Summer Musical Theatre Program

For 4th-12th grade students

Develop your skills in acting, singing, and dancing in a supportive environment of highly skilled, award-winning professionals and college faculty.

EMU Theater will host two three-week musical theater intensives, which will each culminate in multiple public performances of a major musical production. The junior program will perform a musical revue, and the senior program will perform a contemporary musical.

Junior Program (for rising 4th - 8th graders)

Explore musical theater in this three-week program culminating in multiple performances of a musical revue. No audition is required. 


Monday, June 26 - Saturday, July 15

The program will run Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM with final shows on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15 at 7:00 PM


$1,000 includes three weeks of instruction and rehearsal and two public performances.

Register and pay for the camp (no audition required)

The Registration is now closed.


Junior Program (After Hours)

In order to better accommodate parent/guardian work hours, registered participants in the Junior Program can avail of an after-hours program from 3:00-5:00 PM each day during the three-week junior program. During this time, students will watch and discuss classical movie musicals, play theatre games, and continue to interact with fellow students and staff members.


There is a $200 fee for the after-hours program.

Register for the Junior Program (After Hours)

Senior Program (for rising 9th-12th graders)

Explore a performance track or a technical theater track for three weeks culminating in the presentation of a major musical production on the main stage. 

Performance Track - You will engage in all morning classes and rehearsals and will perform on stage.

Technical Theater Track - You will engage in all morning classes. In the afternoon you will work with the costume designer, technical director, stage management team, and others to support the production in all technical areas. 

Audition Dates

  • Earlybird Auditions: Sunday, March 26th 1-3pm
  • Auditions: Saturday, April 29th, 1-3pm
  • Callbacks: Sunday, April 30th, 1-4pm


Monday, July 24 - Sunday, August 13

The program will run Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. 

Final show: The Addams Family
Friday, August 11, at 7:00 PM
Saturday, August 12 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday, August 13 at 2:00 PM


$1,200 (includes full days of instruction and rehearsal as well as three performances)

Register and pay for the camp

The registration is now closed.


Apply for Scholarship

There are need-based scholarships available for a limited number of students in the senior and junior programs. If you plan to apply for a scholarship, please do so before registering for the program. We will make decisions regarding scholarships by May 1st. Once we have determined financial aid, we will be in contact with recipients and send information on how to move forward with program registration. Senior Program participants will need to audition in order to be considered for a scholarship. Junior program participants do not need to audition to be eligible for a scholarship.

Click here to fill out the application


Email with any questions. 

About Us

Justin Poole, program directorJustin Poole, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theater and Theater Program Director
EMU Summer Musical Theater Co-Director and Theater Director
Justin holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland. Justin, along with his wife, Amanda, led a semester-long cross-cultural program to Europe, where Justin has spent significant time studying experimental performance and art. At EMU, he has directed The Spitfire Grill, The 39 Steps, Into the Woods, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Shrek:The Musical. Justin co-created and directed an original rock musical using Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the music of U2. He also adapted and directed Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring, and a Journalism Revolution. Justin co-created and performed Bonhoeffer: Cell 92, The Gospel Project, and Firebrand: The Life of Paul. As an actor, Justin has also appeared on national television shows and commercials. He is Artist-in-Residence at Asbury United Methodist Church, an oil painter, and a certified yoga teacher. He is a proud father to Vienna, Felicity, and London.
Ellie De WaalEllie de Waal
EMU Theater Resident Choreographer
EMU Summer Musical Theater Co-Director and Choreographer

Ellie is a multifaceted dancer and choreographer of theater, jazz, modern, and ballet. Her resume of choreography includes musicals, operas, plays and special events. Her works have been adjudicated by the Kennedy Center and selected for several festivals including the Richmond Dance Festival. Recently her piece "Mode" was selected for an emerging choreographers showcase in New York City. Her musical theater repertoire includes Off-Broadway's "Savage Force" and productions of "Mamma Mia!", "Shrek! The Musical", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Oliver Twist". Her skill set as a choreographer has been sought out by universities for both concert dance and musical productions. She also choreographed several operas including "Noye's Fludde" and a new opera song cycle “Still More/More Still” performed in Brooklyn, NY. She was a primary choreographer in concorDance Contemporary for two major projects and has presented choreography in all eight seasons with the Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative. Ellie choreographed and performed in her dance film "Embodying Emily", a creative imagining of a moment of self-reflection and illumination by Emily Dickinson which was recently selected for the Garet&Co Film Festival. She recently performed the role of Rita in "White Christmas" with La Comedia Dinner Theatre and looks forward to debuting new works with her company "EdW and Dancers" at "Re/turn", a collaborative showcase in Harrisonburg, VA.

Jim Clemens                                                                                                                                                                                  EMU Summer Musical Theater Music Director

In fifth grade, Jim performed as one of the gingerbread children in “Hansel and Gretel” at Goshen College in Indiana, the school where he later earned a degree in music. Throughout his school years and during the several decades since, he has been involved in dozens of shows as a rehearsal pianist, and performed on stage and in pit orchestras on various instruments. Jim also composes a variety of music, including songs and underscoring for musicals. At EMU, he wrote, arranged, and performed music for “Twelfth Night,” “Measure for Measure,” “The 39 Steps,” and “Distant Witness.” With Justin Poole, he co-created and performed in “The Gospel Project” and “Firebrand: The Life of Paul.” Jim has directed music for shows at EMU, James Madison University, and Eastern Mennonite School. He works as an accompanist and performer for shows, classes, and voice lessons at the School of Theatre and Dance at JMU.

Shannon Dove
EMU Theater Technical Director and Resident Designer
Shannon is a local grad of JMU and Broadway High School. He has been a scenic artist, master electrician, master carpenter, master painter, technical director, and overall crew chief at EMU since 2002. He has worked to produce theatre for various organizations at the college, community, and professional levels. In addition, he is currently scenic artist, co-technical director, and adjunct professor of theatre at Bridgewater College. Shannon is also an avid musician.
Rachel E. Herrick 
EMU Theater Resident Costume Designer 
Rachel is a JMU grad with a B.A. in theater and dance. While at EMU, Rachel
designs costumes, manages the build of costumes, and does much of the costume construction. Her EMU design credits include Measure for Measure, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Pride and Prejudice. Rachel spends her summers working with Charlottesville Opera, where she was wardrobe supervisor for The Tragedy of Carmen, and assistant wig supervisor for Camelot during the 2019 season. More information about Rachel’s credits can be found at

EMU Summer Theater Student Counselors

Hannah Landis 
Hannah is a third-year Spanish Language & Hispanic Studies and Writing Studies double-major with minors in Honors and Theatre from Sellersville, PA. In highschool she was part of many productions, her favorites being Much Ado about Nothing (Beatrice), The Sound of Music (Elsa), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator), and The Man Who Came to Dinner (Lorriane). At EMU she assistant-directed The Crucible, an invited production at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 2, 2023, and portrayed Reverend John Hale in the same show. Over the summer, she was a student director for the EMU Summer Theater Program productions of Mamma Mia and the Junior Musical Review. This spring, she will be participating in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Natasha) along with fellow student directors Greta and Thad–come check it out!
Greta Schrag 
Greta is a senior Political Science major with minors in Community Organizing and Development, Sociology, and Honors from Harleysville, PA. In high school, she was part of Dock Mennonite Academy’s productions of Newsies (Katherine) and The Sound of Music (Liesel). Roles at EMU include Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Natasha), The Crucible (Abigail Williams), Noye’s Fludde (Voice of God, assistant director), Anne and Emmett (Anne Frank), U2 Romeo and Juliet: An Original Rock Musical (Juliet), and Shrek: The Musical (Teen Fiona).

Thaddeus Jackson                                                                                                                                                              Thaddeus is a Senior Voice and Guitar Double major. In 2022 he was SM and PM for Venus and Adonis at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton. His most recent Theater roles include Emmett Till (Anne and Emmett), Stage Manager (Our Town), Paris ( U2 Romeo and Juliet), Reverend Parris (The Crucible), and The King (King and I). Thaddeus enjoys directing the vocal octet Voxti and his favorite hobby is annoying Dr. Benjamin Bergey. 

Text Here...
visit graphicVisit
apply graphicApply