Broadway legend Ann Reinking and her long-time associate, Debra McWaters, founded the renowned Broadway Theatre Project back in 1991. Over 25 years later, the Broadway Theatre Project — now commonly referred to as “BTP” or simply “The Project” — has become one of the leading pre-professional Broadway training programs. Since day one, BTP’s mission has remained steadfast: to provide educational excellence, and to mold a creative, collaborative, well-rounded and professional musical theatre arts performer. Playbill hailed BTP as “the world’s most prestigious musical theatre arts education program for high school and college students.”
In 1991, BTP’s classes included necessary techniques and talents of a Broadway performer: ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, tap, acting, vocal technique and sight singing. But as Broadway has developed over the years, so has BTP’s curriculum. This summer’s course offerings are remarkable: acting methods, building a character, monologue work, scene study, improvisation, private acting instruction, the acting audition, vocal pedagogy and technique, vocal styling (from operatic to contemporary), speech and diction, song as monologue, private vocal instruction, the vocal audition, Fosse style dance, Luigi technique, jazz styles, jazz funk, contemporary ballet, modern, ballroom, theatre tap, rhythm tap, choreography, and the dance audition. Additionally, seminars include “The College Selection Process”, “Becoming a Professional Artist in NYC: Where do I Start?”, “Musical Theatre Heritage and History”, “Choreography” and “Collaboration.” BTP’s extensive curriculum exemplifies its mission to educate and foster the musical theatre artist for a successful, long and healthy career.
Faculty includes both resident teachers and visiting instructors, so each BTP intensive is a unique experience. The roster always comprises of master teachers, Broadway choreographers, Tony-winning performers, casting directors, and acting and vocal coaches. This summer’s faculty includes Broadway biggies like choreographer Pat Birch, triple-threat Donna McKechnie and casting director Jay Binder, just to name a few.
BTP is certainly an intensive — for the dedicated and enthusiastic pre-professional performer. The yearly three-week summer intensive, from July 9 to 30, takes place at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Because of the rigorous schedule and curriculum of BTP, the program is recommended for students who are at least 16 years old (although actually the typical attendee is in his or her mid-20s).
BTP hosts around 50 students every summer. Prospective students must submit an application, headshot and recommendation letter in addition to either attending a live audition or sending in a recording of their singing, acting and dancing samples. While this summer’s program is nearly at capacity, a few spots are still open! If you wish to be considered for this summer’s program, contact Debra McWaters at (813) 766-1014.
For more information on Broadway Theatre Project, and to stay updated about audition dates and application deadlines, visit broadwaytheatreproject.com.
By Mary Callahan of Dance Informa.