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Musical Theatre: Acting Techniques

When it comes to performing a song on a musical theatre stage, everything begins the moment the music starts—which may be before you sing a single note. When you do hit that note, you need to be “in it,” fully engrossed in the narrative arc of the story from the moments before the song begins to what happens immediately afterward. 

Musical theatre performance requires skills in both singing and acting. The singer in you pays attention to all the musical aspects of the song, while the actor in you studies the story, the character, and what they are trying to say—then personalizes this story so that you get inside the character. 

In this course, you will learn the essential elements of successfully performing a song for musical theatre. Together, we will explore the lyrics and music of selected songs, along with the acting techniques that lead to a truthful performance. You will learn how text and music work together to tell a story and how to make clear, specific acting choices that will resonate with your audience.

What you will learn:

✔ Apply acting techniques to develop complex characters with specific circumstances for your song performance 
✔ Analyze music and text to develop a clearer understanding of the story 
✔ Make specific acting choices in your performance to communicate a clear and compelling story 
✔ Develop and maintain a repertoire (rep) book for auditions that will showcase several musical theatre styles

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What you need to participate:

  • Computer or mobile device with Internet. Internet speed must be at least 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload. For students using a mobile device, download the Canvas mobile app and select “Interlochen Online” as your school.
  • Audio device to play an accompaniment track, separate from the device you will be using to participate in the course
  • Three-ring binder for printed sheet music used for auditioning and performance, with three or more section dividers and 10 clear plastic sheet protectors
  • Two songs from musical theatre that you feel are "audition ready"

How the course works:

Interlochen Online courses are designed to be inspiring and flexible, with weekly learning units that combine video segments and guided instruction that you can complete on your own schedule during the week. You will interact regularly with your teacher and peers inside the learning environment. 

You can also participate in an optional weekly hour-long video class meeting, where you can learn from the teacher and interact with your classmates in real-time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete a survey indicating your preferred times for the class meeting. The teacher will make every effort to identify a meeting time that works for everyone. The teacher will also post recordings of the meetings and you can view them when it is convenient. 

The goal is that you walk away not only with practical skills and friendships, but with inspiration and motivation to pursue your art and realize your potential.

Upcoming Course Dates

April 1 - 26, 2024 | Teen and adult sections

May 6 - 31, 2024 | Teen and adult sections




Teens: Grades 7-12

Adult Learners: 18+

Future Sessions

Academic Calendar

Peggy Trecker White

Instructor of Theatre

Questions? Speak with an Advisor.


Phone: 231.276.5990 

You can also schedule an appointment.

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