Conservatory Training Courses and Productions
The Conservatory of Theater provides students in grades 6-12 with intensive pre-professional training in musical theatre from September through April. Advanced students receive up to nine hours of training each week in ballet, musical theatre dance, conditioning and flexibility, voice, acting, musical theatre history and industry. Intermediate students receive ﬁve hours of training in voice, musical theatre dance, ballet, and acting. All students receive an hour of “specialty” instruction each week, where students explore topics not encountered in their technique classes and are occasionally taught by guest artists. All classes are taught by extensively experienced musical theatre professionals who possess a passion for both the education and the mentoring of musical theatre students.
THE PROGRAMS (*curricula subject to change)
Advanced Conservatory: for students in grades 8-11
The Advanced Conservatory program offers students in grades 8-11 a 9-hour-per-week technical curriculum that consists of weekly training in ballet, musical theatre dance, physical conditioning, musical theatre literature and industry, ensemble voice, acting for musical theatre, and a specialty offering. Although the Advanced Conservatory curriculum is focused primarily on training, students will also mount a production of a chamber musical (title to be determined) at some point during the year. The musical chosen will provide opportunities to integrate with select acting, MT dance, and ensemble voice classes to ensure that core training remains the focus of the curriculum while also allowing for a pre-professional production to be mounted solely by Advanced Conservatory students.
Intermediate Conservatory: for students in grades 6-9
The Intermediate Conservatory program offers students in grades 6-9 a 5-hour-per-week curriculum that consists of weekly training in ballet, musical theatre dance, ensemble voice, acting for musical theatre, and a specialty offering. The Intermediate Conservatory is focused exclusively on training, with no production component. However, students are encouraged to audition for the Upper Level production, a sister project of the Intermediate Conservatory.
Upper-Level Production: for students in grades 6-9
The Upper-Level Production program offers students in grades 6-9 the opportunity to experience the rehearsal and production process involved in mounting a full-scale, pre-professional musical. The Upper-Level production is focused exclusively on the rehearsal and performance process, though students are also encouraged to audition for the Intermediate Conservatory, a sister project of the Upper-Level Production program offering focused training in technique.
Conservatory Classes (not offered separately)
Ballet (intermediate and advanced training levels). Work at the barre and center floor is practiced in order to strengthen classical technique, develop strength and flexibility, and provide the student with core foundational principles for choreography encountered in musical theatre. Dress code.
Musical Theatre Dance (intermediate and advanced training levels). Students learn and refine progressions, combinations, and choreography in various musical theatre styles. Each class includes warm-up, high-intensity choreography work, and cool-down. Dress code.
Conditioning for Musical Theatre (advanced training level only). Development of core strength and flexibility provides a focused, intensive workout tailored to the needs of musical theatre performers. Dress code.
Acting for Musical Theatre (intermediate and advanced training levels). Musical theatre scenes and monologues are rehearsed and performed in a lab environment, in tandem with instruction on multiple acting techniques and methods. Resources studied include Acting in Musical Theatre (Joe Deer and Rocco Dal Vera) and Acting the Song (David Brunetti). Dress code.
Ensemble Voice for Musical Theatre (intermediate and advanced training levels). Students learn skills in sight-reading, ear training, harmonizing, blend, style, and technique applicable to singing in musical theatre ensembles. An extensive number of well-known musical theatre chorus parts are studied and memorized. Additional topics covered include vocal anatomy, physiology, and health; alignment and breath work; and register exercises.
Musical Theatre History/Literature (advanced training level only). Students learn and explore musicals from Showboat (1927) to the present. Various styles and genres of musicals are studied, with a focus on gaining a knowledge of the musical theatre literature applicable to performance contexts.
Musical Theatre Industry (advanced training level only). Each student develops a binder of industry-related materials related to preparing for future training and work in the musical theatre.
Specialty (intermediate and advanced training levels). New, innovative, and specialized practices encountered by musical theatre performers are examined and explored.