Letter from the President - Broadway Theatre Project

Dear friends,

I am delighted to announce that I have recently been appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Broadway Theater project (BTP) at Florida State University, where last summer I served as Director of Music and oice. I accept this appointment with great excitement for the upcoming summer and I wanted to share with you this news and some information on BTP. 

Created 24 years ago by the legendary Ann Reinking (after the success of Chicago), the BTP is now run by Ann’s longtime associate choreographer, Debra McWaters. Playbill has called Broadway Theatre Project “the world’s most prestigious musical theater arts education program for high school and college students.” 

We gather together 75–100 of the nation’s top musical theater students (ages fifteen and over) and offer them three weeks of intensive In addition to the workshops and classes master-classes and workshops. It is the most rigorous Broadway “Boot Camp” in existence. BTP’s list of past guest artists is a “Who’s Who of American Musical Theater” and includes many of the industry’s best. Our resident faculty includes many high profile professionals in dance, acting and voice, all of whom have committed to working with our apprentices for the full three weeks of the program. In short, it’s going to be a fantastic summer!

In addition to the workshops and classes offered by both the guest artists and resident faculty, BTP produces a full-scale Broadway revue at the end of the three-week session, consisting of the musical scenes and dances assembled during the rehearsal period. Last year’s show featured works by choreographers such as Christopher d’Amboise and Melissa Thodos, as well as musical numbers from Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, with original cast member Annie Morrison in the role of Mary. 

With non-stop classes and rehearsals from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM, BTP is an explosively creative experience. Each member of the resident faculty offers at least two scenes, dances, or musical numbers for inclusion in the final performance.

Faculty members collaborate with each other in each selection. A director, choreographer, and/or music director are chosen in a sort of adult version of “duck, duck, goose,” and work together to put the scene forward. It is in this model of on-the-spot (and under-the-gun) professional collaboration where all the magic

From out of the air comes something that can take your breath away or make you weep.

How does all of this relate to NYSTA? Well, if any of your students are interested in attending BTP this summer, please contact me directly. Also, please have them visit the BTP website at www.broadwaytheatreproject.com, where they will find an online application on which they should list NYSTA and your name as
a reference.

Thank you all for your inspiration and support. As Stephen Sondheim so eloquently put it, “the art of making art is putting it together.”

David Sabella-Mills

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