The Musical Theatre Intensive

What does our Performance Training look like?

Supervised by the renowned, award-winning actor/director Brian McDonald and a seasoned faculty, this intensive 1-week program is tailored for aspiring musical theatre actors seeking a collegiate-level training experience. Each day commences with an in-depth exploration of vocal techniques and performance skills, laying the groundwork for artistic growth and creativity. In the afternoons, students delve into chosen songs, guided by a curriculum emphasizing vocal mastery, character depth, and stage charisma. The program culminates in a grand showcase wherein students showcase their progress and dedication to a captivated audience of supporters. Tailored for individuals with an unwavering passion for honing their musical theatre prowess and aiming to pursue a path in the theatrical world, this intensive serves as a launchpad for committed performers to enhance their talents and refine their artistry.

Dates: July 22 – 27, 2024
Times: Monday through Friday 10am-3pm
Performance: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

New Students Only: Admission to our program is exclusively based on an audition process for new students.
Returning students who have previously been part of an ETC program are not required to audition and proceed to enroll at any time.

Ages: 14 to 22
Requirements: Previous performance experience is helpful for those interested in participating.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced 

Tuition: $450 (Students participating in both The Acting Intensive and The Musical Theatre Intensive can save $100 off their total tuition cost)
Tuition covers all materials needed for the duration of the program.

This includes:

  • Young Actors Conservatory T-shirt
  • Student headshot
  • A video of the final presentation

Families seeking assistance covering tuition costs are invited to apply for a scholarship.

Scholarship Application


Refund Process:

  • All refund requests must be submitted in writing via email to or postal mail to the Director of Education. ETC Education P.O. Box 2307, Santa Barbara, CA 93120.
  • Refunds will be processed within 10 business days from the date the request is received.

Refund Eligibility:

  • Full Refund: A full refund of the registration fee will be provided if the refund is requested before the specified deadline which is two weeks before the program start date.
  • Partial Refund: After the deadline, refund requests may only be considered in case of extenuating circumstances, such as a medical emergency or a family crisis. The Director of Education will review such requests and determine the eligibility for a partial refund.
  • No refunds will be issued for missed days of program due to illness, family vacations, or personal reasons.
  • No refunds will be granted to students dismissed from a program due to disciplinary actions or violation of program rules.
  • If ETC cancels a class or program, a full refund will be issued, excluding the registration fee.

We believe these policies will enhance transparency, streamline the refund process, and ensure a positive experience for all involved parties. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact us at

Instructor Bios

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald (ETC Director of Education and Outreach) 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 Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Miranda Performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center, Rubicon Theatre Company and the Ahmanson.

Brian has been honored with many awards, including the Ventura Mayors’ Award for Emerging Artist, LA Weekly’s Best Supporting Actor Award and an Independent Award for his most recent performance in the one-man-show, Buyer and Cellar.

Most recently, he directed It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at ETC. Other directing credits include the critically acclaimed world premiere of A Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Other Desert Cities, A Tuna Christmas, The Sunset Limited (with Joe Spano and Tucker Smallwood), Bus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), MASTER HAROLDand the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards Including Best Play) and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by 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. He is a graduate of Boston Conservatory and a member of Actors Equity Association, The Screen Actors Guild and The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

THOMAS CRAIG BUCKLEY (Musical Director / Vocal Coach) has cultivated a diverse career spanning from Opera to Musical Theatre. Renowned for his adaptability both on and off stage, Buckley has showcased his talents across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as in Europe. As a Countertenor, he has portrayed roles in works by Handel and Mozart, in addition to solo recitals and performances with various orchestras. His expertise extends to Musical Directing with work in regional theatres and cruise lines both in the US and throughout Canada. Notable productions are Cats (Royal Caribbean Productions), Legally Blonde, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Buckley’s contributions also extend to the realm of education and innovation. For five consecutive summers, he contributed to the esteemed Stagedoor Manor, where he had the privilege of musical directing the world premiere of Heathers: The Musical: School Edition in collaboration with Samuel French Licensing. Alongside productions, Buckley curated courses for young artists including but not limited to vocal technique for all levels, repertoire coaching and audition preparation. Further adding to his accolades, he conducted the world premiere of Ian Dicke’s opera Roman with the Synchromy Festival utilizing both live and virtual AI generated musicians. Throughout his career, he has had the privilege of collaborating with leading performers and conductors in both the opera and musical theatre industries in both educational and performance settings. Buckley holds a degree in Sacred Music/Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College and a Masters of Arts in Theology from Northwestern University. 

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