The Music Theatre Academy at Laurier is a unique technique-based course offered each May at WLU
May 6th - 24th, 2019
This three-week professional training program is designed for classically-trained singers who want to hone their skills in acting, dance and belt/mix vocalization.
Successful applicants will attend classes Monday through Friday in acting for stage and screen, Body-Mapping, microphone technique and appropriate dance styles.
Regular lessons, coachings and master classes with crossover voice teachers will develop healthy belt/mix techniques. Instructors will join us from The Stratford Festival, Sheridan College, WLU's Faculty of Music, and more.
Dorm accommodation is available for out-of-town participants.
Comprehensive Level ($950.00)
Voice Master Classes
Group Dance Classes
Group Acting Classes
Advanced Level ($1350.00)
Includes all Comprehensive classes, plus;
Private voice lessons (3 hours)
Your choice of private dance or acting lesson (1 hour)
Elevated Level ($1850.00)
Includes all Comprehensive classes, plus;
Private voice lessons (6 hours)
Your choice of private dance and acting lessons (3 hours)
Beckett School at Laurier
Faculty of Music, WLU
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, N2L 3C5
Audition information: One song in any musical theatre style and one monologue is required. Digital audition submissions will be accepted starting on February 1st and close on April 1st.
Successful applicants will be notified by email.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
The Music Theatre Academy will take place at Wilfrid Laurier Faculty of Music, 75 University Ave. W., Waterloo, ON., with performances at The Jazz Room in Waterloo.
Our faculty members are the best in the business, who have dedicated their performance experience and skills to training and teaching the performers of the future.
Amanda Brunk, Artistic Director
Amanda Brunk is a cross-over voice teacher with a special interest in vocal health and rehabilitation. Her curiosity for the mechanics of singing and speech has taken her to study the fields of voice pedagogy, voice therapy and speech internationally. Amanda adjudicates regularly for classical, choral, pop and musical theatre categories. from coast to coast. She is an executive board member of the Ontario chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a published author for the NATS Journal of Singing.
Amanda teaches Contemporary Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University and maintains a successful crossover studio in Waterloo. Her voice students have gone on to perform throughout Canada, on North American tours and in Broadway shows. As conductor of the Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir for eight years, Amanda led the choir to win competitions nationally and internationally, and to perform with grammy-winning recording artists and rock groups.
A passionate advocate for the education and inspiration of young artists, she developed the concept for the Music Theatre Academy at Laurier, an intensive three-week performance program for pre-professional emerging artists where she teaches contemporary voice techniques to classical singers and sits as the Artistic Director. Amanda is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Singer's Theatre, a summer music theatre training program that attracts singers from across North America. She has also served as vocal director for various cruise lines.
Corey Agnew, Acting
Corey just returned from directing Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables in Mexico City. He is currently the Associate Director of the U.S. National Tour of Les Misérables, having previously worked as the Resident Director of the production in Australia, on the U.S. National Tour and for Mirvish in Toronto. After working as the Resident Director of the U.S. Tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda, Corey returned to Mirvish to work on the Toronto production. Corey has had the great pleasure of working with Sir Richard Eyre as both a Resident Director and Children’s Director on his production of Mary Poppins (Broadway, Australian Premier, 1st and 2nd U.S. National Tours). Other favourite credits include The Sunshine Boys (Soulpepper Theatre) and Robin Hood (Elgin Theatre) both with Canadian director Ted Dykstra.
Stephanie Higgins, Voice Clinician
Soprano Stephanie Higgins, currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Voice at Shenandoah University’s unique music theatre program. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto after a Master’s Music in Vocal Performance at l’Université de Montréal with Quebec Soprano, Gail Desmarias. She received her Bachelor of Arts, double Honours Music and Drama from Bishop’s University in 2008. Throughout the course of her education, she has performed Despina in Cosi fan Tutte, Paquette in Candide, and Laurie in The Tender Land. She has had the honour of creating the role of Juliet in the world premiere of George Rideout’s The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet, as well as Puck, in A Beatle’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most recently Stephanie has had the pleasure of working with Toronto’s acclaimed Against the Grain Theatre, as well as traveling to Lucca, Italy, to perform the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
She is known for her energetic stage presence, her sensitive ability to communicate with colleagues and audience members alike, as well as the warmth and clarity of her natural soprano sound. She believes we are the sum of our experiences; therefore, an education that focuses on change, variety and individual experimentation makes for open-minded, well-rounded students. She wants to engage students in learning music through such methods that blend instruction with student autonomy.
Marie Baron, Audition Clinician
For the last 15 years, Ms. Baron was the Head of the Vocal Discipline in the Music Theatre-Performance Program at Sheridan College. She has conducted workshops in Music Theatre Performance throughout Canada and continues to work with professional theatre artists in her Toronto studio. Some of Ms. Baron’s favourite musical roles include Sarah in Guys and Dolls (Stratford Festival), Amalia in She Loves Me (Grand Theatre, London), Lady Audley in Lady Audley’s Secret (Shaw Festival) and Jenny in Company (CanStage, Toronto).
The successful meeting of Ms. Baron and Gilbert and Sullivan began at the Stratford Festival with leading roles in The Mikado, The Gondoliers and Iolanthe. These productions were filmed and televised on C.B.C. and HBO. She reprised her role as Yum-Yum in The Mikado on tour in Canada, the United States, The Old Vic in London, England and on Broadway.
Jake Simons, Acting
Jake Simons has over 25 years of performing experience has been teaching for 15 years. He has 25 theatre credits, 40 film and TV credits and has shot over 40 TV commercials. Some highlights include: a two year run of Dirty Dancing at The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto where he played the lead character Johnny Castle; Johnny Cash in the Ring of Fire at the Charlottetown Festival; The Fonz in the Canadian premiere of Happy Days the Musical (Stage West); Riff in West Side Story at Stratford; Song and Dance at Theatre Calgary; Hoopz (a Disney produced play about The Harlem Globetrotters in New York); three Pantomimes at the Elgin; recurring roles on the TV series Degrassi and Metropia; a supporting role playing Cuba Gooding Jr.s' cop partner in the feature film Sacrifice and the role of the Dad in American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight.
He is a trained dancer having studied tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop and modern dance. As a dancer and choreographer he toured with several Juno-nominated Canadian pop singers, performed on the NHL Awards and was a member of the Inaugural Toronto Raptors Dance Pack.
Rachel Crowther, Dance
Rachel is a passionate and highly experienced performer who has worked throughout the country training, teaching, adjudicating and performing. Training at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she has been dancing, singing and acting since a young age, and performing in theatre and television across Canada and the United States. Being a gold medal winner, representing Canada with the National Tap Team in Germany and an Edge L.A scholarship winner further encouraged her to pursue dance professionally. She went on to study post secondary at Ryerson University in the theatre/dance program, as well as receiving certification in Arts Education from York University, and continues to perform throughout the country. Rachel is the Co-Founder and Artistic Producer of NorthCore Productions and calls Stratford home. Credits include: 42nd St, Pirates Of Penzance, Music Man, Fuente Ovejuna, Oklahoma (Stratford Festival), Bomb Girls (Global), Producers, Funny Thing…(Mirvish), Cinderella (The Grand Theatre), White Christmas, How To Succeed…, Sweet Charity, Robin Hood, Brigadoon, High School Musical, Cinderella (Drayton Entertainment), Drowsy Chaperone (Theatre Calgary), Joseph.., Chorus Line, Sweet Charity (Stage West) Singing In The Rain, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin (Stirling Festival Theatre).