Updated: Mar 24, 2018
The no man's land of waiting on several decisions will likely encompass the entire month of March. I now know the REAL purpose of the high school spring musical...to keep seniors from quitting high school and/or losing their minds! Spring break has wrapped, and somehow these seniors have to return begrudgingly to school and make it through roughly two more months. A task that has become increasingly more and more pointless since January. As an educator, the spring musical helped all the kiddos in my program, and especially my seniors, retain some semblance of engagement and focus. My daughter doesn't have a musical she's working on, but has spent much of spring break in line study mode for a role in her high school's spring play. It has helped, but I know she wishes it were a musical, and thusly, she has begun preparing audition material for summer auditions.
Summer options for continuing performance and theatrical study have grown extensive and abundant, but can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start, what to look for, are limited on time or short on funds. Some might ask, "Why do I need to do summer theatre work?" My answer is the same as my college professors when they suggested we use as much of our free time practicing as possible. Because, someone else, including your competition, is. Once again, the competitiveness of the current BFA - Musical Theatre environment is such that those who want to pursue it need the extra edge or, at the very least, another theatrical credit on their resume.
Some options to consider:
College Summer Intensives
These are opportunities created and developed by colleges with a dual purpose beyond additional training. Students get to know their programs, faculty and facilities by training with them for a short period and they also get to know the student. I've seen students attend a summer intensive and rule out a particular program and others fall in love with a school and/or program. Many schools offer them, and perusing their websites and acceptd is a nice start.
All over the country and in NYC, opportunities abound. I, of course, have my favorites. (I run one of these, so I do have a bit of a bias). I also know other folks who run great programs, and they have created some pretty spectacular opportunities for students. Length of intensive, training focus, faculty, location, cost and performance or showcase opportunities are all factors in deciding where and when to go.
When I was a student, kids would work with teachers within our county as the artistic staff and put together a production with students from several schools. It was wonderful, and resulted in exceptional production experiences for the students and great shows for audiences to enjoy. Some counties still do summer shows as well as theater companies, organizations, dance studios and community theaters.
Many of these options are fee based, but the sticker price is often not the full picture. Look into scholarship opportunities, whether need or merit-based. With all of these options, quality can vary, but learning can happen in even the most basic of performance experiences. In addition, the best intensives will yield nothing for the disengaged participant. Just as students will learn in their upcoming college programs, you get out of it what you put into it.