional faculty of professionals, and spending time with fellow classmates, building bonds that will potentially last forever. Not only did I learn the value of skill development, but also the true value of respect, professionalism, and gratitude. In this program, you don't simply learn how to be a better performer. You learn how to be a better person."
Eitan, MTW 2013, MD
MPulse Musical Theatre Workshop Dance Class MPulse Musical Theatre Workshop on WDC stairs Musical Theatre students in song and dance mtw3

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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