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Take It From The Top 

Attention Broadway dreamers, are you looking for an opportunity to hone your skills?

Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity and Take It From The Top have created a brand new virtual educational program allowing students to advance their skills from home.

How better to strengthen the core disciplines of singing, acting, and dancing than learning from Broadway professionals?  This summer’s Take It From The Top (TIFTT) virtual session is filled with more Broadway professionals than ever before. Students will hear from teaching artists who know what it takes to make it in the business. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with TIFTT Co-Founder Paul Canaan and his team of professionals. 

Questions about any of our TIFTT offerings? Contact Kelly at [email protected] or (517) 884-3166.

Virtual Summer 2020 Program

Five-Day Musical Theatre Intensive

July 20-24 | $175

Students grades 5-12 will join Broadway professionals for a one-of-a-kind virtual learning opportunity. Using a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning in singing, acting, and dancing, students will participate in live sessions (via conference call) as well as log into pre-recorded lessons. Participants will receive individual song coaching, learn a medley and have the opportunity to share their videos to create a final product, join dance classes with leaders in the industry, work on acting exercises, as well as choose “elective” lessons in dance technique, music theory, songwriting, monologue writing, and/or technical theatre. With a greater capacity for engagement, this virtual program will also allow for more Broadway professionals than ever to engage our students in master classes and Q&A sessions.

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Creative Kids

July 20-24 | Free

Students in grades 2-4 will have the opportunity to view age-appropriate lessons throughout the week, free of cost.

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Tech Track

July 20-24 | $150

Students in grades 6-12 will participate in an introductory look at the design and technical elements of musical theatre. Using Seussical as their case study, participants will learn about the elements of costume, set, lighting, and sound design and then have an opportunity to create their own projects at home to share out with their peers. Tech track will be guided by both Broadway and Michigan theater professionals.

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Advanced and Jr Advanced

July 26-31 | $212

Auditions for our Advanced and Jr Advanced workshops have previously been held. If you’d like to submit a video audition, please contact Kelly at [email protected].

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TIFTT Virtual Program FAQs

What will the daily schedule look like?
Virtual TIFTT  will be a combination of synchronous (meaning everyone will log in at the same time, on a Zoom conference call) and asynchronous (viewable lessons that can be accessed at your own time), and will be solidified before the July dates. There will be 1-2 hours of synchronous programming, and 1-4 hours of asynchronous, or practice time.

For the Five-Day and Jr Advanced/Advanced Workshops, synchronous lessons will run from 10-11:30 and 1-4 pm each day. Tech track will run from 1-3 pm on 7/20, 7/21, and 7/24.

What will the daily instruction consist of?
Daily instruction for the Five Day Intensive and Jr. Advanced/Advanced will include: Music, Choreography, Individual Song Coaching, Half-Hour Call (a creative conversation with our faculty and special guest industry professionals), and Creative Course (participants can choose a course that will inspire or challenge them to create music, choreograph, or write).
Creative Kids will have webinars on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the fields of singing, acting, and dancing- webinars will be downloadable after the event.
Tech track will have a read-thru with the director on Monday, work with designers on Tuesday, and a sharing session on Friday.

What technology will I need?
To be most successful, each participant will need access to a device (preferably a laptop, desktop, or a tablet) during the synchronous learning sessions. There will be times when participants will need to access two devices- recording from one while playing a backing track from another.

What is the requirement for parent involvement?
Parents/guardians won’t need to participate in an of the sessions, beyond what’s needed for tech/device support.

What safety protocols are in place for this program?
Wharton Center staff is working closely with MSU’s Youth Program department as we make this switch to virtual learning. All sessions will be recorded and available for participant/family review and download. Further, Wharton Center staff will be “logged on” to each Zoom meetings as well.

Questions? Please contact Kelly Stuible-Clark at [email protected] or (517) 884-3166.

All grade requirements are for the 2020-2021 school year.

Registrations are filled on a first come, first served basis for all above classes. Apply early to guarantee your spot.

Take It From The Top is a national arts alliance dedicated to providing quality education enrichment through music, dance and theatre to students and other organizations worldwide. Our primary goal is to serve as a catalyst for creativity for aspiring artists through professional mentoring, workshops and structured programs that will inspire confidence and provide students a pathway to attain their highest potential. 

Our generous sponsors ensure the cost of participating in Take It From The Top is as low as possible. Sponsored by Karyn's Dance Place with additional support from Linda Arens; Bonnie Knutson; and Rich Sneary.

Photos by Harley Seeley


Take It From The Top in person Summer 2020 and Masterclass Canceled

New developments regarding COVID-19 are constantly changing.

Unfortunately, after we sent our announcement that Take From The Top registration was open, we were notified Michigan State University has closed campus for all pre-college programs this summer. That means that the 2020 TIFTT will not occur at Wharton Center as scheduled.

However, we are working on creating virtual opportunities and will share that information as soon as it is ready. If you are already registered for a TIFTT program occurring this summer, you will receive an email regarding your refund information. We thank you for your support and look forward to sharing performing arts education with you virtually and in the future.