Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior
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Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior

July 16–27, 2018

Applications accepted January 1–May 18, 2018.
Apply now.

Acting Fundamentals | Improv | Singing | Dance | Audition Skills | Character Development | Movement Techniques | Master Classes with NYC Professionals and University Faculty

The SMTI Junior program provides exceptional opportunities for young performers in grades 4-8 to develop their acting, singing and dance skills in a safe, supportive environment while working closely with industry professionals. The program culminates in an original showcase performance designed specifically by the directors to highlight the skills of our participants.

2018 Master classes include:

IMPROVISATION MASTER CLASS
An opportunity to learn about and practice theatrical improvisation with New York-based actress and writer Moira O’Sullivan. Have fun, get comfortable, and be able to handle yourself in all acting situations!

PERFORMANCE TECHNIQUE MASTER CLASS
Perform for Hartt/HCD voice faculty member Janelle Robinson and get feedback and coaching on your musical theatre performance technique. Robinson is a master performer and teacher whose Broadway credits include the production of Cameron Mackintosh and Disney's Mary Poppins, in which she originated the role of Mrs. Corry; Oklahoma, also produced by Cameron Mackintosh; and the revival of Showboat, in addition to the first National Tours of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Showboat.

HIP-HOP DANCE MASTER CLASS
Learn the hip-hop movement style from Connecticut’s own dancer and instructor Keith Crockett in this high energy, fun, and very supportive environment!

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Choose HCD Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior

From Studio to Stage 2017

Our Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior program offers your child not only the opportunity to develop their triple-threat skills, but a chance to work side-by-side with NYC professionals and to meet students from all over the state who are training in this industry.

1. Our Faculty

SMTI Junior provides ten days under the guidance of top professionals in the musical theatre industry. From working professionals in NYC to local teachers who are in demand across the country, our faculty bring a wealth of professional experience to your children. Meet and network with the people who can help you move forward in the business.

2. Our Curriculum

Our program is not simply a summer camp, and we do not cast and rehearse a book musical. We build technical foundations, working with each student on everything from basic stage directions to acting technique, vocal technique and health, and working with a song lyric. We prepare them for upcoming auditions by developing audition skills, improvisation skills, and aiding in material selection and preparation. We provide a digital headshot taken during the program by a visiting professional photographer for no extra fee. Our final showcase performance is developed and material chosen with each specific participant in mind.  Additionally, we provide three master classes with Broadway artists, NYC industry professionals, and college professors. We want students to leave our program feeling empowered in the demanding and competitive field of musical theatre.

3. Our relationship with The University of Hartford's The Hartt School

We are proud of our relationship with The Hartt School, a top performing arts conservatory that offers degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. Not only are our Intensive students taught by the masterful university faculty, but our affiliation means that we use the amazing Hartt Performing Arts Center facilities throughout the program. Classes for SMTI are held in the north wing of the Handel Performing Arts Center. The north wing houses four rehearsal studios/classrooms with mirrors and Robbins floors. All studios are equipped with wireless internet and sound and projection equipment. A conference room, three voice studios, artistic and production offices, and dressing and shower facilities are also included. The final showcase performance takes place in the 300-seat Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation Theatre onsite.

SMTI Photo Gallery

PROGRAM DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE

The Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior Program provides education and training in musical theatre that is tailored to the needs of talented and motivated young performers from the greater Hartford area. Participation is open to any student entering grades 4 through 8.

It is a joy to offer a program of such exceptional quality to our local children. Musical theatre is a unique genre in that it integrates many elements of performance. Students have to study each artistic element as if it were their sole focus, and then meld them together to create a focused, dynamic, and moving performance. Our incredible faculty are our strongest asset — true movers and shakers in the musical theatre world who devote 80 hours of focused work to help our participants reach their artistic potential. Last year I was astounded by the dedication of both faculty and students, and the growth I saw was unprecedented.

Our focus is on both process and product, helping younger students begin to develop a plan to increase their skills and performance ability and then providing them an opportunity to showcase the work they have done. One of the most unique aspects of our program is our individualized approach. We do not merely cast a book musical. We mentor each individual performer and trust that they will leave the program with skills that will carry them toward mastery as they move from elementary school to middle and high school, and beyond.

Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Junior Program is about fostering excellence, artistry, and a love of musical theatre for tomorrow’s performers. We hope that you join us on an exciting artistic journey!

Michelle Murray Fiertek, DMA

Meet the 2018 faculty

  • Michelle Murray Fiertek, Program Director/Vocal Instructor
  • Kim West, Director/Theatre Instructor
  • Sarah Reed, Music Director/Vocal Instructor
  • Christine Simoes, Choreographer
  • Stephen Scarlato, Accompanist
  • Moira O’Sullivan, NYC Actress/Writer (Improvisation master class)
  • Janelle Robinson, Veteran Broadway Performer (Performance Technique master class)
  • Keith Crockett, Dance Instructor (Hip-Hop Dance master class)

Michelle Murray Fiertek

Michelle Fiertek

An active singer across many musical genres, Connecticut soprano Michelle Murray Fiertek most recently sang the roles of Mother in Hartford Opera Theater’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti), Gertrud in Opera Connecticut’s production of Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), and Ann Putnam in Hartford Opera Theater’s production of The Crucible (Ward). Her recent calendar of song recitals included performances across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and in Madrid, Spain. In 2015, Fiertek was proud to have been nominated in the “Best Featured Actress in a Musical Production” category by Broadway World Connecticut for her performance as Miss Pinkerton/June Jinkins in Hartford Opera Theater’s double bill of The Old Maid and the Thief (Menotti) and An Embarrassing Position (Shore).

In her early years, Fiertek opened The Voyage of the Little Mermaid for Disney’s Hollywood Studios as one of the original Ariels. She went on to work as the lead singer aboard the S. S. Discovery I and became the first American singer to be invited to perform both Japanese and American music in Minakami, Japan. She has released two albums on the Summit Records label: Blue: The Complete Cabaret Songs of William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein, described as “exemplary” by BBC Music Magazine and named “CD of the week” by the Arizona Republic and KBAQ-FM, and The Juliet Letters. Fiertek made her Carnegie Hall debut in December 2005 with a solo performance described as “First rate – engaging and authentic” in New York Concert Review.

A champion of Spanish art song, Fiertek has studied under such famed musicians as pianist Miguel Zanetti and mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza in Granada, Spain, as part of the celebrated Interpretation of Spanish Song program, as well as returned to the program in subsequent years as a guest artist. She has been a faculty and guest recital artist at venues across the country, and the featured soloist in many large-scale choral works, including Fauré’s "Requiem," Mozart’s "Coronation Mass" and "Mass in C Minor," Vivaldi’s "Gloria," Bach's "B Minor Mass" and Handel’s "Dettingen Te Deum" and "Messiah."

As an educator and administrator, Fiertek has held positions across the country as an instructor, lecturer, music academy coordinator, children’s music director, and as the artistic director and producer of a fifty-member touring teen theatre company. She holds two B.M. degrees from Arizona State University, an M.M. from California State University, Long Beach, and a D.M.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of Hartford's The Hartt School. She currently serves on the voice faculty of The Hartt School, The Hartt School Community Division, and Manchester Community College.

Kimberly West

Kim WestKimberly West is a transplant from Atlanta, Ga., where she spent 13 wonderful years working, teaching and directing for the Alliance Theatre Education Department. While in Atlanta, West directed an independent film and worked on the hit show Cartoon Fridays with Cartoon Network of Turner Studios. Since moving to Connecticut, West has taught for Oddfellows Playhouse, Performing Arts Programs, Hartford Children’s Theatre, Hartford Stage, and others. West spent eight years teaching as a Core Artist Instructor in the theatre department at CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, where she was the recipient of the 2014–15 Artist Instructor of the Year award. Also at the Academy, West directed eight black box productions, including Trojan Woman set in Bosnia 1994—during the height of the genocide. In 2014, West earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Saint Joseph specializing in Multiple Intelligence theatre and Arts Integration. At Oddfellows Playhouse, West was honored to be asked to direct both teen rep productions for the 2016–17 season. This year also marks a new adventure for West, she’s now teaching theatre to pre-K through fourth grade at CREC’s Ana Grace Academy of the Arts.

Sarah Reed

Sarah Reed, SMTI Music DirectorSarah Comfort Reed is a musician and teacher in the New Haven, Connecticut area. She is highly regarded for her rich soprano color and versatility, with broad experience in early music and contemporary styles alike. Ms. Reed is a frequent soloist in a variety of choral ensembles, including the Yale Camerata and Chamber Chorus under the direction of Marguerite L. Brooks, and Composer’s Choir under the direction of Daniel Shaw. As a soloist, Ms. Reed has been featured in works such as David Lang's Pulitzer Prize winning little matchgirl passion, James Whitbourn's Annelies, and Arvo Pärt's Passio, Le Roi David by Arthur Honegger, Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer, and J.S. Bach's Der Herr denket an uns (BWV 196). In recent years, she has had the opportunity to sing as guest soloist with the Nash Baroque Ensemble in solo cantatas All'ombra di sospetto by Antonio Vivaldi and Ariane et Bachus by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair. In December 2016, Reed will join the New Haven Oratorio Choir, under the direction of Daniel Shaw, as soprano soloist in Fauré 's Requiem. A seasoned performer in 20th and 21st century art song modalities, Reed has performed solo recitals in New Haven and Daytona Beach, Florida, featuring song cycles such as Try Me Good King by Libby Larsen, Too Few the Mornings Be by Ricky Ian Gordon, and Francis Poulenc's Banalités. In addition, she currently serves as soprano soloist at Church of the Redeemer in New Haven and as vocal coach for the Yale Camerata.

During her time in Connecticut, Reed has combined her love of choral music and teaching, as a teacher in two distinct high school environments. Since 2010, she has been a member of the Music Faculty at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, in Hartford, CT, directing the GHAA Chorale, teaching music theory, music history, classical solo repertoire, musical theatre and pop music ensembles. Since 2013, Reed has also directed the Chorus of Notre Dame High School, West Haven, Conn., leading the all-male ensemble in a wide variety of concert repertoire and liturgical singing for the school and community. 

Over the years as a private voice teacher, Reed has taught students of all ages. Healthy, resonant vocal technique and maintenance through the study of art song or musical theatre repertoire are the general goals for her students. 

Growing up in central Missouri, Reed was involved in choral music from an early age, singing in children’s choirs within church, school and community. She was inspired by a high school choir director to pursue teaching music at Northwest Missouri State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Music Education. In her time at NWMSU, she studied voice with Patricia Schultz. Reed is also a graduate of the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, with a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance, where she studied with Joanna Levy.

Christine Simoes

Christine SimoesChistine Simoes is a choreographer and teacher in the Greater Hartford area. She has her certificate in Dance Pedagogy from the Hartford Conservatory and is an alumnus of the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Dance Department. Simoes has trained to compete professionally in American-style Latin ballroom dance and taught Ballroom dance for Fred Astaire Dance studio in West Hartford and Arthur Murray Dance Studio in New Britain. She has choreographed and taught jazz, ballet and ballroom dance to children and adults for the past twenty years in schools throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. She is currently on faculty at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts as a Core Artist/Instructor in the musical theater department where she teaches and choreographs dance. Simoes has been teaching at the Academy for the past 15 years and has been named Artist/Instructor of the Year for 2013–14 school year. She has had the pleasure of choreographing many spring and Black Box Musicals at the Academy (Chicago, Dessa Rose, Cabaret, Urinetown, Caroline or Change, Ragtime, Carousel, Sweet Charity, In the Heights and King of Hearts). She has also Assistant Directed The Good Person of Setzuan and Urinetown at Loomis Chaffee School and taught/choreographed for many summer workshops throughout Connecticut. Most recently, Simoes has choreographed Love’s Labour’s Lost for Capital Classics which earned her a Best Choreographer nomination for the 2017 Broadway World Connecticut Awards. 

Stephen Scarlato

Stephen ScarlatoStephen Scarlato is a collaborative pianist and organist based in central Connecticut. He received his bachelor's degree in organ performance from The Hartt School, where he studied under Larry Allen. While at The Hartt School, Stephen received the University of Hartford's Regents Honors Award for academic excellence, won prizes in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival/USA, was a finalist in Hartt's Performance 20/20 competition, and received the Ethel Greenberg scholarship for outstanding performance within the organ department. He graduated summa cum laude. He can be heard on several commercially available recordings, including the Valmarie Music cd 'The Ash Grove' with soprano Julie M. Poole, and a collection of Chinese art songs entitled "Infinite Time" with baritone Chai-lun Yueh. In addition to a wide variety of freelance work, he currently serves as organist at Immanuel Congregational Church, and as a staff accompanist in The Hartt School's vocal studies division.

Moira O’Sullivan

Moira OsullivanMoira O'Sullivan is a New York-based actor and writer. Theatre credits include Beneath the Gavel (Off-Broadway, 59E59), Oleanna and The 24 Hour Plays (Playhouse on Park), Red Snow and Nightmare Before Insomnium (Insomnium Theatre Company), Abduct, Transport, Deliver (Scene Change Festival), The End of the Line at the End (Manhattan Rep). TV: I, Witness (Investigation Discovery) and The Cobblestone Corridor (PBS). She is also the creator of the web series Small Cappuccinos, currently in its second season. Since completing her improv training with The Upright Citizens Brigade, she now performs around the city with her award-winning comedy team Room 31. She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Atlantic Theatre Company and Stonestreet Screen Acting Studios). www.moiraosullivan.com

Janelle Robinson

Janelle RobinsonFor the past twenty years, Janelle Robinson has enjoyed an ongoing professional career on the operatic and musical theater stage. Her performances span several countries including France, Canada and Japan as well as most of the continental United States. Recently, Janelle received the 2014 Connecticut Critic’s Choice award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Bloody Mary in STONC’s South Pacific. Other awards include The Richard Tucker Study Grant and the MacAllister Award.

Robinson’s credits include the Broadway production of Cameron Mackintosh and Disney’s Mary Poppins, directed by the award-winning Sir Richard Eyre, in which she originated the role of Mrs. Corry; Oklahoma, also produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Trevor Nunn; and Hal Prince and Susan Stroman’s revival of Showboat.  

She originated the role of Ms. Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie and portrayed Queenie in Showboat. Regionally, Robinson has performed with Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, Connecticut Opera and Opera Company Philadelphia, Papermill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theater, Maine State Music Theater, The Cleveland Playhouse, STONC and Playhouse on Park. 

Along with the aforementioned, Robinson has worked with many illustrious directors and choreographers throughout the years, including Michael Mayer, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Barry Ivan, Vicky Bussert, Dotty Danner, George Osborne, Wayne Cilento, Rob Ashford, Eric Stern and David Caddick. Her various television and film credits include FebrezeLaw and Order: Criminal IntentA Little Game and Aftermath

She received a Bachelor of Music from The Hartt School, an Advanced Certificate in Voice from the Juilliard School and a Master of Music from The Curtis Institute. She has also trained at the School for Film and Television in NYC. 

Presently, she is on faculty at Western Connecticut State University and The Hartt School in the music theater departments. She is also a faculty member of Hartt’s Community Division, Fineline Arts Center and The Enchanted Garden.

Keith Crockett

Keith Crockett

Originally from Southington, Conn., Keith Crockett has been cultivating his passion for the performing arts since a young age. From his work in high school as a student of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, to his later work in musicals such as Carousel and Big RiverCrockett has long enjoyed the study and performance of the craft of musical theatre. In the mid-1990s he became one of the founding members of Phunk Phenomenon Dance Company in Boston, Mass. Most recently he can be found sharpening his talents at United Rhythms Entertainment in Meriden, Conn. Crockett is delighted to return to SMTI Junior this summer to share his enthusiasm for dance and to introduce the hip-hop style.  

General Information

Tuition, sample class schedule, audition information, past performances, and more.

SMTI Junior

2018 Tuition

Application Fee (non-refundable)
On or before May 18, 2018: $25 
On or after May 19, 2018: $50
See "Required Introduction Video" details below.

Full 2-week Program: $775

All students must attend the full two-week program. Full balance due May 25, 2018. 

Apply now.

Sample Daily Schedule

9:00-10:00 Vocal/Theatrical/Movement warm-ups
10:00-11:00 Group Music Rehearsal
11:00-11:45 Group A/B/C Acting Fundamentals
11:45-12:00 Group B/C/A Movement Technique
12:00-12:45 Group C/A/B Vocal Technique
12:45-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Master class
3:30-5:00 Showcase Rehearsal

Required Introduction Video

Making an Introduction Video for SMTI Junior

Eligibility: Students entering grades 4-8 may apply for SMTI Junior 2018

Help us get to know you by giving us a sneak peek at your personality and your talents! We will be choosing material specifically tailored to your skills, so we ask that you make a short Introduction Video.

Introduction Video Requirements

  • At the start of your audition recording, please introduce yourself by name and age. Then introduce your song.
  • Perform one song (32 bars) from any genre, sung from memory with or without accompaniment; this could be a musical theatre song, a pop song, or even “Happy Birthday." We just want to get to know your voice so we can choose great music for you!
  • One short monologue by memory (see below)
  • Answer the question: What is your favorite thing about performing? We want to get to know you!
  • Optional: Short dance video or any skills for stage that you would like us to know about

Monologue instructions

Choose one of the following monologues and make choice as to what you think is happening to your character in this speech.

  1. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? I thought they were just make-believe. But, no…I’m watching it now and it just ____________ [insert an action here stating what you saw]. You want me to what? No way. You do it. I’m getting out of here.

  2. Hi. I’m [insert your name]. You’re new here, right? Ya, I was new last year. Don't worry - it gets easier. I was wondering: do you need help _________________ [insert action here regarding what you are offering to help with]? It’s no problem. Come on, let’s go! 

  3. What are you talking about?! I have never in my life ____________ [insert action, etc.]! Whoever told you that was not telling the truth. Where is he? I’m going to go find him and clear this whole thing up. Then you’ll see!

All Introduction Videos are submitted online. Please send recorded online Introduction Videos to harttcomm@hartford.edu.

  • Applications accepted January 1–May 18, 2018
  • Send your Introduction Video link (YouTube and Vimeo are preferred*) to harttcomm@hartford.edu

Your video link is required during checkout.  Videos may not be marked private on YouTube and Vimeo videos marked private must provide a password with submission.

This program has rolling admissions and applications will be evaluated as they arrive. Places in the program will be filled on a first-come basis.

Step 1: Submit the application form online.

Step 2: Submit an Introduction Video (You Tube or Vimeo preferred) to harttcomm@hartford.edu within one week of submitting the application form.

Step 3: Students will receive acceptance notification and registration packets beginning on a rolling basis through May 18, 2018. Full balance of fees and tuition due May 25.

Facility

The Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center, 35 Westbourne Parkway, Hartford, CT 06112

HPAC

Located at the corner of Albany Avenue and Westbourne Parkway in Hartford, the 56,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility provides performance and rehearsal spaces, classrooms, and studios for students in The Hartt School’s Dance and Theatre Divisions, as well as the Hartt Community Division’s Dance Department. It is a vibrant, new center for dance and theatre instruction and performances at one of the key gateways to the city of Hartford. Classes for SMTI are held in the north wing of the Handel Performing Arts Center. The north wing houses four rehearsal studios/classrooms with mirrors and Robbins floors. All studios are equipped with wireless internet, state-of-the-art sound systems, Smart Boards, and pianos. A conference room, three voice studios, artistic and production offices, and dressing and shower facilities are also included. The final showcase performance takes place in the 300-seat Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation Theatre onsite. 

SMTI HPAC Rehearsal Room

Pictured: Rehearsal studio

Dress Code

DRESS CODE FOR SHOWCASE PROGRAM:

Young Men & Women

  • Shirts that permit comfortable movement such as tee-shirts; no strapless or spaghetti straps
  • Pants or shorts that permit comfortable movement such as cotton shorts, sweatpants or yoga pants; skirts require bike shorts
  • Bare feet or shoes with a non-slip sole

DRESS CODE FOR SHOWCASE PERFORMANCE:

Young Men & Women

  • Solid jewel tone tee shirts *provided free of charge by the program
  • Black bottoms that permit movement such as leggings, cotton shorts or pants, or skirts with black tights/bike shorts 
  • Dark sneakers or black jazz shoes 

FAQs

Q: What time can I drop my child off/when do I pick them up?

A: Drop off may occur anytime after 8:30 a.m. There will be no supervision prior to that time. Pick up should be exactly at 5 p.m. Parents will be assessed a $35 late pick-up fee from any student pick-ups after 5:15 p.m. 

Q: What should I do with my child’s medication?

A: Medication should be turned in to the Program Director on the first day of the program. It should be current, in the original packaging, and have a pharmacy label. Medication will be kept in the main HCD office in a locked cabinet and will be administered by staff throughout the day as specified in the administrative order from the prescribing doctor.

Q: Can I pick up my child early/bring them late?

A: We understand that emergencies and some appointments are unavoidable, and we simply ask that you phone the Program Director directly and let her know of your plan so that she can relay it to faculty. That said, our schedule is very tight and if absence can be avoided it is best for all participants.

Q: How does student arrival/dismissal work?

A: Students will be responsible for signing in the staff each morning upon arrival. While you are welcome to come in with them, it is not necessary. However, students will be dismissed individually by staff upon direct eye contact with the parent. Thus, it will be required that you come into the building for dismissal. If anyone other than a parent is picking up the child please inform the Program Director prior to pick up.

Q: What should students bring with them to daily class?

A: Students should come to class in clothes that allow them to move easily and as specified in the dress code above. They should bring lunch (non-perishable as there is no refrigeration), a snack, and plenty of water. They are discouraged from bringing anything of value such as money or electronics as they will be working in unlocked classrooms. 

Q: How does ticketing work for the final showcase performance?

A: Our final showcase performance will take place in the Roberts black-box theatre, and will be set up proscenium-style with approximately 117 seats. At the end of the first week those seats are divided amongst the participants (normally 3-4 each) and they turn in a sheet which lists how many people they would like in attendance. As some do not use all that are given, students who need more seats are often granted those “extras.” Those names/numbers are then approved and given to the house managers and checked off a name list when the theatre opens prior to show.

The SMTI Jr. 2018 showcases will be held Friday, July 27, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. If parents are attending the 3 p.m. showcase performance, they may take students home after the performance. Otherwise, students will be held until the regular 5 p.m. pickup.

For more information, contact the Hartt Community Division office at 860.768.4451 or harttcomm@hartford.edu.