Are you an aspiring or early-career musical theater creator? IAMT is proud to offer the country’s first Musical Theatre Creation certificate program, an innovative 2-year intensive experience for composers, lyricists, librettists, and directors of musical theater.
Led by Kleban-Award-winning lyricist-librettist Sam Carner, this program will offer you mentorship by some of New York’s top musical theatre developers. And it will introduce you to other passionate, talented writers, composers, directors (and hyphenates), a community of collaborators with whom to enter the business. With a direct affiliation to the IAMT performance program, you’ll also work closely and regularly with a diverse group of talented young performers who can help give expression and voice to your work--both within the program and beyond.
The program balances a dedication to treating you as your own unique artist with a commitment to providing you with a solid framework in the history and present of musical theatre structure and style.
Over the course of the two-year program, you’ll be involved in the creation and development of many musical theatre songs and scenes, all culminating in your own complete musical. Through varied collaborations and intimate fundamental training, you’ll develop your technical tool-kit, enrich your understanding of the musical theatre form as a whole, learn important practical and bankable skills for making a living in the business, and hone your own distinct creative voice.
Musical theatre is one of the world’s most collaborative art-forms, demanding that artists with widely different specialties develop a common language. So, while we give you tools and time to specialize in the specific aspect of musical theatre that most excites you, we’ll also give you training in far-reaching aspects of the form, giving you the knowledge you need to work meaningfully with your fellow creators.
Who will my teachers be?
Alongside Sam Carner, our esteemed faculty will include composer-lyricist Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, Scotland PA), composer-lyricist Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop, Teeth), composer Anna K. Jacobs (Pop, Teeth), Lonny Price (A Class Act, Best Worst Thing That Could Ever Have Happened, Company, Sweeney Todd), composer Derek Gregor (Unlock’d, Island Song), musical supervisor Brad Haak (Mary Poppins, Daddy Long Legs), director Marlo Hunter (American Reject, Saved By the Bell: the Musical), musical director Andy Collopy (Lightning Thief), and other Broadway professionals still being confirmed.
What classes will you offer?
The full array of classes and units are still being determined—and will continue to develop over the course of the 2 years, but they will include:
-Musical Theater Creation Workshop (a weekly collaborative lab)
-Principles of Musical Theater Structure and Aesthetics
-Musical Theater Composition
-Working With Performers
-Logistics and Approaches to Creative Development
Additional attention will be paid to more philosophical and political questions of being a creative artist in our current moment as well as other fundamentals of musical theater.
What will the academic calendar be?
This 2-year program will be comprised of four 15-week semesters, commensurate with traditional academic calendars (fall semester running from August 31 through December 17, spring semester running from January 25 through May 21). The second-year may extend into late spring, depending on the presentation details of final projects.
What will the class schedule be?
The class schedule is subject to slight changes every week, as the experience will be a combination of full-semester classes and shorter units. Generally speaking, the classes would be held Monday nights (5:30-10 or 11), Tuesday nights (5:30-10 or 11), some Wednesday evenings (5:30-7 or 8), Thursday nights (5:30-10 or 11), and Sunday daytimes (10-4 or 5).
What sort of portfolio will I come out of the program with?
You can expect to leave the program with a 2nd draft of a full-length musical (created collaboratively in a 2-3-person team), a collaborative 20-30-minute one-act musical, and a number of “trunk songs” from various assignments, some of which could stand alone for cabarets and concerts. You can also expect to have a handful of partially-developed material from exercises that can be developed into more complete material in your own time.
What degree does the program offer?
The program currently offers a certificate of completion.
How much does the program cost?
Annual tuition is $18,000 per year.
Is financial aid/scholarships available?
IAMT can offer student loans/tuition with financing options directly through the Institute. We also offer a limited number of partial scholarships based on need and merit.
Where will classes be held?
Classes will be held at the Institute for American Musical Theatre, 3835 Broadway 2nd Floor @ 160th St. in Washington Heights.
Is housing available?
IAMT has a relationship with Bohemia Realty who can help you to find nearby apartments at significantly reduced brokers fees. Students often end up spending $700-800 per month for apartments that are shared with fellow IAMT creator students or students from the Musical Theatre program and they are all within walking distance of the school.
What will the workload be?
Some individual classes will have moderate reading, listening, and small exercises, amounting to as much as 2-3 hours of work per class per week (often much less). The most significant work will be collaborative assignments, which will be presented each week. The time commitment for each of these assignments is quite variable, but it would be wise to budget 15-25 hours in time for collaboration, individual work, and rehearsal/preparation.
Can I have a job while in the program?
It would certainly be possible to have a part-time job while in the program, and you will not have class during weekday daytimes, Fridays, or Saturdays. However, given the combination of 20+ hours of weekly class time and 20+ hours of out-of-class work, maintaining a full-time job will be a real challenge.
Is there an application fee?
We charge a $50 application fee to help cover the cost of review by a 3-person panel of industry professionals..
When is the application deadline?
We have a rolling admissions policy, and spots will fill up, so we recommend getting your application in early. That said, our final application deadline will be July 15, 2020 (for the class entering that September.
Do I need musical theatre experience to apply to the program?
You do not need to have written musicals or to have performed in musicals to complete this program, so long as you have a significant interest in creating the form and understand that musical theatre does involve a number of conventions that you will be expected to master over the course of the 2-year experience.
Am I expected to attend all classes? Can I take this program remotely?
Given the collaborative nature of much of the work, you will be expected to be in town and available in person for all classes and projects. We certainly understand that emergencies and important opportunities come up and can accommodate a very limited number of absences, but these will need to be approved and negotiated. Frequent absences will result in dismissal from the program.
Top-Level Industry Faculty on the Cutting Edge of the Business
Our teachers have won all the top awards in musical theatre writing and are all working at the highest level of the business, both on and off-Broadway. They care deeply about musical theater and creating what’s next in the field--and they’re doing it right now. But they also care passionately about teaching and their students. IAMT Creators provides faculty with a unique combination of creative genius, analytical skills, and passion for paying it forward.
Unique Affiliation With the IAMT Performing Program
Our program allows a weekly opportunity to work with the next generation of musical theatre performers—students at the IAMT performance program—to develop your work. Not only do you get the chance to hear and understand your work through the instruments of talented young singers, but you’ll also be making connections with Broadway’s next generation and developing your own skills in working with singers.
Affordable Full-Time Program
Other musical theater writing programs charge more than twice what we do for tuition or provide a once-a-week experience. We want to set you up for success now, and in the future; we are dedicated to providing our students a full immersion in the field while not saddling you with years of debt.
Ideal Program Size
Designed for a group of 12-20 students, we can give you all the hands-on personal attention you need while providing you with a large enough community of colleagues that you can find the collaborators you vibe best with. You won’t get lost in the shuffle, and you won’t be trapped on a “desert island.”
Collaboration Between Directors and Writers
Musical theatre creation is a collaboration that transcends words and music. The director adds an important guidance and vision, yet many directors in the business haven’t learned how to be part of the process. We’re working (a) to train the next generation of musical theater directors about how to collaborate with writers and (b) build connections now between writers and directors who can enrich the work.
Bankable, Practical, and Critical Thinking Skills
Although the program’s primary focus is to training you as a musical theater creator, we’ll also provide you with tools to make a living in the business and navigate life as a creative—and we’ll also foster analytical and critical thinking skills that will enrich all aspects of your life and career.