SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Some people perform on stage.

SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive

Are you dreaming of a summer where the stage becomes your world and every day is a step towards theatrical greatness? Welcome to the  SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive program! In this blog, we’ll take you behind the scenes where each note sung and every character brought to life is a testament to the magic of musical theatre.

Whether you’re a budding performer or a technical wizard in the making, SSTI is where your artistic aspirations turn into reality. So, grab your script, warm up your vocals, and step into the spotlight as we unveil what makes SSTI an unforgettable summer experience!

What is SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

If you’re passionate about musical theatre and eager to refine your talents, the Southern Summer Theater Institute (SSTI) offers an unparalleled opportunity. This prestigious program immerses you in a rigorous, professionally guided training environment focused on acting, singing, and dancing. You’ll learn from seasoned industry professionals, gaining insights that can only come from hands-on experience in the world of musical theatre.

a college dance troupe listening to their dance coach

The SSTI Experience: From Off-Book Arrival to Professional-Level Production

At SSTI, the journey for our students is both unique and exhilarating:

Full Preparation: Students arrive fully prepared, off-book, and ready to dive into the rehearsal process. This preparation sets the stage for a focused and efficient rehearsal period.

Three Weeks of Intense Rehearsal: Immediately upon arrival, you’ll be immersed in three weeks of rehearsals for a musical. This show is specially designed and crafted by New York professionals exclusively for SSTI students and enthusiastic local audiences.

Experience of a Professional Production: Often, the shows are double-cast, providing valuable insight into the life of a working actor. This arrangement offers:

  • An understanding of the expectations in professional theatre.
  • A realistic glimpse into the daily life of a performer.
  • The opportunity to experience different aspects of a production, whether you’re on stage or awaiting your turn.

a group of students hanging out inside a room

At SSTI, every student, irrespective of their age, is united by a singular ambition: to pursue musical theatre at the collegiate level. To facilitate this goal, SSTI ensures that each session is graced by professors from leading universities.

These experts not only coach students on audition material but also provide insightful answers to a myriad of questions about college-level musical theatre. In an exciting development in 2022, SSTI is enhancing this educational experience by incorporating some of these outstanding teachers into the directorial staff. This integration presents a unique opportunity for students to spend three weeks intensely involved in creating a musical guided by some of the most esteemed figures in the academic world of musical theatre.

Progressive Independence

At SSTI, they prepare you for college and beyond, setting a higher bar not just on stage but in everyday life:

Practical Life Skills: Every student participates in weekly grocery shopping trips, honing essential life management skills.

Self-Sufficiency in Daily Tasks: You’ll take charge of meal preparation and laundry, fostering independence and responsibility.

Time Management: Learning to wake up on time is a crucial skill you’ll develop, ensuring punctuality and discipline.

Technology Management: In today’s digital world, responsibly managing technology both at home and in a workplace setting is vital. They will guide you in mastering this balance.

a female high school student choosing from the best degrees posted on the bulletin

Why Should You Go to the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

SSTI is a vibrant hub where top professional theatre makers and educators from across the United States converge. These remarkable artists not only contribute to the most acclaimed Broadway musicals but also impart their knowledge at the nation’s premier schools, nurturing talents who later grace Broadway stages. They dedicate their summers to SSTI, recognizing the exceptional attention to detail, artistic excellence, and extraordinary potential within our students.

At SSTI, they craft productions that are a collaborative effort between these industry veterans and some of the brightest young stars in the nation. Their focus extends beyond theatre; we are molding future leaders who will excel in the arts and beyond.

They take pride in celebrating our students’ daily achievements, whether it’s mastering a new skill or earning accolades from their dream college professors. These triumphs, however, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Students walking with their teacher on the hallway.

The synergy between their exceptional staff and the passionate students who join them each summer is transformative. SSTI’s productions dazzle, their masterclasses challenge, but it’s their commitment to personal growth and fostering authenticity in these young individuals that truly sets us apart.

At SSTI, they treat each other like family. Each individual is celebrated and supported, forging lifelong bonds. They don’t just prepare our students for theatrical roles and behind-the-scenes expertise; they equip them for life’s journey ahead.

How Do You Get Into the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

Admission to SSTI is competitive, requiring a demonstration of both talent and dedication. You’ll need to prepare audition materials showcasing your abilities in singing, acting, and dancing.

Eligibility for SSTI Musical Theatre and SSTI Tech programs extends to current students in 8th through 12th grade.

SSTI offers programs that mirror the rigors and standards of a professional regional theatre. These programs cater specifically to high school students with a clear goal: to build a career in musical or technical theatre.

View of students talking on the chairs of a classroom.

If you’re deeply committed to this path and actively taking steps towards achieving your dream in the performing arts, SSTI is the perfect fit for you. However, it’s important to note that their programs might not align with the interests of students who enjoy musical theatre as a hobby or are looking to explore something new. At SSTI, they focus on nurturing dedicated and career-focused talents in the world of theatre.

In each musical theatre session at SSTI, they maintain a small group of just 25 students. This approach ensures a diverse age range among participants. The program has a unique appeal for students at different stages in their high school journey:

Long-Term Commitment: Many of the alumni start as 9th graders and return each summer, building on their skills year after year.

Senior Year Prep: Some students join the program in the summer before their senior year, focusing on sharpening their skills for college auditions.

Rising Freshmen: For younger students, working with a professor from one of the nation’s top universities can be both intimidating and an eye-opener.

Four unidentified students working on the stairs of a building.

Rising Juniors: For students about to enter their junior year, these masterclasses are exactly what they need – immediate, focused, and relevant to their goals.

Recent Graduates: For those who have just graduated, it’s a chance to refine their techniques and acting skills under the guidance of some of the industry’s finest teachers.

At SSTI, every age group finds unique value and opportunities for growth tailored to their stage in the educational journey.

The Unique Audition and Rehearsal Process at SSTI

Once you’ve secured your spot at SSTI, get ready for an audition process that sets them apart from other summer programs. Here’s what makes SSTI’s approach distinct:

Video Callbacks for Casting

Instead of on-site auditions, they conduct a series of video callbacks to cast the session’s musical. This innovative method not only enhances the quality of the production but also eliminates the pressure of immediate competition upon arrival. After all, in the professional world, performers know their roles before the first rehearsal – and at SSTI, they mirror this professional approach.

View of a woman using a laptop while studying.

Intensive Rehearsal Schedule

Brace yourself for an exhilarating three weeks under the guidance of our professional directors, choreographers, and musical directors.

  • Rigorous Rehearsals: The performers engage in eight-hour rehearsal days, six days a week. This fast-paced environment demands dedication and resilience.
  • Beyond Rehearsals: Your involvement extends to photoshoots, television appearances, and social media engagements. These activities are part of the comprehensive experience, preparing you for various aspects of a professional performer’s life.

At SSTI, you’re stepping into a realm where the rehearsal process is a serious commitment, reflecting the real-world demands of musical theatre!

A female student seated in a room with her laptop in front of her after

How to Apply to the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

Part One: Audition Video

Your introduction in the audition video is your golden moment to let them see who you truly are. Here’s how to make it impactful:

Be Authentic: This is your time to shine as yourself, not a character. They are eager to see your personality, far more than a rehearsed monologue.

Share Your Passion: Feel free to include a fun fact about yourself or express why theatre ignites your passion.

Enjoy the Moment: Relax and take pleasure in this opportunity to introduce yourself. Remember, They are rooting for you to succeed and want to see the real you!

View of a microphone placed on the stage.

Part Two: Vocal Audition

For the vocal portion of your audition, here’s how you can best showcase your talent:

Your Song Choice: Select a 32-bar piece that highlights your vocal strengths. Accompany it with a piano or a backing track. Feel free to choose a song from a show if it resonates with you.

Pre-recorded Performances: If you have a high-quality video of a past solo performance, such as from a recital or production, you can submit that. Ensure it’s a solo act that focuses on you, showcasing your skill level distinctly.

Quality Matters: If you’re unsure about the quality of your pre-recorded footage, it’s wiser to record a fresh piece specifically for this audition. This ensures that you present yourself in the best possible light.

Students acting in the stage

Part Three: Dance Audition

For the dance portion of your audition, here’s what you need to know:

Specific Choreography: They will provide you with a specific dance routine for your audition. This choreography is carefully chosen to help our staff gauge your movement and performance style. You may check the website for the instructional dance videos and musical tracks you need to follow.

Embrace Your Unique Style: Don’t let the dance audition intimidate you. Just be yourself and let your personality shine through your performance.

Diverse Dance Levels Welcome: SSTI students come with varying levels of dance experience. This combo is thoughtfully designed to be accessible and challenging for dancers of all skill levels.

This is your chance to show them how you interpret and execute dance, so enjoy it and let your talent flow!

A woman dancing

How Hard Is It to Get Into the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

Gaining admission to SSTI is a competitive process. However, it’s not just about raw talent. The admissions committee seeks students who show a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn, and a genuine passion for musical theatre. If these qualities resonate with you, you have what it takes to apply.

SSTI 2024 Tuition: An Investment in Your Theatrical Journey

The cost for this all-encompassing experience in SSTI 2024 is $6,975.

The SSTI 2024 experience means immersing yourself in a world-class musical theatre program for four weeks. Your tuition covers:

  • A comprehensive four-week SSTI Musical Theatre program.
  • Personalized coaching sessions with college professors.
  • A private bedroom in a modern, apartment-style residence.
  • Chef-prepared dinners every night, complemented by weekly grocery deliveries.

The good news is that SSTI offers the flexibility to split the tuition into manageable payments to ease the financial burden.

View of students sitting on the steps of the building.

SSTI’s Unique Scholarship Opportunities: Alumni Support for Aspiring Artists

At SSTI, they take pride in our self-sustaining model, solely funded by tuition without reliance on external grants or sponsors. This approach supports their exceptional staff, guest artists, and the high costs of producing top-tier theatrical productions. As a result, they offer a limited scope for broad scholarship programs. But there’s a silver lining:

Alumni-Driven Sponsorships: The SSTI family extends far beyond our current student body. Their network of alumni who deeply believe in the transformative power of the program sometimes step in to sponsor a student. These sponsors recognize the importance of nurturing talent and passion, especially when financial constraints are a barrier.

Targeted Assistance: Each year, they typically receive 4-6 such commitments. These sponsorships are specifically aimed at students who have the drive and talent but lack the financial means to join our summer training programs. This alumni support underscores the lasting impact of SSTI and the strong community we’ve built, dedicated to fostering the next generation of theatre talent.

Students performing on stage.

When Is the Deadline to Apply to the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

If you’re dreaming of a summer filled with theatrical growth and learning, mark this date on your calendar for SSTI 2024:

The application Deadline for SSTI Musical Theatre Production is March 3, 2024.

A Few Tips and Insights

Be Aware of Waitlists: Given the popularity of SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive and its other programs, waitlists are common. It’s wise to apply early to secure your spot!

No Early Admission for 2024: To ensure a fair and inclusive process for all applicants, SSTI will not offer Early Admission for the 2024 session. This decision is aimed at providing equal opportunity for every aspiring participant.

Flexibility Is Key: If you have the ability to attend multiple sessions, SSTI recommends indicating your interest in alternative session options in your application. This increases your chances of experiencing the magic of SSTI, even if your first choice is fully subscribed.

a male and female adult dancing in an artistically lit studio

When Do I Find Out About My Application to the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

Applicants usually receive notification about their admission status on March 11, 2024.

Where Is the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

During the occasional breaks from the bustling world of musical theatre at SSTI, performers have the unique opportunity to explore one of the most picturesque locales in America–Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

These leisure hours are filled with activities that allow you to soak in the area’s natural beauty and cultural charm. You can unwind on the serene beaches of Hilton Head Island, a perfect retreat to relax and refresh. Or, delve into the enchanting atmosphere of downtown Beaufort, turning every campus visit into a journey of discovery and appreciation of a new part of the country.

Outdoor adventures are a regular part of the schedule too, offering you numerous chances to engage with the stunning natural surroundings and the vibrant local culture. These experiences at SSTI are designed to complement your theatrical training, giving you a holistic experience that extends beyond the stage and into the beauty and culture of the South Carolina coast.

a group of students doing a high five

The Unmatched Resident Life Experience at SSTI

At SSTI, the resident life experience stands out as unparalleled in the industry. Here’s what makes it so special:

Comfortable Living Spaces: Both technical participants and performers stay in four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments located on a college campus, offering a real taste of college life.

Learning Independence: Under the guidance of our resident assistant staff, students embrace the responsibility and accountability that comes with ‘living on their own’. This environment fosters a sense of independence, which is crucial for personal growth.

Balanced Support: While they promote ‘graduated independence,’ SSTI staff is always available to assist, especially for younger students. They’re there to help everyone feel at ease and navigate the nuances of self-accountability.

Convenient Transportation: The SSTI team ensures daily transportation to and from activities in shuttle vans, making commuting hassle-free.

This blend of comfortable living, independence, and supportive staff makes the SSTI resident life experience a truly unique and enriching part of your theatrical journey.

An actor in a theater without any viewers yet.

When Does the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive Take Place?

SSTI 2024 Program Dates: Your Guide to an Unforgettable Summer

Session 1: Musical Theatre Production and SSTI Tech (Hilton Head Campus)

June 3: Arrival day for all cast and crew members.

June 21: The much-awaited Opening Night.

June 30: The final matinee performance, followed by cast and crew departure.

Session 2: Musical Theatre Production and SSTI Tech (Hilton Head Campus)

July 8: Cast and crew members arrive for a new session.

July 26: Opening Night for the second session.

August 4: The session concludes with a closing matinee performance and check-out for all participants.

Remember, each session offers a unique experience, so choose the one that best fits your interests and schedule!

Smiling students of yale happy about their social life

How Long Is the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive?

The SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive lasts for three weeks. The duration of the program is designed to provide a comprehensive experience without overwhelming participants. Spanning several weeks, it balances intensive training with enough time to absorb and apply new skills.


It’s clear that the SSTI’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive program shapes not only your artistic abilities but also your personal growth and understanding of professional theatre. At SSTI, you’re not just learning to perform; you’re immersing yourself in a comprehensive theatre education. From expert-led workshops to real-world performance experiences, every aspect of SSTI is designed to ignite your passion and propel you toward your dreams in the world of musical theatre.

Actors and actresses rehearsing with theater director on the stage.

Whether you’re taking your first steps in this field or looking to hone your skills before college, SSTI provides an unparalleled platform. You’ll collaborate with like-minded peers, learn from industry professionals, and live in an environment that nurtures both your talent and independence.

Get ready to take the leap and dedicate your summer to achieving new heights in musical theatre; SSTI is the place to be! Develop your artistic prowess and also gain invaluable life skills and friendships that last a lifetime!

Looking for expert advice on pre-college program applications? Think about partnering with college admissions experts like AdmissionSight. With a wealth of experience, we have guided countless students toward securing places in prestigious universities around the world. Begin your educational journey today – schedule a consultation with us now!


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