I had a chance to connect with some of the fine folks at The American Musical Theatre Academy of London and New York to chat about what makes their programs so unique. If you are a college grad ready to enter the profession but need some further guidance and connections, or you’re an aspiring musical theatre performer looking to train at a conservatory – be sure to check out AMTA’s Preparatory Program or their Professional Development Program. Check out their insightful answers below to gain some valuable insight into AMTA:
Can you tell me a bit about your two different locations – NYC and London? What opportunities are unique to each?
We have always had an American edge on the way that we train and in our ethos, it made sense that the next natural step was to harness that and open a school across the pond in NYC. Having the connection between the 2 biggest theatre districts in the world allows us to bridge the gap and bring together talent and relationships, something we’ve noticed that has not been done before.
We already have a proven track record in London and after being open for 5 years now we can boast of students working in major musicals, films, tv programs, commercials and cruises.
Both cities have their own unique selling points, not just necessarily from a musical theatre perspective but also from a cultural perspective. In London, of course, we have access to the West End, to the National and the RSC and have experts in not only musical theatre but also Shakespeare and other iconic British playwrights available to teach. In New York there is endless scope for learning from Broadway professionals and celebrities whom we have contacts with.
Can you tell me a bit about the difference between your Preparatory Program and the Professional Development Program?
The professional development program is an intensive program in a conservatory setting designed for college grads or individuals with previous training, or performing experience. This program is ideal for those who intend to enter the profession upon completion. We have a simple goal: to get you ready to go into the industry as a working performer at the end of your year. We will push you to the appropriate level and then introduce you to the people who can change your life.
The preparatory program is a foundational program for aspiring musical theatre performers who wish to train in a dedicated conservatory. If you are looking to transition to a degree program, this program will give you the best chance at success. Or maybe university isn’t for you and you just want a gap year to see what’s possible. Either way this practical training will get you ready for your next step. Designed for those who want an intensive program in a no pain – no gain environment. Whether you are fresh out of high school or are just looking to finally hone your skills and go to the next level in Musical Theatre, this program is for you.
What Master Classes or Special Programs do you hold throughout the year that are unique to the training at AMTA?
We have a vast network of experienced performers, directors, casting agents and other industry professionals and we often bring these people in to provide a masterclass or come in as a guest spot to teach our students. As an example, the London academy recently welcomed Christopher Key, the associate director of Les Misérables London and Worldwide to come in and give a masterclass to our students. He was able to watch the students perform and give critique as well as answer a q&a session.
One of the main features about training at AMTA is that no matter which country you are training in you will get the opportunity to go and train at our other academy whether that is in New York or London. You will get to meet and train with our professional faculty on both sides of the Atlantic as well as work with students from both schools.
As well as putting on a big end of year musical and other workshops and performances, AMTA holds a professional panel session where we invite the industry’s top agents and directors to come and see the students perform each in their individual turn. This gives the students a chance to show off what they can do, and give them their own private 2 minutes with these incredibly influential people. We find this is much more successful for the students as the normal showcase will not highlight the students individually.
What are some of your alumni up to?
Book of Mormon, Shrek, The Lion King, Godspell, Hairspray, Angelina the Ballerina, Seussical The Musical, Rent, Urinetown, Disneyland Paris, Jungle Book Tour, Miracle on 34th Street Tour, Casualty, BBC’s Doctors, EastEnders.
Why should a student choose to study with you?
If you have what it takes to make your dreams a reality, we are ready to help you use your unique talents and our no pain no gain mentality will really help push you to reach your full potential. When you succeed here with us, we succeed. We have a wealth of experience at our fingertips and we are eager to be able to share that with you. At AMTA you are exposed to the industries finest, not just in New York but also in London and you will be taught by both Broadway and West End professionals. The American Musical Theatre Academy is more than just a performing arts school; we are a family, and we can’t wait for you to join us.