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JumpStart Theatre

La Jolla Playhouse is pleased to partner with the Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) JumpStart Theatre program. The program equips non-theatre middle school teachers with the skills and resources to produce their school’s first musical through a proven combination of hands-on mentoring and boot-camp style training.EdTA, in collaboration with NYC-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI), created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year program which builds sustainable musical theatre programs where none previously existed, and aims to:

  • Engage as many students as possible in all aspects of theatre, preparing them for high school, college, and the workforce by instilling 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, problem solving, and creativity;
  • Provide a practical and effective path to implementation in underserved middle schools nationwide.

Schools are rigorously screened on multiple criteria, most notably, passion and commitment. Participant schools receive the materials, funding, expert training, and experienced teaching artist mentor support to produce one full-scale musical production each year on a three-year path to sustainable capability.


January 8 – February 23, 2018 – Applications accepted
March 2018 – Interview period for schools who have applied
April 2018 – Selected schools notified
May 2018 – Orientation for selected schools
Fall 2018 – Program begins at selected sites


Three teachers from each participating school are taught the techniques and skills to develop and manage a musical theatre program (everything from casting, to rehearsal schedules, to staging/choreography and technical requirements, to cultivating parent/community engagement, to achieving economic sustainability) through a series of three, full-day professional development “bootcamps” each year of the three-year program, plus an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an experienced theatre teaching artist.

Applications for participation in the 2018-2019 school year are due by Friday, February 23, 2018.

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“La Jolla Playhouse is known for – and deeply committed to – the development of new plays and musicals, and the JumpStart Theatre Program provides a terrific proven method of empowering teachers to produce musicals in their middle schools.”
– La Jolla Playhouse Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.

The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with approximately 125,000 active members whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. EdTA is home of the International Thespian Society, which has inducted more than 2.3 million students since its founding in 1929.The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) is the fundraising arm of EdTA, providing financial support to enhance theatre education and expand access to school theatre programs for every child.