Information on the Summer Musical Institute

Information on the Summer Musical Institute

Introduction and Mission

The purpose of the Summer Musical Theatre Institute provides students from any public or private high school an excellent fun-filled, low - cost summer training program, with proven instructors, as well as participation in the performance of a full-length Broadway musical. The objective of the program includes developmental training in vocals, acting, dance and performance skills as well as technical skills for students seeking to develop talents in stage management, sound, lighting, set/props construction, scenic painting, the business of theatre, costumes and make-up.

Program Description

The program begins on June 18, 2015 and concludes with shows on July 18, 19, 20, and 21, 2015. Times for all performances are 7:30 pm except for a 2 pm show on the 21st. Also, a Portfolio Night will be held to demonstrate developed student work over the summer on Wednesday, July 24th at 7 pm.

Instruction occurs daily from 9 am – 3 pm at Blake High School at 300 Norwood Road in Silver Spring, Maryland 20905. Classroom facilities include a choral room, rehearsal studios, a dance studio, a technical shop, a band room, a black box theater, and a 900-seat Auditorium/Stage.

Students going into grades 9 thru 12 in September of 2015 as well as recent graduates from 2014/2015 may register for this program. One of the benefits of this program includes working with students of relatively the same age.

Performance Instructors

Teachers include adults with outstanding experience and reputations in musical theatre.

. Michael D’Anna, Artistic Director, continues to teach theatre with over 40 years of experience, including partnerships with Disney Theatricals of New York, Music Theatre International (NY), and Theatrical Rights Worldwide (NY). His experience is wide-based including three years of study, instruction, and directing educational training programs at the London Globe. His stage companies have appeared at the ITS Festival (5 main stage productions); the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the New Zealand World Drama Festival, and the National Theatre Festival (12 productions).

. Harry A. Winter, Vocal/Music Director, continues to perform in the musical theatre field, most notably at the Signature Theatre in Alexandria (MY FAIR LADY, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, HAIRSPRAY) Ford’s Theatre of Washington D.C., the Kennedy Center (MAME) and the Olney Theatre Center (SECRET GARDEN, SHE LOVES ME). His experiences in professional theatre lend great benefits to students aspiring to eventually work in a professional career in musical theatre.

. Dance Instructors vary from show-to-show but have included professionals from the musical theatre professional as well as students of exceptional dance and choreographic ability.

Technical Instruction

Technicians wishing to learn any of the aspects of technical theatre will be accommodated by our program. Each summer show requires a great deal of carpentry/set work, scenic design and painting tasks, work with an extensive lighting and sound system, do show business management and instruction, as well as find opportunities to act as a show costumer/make-up artist. Stage management students will learn the skills necessary for that role as well as training in directing a musical.

Technical instructors are often collegiate students working in the technical theatre area. Others have extensive experience in the field and have worked with our technical supervisor.

Technical supervision includes oversight by Mr. John Ovington, a scenic designer from the North Carolina School for the Arts, who has worked on projects on and off-Broadway as well as on several motion pictures (FORREST GUMP, PELICAN BRIEF).


The tuition is $600 for the 5 weeks. There are no scholarships for this program. Payment must be made by June 1, 2013.There are no refunds after June 8, 2015. The fee covers the program costs including costumes students may not be able to provide on their own (excepting underclothes, socks, hose, shoes and items deemed as “personal clothing by the director).

Students will be financially responsible for purchasing a show tee shirt (optional purchase), any show dvds (optional purchase), and damage to any property associated with the show, Blake High School, or the Blake High School stage company properties (mic cables, clothes, etc.)

Late Registration Fee

Students who register after June 1, 2015, must pay a $50 Late Registration fee. Late registration after June 1, 2015, will more than likely mean a part in the ensemble and not as a lead or featured player.


No transportation is provided. At auditions, information will be gathered on neighborhoods travel to and from. Car pooling will be encouraged and data will be distributed as soon after registration occurs.

Behavioral Expectations

Students are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and will be held accountable to student behavioral expectations for Montgomery County Schools as well as any rules in place by their home school.

Students will lose roles, performances (could be all performances if directors find it necessary due to rule / behavioral infractions), and may be dismissed from the Institute should a major violation of rules occur.


Auditions will be held at Blake High School on May 1st from 2:30 pm – 6 pm in Room D-150, the Choral Room, as well as on Saturday, May 2nd from 9 am – 1 pm (time may be extended if necessary).

Students are asked to prepare a serio-comedic or dramatic monologue appropriate for age range as well as showing off either the personality of a character from the show GREASE or for your own personality. Time-length: 1 – 2 minutes. We encourage students to memorize both their music and their monologue. Students should also prepare either a ballad or upbeat song from a musical that might parallel the style(s) of music from GREASE or show your voice off to us best.

Please bring sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Students may bring their own accompanist/playback system if they wish. Please be ready to sing a cappella.

Lead Parts/Ensemble Parts

While competition for Lead Parts in shows is a reality, the directors want students to know that our ensemble members will receive as much time as a lead (and probably more) in vocals, acting, dance and performance skills. Each student will receive individualized instruction for the portfolio night performances. The experience of working as a team on a musical is paramount in this institute, and learning how to become a team member of the company is all important.