FAQ for SMTI

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Summer Music Theatre Institute at Wagner College?
A: The Summer Music Theatre Institute gives high school students the opportunity to experience intensive, professional acting and musical theater training taught by working professionals within the context of a college environment. It is for the serious student who intends to pursue performing as a career.

Q: When does the Summer Music Theatre Institute begin and end?
A: Wagner College Theatre's SMTI actually begins Monday, July 14 and ends Saturday, July 26. This is an intensive experience where participants will receive instruction and training every day. Students should arrive on Sunday, July 13 to move into their rooms on campus in order to begin first thing Monday morning.

Q: Where does the Institute take place?
A: The Institute takes place on Wagner College's beautiful campus, located in Staten Island -- one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Q: What do I send in the way of audition materials?
A: We require an audition video/DVD that includes one monologue, either comedic or dramatic, and one song that shows you off to the best of your ability. We also require an essay, telling us in one single-spaced, (11 or 12-point font) page why you are interested in performing and why you want to attend Wagner's SMTI.

Q: How much does the Institute cost?
A: Tuition is $3200. That includes two weeks of intensive classes, visits from industry professionals, lodging and food at the college, a DVD of the final showcase, a professional head shot, and trips to Broadway shows.

Q: Who will be teaching at the Institute?
A: In addition to Co-Artistic Directors Susan Fenley and David Sisco (for more about Susan and David visit our contact page), the faculty of SMTI will include professionals from the Wagner faculty, alumni, and members of the professional theatre community in NYC.  You can find out all the latest updates once you have applied and are on our mailing list or by becoming a fan of SMTI on Facebook.

Q: What if I don't sing and/or dance?
A: Wagner College Theatre's specialty is musical theater. While your strength may be in one area, you will be expected to train in singing, acting, and dance. We will determine from your audition material whether you and the program are an appropriate match.

Q: What if I have no formal training?
A: We realize that most high school students, although they may have the experience of performing in shows, might not have formal training in singing, acting, or dancing. We are looking for talented individuals who have the drive to learn more about their crafts in a focused, intensive environment.

Q: Is there a performance at the end of the Institute?
A: Yes. Along with their classes and trips to Broadway, students rehearse for a culminating showcase that premieres on Saturday, July 26th. Parents and friends, as well as theatre professionals, are invited to this performance which will include musical numbers directed and staged during the students' study at the Institute.

Q: Are there scholarships available?
A: Not at this time.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Admission is by audition tape or DVD, and any high school student between the ages of 16 and 19 is eligible to apply. We are accepting up to 16 participants from around the world. Students are strongly urged to submit their applications early.

Q: Do students receive college credit for participating in the Institute?
A: Yes, for a minimal, additional fee of $250, students receive one TH106 college credit. College credits typically cost several thousand dollars each.

Q: Do participants have to reside on campus?
A: Yes. Due to the intensive nature of the Institute, we feel it is more professionally conducive for students to be concentrated on campus.

Q. New York City...is it safe? 
A. Wagner College is located atop a hill in Staten Island--in Grymes Hill, a neighborhood of historic turn-of-the-century estates and mansions-- which has a breathtaking view of Manhattan. Our 24-hour security personnel and surveillance cameras ensure protection for all students. Additionally, participants are fully supervised during classes and on trips to Manhattan. Wagner is as safe as it is beautiful.

Q: What shows in New York City will students see?
A: Shows will be determined depending on what is playing at the time, however we have seen musicals that include Evita, Spiderman, Newsies, and Memphis. Wagner alumni are performing in various Broadway shows and we hope to take students on to those shows and on behind-the-scene tours. We may view other Broadway plays and off Broadway productions as well. Shows vary in style, and will be age appropriate. We help students analyze and evaluate the shows in order to contribute to their growth as performers.

Q: What is the daily schedule?
A: Although the schedule each day may vary with visits from professional guest artists and trips to see performances, below is a Sample Weekday Schedule:   

Sample Weekday Schedule

 

Sample Day 1

8:00am Breakfast
9:00am Dancing: Jazz Workshop
11:00am Acting: Improvisation
Noon Lunch
1:00pm Acting: Scene Study
3:00pm Singing: Musical Styles
5:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Researching Showcase Songs & Scenes
9:00pm End of Day

 

Sample Day 2

Sample Day 1

8:00am Breakfast
9:00am Dancing: Tap Workshop
11:00am Acting: Improvisation
Noon Lunch
1:00pm Acting: Scene Study
3:00pm Singing: Develop Showcase Songs
5:30pm Dinner
6:30pm Trip to see Broadway show
11:00pm End of Day

 

Return to Wagner College

 

Q: Does the Institute include training for students interested in a technical theater career? 

A: No. Currently, the program includes only professional training for musical theater performers.

Q: How do I know that my application has been received?
A: You will receive an email confirmation from SMTI once your application has been processed.

Q: Tell me a little more about Wagner College.
A: Wagner College is a competitive, four-year private liberal arts college founded in 1883. Wagner is consistently ranked highly in the Princeton Review’s Top 20 lists for “Best College Theatre”.  Our Wagner Plan incorporates a longstanding commitment to the liberal arts, experiential learning, and interdisciplinary education. The campus is 105 acres of park-like hilltop that overlook the Atlantic Ocean, New York Harbor, and Manhattan. We have 23 buildings, including 3 residence halls fully equipped with fiber optic phone system that includes Internet, voice mail, and e-mail. More than 80% of our students live on campus. Wagner’s 1,850 undergraduates and 300 graduate students represent 40 different states and 13 countries. The most popular undergraduate majors at Wagner are Theatre, Biological Sciences, Business, Psychology, and Sociology. About 80% of our students overall receive Financial Aid.  For more about the campus and about Wagner College.