Program Overview


This 3-week pre-college program for rising high school juniors and seniors develops the abilities of experienced performers who are serious about musical theater and eager to work hard. Focusing on process more than product, we will focus on developing the technique and skills needed for singing, acting, and dancing in Musical Theater. Faculty members from the renowned Syracuse University Department of Drama will engage with students in varying online formats, with an eye toward helping students choose appropriate material for college admission auditions.

Students in the Musical Theater at Syracuse program will:

  • Gain a strong understanding of the work entailed in the rigorous Syracuse BFA program
  • Improve skills for collegiate auditions
  • Grow in creativity and confidence as performers
  • Expand curiosity about and knowledge of the musical theater repertoire
  • Find joy and rewards in the processes and outcome of their work

Learn more about Musical Theater:

Program Dates, Times & Details  Eligibility Requirements  Program Cost  Program & Technology Requirements  Typical Day  Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

3-week Session I: June 29 – July 17, 2020
Duration: 3-weeks
Live (Synchronous) Session Times: MTWThF; 12noon – 6:00 pm EST


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail

Class Size

Class size is dependent on the number of enrolled students and the program capacity. Please email Summer College if you would like to know the number of students in this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2020 high school graduate. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.


Audition Requirement

Students are required to submit audition pieces with their Slideroom Application. Auditions should include the following video submissions:

  • Two contrasting songs (each approximately one-minute in length)
  • One age-appropriate monologue

You should be the only person seen on the video. Submission of high school or other group productions is not admissible. The audition is submitted online with your application via SlideRoom. Instructions are provided in the application.

Each component of the audition should be approximately one minute in length. You should be the only person represented in the audition. Submission of high school or other group productions is not admissible. The audition is submitted online with your application via SlideRoom. Instructions are provided in the application.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Online ONLY: $2,500

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarship are also available.

Program Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Reliable internet access
  • A  laptop or desktop computer with webcam and audio
  • A smartphone or tablet for playing audio tracks

Student Expectations

Students in the Musical Theater program are expected to:

  • Display a commitment to the ongoing development of the physical instrument
  • Possess the ability to communicate effectively and clearly with teachers, and fellow students
  • Come to synchronous class with imagination, creativity and a willingness to explore
  • Identify personal physical and aesthetic challenges, habits, tendencies
  • Demonstrate professionalism in attitude and behavior

This is a rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete brief nightly assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all synchronous classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all obligations. Free time will be limited.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students will be required to attend a virtual synchronous class Monday – Friday from 12noon – 6:00pm EST. A number of evening workshops will also be included.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Events and Activities page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Rebecca J Karpoff

Rebecca is a Professor of Musical Theater Voice and Assistant Program Coordinator for Musical Theater at Syracuse University.  A soprano with a DMA from the Eastman School, she has sung in opera, symphonic concerts, chamber music, recitals, and cabaret around the world.  For the past 15 years, she has specialized in Musical Theater vocal technique as coordinator of Vocal Instruction in the Department of Drama, where she teaches courses on vocal physiology and health, musicianship skills, private voice lessons, and Advanced Musical Theater Repertoire. She has also directed and/or music directed numerous Department projects, from established full-length musicals to new works, devised works, and student cabarets.

Andrea Leigh-Smith

Andrea is a Professor of Dance and Program Coordinator for Musical Theatre in the Department of Drama at Syracuse University. With the Department of Drama, Andrea currently teaches classes in Jazz, Musical Theater Styles, and Musical Theater Repertoire, specific to Jerome Robbins. Beyond the confines of Syracuse, Andrea’s credits include the Broadway companies of SMILE and Jerome Robbins Broadway. She has numerous credits with national tours, Radio City Music Hall, and major regional theaters in both the U.S. and Canada. Andrea is a founding company member of The Building Company Theater, and The Irondale Ensemble Project Canada. Andrea has created numerous choreographic works, inclusive of contemporary concert, jazz, and musical theater repertoire. She is a founding faculty member of The Ballet and Dance Center in Syracuse and a certified Stott/Merrithew Pilates instructor.