Pre-College Musical Theatre Institute
July 18 - August 1, 2021
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 summer, 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 format - participate from the comfort of home
- Master classes with special guests
- 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
The Rider University Pre-College Musical Theatre Institute (MTI) seeks to empower the young “Actor of the Future” for the “Industry of the Future.” The MTI works to give a student an experience that mirrors the rigor and atmosphere of safety and inclusion of the Rider University experience.
The MTI faculty recognize that students have varying levels of natural ability and experience for a myriad of reasons. The faculty commits to meeting each student “where they are” in their training, and help them cultivate and expand their current abilities. The program is dedicated to developing the talent the student brings to the table. We also seek to cultivate a program that celebrates, recruits, retains and nurtures diversity and inclusion as well as breaking down systemic barriers in the entertainment and educational industries, including access and ability to pay.
We encourage each student to develop their own voice and authenticity as well as support breaking down and reinventing the ideas of “type” that have supported racist and other non-inclusive practices and systems. We view the MTI as an opportunity to train actors “holistically” and help them create tools that serve their talent, their community and as the future of the industry, the catalyst for embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
"Thank you for the wonderful musical theatre experience you provided this summer. [My daughter] had such a great time, and she learned so much. I am so grateful; you really have no idea! She was so happy for those two weeks, and it was nice to see my daughter again, as I had been missing her through all the depression and sadness that has come with quarantine."
- Wendy, parent of a Summer 2020 program participant
Special Guest Artists
- Jōvan Dansberry
- Ali Ewoldt (First Filipino-American Christine in Phantom)
- Deidrie Henry
- Laurence O'Keefe (Olivier Award Winning Composer and Lyricist. Author of Bat Boy, Legally Blonde: The Musical and Heathers)
- Ken Page (Original Old Deuteronomy in CATS and Broadway legend)
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
- 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
- Sean McCarther - Voice teacher; Associate Professor of Voice and Resident Stage Combat Teach, Westminster Choir College of Rider University
- Terry Walker - Voice Teacher; Adjunct Professor, Westminster College of the Arts
- T. Oliver Reid - Song Study; Broadway Actor (Hadestown; Once On This Island; Sunset Boulevard; After Midnight; Sister Act; Mary Poppins; The Wedding Singer; Chicago; La Cage Aux Folles; Never Gonna Dance; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Follies; Kiss Me, Kate)
- Robin Lewis - Dance Teacher; Associate Professor, Westminster College of the Arts at 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 coaching by Institute staff
- Master Classes by industry professionals
High school students who complete any Rider University Pre-College Summer Program prior to applying for first-year admission to Rider University can qualify for an annually renewable $2,000 Pre-College Completion Award. Some restrictions may apply.
$995* for Virtual Musical Theatre Institute
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.
Audition Process: Video audition is requested upon registration – it is optional but highly recommended for placement. Students are accepted based on recommendations from their teacher. Letters of recommendation should be addressed to “Director of Continuing Education.” The letter may come from any of the student’s teachers and submitted directly to the Westminster Office of Continuing Education via post or [email protected].
Equipment (what is needed to attend the program): Good internet connection
Expectations for students: 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.