Summer Musical Theatre Program

For 4th through 2024 High School graduates

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 theatre 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 through 8th graders)

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


Monday, June 24 - Saturday, July 13

The program will run Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM with final shows on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 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)

Deadline for Registration: June 14, 2024

Senior Program

(for rising 9th through 2024 High school graduates)

Explore a performance track or a technical theatre 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 Theatre 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

When: Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
Where: EMU's Mainstage Theatre
(Please prepare 16-32 bars of a contemporary song with accompaniment material/s, score for the pianist, and a 30 second monologue. Dress for movement.)

When: Sunday, April 28 from 1:00-4:00 PM
Where: EMU Mainstage Theatre
(Dress for movement. There will be a fun, no stress dance call!)

Required Sing Through
There will be a required sing through of Seussical on Monday, April 29th from 6:00-8:30 PM. (This is a new requirement. Please reach out if you have any questions.)

Program Schedule

Monday, July 22 - Sunday, August 11

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

Featured show: Seussical the Musical
Friday, August 9, at 7:00 PM
Saturday, August 10 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday, August 11 at 2:00 PM


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

Register and pay for the camp

Deadline for Registration: July 12, 2024


Applications are now closed.

There are need-based scholarships available for a limited number of students in the senior and junior programs. 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.


Email with any questions. 

About Us

Justin Poole, program directorJustin Poole, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theatre and Theatre Program Director
EMU Summer Musical Theatre Co-Director and Theatre 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 Theatre Resident Choreographer
EMU Summer Musical Theatre Co-Director and Choreographer

Ellie is a multifaceted dancer and choreographer of theater, jazz, modern, and ballet. Her choreography resume 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, Versatility Dance Festival, unKempt Dance Festival, garet&co. Film Festival, and Emerging Choreographers Showcase NYC. Her musical theatre repertoire includes Off-Broadway's Savage Force and productions of 42nd Street, 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 has choreographed several operas including Noye's Fludde and a new opera song cycle Still More/More Still performed in Brooklyn, NY. She was a choreographer for concorDance Contemporary for two seasons and has presented choreography for many years with the Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative. She recently performed as a featured dancer and hot box girl swing in Guys and Dolls with the Charlottesville Opera and looks forward to debuting new works with her company EdW and Dancers at several festivals in showcases in NYC in 2024.

Jim Clemens                                                                                                                                                                                  EMU Summer Musical Theatre 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 Theatre 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 Theatre 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


Hannah Landis
EMU Theatre Production Manager 
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 Theatre Program productions of Mamma Mia and the Junior Musical Review

Thaddeus Jackson, Student Counselor                                                                                                                                  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 Theatre 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. 

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