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STATE! Musical Theatre Summer Program

Immersive theatre training!

Summer Theatre Artistic Training Experience (STATE) is an intensive two-week musical theatre summer program for high school students about to enter 11th or 12th grades


To give focused and talented young artists a two-week immersion in collegiate musical theatre training at Penn State. Students will get a sample of the rigors of artistic training as well as an idea of the unique components of integrated training that are the hallmark of Penn State Musical Theatre. Practical classes and advice in navigating the college audition process as well as the professional musical theatre industry will also be included.


Students will train with Penn State faculty, guest professionals, and noted alumni in all three areas of musical theatre (voice, acting, dance). Individualized attention and private instruction are also included. Days also include the integrated approach to musical theatre unique to Penn State through studio classes. Evenings include master classes, cabarets, and a menu of offerings for the serious musical theatre student.

Program Details

We are planning to hold the 2022 Intensive in person. However, if we must move to an online format we will update this page as soon as the decision has been made. 

  • Dates: June 26 – July 8, 2022
  • Cost: $2850 (Includes instruction, private lessons, master classes, housing, and food)
  • Participants: 30–35 (Acceptance is by audition; students interested in applying should be entering the 11th or 12th grade in Fall 2022)

Information for Parents

Musical theatre summer campers gathered around an instructor in Penn State's Pavilion Theatre.
Musical theatre summer camp students dancing in Penn State's Pavilion Theatre.
Smiling and laughing STATE musical theatre summer camp participants posing for a group photo on a green lawn on campus.
Four STATE musical theatre summer camp participants striking poses for a group photo by Penn State's Recital Hall.

Applying for STATE!

Deadlines and Decisions

Applications will be accepted from January 1 – March 1, 2022. Decisions will be sent via Acceptd the week of March 14, 2022.

The registration and health forms will be due – along with payment in full – by April 1, 2022.

Application Materials

All students interested in applying online for the Musical Theatre Intensive at S.T.A.T.E. must submit the following via digital upload at the Penn State Theatre Acceptd website.

  • Headshot/Photo
  • Resume
  • Four video clips (requirements follow)

Video Requirements

  • Acting: A memorized monologue no longer than ninety seconds from a contemporary script.
  • Voice: Two contrasting vocal pieces (no longer than one minute each). One ballad, one uptempo. One of your songs must be written prior to 1970. Please use live or recorded accompaniment.
  • Dance: 30-60 seconds of dance, in whatever dance discipline you are most comfortable with: tap, jazz, ballet, modern, African, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary. No barre work. Please stick to vocabulary and steps you are familiar with and can execute well. We just want to see where you are in your dance training. Give us a minute of what will show us YOU through your dance.

Submit your application via Acceptd

All materials must be uploaded no later than March 1, 2022 to be considered.

Apply now on Acceptd

For questions or more information contact Shannon Ritter

Important Program Details

Policies + Procedures

Important Information for Parents
Please read the standards of conduct (Adobe PDF) before submitting your registration.

Parents of accepted students who submit the registration form will receive confirmation by email.

If your request to withdraw is received at least 15 business days prior to the first day of the program, we can issue a partial refund. Send your written request by fax to 814-863-5190 or by email to A $50 administrative fee will be charged for each withdrawal.

For legal reasons, the University cannot release the names or phone numbers of other participants, not even to those who want to carpool.

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the conference planner at 814-863-5100 at least two weeks prior to your arrival.

Medical Information

Staff members will refer medical emergencies and illnesses to University Health Services or the Emergency/Outpatient Department of Mount Nittany Medical Center. A parent or guardian must sign the “Medical Treatment Authorization” portion of the registration form to grant permission for any medical attention required during the program.

Health Notice
Please help lessen the spread of any contagious diseases. The exclusion of ill persons from public, school, and group gatherings is key to lessening the spread of illness. If you are ill, please remain at home during your illness and recovery. If you have a fever (100˚ F or higher), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting contact with others until you have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.

For additional information, visit Penn State’s University Health Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or the American Camping Association.

Medical Fees and Insurance
The University does not provide medical insurance for campers.

In the event of illness or injury requiring treatment, hospitalization, or surgery, family medical insurance must be used. Parents or guardians will be billed directly for any medical care given at University Health Services, Penn State Hershey – State College Orthopaedics, or Mount Nittany Medical Center.

University Health Services does not have contracts with any health insurance companies and does not send bills to insurance companies. Patients will receive an itemized bill at the end of a visit and will receive a statement from the University Bursar as well.

The University urges that participants be covered by some form of personal medical insurance. Be sure to provide your insurance company’s information where indicated on the registration form.

The parent(s) or guardian(s) of a participant requiring medical treatment at University Health Services, Penn State Hershey – State College Orthopaedics, or Mount Nittany Medical Center will be notified of the treatment within 24 hours. We know how important timely notification is for insurance claims, so it is extremely important for you to list the following in the designated areas of the registration form: the numbers of your daytime phone, home phone, and cell phone, and your family physician’s name and phone number.

Location, Travel + Housing

This program will be conducted in classroom facilities on Penn State’s University Park campus.  Camp participants will reside in the Penn State residence halls while the camp is in session.  If campers arrive prior to the first day of camp, or need additional lodging after the camp concludes, those additional arrangements for lodging are the responsibility of the camper.

Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life offers a secure and friendly environment for youth. The residence hall community also offers an excellent atmosphere for fun, learning, and growth.  University policy requires that youth groups provide a minimum of one staff member for every 8 residential campers age 9 through 14 and one staff member for every 10 residential campers age 15 through 17. Residential counselors must be 18 years or older, of the same gender as the participants, and are required to successfully complete background clearance and mandated reporter training. The housing office also provides one conference assistant per building for youth programs. Our conference assistants can help participants who need directions, experience homesickness, have roommate issues, etc.

All residence hall areas have television lounges and pay laundry facilities. Pay phones are available in the commons areas. Bed linens are provided. Participants should bring the following items:

  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase
  • Blanket
  • Soap
  • Towels
  • Clothes hangers
  • Portable fan
  • Alarm clock,
  • Other personal items

Attendees may indicate one roommate preference on the registration form. Each roommate must list the other on their registration form. Listing a roommate preference does not guarantee enrollment of the roommate in the program. If no preference is indicated, a roommate will be assigned.

Each hall has 24-hour door-card access for assigned residents. Only residents can access the hall. The doors are always locked.

Because the security and safety of youth participants are important, youth attendees must be in their assigned residence halls by 11:00 p.m. University-student auxiliary police monitor the residence halls and surrounding areas overnight.

Additional information about drop-off and pickup, and other important logistics, will be provided by email to enrolled campers and their parent or guardians about 2 weeks before camp starts.


By Air: The State College/University Park Airport (airport code: SCE) is located near the conference site. Call 814-865-5511 or visit the State College/University Park Airport website for information on flights.

By Car: The Penn State University Park campus is located within driving distance of many major cities, including Harrisburg (1.5 hrs., 90 mi.), Pittsburgh (3 hrs., 137 mi.), Philadelphia (3.5 hrs., 194 mi.), Baltimore (3.5 hrs., 155 mi.), Washington, D.C. (4 hrs., 190 mi.), New York City (5 hrs., 250 mi.), and Toronto (6.5 hrs., 304 mi.).

See our Visitors and Neighbors website for detailed visitor information, including maps.


Faculty for our STATE. program will be updated as we get closer to our Summer 2021 program, but will likely include both current faculty members in the School of Theatre at Penn State, as well as alumni and other industry professionals.


  • John Simpkins, Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State
  • Cecil Blutcher, Acting
  • Gwen Walker, Voice
  • Raymond Sage, Voice
  • Michele Dunleavy, Dance

Past Guest Artists and Master Class Instructors Have Included

  • Joe Iconis – Tony-nominated writer of “Be More Chill”
  • Lauren Marcus – Broadway performer
  • Maria Wirries – Broadway performer, Penn State Musical Theatre alumnus
  • Rachel Hoffman – Casting Director, Telsey and Co.
  • Talia Suskauer – Broadway performer, Penn State Musical Theatre alumnus
  • Ixchel Cuellar – Broadway performer, Penn State Musical Theatre alumnus
  • Nathan Lucrezio – Penn State Musical Theatre Alumnus and Broadway performer
  • Natalie Weiss – Penn State Musical Theatre Alumna and star of YouTube hit series “Breaking Down the Riffs”
  • Jason Sparks – Penn State Musical Theatre Alumnus, Broadway Choreographer
  • Mary Saunders-Barton – Penn State Musical Theatre Voice Faculty (Retired)
  • Beth Burrier – Music Director
  • Adam Jepsen – Penn State Musical Theatre Alumnus – “Frozen”, Broadway
  • Paul Jordan Jansen – Penn State Musical Theatre Alumnus
  • Sean McKnight – Dance Masterclass
Two STATE musical theatre summer camp participants performing in a small group.
A musical theatre summer camp student performing in Penn State's Pavilion Theatre.

About Penn State Musical Theatre

The Musical Theatre B.F.A. degree program is an intensive pre-professional training program with alumni working around the country and the world.

Our faculty is made up of artists dedicated to both the profession and the academy. As working actors, dancers, music directors, choreographers, and directors, we bring our students Broadway, national tour, regional theatre, and film and television experience. With a ratio of thirteen faculty to forty-nine students, the training is individualized, specific, and demanding.

Students accepted into the program will receive specialized training in singing, acting, and dance. In addition to this training, Penn State Musical Theatre offers signature initiatives like the New Musicals Initiative (which commissions musical theatre writers to write for our students), the Master Class Series, and our unique Musical Theatre Wellness Center – which assists our students in the areas of Mental, Physical, Vocal, and Nutritional Health during their training.