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.

Artist Faculty to be announced


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. His Broadway career began at the age of sixteen when he appeared in the first revival of On the Town and went on to appear most prominently in the musicals of Bob Fosse. The Tony Award-winning musical Fosse earned him the Olivier Award for Conceiver of Best Musical. More recently, he received the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Astaire Award, and a Tony nomination for choreography in the acclaimed revival of Pippin. He recreated and documented, in part through a Jacob’s Pillow Creative Development Residency, the technique of Jack Cole while developing, choreographing, and directing Heat Wave, a musical celebrating Mr. Cole's legacy. This marks his 19th season leading international auditions and mentoring students at The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

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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. This summer will mark his fifth season as Music Director for the Musical Theatre Dance Program at The School at Jacob's Pillow.

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