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JumpStart Theatre


The JumpStart Theatre program creates sustainable theatre arts programs in middle schools where there previously were none.  Participating schools are chosen through a rigorous application process and receive training, materials, and budget support to produce their first full-scale musical production. The support continues for three years until the program becomes self-sustaining.  Non-theatre teachers are equipped with skills and resources to produce their school’s first musical through a proven combination of bootcamp style training and hands-on mentoring. The Educational Theatre Foundation operates JumpStart Theatre through a national network of regional theatre company partners who are selected based on their track-record of success in running educational programs for children. JumpStart Theatre partners are:

Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Ga.; La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, Calif.; Mountain City Center for the Arts, Frostburg, Md.; Stages St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.; The Children’s Theatre, Cincinnati, Oh.*JumpStart Theatre (JST) is a program of the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF).  In collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI), the Educational Theatre Association created JumpStart Theatre with a pilot program in Cincinnati in 2015. Today ETF manages the program, iTheatrics provides the training and teacher mentors, and MIT provides the showkits.

*Original pilot site


MCCA, a performance arts studio in Western, MD, is pleased to partner with the Educational Theatre Foundation’s (ETF) JumpStart Theatre program as part of their 2019 expansion.  MCCA’s unique geographical location in the Tri-State area allows JumpStart Theatre to extend its reach into more rural areas of the country.  The program equips 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. ETF, in collaboration with NYC-based companies iTheatrics and Musical 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



Mountain City Center for the Arts (MCCA) is pleased to welcome Northern Middle School (Accident, MD), Southern Middle School (Oakland, MD) and Turkeyfoot Valley School District (Confluence, PA) Sailsbury Elk Lick School District ( Sailsburg, PA), Aurora Elementary  School (Aurora, WV) and Romney Middle School ( Romney WV) as our Jumpstart Programs. 


How it works:

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.

Training & Ongoing Mentoring:

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 “boot-camps” each year of the three-year program, plus an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an experienced theatre teaching artist.  


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