2021 Professional Advancement Programs are Being Re-Envisioned

New ways of working, mentoring, sharing work, and contributing to the community will be required to support your journey ahead as a dance artist. While we finalize plans, tell us what would best support your artistic growth in the year ahead. Write to: [email protected].

Announcement of 2021 Programs will be made December 2020.

Musical Theatre Dance | Cancelled for 2020

The next Musical Theatre program will be held in 2022; please check our website in December 2021 for program information.

Jeffrey L. Page Program Director
Read about the Artist Faculty

For 24 United States and international, early career professionals and advanced pre-professionals who are dance-strong musical theatre performers; minimum age 16.

Lush Life is the working title of a new dance-based musical about the life of Billy Strayhorn, conceived by director/choreographer Jeffrey Page. Page and his creative team will coach and prepare dancer/performers in the multiple skills and approaches necessary during the early developmental phases of musicals; the same skills necessary to succeed at Broadway auditions, 29-hour readings, and workshops.

Daily dance classes from African to jazz will be followed by Viewpoints-based acting explorations or vocal training. Afternoons will be devoted to the creative development of Lush Life during which performers will strengthen their abilities to collaborate as valuable, adventurous, contributing artists in the theatre-making process. Weekly seminars with guest artists will include time to network and ask burning questions.

Work-in-progress showings for Festival audiences will be held on the iconic outdoor stage August 8 and 15. On Sunday, August 23 the Musical Theatre Ensemble takes the stage in the Ted Shawn Theatre to present Lush Life as developed during the program; this performance, annually billed as Gotta Dance, is a benefit for The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

The School Experience at Jacob’s Pillow is fully dance-immersive. Stamina, perseverance, a collaborative and open spirit, and a voracity to live and work as a professional are expected of everyone. The curriculum includes seeing companies on the Pillow’s three stages, having meaningful career-building discussions with Festival artists, taking Master Classes, attending artist and scholar-led talks, researching dance interests and assignments in the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, discussing dance with staff and audience members, networking at Cast Parties, and much more. Through these experiences, dancers gain artistic growth, a unique artistic point of view, a vision of the possibilities that exist in dance, and an influential career network.

Festival companies during the program include Black Grace, LAVA Compañía de Danza, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Brian Brooks Moving Company, MOMIX, and Liz Lerman. Learn about Festival 2020 and explore exciting program-related content, such as hearing a dancer’s experience of being in the 2018 Musical Theatre Dance Program. Ariel Triunfo dancing at Jacob’s Pillow, on PillowTV.


Program Director & Creative Team

Jeffrey L. Page

August 3—24
Jeffrey Page is an opera and theatre director of both classical and contemporary works. As director and choreographer, he spearheaded the 2015 and 2018 Tokyo productions of the musical Memphis, which received four Yomiuri Award nominations, including Best Musical. The first African American to be named the Marcus Institute Fellow for Opera Directing at The Juilliard School, he has also been nominated for an Emmy Award.

Learn More

Jeremy O’Brian

August 3—24
Jeremy O’Brian is a Mississippi-born, Brooklyn-based playwright who currently teaches writing and Black Atlantic Theatre at The New School Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts and New York University. He is the 2019 recipient of Liberation Theatre Playwriting Residency Fellowship, 2018 Athena Theatre’s Athena Writes Playwriting Fellowship, and the Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voice in Playwriting Fellowship in 2016.

Learn More

Grant Richards

Grant Richards is an award-winning jazz pianist and educator. At the age of eight, Grant began playing piano, and by the time he entered college, he had won four DownBeat Student Music awards and recorded his first album as a leader. In 2009, Grant enrolled at Berklee College of Music on a full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship.

Learn More


Great experiences to meet Pillow artists and learn about The School, though these opportunities are not an application requirement. View Recruitment Tour locations, dates, and details.


2020 Application Deadlines & Notifications
January 17 at Noon EST Early Application Deadline, Round I | $15 processing fee
February 14 at Noon EST Early Application Deadline, Round II | $30 processing fee
April 22 at 11:59pm EDT Extended Regular Deadline | $45 processing fee

All dancers who applied will receive a special email from The Director of The School at Jacob’s Pillow; thank you for your patience as we develop this email.


Program Tuition Fee | $2,250
The three-week tuition fee includes tuition, onsite room and board, free admission to Festival performances and events, and ground transportation from Lee, MA to Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA. Each year up to 80% of accepted dancers receive Jacob’s Pillow Scholarships to make their attendance possible.

Jacob’s Pillow School Sponsors and Supporters make it possible to charge $750/week; far below the actual program cost of more than $5,000. If accepted, we will ask you to join us in letting these friends of The School at Jacob’s Pillow know how grateful we are for their support.


Be prepared to upload the following materials into the Program Application:

1. Audition Video

    • Video material should be in the musical theatre dance/jazz genre.
    • Footage: Must be of clear viewing quality and shot no more than six months prior to submission. Media-enhanced, highly edited, or promotional-type videos will not be reviewed.
    • Adjudicators prefer one concise video with a table of contents; multiple videos will be viewed if contents are properly identified.
    • Passwords: To expedite the review process, no passwords preferred. If you need to use passwords, please have the same password for all video uploads.
    • URL Uploads: 1) Please upload only one video link per field. 2) After uploading a URL link and password, test it. If the link fails to open, your application cannot be reviewed. 3) Keeping your link(s) accessible until the program start date will ensure you can be re-considered for acceptance if waitlisted.
  • A. Verbal self-introduction, 1 minute maximum
    B Acting and Vocal Skills sampler, 6 minute maximum
    • A monologue, memorized, from a published script.
    • Two contrasting songs: sing 16 bars of each from standard American musical theatre works; use only the microphone on video camera

C. Dance Technique and Performance sampler, 10 minute maximum

    • Dance technique: Center floor grand pliés, extensions, and balances followed by Across-the-floor progressions with turns, jumps, and leaps
    • Tap dance: very brief, even if beginner level
    • Performance footage: In-studio footage is preferred over performance footage. Provide a table of contents, identifying names of works and choreographers for 2-3 variations, improvisations, and/or repertory excerpts. Excerpts should demonstrate a range of dynamics, levels, tempos, and styles
    • If group footage, identify who adjudicators need to view
    • Females: please be in heels

2. Written Statement
In 1000 words or less, please share your:

    • Influences on your current work as a performer and artistic goals
    • Career aspirations and Experiences desired to reach them
    • How you envision this program impacting your vision of yourself as an artist

3. Résumé/C.V.

4. Headshot

5. If 17 or younger, a Letter of Recommendation and a Reference are required
Upload into Program Application when requested or postmark by your Application Deadline to School Director, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA 01223

A. Please request a letter from one current teacher, describing

    • Technical and performance artistry
    • Stamina to participate in rigorous, professional level schedule of classes, rehearsals, performances, and evening responsibilities
    • Ability to live and interact responsibly as a professional in a diverse artist community

    B. Please acquire name, title, phone, and email from a second dance artist or teacher who can speak about your work.

6. Scholarship Instructions


Go to Musical Theatre Dance Program and Scholarship Application Now