Musical Theater Performance Workshop

Aspiring young performers, ages 13-19, are selected by audition for this four-week intensive training and performance program. Under the direction of Education Director Brian McDonald and a professional faculty, participants study vocal technique, dance and acting, and apply what they have learned in rehearsal for a musical which is mounted on the ETC stage. This year’s production is the high-octane 50’s pop musical Zombie Prom: Atomic Edition.  



Book and Lyrics by John Dempsey / Based on a story by John Dempsey & Hugh Murphy / Music by Dana P. Rowe / Adapted by Marc Tumminelli

ZOMBIE PROM: ATOMIC EDITION is a 60-minute  girl-loves-ghoul rock ‘n’ roll musical is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal-seeking reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour. History comes to his rescue while a tuneful selection of original songs in the style of 50s hits keeps the action rocking across the stage.

DELIAH STRICT – School Principal; icy and hard on the outside with a heart of gold. (Should have good comic timing – think Carol Burnett or Bette Midler)
TOFFEE – Senior; Good girl from the right side of the tracks.  Hopelessly in love with Jonny. (Sweet and funny – think Gidget or Sandra Dee)
CANDY – Senior; Nervous and hyper. Always chewing her nails.  (Think a young Marge Simpson)
COCO – Senior, Coco isn’t bad, she’s just drawn that way. (Think Jessica Rabbit with a dry wit)
GINGER – Senior; Class nerd, sweet and means well but she verges on annoying. (Think Gilda Radner)
JONNY WARNER – Senior, Good kid from the wrong side of the tracks.  Sincere and funny. (Think Ross from “Friends”)
JOEY – Senior; Class Jock. Big, handsome and dumb. (Think “duh…”)
JOSH – Senior; The class geek.  Aspiring journalist. (Think Pee Wee Herman without the weird voice)
JAKE – Senior; Probably voted the most popular.  He’s sweet and personable and is deeply in love with Candy. (Think Richie from “Happy Days”)
EDDIE FLAGRANTE – Newspaper Journalist; opportunistic tabloid reporter who roots for the underdog and “justice” in the end. (Think Geraldo Rivera but with Kevin Klein’s comic appeal)
ENSEMBLE – Assorted Parents, Secretaries, Copy boys, TV Floor Workers and Singers.

Training and Rehearsals
July 19 – August 12, 2021
Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm
August 13 7pm
August 14 10am, 2pm, 5pm & 8pm
August 15, 2pm and 7pm


Our hope is to perform the production for a live audience at the New Vic. We anticipate having to limit our seating capacity for social distancing. Given that, we have chosen to present the 1-hour version of the show so that we can add more performances to accommodate as many patrons as possible while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. 

Tuition: $950 

Covers all material, and includes a show DVD and YAC T-Shirt.
Merit and need-based scholarships are available. 

Due to the current social distancing regulations, we are asking everyone to submit a video audition. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is MAY 15, 2021.  Simply click on the “REQUEST AN AUDITION” link below and follow the instructions for video submissions. 

Although we encourage all students to audition, it is important to note that this is an advanced theater arts training and performance program. Acceptance is limited and based on the quality of your audition, as well as the level of experience and potential.


Once you have requested an audition, you will receive access to the audition material. 

Performance Information

Once our 2021 summer production has been determined we will post a character breakdown here.

BRIAN MCDONALD (Director) is an award-winning actor, director and educator. He appeared in the National Tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid. Regionally, he appeared on the stages of the Denver Center, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Miranda performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and the Ahmanson. As an actor, Brian was honored with many awards, including the Ventura Mayors’ Award for Emerging Artist, LA Weekly’s Best Supporting Actor Award and an Independent Awardfor his most recent performance in the one-man-show, Buyer and Cellar. Brian also directed for various regional theaters including 7 Angels Theatre Company, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Rubicon Theatre Company. For Rubicon, Brian directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of A Charles Dickens’ A Christmas CarolA Tuna ChristmasThe Sunset LimitedBus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), MASTER HAROLD… and the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards Including Best Play) and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by Tony-nominated, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner, Cheri Steinkellner. He also conceived and directed the critically acclaimed holiday musical review, A Rubicon Family Christmas. Brian’s work as a director has earned him an Independent Award and StageScene LA Award for Best Director.

Once our 2021 summer production has been determined we will post a synopsis here.

Once our 2021 summer production has been determined we will post a musical numbers here.

Once our 2021 summer production has been determined we will post performance information here.

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