Sing, dance, and act in a conservatory-style program
Train with experts in preparation for your performing arts career
The UCLA Musical Theater Summer Institute is a three-week intensive, conservatory-style program for high school musical theater students encompassing acting, singing, dancing, and guest workshops which culminates in a final showcase. Students will also be introduced to the technical aspects of theater through master classes as it is an essential component of the learning process.
The program is designed for high school students completing grades 9 through 12 who have a serious interest in musical theater and who seek the discipline and training required for participation in a university theater program and a career in the performing arts.
Musical Theater Summer Institute Program Overview
Students will work with TFT faculty to learn the art of musical theater on the UCLA campus. The morning classes, which include acting, dancing, and singing, will require students to be on their feet as they interact with their classmates. Students will be required to learn and perform songs or scenes which will be reviewed and worked on with the instructor in class and rehearsal.
Acting class will allow students to work collaboratively on scenes together and present them in acting class. Dance class will cover ballet technique encompassing choreography, ballet bar, and floor work. The singing class will begin with a karaoke party followed by instruction that will strengthen each actor’s voice which will ultimately give the students tools that can be applied to the final musical showcase and in the future. Depending on the need, there will be some private singing lessons offered to students in preparation for the final showcase.
Students learn from each other, so it is very important to adhere to the rehearsal process. In general, the structure of the rehearsal schedule can range depending on how quickly students learn the music and choreography. The typical rehearsal schedule will look similar to the following:
- 90 minutes – Students will learn show choreography with the choreographer in
- 90 minutes – Students will work on the scenes from the show that is focused on acting with the director
- 120 minutes – Students will work on songs with the musical director
It is likely that some students will work on choreography, while others are working with the Director and Musical Director and then switch to the alternate classrooms to ensure that attention is given to all students for the various aspects of the musical. Students will be expected to dance, sing, and act in front of their professors and peers in rehearsal while being coached through their areas of opportunity to ensure they are presenting the best versions of themselves in the final musical showcase.
Application deadline: June 1, 2023 | Enrollment deadline: June 15, 2023
Applications are reviewed and admission to the program is granted on a rolling basis starting February 15th. Applying at your earliest convenience, prior to June 1st, is highly recommended.
The program has application requirements for admission. Applicants who successfully submit all requirements will be reviewed and notified via email of an admission decision within ~3 weeks. Early application is strongly encouraged.
Applicants are required to provide the following during the online registration process:
- In 500 words or less, how do you plan to impact the world through your storytelling?
- Prepare a song from the standard musical theater repertory. Your selection should not be an entire song, 32 bars are sufficient. Your selection must be sung with accompaniment. Choose a song from a musical that you know extremely well and that shows off your voice.
- After singing your musical theater selection, demonstrate your vocal range by singing along with MTSI recorded vocal scales. For scales that go up, sing “eeee, eeee, eeee, eeee, ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahhh.” Stop singing when it goes out of your range. Use a chest/mix voice and sing as high as you can, and then flip into your head voice and keep going. For scales going down, sing “yah, yah, yah, yah, yah”. Submit your scales after your musical theater selection.
- Scales Going Up
- Scales Going Down
- Your video can either be in one complete take OR edited together.
- A video audition of 1 minute – 1 ½ minutes contemporary monologue.
- A video audition of 30-60 second dance combination in the style of Musical Theatre Jazz that demonstrates your technical and performance ability. This dance can be self-choreographed, from a previous dance class or from a show that you were in. Please do your best to include technical elements such as jumps, turns, kicks, or whatever else may be in your movement arsenal.
- A resume (if you do not have a resume, submit a brief description of your theatrical and/or artistic experience). The resume can be uploaded as a word or pdf file during the application process.
- A letter of recommendation from a teacher, director, or someone similar that can attest to your theatrical ability, challenges, and areas for growth.
For the digital audition components, you will need to upload your video and make it private to YouTube, Vimeo, or a similar site, and paste the private link during the application process. See “Video Audition Guidelines” section below.
You will need to upload one file into a private link on either YouTube or Vimeo and include the password to your private link. The link will be your audition, which consists of your slate, song, and your monologue.
Monologue and Singing Audition Guidelines
Slate: Say hello! Tell us your name, age, what voice part you are (i.e. Soprano, Mezzo, Alto, Tenor Baritone or Bass), dance background, including any special skills you have, and where you are from.
- For best results, place your device ( phone, tablet, etc.) on a stationary object such as a tripod or table. A three-quarter shot of your body is perfect. For the singing portion of the audition, you should have a good sounding speaker for the accompaniment backing track output. Make sure that we will be able to hear you singing as well as the accompaniment track.
- Audition against a blank wall or door.
- Complete the song and monologue in one take respectively.
- Do not do a scene with someone reading lines off-camera.
- Do not send prior performances or tapings from plays. Record a new video according to the audition specs for the purposes of this application.
- Do not put pressure on yourself to deliver the “perfect” audition.
- Do your personal best, be authentic, and don’t forget to have fun!
Dance Audition Guidelines
- Please include a slate in which you tell us your name and dance background, including any special skills you have.
- Film your dance combination in a well-lit spacious area (dance studio, garage, backyard, etc…) where your whole body can be seen with ample room to move freely.
- Please wear tight fitting clothing so your body can clearly be seen.
If you have questions about the audition requirements, please contact Dolann Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCLA Summer Sessions Summer Scholars Support
Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2023 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute.
Summer 2023 deadline to apply: March 15.
Students will receive a letter grade upon completion. See University Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information about academic credit.
Due to the intense nature of the Musical Theater Summer Institute and the time commitment involved, living in on-campus housing is mandatory.
For more information on UCLA housing precollege programs, please see the page.
Many of our precollege programs with mandatory housing (only) also feature non-curricular evening and weekend activities, the availability of which is at the sole discretion of the academic department offering the program, and are not operated by UCLA Summer Sessions Housing for Minors. To learn more about whether (and when) your selected program will host such activities, please consult the schedules for each program or contact the department in question directly: email@example.com
Program Dates: July 15 – August 5, 2023
Program Type: Application based/ In-person
Program Eligibility: 9th-12th grade in Spring 2023 & Ages 14-17
UCLA Coursework: Theater 50; 2 units, Theater 72; 2 units
Application deadline: June 1, 2023
Enrollment deadline: June 15, 2023
The schedule and syllabus are subject to change.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
|Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)||$50|
Meet your instructors
Jeff Maynard (Director) has been an active member of the Los Angeles theatre community for over 20 years. Recent directing work includes – LA Times Critic’s Choice Good People at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and Musical Theatre West’s The Music Man, starring Davis Gaines at The Carpenter Center in Long Beach. Other shows of his include Broadway Bound, Boeing Boeing, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife starring Marilu Henner, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – all at La Mirada, Tales of Tinseltown– at the Actor’s Co-op, and Dave Rossmer & Dan Lipton’s new musical Shoot! Cut! Print! Kill! Die!. He collaborated with Jason Robert Brown on a new, revised version of 13, and directed a musical half-hour pilot presentation for ABC television’s “Rated P for Parenthood.”
As a professor, Maynard previously taught musical theater at USC and directed their “Spring at the Bing” musical – Grease. He is most proud to be a founding member of UCLA Alumni’s Buffalo Nights Theatre Company, having directed, acted, or produced over 15 productions. He won a Drama-Logue Award for The Firebugs, a Backstage West award for The Apollo of Bellac and LA Weekly’s Revival Production of the Year award for Modigliani. As an actor, Maynard appeared in the First National Tour of Lost In Yonkers and TV appearances on “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Diagnosis Murder.” He runs the theatre program at the Mirman School, holds a BA in Theatre from UCLA, and teaches private acting classes throughout Los Angeles.
DANA SOLIMANDO (Choreographer) Is thrilled to be working at UCLA again after recently choreographing the world premier of REBEL GENIUS! Other credits include: CABARET for McCoyRigby Entertainment (2019 Ovation and LA Drama Critics Circle nominations- Best Choreography), AMERICAN IDIOT (2016 Ovation Nom), Disney’s THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, RENT, THE ADDAM’S FAMILY (starring Rachael York and Bronson Pinchot), BILLY ELLIOT (2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award nomination), RAGTIME (2015 Ovation Award Nom), PARADE (2103 Ovation Award Nom), DAMN YANKEES (2014 Ovation Award Nom), HAIRSPRAY, ALL SHOOK UP, SWING! (2004 and 2006 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Awards- Best Choreography). MISS SAIGON at the Macau International Arts Festival/ McCoy Rigby Entertainment (2012 Ovation nomination- Best Choreography), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR national tour (NAACP Theatre Award nomination). Other Favorites: LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, HAIR, and THE WIZARD OF OZ (Sacramento Music Circus), LITTLE MISS SCROOGE (world premiere), SPRING AWAKENING, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, OLIVER!, BUDDY. Dana also serves as Director / Choreographer (and helped bring from screen to stage) the beloved American classic
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER-THE MUSICAL. The show touts ten National Tours as well as successful runs at Madison Square Garden and The Grand Ole Opry. She is also the co-writer/director/choreographer for MAESTRO and ROUTE 66 on Crystal Cruise Lines. Broadway performing Credits include Peter Pan (Tiger Lilyalso filmed for A&E), Cats (Rumpleteazer), and Swing! (West Coast and Country featured dancer). www.danasolimando.com
Paul KayMusical Director
Paul Kay earned his B.M. in Instrumental and Choral Education from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago and continued his education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Cal State University in Los Angeles, and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Paul resides in Palm Springs, CA and is currently the music director at Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage. As former head of the Mirman School Music Department, Paul developed and implemented creative music and arts programs for highly gifted students. He has been an active music educator for over 20 years. He taught general music classes, choral groups, instrumental ensembles, and musical directed over 20 fully staged musicals which included Grease, The Boyfriend, Annie, Once Upon a Mattress, Alice in Wonderland, Seussical, The Drowsy Chaperone, My Fair Lady, Oliver, Damn Yankees, Little Shop of Horrors, Kiss Me Kate, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, to name a few.
As a well-recognized choral director, music educator and musical director, Paul attended the Orff Schulwerk International Symposium on Music in Salzburg, Austria, participated in the American Orff Schulwerk Association and American Choral Directors Association regional and national conferences, and prepared choral groups for the California Association for Gifted Conferences. He travelled to South Africa to teach music and dance for the Global Buddies program in the township of Mfuleni near Cape Town. The program was sponsored by Women for Peace – an organization helping South African women build better lives for themselves and their children. Paul has prepared vocal ensembles and musical groups for special engagements including: To Life! America Celebrates Israel’s 50th – a variety special honoring the State of Israel’s 50th Anniversary with a special recognition from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Vice-President Al Gore, and the Conservation International 10th Annual Fundraiser – an event hosted by Discovery Channel Animal Planet, Jeff Corwin. Paul has also prepared vocal groups to sing the national anthem for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul was a quarterfinalist for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award.
In addition to his many years of teaching, Paul has enjoyed being a working musician and performer. Paul began singing, dancing, playing flute and piano at a young age. Professional highlights include performances in regional and summer stock theatre at Seaside Music Theatre, Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki Japan, Michigan Opera Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company. He has also sung with the Angeles Chorale, Chanticleer and the Sonoma Choral Workshop, and the Detroit Symphony Chorus. Paul played flute in West Coast Duo, Colburn Flute Choir, Pacific Palisades Symphony and made his Detroit Orchestra Hall debut prior to touring England and Wales as guest flute soloist with the Wayne State University Chamber Singers. Paul has worked with James Galway, Vittorio Grigolo, Joan Sutherland, Cleo Layne, Judy Kaye, Rebecca Luker, and even Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Paul is also focusing on his cabaret act. He has performed in New York at The Metropolitan Room and the Mark Janas Salon. In Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley, Paul’s cabaret act has taken him to such fun places as the Gardenia Club, Melvyn’s Ingleside Inn, AJ’s on the Green, Tropicale Supper Club, PS Underground, and the Arthur Newman Theatre. In Paul’s spare time, he plays piano as a music therapist for patients at the Palm Springs Desert Regional Medical Center and Rancho Mirage Eisenhower Memory Care Facility. This is Paul’s second year as Musical Director at UCLA’s Musical Theater Summer Institute. He looks forward to working with the talented high school students this summer.
Musical Theater Summer Institute FAQ
We welcome students of all levels; however, students should have a strong interest, desire to learn, and background in theater, singing, and dance.
The performance is held on the penultimate day of the program.
Yes, performance dates and times are sent to parents and family.
To ensure that you are dressed appropriately for classroom work, please wear comfortable clothing that will allow for maximum movement in all classes.
Please observe the following:
- Wear sweat pants, sweatshirts, loose T-shirts, stretch pants, sneakers or other alternative movement shoes, etc.
- Do not wear tight jeans, short skirts, low-cut pants, midriff tops, platform shoes, heels, sandals, flip flops, or jewelry (watches are okay).
- You must be able to move comfortably.
Still have questions? Check out the general Summer Institutes FAQ.