MILLBURN, NJ — Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts-Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, will hold auditions for students to be a part of the their prestigious Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and August Musical Theater Intensive for 2020 on Saturdays, February 1 and 8, at Montclair State University, College of the Arts/Life Hall, 1 Normal Avenue, in Montclair. 

Students who earn coveted spots in the July Conservatory in the Senior (ages 15-18), Junior Plus (ages 13-14), and Junior companies (ages 10-12) are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill’s professional artistic staff in a fully produced, original concert at Paper Mill Playhouse on July 31 and August 1, 2020, titled New Voices of 2020: Oh, the Places We’ll Go! The concert is the culmination of the five-week program.

Summer Professional Training Programs and New Voices are supported by Investors Foundation.  Paper Mill Playhouse Education and Outreach programs are proudly sponsored by The Goren Family and The Harmony Helper App.

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An audition appointment is required.  To request more information or to schedule an audition appointment please email summer@papermill.org or call (973) 315-1666. For audition guidelines and other important information, click here.

“Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and August Intensive are two of the finest young artist professional development programs for musical theater in the United States,” stated Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director. “It is amazing to see these young performers learn, grow, and improve themselves toward becoming professional artists and demonstrate that in a performance produced by leading industry professionals.”

As one of the nation’s leading regional theaters, Paper Mill Playhouse has a well-earned reputation for bringing new works to Broadway stages. Since its inception in 1996, the Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory and the New Voices Concert have ignited the careers of many notable performers.  Conservatory alumni include Academy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Tony Award winner Ali Stroker (Oklahoma!), TONY award nominee Rob McClure (Mrs. Doubtfire), Jelani Remy (Ain’t Too Proud), Olivier Award nominee Jared Gertner (The Book of Mormon) and Shanice Williams who played Dorothy in NBC’s The Wiz Live!.  For the full list of notable alumni, click here

Conservatory alumna Julia Knitel, who played the role of Carole King on the national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, remarked, “Growing up, I was always in the ensemble. That was where I’d feel comfortable because I love being a team player. That’s one of the things that was so great about being at Paper Mill Playhouse, because in their Conservatory you had an equal amount of dancing, singing and acting training every day. I got a great foundation for being a team player and ensemble member and serving a production. The producers and creative team of Beautiful saw in me something they couldn’t find elsewhere.” 

The Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory is a program of rigorous study allowing students to enhance their individual performance potential while developing a broad base of theater experience and knowledge. Students participate in intensive classes including musical theater performance, acting, dance, private voice lessons, and improvisation, while also attending guest workshops led by professional actors, directors, and casting directors.  The Conservatory offers the unique opportunity for gifted and talented young performers to work at their own level and challenge themselves to achieve new goals and learn new skills. Key to the curriculum is the development of self-discipline, respect, and a commitment to excellence that will serve these young artists throughout their lives. The final weeks are devoted to rehearsals for the annual New Voices Concert. Also appearing will be winners and nominees of the 2020 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards presented by the Investors Foundation, who win scholarships to attend the Conservatory.

Noted Broadway talent agents, casting directors, and musical theater university heads flock to New Voices every summer.  Victoria Kress, Youth Theatrical Agent at Abrams Artists comments, “I’m always super excited to head to Paper Mill Playhouse for their New Voices show! Having trained some amazing performers, I know this night will prove to be no different! It’s one of my best scouting fields trips of every summer.”  Nora Brennan, children’s casting director for MatildaBilly Elliot, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, agrees, “The kids were great, the show was fun and entertaining, and the material was tailored so that each student could shine. Well done!”  Paper Mill’s professional casting partner, Telsey + Company, attends annually and often offers workshops for our advanced students.

“From the first day of class all the way through opening night of New Voices, we require our students to rise to the demands of this rigorous program,” stated Lisa Cooney, Paper Mill Playhouse Director of Education.  “We ask them to work harder than they ever have before as young performers, and we strive to build an incredible ensemble company, while each student hones their own individual performance skills.  Our faculty pushes the students to believe in themselves as professional artists and treats them as such.  We find summer after summer that our students meet our expectations and more.  When they move on to college or the professional world, they are ready for the challenges they’ll face, and time and again they thrive and ultimately live their dream of being a professional performer.  It’s gratifying when they make a name or themselves on Broadway or in Hollywood, but even if they do not, the skills they learn and the work ethic they develop will serve them in any field.”

Students can also audition for the theater’s August Musical Theater Intensive Program. This three-week program (August 3 to 21) allows performers between the ages of 10 and 17 to build foundational techniques, explore their own abilities, and refine their skills. Intensive students do not perform in the New Voices Concert; rather, the Intensive classes prepare a musical theater showcase performed in the Mickey McNany Black Box Theater. The focus of this program is on strengthening skills and building self confidence in a non-competitive environment. Accepted students are placed in one of two sessions according to age. The small class size in each session allows for individual attention and instruction from the faculty.

The Summer Professional Training Programs and New Voices are supported by Investors Foundation.  Paper Mill Playhouse Education and Outreach are proudly sponsored by The Goren Family and The Harmony Helper App.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Michael Stotts (Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters.  Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. For additional information, please visit www.papermill.org.