Musical Theatre Institute

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Pre-College Musical Theatre Institute
July 19 - August 2, 2020



This summer, experience what it is like being a student in the nationally recognized programs in Acting and Musical Theatre at Rider from the safety and comfort of your own home. This year, offered through an online platform, we will provide a personalized experience with a world class training program without ever having to leave your room.

You will thrive as a triple threat performer through focused group video sessions and private one-on-one voice lessons to refine your skills in singing, acting and dancing. Directed by Trent Blanton, Associate Professor of Theatre in Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University, you will receive professional theatre training by working with and learning from renowned, distinguished faculty with experience on Broadway and National Tours as well as TV, commercials and film. You’ll experience summer conservatory-esque instruction in a nurturing yet challenging environment. 

VIRTUAL Program Highlights

  • Master classes with special guests: 
    • Sierra Boggess, Ariel in The Little Mermaid on Broadway, Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and Love Never Dies on London’s West End
    • Markus Flanagan (TV/Film actor and Meisner Technique Specialist) Biloxi Blues, Seinfeld, Better Things, The Morning Show, Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous
    • Deidrie Henry (LA-based Award Winning Actress in Film/TV and Theatre)
    • Laurence O’Keefe (Composer) Bat Boy, Legally Blonde, Heathers 
    • Alice Ripley  (American actress, singer, songwriter, and mixed media artist) Tony Award winner for Best Acress in Next to Normal and Side Show. 
  • Scene study, Song as Text, monologue and audition technique classes
  • Self Taping Techniques for online auditions and college submissions
  • Private one-on-one voice lessons with faculty from the Westminster College of Arts
  • Dance classes in Tap, Jazz and Broadway Styles
  • College Audition counseling and coaching with Institute staff and Rider University Admissions specialist 
  • Perform Live in 2 virtual showcase performances in Acting and Musical Theatre Performance 

Faculty and Instructors

  • Trent Blanton - Program Director and Acting/Song as Text Teacher; Associate Professor of Theatre, Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University
  • Mariann Cook - Vocal Teacher; Associate Professor of Musical Theatre Voice ,Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University
  • McKenna Woodlan – Dance Instructor, Rider Musical Theatre Alumna, Professor Actor and Choreographer
  • Nicholas Place- Musical Director; Adjunct Assistant Professor and Musical Director at Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University
  • Rebecca Simon – Acting Teacher; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University and professional voice, speech and dialect coach for stage, tv and film
  • Neal Tracy - Voice Teacher; Adjunct Professor, Westminster College of the Arts B
  • Jonathan Price - Voice Teacher; Adjunct Professor, Westminster College of the Arts 
  • Sean McCarther - Voice teacher; Associate Professor of Voice and Resident Stage Combat Teach, Westminster Choir College of Rider University 


  • Rotating Acting classes in Scene Study and Monologue coaching and Song Interpretation
  • Rotating Dance classes in Broadway Styles, Tap and Jazz
  • Afternoon and Evening one-on-one voice lessons and coachings by Institute staff
  • Master Classes by industry professionals

Tuition for Virtual Musical Theatre Institute

$995 (includes $50 application fee)


Enrollment is open to high school singers, actors and dancers entering the 10th grade through those who have just completed their senior year. Enrollment is limited; applicants are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Video audition is requested upon registration – it is optional but highly recommended for placement. Students are accepted based on recommendations from their teacher.

Students must participate in both weeks. 

*All class instruction with Rider faculty and materials will be provided, along with a line-up of award winning artists and internationally acclaimed guests to present engaging masterclass sessions. Based on ongoing state and federal recommendations to reduce the spread of coronavirus, this summer Rider University is providing remote and alternative instruction and is committed to providing the same quality programming in an exciting new format. For questions regarding our 2020 Summer programs, please visit Frequently Asked Questions or email us at [email protected].


Westminster Office of Continuing Education
[email protected]