Musical Theatre Dance

Chet Walker, Program Director | July 31–August 21

Chet Walker and award-winning Broadway choreographers, directors, composers/ arrangers, and musicians collaboratively create original numbers on dancers, with the same fast pace and rigor required to audition for and mount Broadway productions. Dancers present excerpts of the works for the public August 5, 12, and 19, and then, working as an ensemble, they perform these works with a live band on August 20 in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre as a benefit for The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Daily technique classes rotate among ballet, jazz, musical theatre dance, and tap. Dancers rehearse afternoons and evenings with choreographers and musicians. Vocal training, audition coaching, and career-building discussions are also part of the curriculum. This dance immersion experience includes all that the 85th Anniversary Festival has to offer, including performances, Master Classes, talks and exhibits, deep dives into the extensive Jacob’s Pillow Archives, interaction with Festival performers, and more.

For 24 musical theatre performers at a professional or advanced pre-professional level
with singing and acting experience, age 16 and up.


Chet Walker

Chet Walker is a multi-award winning director/choreographer for his work in theaters across the globe as well as in television, film, music video, and commercial media.

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Andy Gale

Andy Gale is a highly regarded acting and singing coach in the Broadway community. He has taught at Vassar and Barnard Colleges and is currently on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music and the Peridance Certificate Program.

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Bill Hastings

Bill Hastings has performed in over fifty musicals and plays including Broadway and National touring productions of The Most Happy Fella, A Chorus Line, Cabaret, Rags, Bob Fosse's Dancin', and Sweet Charity.

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Dan Gross

Dan Gross' Broadway and national touring credits include Grease, Blood Brothers, Les Miserables, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, Rent, and Chicago. This summer will mark his fifth season at the School at Jacob's Pillow.

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Douglas J. Cohen

Douglas Cohen is recipient of the 2010 Fred Ebb Award and two Richard Rodgers Awards for No Way to Treat a Lady (produced twice off-Broadway with over 100 productions globally) and The Gig (O’Neill, MTC and York Theatre concerts, Goodspeed and Sacramento productions, winner of five NYMF Awards).

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John Fischer

John Fischer has served as music director for the Broadway's Rising Stars and Broadway Originals concerts at Town Hall in New York City for the past five years and a music director and pianist in New York City for the past 17 years.

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Kyle Pleasant

Kyle Pleasant is the resident choreographer at Rosie’s Theater Kids, Rosie O’Donnell’s school for the arts.

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Michael Jagger

Michael Jagger is currently a full-time professional Swing dancer whose performance credits include being a featured dancer with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, and has also appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and the Rose Theater in New York City.

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Preeti Vasudevan

Preeti Vasudevan is an award-winning Indian choreographer, educator, movement analyst, and exponent of the classical Indian dance, Bharatanatyam. She creates provocative contemporary works from the Indian tradition, earning her international acclaim with her New York based company, Thresh.

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Shaun McKenna

Shaun McKenna is an award-winning British playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter. He has four West End musicals to his credit, including, The Lord of the Rings, for which he won a DORA and was Olivier Award nominated.

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