Overtures 2014 | Signature Theatre

Overtures 2014

Photo of “Overtures” 2013 by Dennis Deloria.

Signature Theatre’s Musical Theatre Institute

The 2014 Overtures Showcase will perform in the MAX Theatre on June 28 at 11AM. Seating is free and general admission. No reservations are available.


Interested applicants are invited to wait on standby on March 22 at 10 AM, however, there is no guarantee they will be seen. Those interested in Overtures are encouraged to set up an appointment for April 12 or to send in an electronic video submission.

Signature Theatre, recipient of the 2009 Tony Award®, is nationally recognized for its definitive Sondheim productions, inventive re-imagining of classic or lesser-known works and investment in new musicals through the American Musical Voices Project.

Overtures is dedicated to the nurturing and training of emerging musical theater performers. Founded by Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and choreographer Karma Camp, The Musical Theatre Institute is held at Signature’s state-of-the-art, two-theatre facility just minutes from downtown Washington, DC. A unique experience for a select number of college students and recent college graduates, this two-week intensive, professional training program provides rigorous and comprehensive instruction in vocal and performance technique, dance, acting and audition skills.

Photo of Instructor Karma Camp by Dennis Deloria. 2010.


Overtures is under the direction of Matthew Gardiner, Signature’s Associate Artistic Director, choreographer and Overtures co-founder Karma Camp, and professional actress, Tracy Lynn Olivera. The faculty has Helen Hayes award-winning actor Nova Y. Payton; musical director, Darius Smith; and award-winning actor, director and teacher Mitch Hébert.

Master Classes are taught by distinguished theatre professionals and associated Signature artists

Guest instructors have included:

  • Tony Award® winners Harriet Harris, Donna McKechnie, Michael Rupert and Marsha Norman
  • Broadway performers James Barbour, Hunter Bell, Heidi Blickenstaff, Matt Bogart, Carolee Carmello, Marc Kudisch, Norm Lewis and Emily Skinner
  • Composers Jeff Bowen, Zina Goldrich, Ricky Ian Gordon, Marcy Heisler and Richard Maltby
  • New York Casting Directors Stuart Howard and Tara Rubin
  • NBC Producer Dean McFlicker

Photo of “Overtures” 2010 by Dennis Deloria.


This year, Overtures will take place over two weeks: June 16 – 21 and June 23 – 28, 2014. Overtures meets six days per week from 10:00am to 9:00pm with the final showcase performed on June 28. The curriculum includes daily classes in dance, acting and vocal performance, as well as individual one-on-one sessions. Master Classes with notable professionals are scheduled regularly. The final Master Class provides students with an opportunity to audition for professional casting directors and receive personal feedback on their audition.Evening rehearsals are held to prepare for the end-of-session showcase presented in Signature’s MAX Theatre, June 28. Subsequent performances of the showcase are scheduled at Signature’s annual Open House.

Tuition & Housing

Tuition for 2014 Overtures Musical Theatre Institute will be $1,750. If housing is needed, please contact overtures@signature-theatre.org to discuss options.


Fellowships are available for applicants with special circumstances. A limited number of full and partial tuition fellowships are made possible by individual donors and organizations such as the Weissberg Foundation. Fellowship funds can also be awarded for travel, housing and per diem expenses. Applications for Fellowship assistance can be submitted beginning March 3, 2014. All fellowship applications must be received by the March 31, 2014 deadline. Fellowship awards will be made by May 7, 2014.

Click here for the application form.

Photo of “Overtures” 2010 by Dennis Deloria.

To Apply for Overtures

Auditions will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue,Arlington,VA 22206.

Audition appointments can be scheduled beginning Monday, February 24, 2014. To schedule an appointment, or for more information about the audition, contact Education Director, David Zobell at 571 527 1854. Audition appointments must be made in advance.

DVD & Electronic Application

If you cannot attend an on-site audition, you may apply by submitting a DVD or electronic video that includes:

  • At least 32 bars of two contrasting songs, performed with an accompanist, and
  • A dance routine or a movement exercise that demonstrates your ability to move with music.
  • Audition DVDs & videos must be accompanied by:
    • A letter of intent describing your interest in attending Overtures, and
    • A headshot and résumé with detailed training and performance experience.

Mail DVDs with accompanying materials to:
Education Department, Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206.
For electronic submission: Email your letter, headshot, résumé and a link to your uploaded YouTube video to overtures@signature-theatre.org.

Audition material deadline: Monday, April 7, 2014.


Notification of acceptance will be mailed no later than April 14, 2014. To insure your place on the roster, a non-refundable deposit of $250 is required no later than May 5, 2014. The tuition balance of $1,500 is due by June 2, 2014. Any additional cost for housing must be paid on or before June 16, the first day of Overtures. Any student under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian authorize the student’s participation in the program. Every participant is required to submit proof of health and accident insurance on or before June 16, 2014.

For Further Information

Contact Signature’s Education Department at 571 527 1854 or overtures@signature-theatre.org.