Beginning Monday, January 15, 2018, St. Louis area middle schools may submit applications to be considered for the JumpStart Theatre Program, a three-year fully funded musical theatre program sponsored by STAGES St. Louis, the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), home of the International Thespian Society, and the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF). Three middle schools will be selected to begin the program in the 2018-19 school year.

The JumpStart Theatre Program equips non-theatre teachers with the skills and resources to produce their school’s first musical through a proven combination of hands-on mentoring and boot-camp style training. Because of their success in producing Broadway-quality productions over its 32-year history, and its commitment to performing arts education through the STAGES Performing Arts Academy, STAGES St. Louis was chosen as one of two theatre companies in the country to spearhead the initiative in their cities, offering mentorship, training and guidance to the selected schools. La Jolla Playhouse was selected to launch the JumpStart Theatre model in the San Diego area.

The application is open to all St. Louis metro area middle schools, both public and private. Selection criteria includes the commitment of a minimum three educators from each school who will remain dedicated to the program for the duration. Previous theatre experience is not required.

Schools will be mentored by STAGES Performing Arts Academy teaching artists throughout the entire program with the goal of building a sustainable, long-term musical theatre curriculum. When asked about the ideal applicant, STAGES Executive Producer and Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) National Board of Trustees member, Jack Lane, responded, “The ideal institutions are those with dedicated leadership who have a passion for and a commitment to arts education as well as an understanding of how a school arts program contributes to student success in and beyond the classroom. We are excited to work with non-theatre teachers and equip them to maintain their own theatre program for many years to come.”

Applications will be available on the STAGES St. Louis website beginning January 15. The application period runs through February 15. Applications received after this date will be notified and advised to apply for the 2019 school year. All applications will be reviewed, and schools selected to move forward will be notified by March 15. Site visits and interviews will be scheduled at that time with a final selection to be completed and announced by April 1, 2018. Questions regarding the JumpStart Theatre program and application process may be addressed to Tali Allen, STAGES Performing Arts Academy Director of Education & Outreach, at spaajumpstarttheatre@stagesstlouis.orgM

Via Press Release