Musical Theatre Institute

The Musical Theatre Workshop is a wide-ranging educational program that gives students the opportunity to work on the Ann Arbor campus with faculty members in the renowned University of Michigan Department of Musical Theatre. The Musical Theatre Workshop enrolls approximately 40 students and is designed for juniors and seniors who are considering BFA degree programs in college.

U-M Faculty Director: Professor Emeritus Brent Wagner

July 15 – August 4, 2018

Session full for summer 2018

Workshop topics will include:

  • an analysis of song lyrics
  • acting techniques for song interpretation, including songs from shows currently on Broadway
  • dance styles of major choreographers
  • contemporary trends in musical theatre in New York City
  • the vocabulary of the field
  • voice study, including stylistic approaches for pop songs and contemporary songs
  • the wide range of repertoire for performers
  • monologue exploration
  • audition techniques for both stage and film
  • tools for creating character and situation
  • musical theatre history and musicals on film

Workshop students also will participate in a wide variety of master classes with faculty members from the Department of Musical Theatre, the Department of Theatre & Drama, and the Department of Dance. Graduates of the Department also teach classes. Extra sessions are devoted to the application and audition process for university programs. Students will have a clear understanding of the college exploration, application and audition process by the end of the 3-week session.

On the final Saturday, parents will be invited to the last class of the workshop for an informal demonstration of the techniques studied during the three weeks of the workshop.

Note: No auditions for The University of Michigan are held during the summer. Participation in the MPulse Musical Theatre Workshop should not be viewed as an “audition” for the school.

The workshop is open to 2017-2018 high school juniors, although applications from 2017-2018 tenth graders of exceptional ability and experience are considered. Admission decisions are based on a student’s application (including training and experience), recommendation, transcript, and audition. Applicants must have at least a B average in a rigorous college prep program in order to have their audition reviewed.

The application consists of four parts. (Applications are not complete until all requirement materials have been received.)

Written Requirements (Upload)

  1. Resume: Upload a copy of your resume, giving details of your training and/ or experience in music, theatre, and dance. Please be sure that your resume upload is in PDF file format. Any and all other file types will not be supported.NOTE: Although not required for the audition, the ability to read music is extremely valuable for participation. Please be sure to describe your music reading skills in your list of training. Also, list any instruments that you play and the length of study.
  2. Photographs: Upload two color photographs. Photographs do not have to be professionally taken, but should be recent.
    • ONE color close-up
    • ONE color full-body (head to toe)
  3. Transcript: Upload a copy of your unofficial transcript acquired from your high school. Applicants must have at least a B average in a rigorous college prep program in order to have their audition reviewed. Transcript may be scanned and uploaded by applicant.
  4. Recommendation: (Maximum 2) Ask a teacher (performing arts teacher preferred) who knows your work well to write a confidential recommendation for you. In addition to your abilities, the letter should discuss your personal characteristics such as initiative, maturity, leadership skills, and the ability to work with others. To invite a recommender, submit your recommender’s email address, when prompted, as you upload your audition. Once you finalize your submission, the recommender will receive a notification and link to submit your confidential recommendation.

Performance Requirements (Upload)

Upload each of the following required selections as a separate file. Make sure that your face is clearly visible, with your upper body fairly near the camera and the background simple, uncluttered, and not too bright (e.g., in front of a window). Try to include a full-body and close-up shot at some point in the recording. Place the microphone close to you and away from the piano. Use an acoustic piano (not electric keyboard) and make sure that the piano has been tuned. Announce your name and the title of each selection.

Voice (two separate files)

Upload two songs from stage or film musicals. These should be a minimum of 32 bars, with one song written before 1970. We strongly prefer that your pianist be in the room and accompanying you on a tuned acoustic piano when the vocal recording is made. As a last resort, you can sing with an acoustic piano accompaniment that your accompanist has recorded for you at an earlier time. We do not accept any other types of recorded accompaniments.

Vocal Audition Preparation Suggestions

Acting (one file)

Prepare a short monologue (no dialects) from a full-length American play written after 1935, memorized, and in context. Applicants should read and study the entire play. The monologue should be no longer than one and a half minutes.

Monologue Preparation Suggestions

Personal Statement (one VIDEO file, required)

  1. Speak about your experiences in music or in theatre.
  2. Discuss how you became interested in attending the MPulse Musical Theatre Workshop at The University of Michigan.

If you do not include the personal statement, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for consideration for the workshop.

Additional Material (optional)

If you would like to include recorded selections from stage performances, upload these after required materials. If you have any dance experience, you may also include performance excerpts.

Priority deadline for all application/audition materials is January 19, 2018. Admission notifications for priority applicants will be e-mailed on February 23, 2018. Decisions will not be given by phone, and decisions cannot be released prior to the notification date.   

Late applications may be accepted while space is available, however priority will be given to applications received by the priority deadline. Admission and notification after the initial deadline will be on a rolling basis.

As a courtesy to the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Workshop faculty and to the other applicants, please notify the MPulse office and withdraw your application if you commit to another summer program anytime during our review/decision notification process.

Application Fee

$75 non-refundable


$4,025 (three-week session)

Tuition fee includes instruction, room and board, and materials specific to each program. Final tuition payment must be received 30 days from notification of acceptance into the program, but no later than May 1, 2018, or the student’s acceptance may be cancelled. Payments should be made by credit card (preferred method), check or money order payable to The University of Michigan.

Enrollment Deposit

Admitted students are required to submit a $200 deposit to secure their enrollment ($500 deposit for Musical Theatre Workshop and Center Stage Strings.) Enrollment deposits are due approx. two weeks from the date of acceptance notification. Enrollment deposits will be credited against the tuition balance.

Cancellation Fees

Students who are offered admission but choose not to attend must notify the MPulse office in writing within two weeks of the acceptance notification. If a student needs to withdraw from MPulse after full or partial tuition has been paid, a written request is required and the tuition paid will be refunded in the following amounts:

  • Prior to May 1: All tuition paid will be refunded minus the non-refundable deposit
  • From May 1 until June 1: All tuition paid will be refunded minus 50% of total tuition due
  • From June 1 until June 24: All tuition paid will be refunded minus 75% of total tuition due
  • After June 24, if a student withdraws, no refund will be given