Spotlight Vermont

Let Your Light Shine

Performing arts education and performing opportunities. Dance, acting, musical theater education for both casual and professional students of all ages.

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The Vermont Musical Theatre Academy (VTMTA) at Spotlight is an  integrated program of study and performance in voice, acting and dance for students age 10 through high school. The mission of the Academy is to offer students the opportunity to develop their talents as theater artists. Guided by an accomplished and nurturing faculty, each student will be encouraged to discover the many joys of participating in a collaborative effort of skill development, with the reward of experiencing authentic artistic achievement. 

It’s clear that the students at Spotlight Vermont are receiving some of the best training around. Not only are they talented beyond measure with the ability to interpret a song well beyond their years- but more importantly, they are professional and kind. This is because Jen and Tim Barden foster not only the performer, but also the person- something that is invaluable for any young artist. It’s truly my pleasure to be able to work with these students. I look forward to seeing where they go!
— Rikki Gimmelstob - NY Casting Director

Train... Rehearse... Perform... Repeat...

Children have lots of opportunities to perform. School plays, community theater and other programs provide various opportunities for kids to get onstage. However, just performing rarely results in skill improvement. Performances

Student growth is the goal not just performing. just another step in the continuum of learning. A wide variety of performance opportunities are in the schedule including

Fall Semester

  • A Night of Monologues. (Late October) - This evening gives students a chance to used acting techniques designed to develop self-confidence, understand the process of script analysis and character development. It also develops critical reading and thinking skills so important in life. All levels.
  • The Play's the Thing! (Mid November) - A weekend of one-act, short plays and/or a full length play each year.
  • Life is a Cabaret (Mid-December) - An evening of solos, duets and group numbers inspired by great NY clubs like 54 Below, Danny's Skylight Room, Café Carlyle and Don't Tell Mama.

Spring Semester

  • What's Next? (Mid-February) - An evening of works written and/or directed by VTMTA members under the guidance of resident and visiting professional directors, writers and composers.
  • The Musical (Mid April) - A fully staged musical selected to provide maximum growth opportunities for Academy members. 
  • The Table Read (Mid May) - One of the ways new professional get known is by doing table reads of new works. This performance of excerpts (sometimes entire shows) of new works will be simulcast to the shows' writers/composers if they are not able to attend in person. The particular pieces presented will be selected by students with oversight by Academy personnel.


  • CREATE! (July/August) - This groundbreaking program provides a select group of students from across the United States and Canada the opportunity to experience the creative process firsthand. A professional team of director, choreographer, composer and writer in residence will cast, mount and workshop a new musical using students in a variety of roles. VTMTA students are given first shot during the audition process and can also choose to intern alongside pros in production roles.


  • VTMTA and Spotlight Vermont regularly host workshops with professional working artists. We feel it is critical for students to have the opportunity to meet, study with and ask questions of people working at the top of their game. Past workshop artists include:
    • Andrew Chappelle - Broadway's Hamilton, Mamma Mia
    • Kate Wetherhead - Broadway's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Legally Blonde, Submissions Only with Andrew Keenan-Bolger
    • Cady Huffman - Broadway's The Producers (Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress), Will Rogers Follies, Steel Pier, La Cage aux Folles. TVs The Good Wife, Blue Bloods
    • Jeremy Holm - TV, Mr. Robot, House of Cards, Blue Bloods, The Americans. Film - The Judge
    • Robbie Hager - Broadway's Spring Awakening, Bye Bye Birdie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    • Rikki Gimmelstob - Casting Director - Telsey and Company
    • Merri Sugarman - Casting Director - Tara Rubin Associates

Is this program for Me?

 "There is no better place to grow as an artist!"   - Broadway's Kerstin Anderson

"There is no better place to grow as an artist!" - Broadway's Kerstin Anderson

The VTMTA program is right for you if...

  • Love to perform and want a program where training is recognized as the key to becoming a more successful performer.
  • Are interested in training with a faculty who have a proven track record in musical theater and who have students working professionally on Broadway and in L.A.
  • Love to work with other students who are always looking to learn and improve.
  • Want to grow in all areas required for musical theater performers; dance, voice and acting.
  • Have enjoyed performing in school or community theater and would like to have more success in landing the roles you want.
  • Want a program that integrates all elements of musical theater training into one cohesive, convenient, affordable school year offering.
  • Want a program that provides access to resources covering all elements of success in musical theater
    • Extensive Training
    • Special Performance Opportunities
    • Audition Technique / Preparation
    • Marketing Yourself
    • Guidance with Post High School Choices (College, Professional Schools, Diving In)
    • Performance opportunities
    • Available Trips to New York
      • Workshop with Broadway Pros
      • See a Broadway Show
      • Dinner at Popular Times Square Restaurant

We were so happy to find VTMTA for our daughter (Savannah)!  She travels from Rutland every weekend and it is worth every mile for the theory education in dance, music and acting. Thank you for providing such a wonderful, well-rounded, musical theater education. ~ Mindy Hastings

Enrollment is currently open for the following sessions....

Session 3 - 1/6/2018 - 2/17/2018
Session 4 - 2/24/2018 - 4/14/2018
Session 5 - 4/21/2018 - 5/26/2018

  • Admittance to the Academy is by Audition.
    • Auditions are held periodically before each session.
    • There is no charge to audition.
    • Video submissions are acceptable.
      • 16 bar selection from a contemporary musical theater song
      • Approximately 1 minute monologue from a published play or musical
      • 30 second dance audition. Prefer musical theater jazz style but any style is acceptable.

If you would like to audition for the Academy please click on the link below to apply. Once your application has been received we will schedule you for an audition date.

 VTMTA is proud to use curriculum from the Drama Teacher Academy

VTMTA is proud to use curriculum from the Drama Teacher Academy

All Content Copyright 2017 by Spotlight Vermont.   No unauthorized use allowed.