“The Theatre Lab never ceases to amaze me. Every minute I'm in their doors, I feel like I'm growing as an artist and a person."
Participant, Musical Theatre Institute for Teens

The Musical Theatre Institute for Teens

A unique four-week training program for ages 13-19.


2015 Session I: Pacific Overtures

Mondays-Fridays, June 15 – July 11
Evening rehearsals June 15–19 (6pm–10pm)
Daytime rehearsals June 22 – July 9 (12pm–6pm)
+ Evening rehearsals and performances July 8–11
and matinee on July 11

2015 Session II: Cabaret

Mondays-Fridays, July 13– August 8 (12pm-5pm)
+ Evening rehearsals and performances August 5–8
and matinee on August 8

The application deadline has passed.


Classes, rehearsals and performances take place in our downtown home

733 8th St NW, Washington DC 20001 Directions
(Gallery Place Metro - Red, Yellow and Green lines)
Please note: Students can audition to take part in both sessions.

The Musical Theatre Institute for Teens is an intensive four-week training program in which participants rehearse and perform a full musical production under the guidance of the area’s most esteemed directors. The institute enables young artists to explore challenging, socially relevant material from the contemporary musical theatre world as they receive the intensive voice, movement and acting training essential for professional-level performance. Roles are open to experienced performers as well as those new to the craft. While the emphasis is on performance, students will also receive training in a wide variety of musical theatre disciplines during the rehearsal process, including: vocal production, acting a song, proper breathing technique, movement, building a character, ensemble acting, and more.

Session I: Pacific Overtures

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim / Book by John Weidman / Additional material by Hugh Wheeler / Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick / Original Broadway Production Directed by Harold Prince and Produced by Harold Prince in association with Ruth Mitchell/Directed by Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro

A masterwork of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, Pacific Overtures is rarely produced, in large part because of the extraordinary acting, singing and storytelling challenges it presents for its cast — which is exactly the reason we chose it for our teens! Pacific Overtures is an epic exploration of Japan’s introduction to western civilization, told in a variety of styles from Kabuki theatre to modern realism. Beginning with the landing of Commodore Matthew Perry in Japan in 1853, the musical sweeps through the decades, evoking the world of shoguns, tea ceremonies, encroaching war ships, and at last, titans of Western business. At the heart of the story is an unlikely friendship between a samurai and a fisherman that is funny, poignant, and full of surprises. There is also incomparable music in a play that features terrific break-out roles for actors and singers of all types and levels of experience, and the rehearsal process will include specialized movement training in the kabuki style. This musical is for anyone looking to build their skills and take on something that is off the beaten path. As part of their training, students cast in ensemble roles will also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform a solo in a Student Cabaret during the third week of the program, which will rehearse from 12-5 pm.



Session II: Cabaret

Music by John Kander/ Lyrics by Fred Ebb / Book by Joe Masteroff / Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood / Directed by Caroline Angell and Joshua Coyne 

Please note: This play contains mature themes and language.

Against the backdrop of the gathering Nazi storm, Cabaret brings us into the world of a seedy nightclub in 1930s Berlin where an American writer strikes up a relationship with a young English showgirl. Featuring memorable characters from the Kit Kat Klub, subplots of love and intrigue, and some of the most beloved songs ever written for musical theatre (“Wilkommen,” “Maybe This Time,” and of course, the title song made famous by Liza Minelli), Cabaret was the winner of seven Tony Awards in its original Broadway production, including Best Musical. The play features great character roles for singers and actors of all types, a strong, active ensemble that dances as well as sings, and a story of perseverance in the face of oppression that continues to resonate today. As part of their training, students cast in ensemble roles will also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform a solo in a Student Cabaret during the third week of the program.


Admission to the Musical Theatre Institute for Teens is by application and audition. Applicants will be accepted on the basis of their commitment to exploring the musical theatre craft, their willingness to collaborate in a group process of discovery with other young artists, and their ability to handle the demands of the musical score. All applicants must complete a written essay expressing their interest in the program. Applicants must also prepare a musical theatre song for auditions that will be scheduled upon receipt of completed application. Due to the limited nature of our enrollment, admission is competitive. You will be contacted shortly after we receive your application to schedule an audition.


Tuition for each session of the Musical Theatre Institute is $985. Please note: If you audition and are accepted into both musical theatre sessions, your total tuition to participate in both programs will be $1,800 (a $170 discount). Total tuition for Pacific Overtures and Museum is $1,650. Partial financial aid is available through our Work Study program. In addition, at least one full scholarship will be awarded annually through the Dena Kohn Memorial Scholarship Fund. (Criteria: exceptional community involvement and financial need.)