JumpStart Theatre Update 51: Atlanta Announces New Schools

By Ginny Butsch posted 09-30-2019 00:00


A program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools that currently have none.

This is a series of monthly updates about the JumpStart Theatre pilot program launched in Cincinnati, Ohio.
If you'd like to receive JumpStart Theatre updates by email, contact JumpStartTheatre@schooltheatre.org. To view previous updates, click here.

Atlanta Announces First Schools

Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia publicly announced the first three schools selected to participate in the JumpStart Theatre program in their region:

  • Garrett Middle School
  • Jean Childs Young Middle School
  • Pointe South Middle School

Alliance had a great response to their initial call for applications and are already planning the timeline for selecting their second class of schools, beginning in 2020.


Setting Records in Maryland


Mountain City Center for the Arts (MCCA) in Frostburg, Maryland has been working hard to help their first three schools generate student interest and their efforts have been paying off in an exciting fashion. Turkeyfoot Middle School had 20 percent of the school population--54 students--sign up to learn more about the school's first musical. At Northern Middle School, one-third of the students—more than 100 are interested. Their third school has an event coming up soon and is expecting a similar response. The teachers want to include all students who are interested in the first year, so they are working with MCCA leaders to accommodate them all.

St. Louis Audition Upgrade

JumpStart Theatre schools in the St. Louis, Missouri region are beginning their second year and the staff at STAGES St. Louis is finding new ways to help the teachers learn and prepare. They recently held auditions for an upcoming production of Frozen JR. and invited the JumpStart Theatre teachers to observe their audition process. One teacher from Margaret Buerkle Middle School reported that this insight made her feel much more confident with her school's upcoming auditions for Annie JR. and had given her new ideas to improve the experience for everyone involved.

Cincinnati Leads the First Bootcamp of the Year


"It's better to do the wrong thing with confidence than the right thing with insecurity." Susan Jung, JumpStart Theatre mentor, shared this bit of choreography wisdom with teachers attending the first bootcamp of the year at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. Teachers from 8 schools learned the basics of musical theatre (staging, vocal technique, and choreography). It was the first of 15 bootcamps that will take place around the country during the 2019-2020 school year.

ETF, in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI) has created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year scalable program
designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved schools that previously had none.

ETF 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, Ohio.

JumpStart Theatre aims to:

  • be sustainable and implemented in underserved middle schools nationwide, engaging as many students as possible in all aspects of theatre, 
  • prepare students for high school, college, and the workforce by instilling the 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and creativity.


JumpStart Theatre is entirely supported by gifts and grants. Your donation provides access to musical theatre for underserved students and under-resourced schools. Help shape lives with your support!

Thanks to all the JumpStart Theatre Partners and Supporters