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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 is once again joining Take It From The Top to bring musical theater workshops to East Lansing.

How better to strengthen the core disciplines of singing, acting and dancing than from learning from Broadway professionals?  Learn from teaching artists who know what it takes to make it in the business. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Take It From The Top (TIFTT) Co-Founder Paul Canaan. Through small classes that allow for individual mentoring, you will advance your skills and have a one of a kind experience.

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

Master Classes

Students will work with actors from national touring casts of the Broadway shows appearing at Wharton Center, as well as with Paul and other special guests. Using show-specific material, work will include singing, acting, and dancing. Ticket includes lunch, a matinee performance of the corresponding show at Wharton, and a post-show talk back with the cast.

  • Dear Evan Hansen: GRADES 6-12 | Saturday, June 20, 2020 | $225
    • Registration begins at 9:30 am (subject to change). The matinee performance is at 2 pm with a 2 hour 30 minute run time, followed by a talk back with the cast. More details on workshop contents coming soon.
    • Limited scholarships are available for our Master Class series, please contact Kelly at [email protected] for an application.

Summer 2020

Summer 2020 is shaping up to be our most exciting yet.

Our Five-Day Intensive now includes four age groups, and we’ve expanded into two weeks to better serve our participants. Read below for all dates and details.

Five-Day Musical Theatre Intensive
Explore the “triple threat” disciplines of music, dance, and acting in a safe, fun environment, all while receiving feedback from Broadway professionals. No prior experience is required; we welcome interested young artists of all skill levels. The Intensive will culminate in a recital on Friday, July 24, at 7pm in Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall. Registration begins April 1, 2020, and payment is due by June 19, 2020.

  • Pre-Teen (grades 5 & 6), Jr High (grades 7 & 8), and High School (grades 9-12) will meet Monday, July 20 – Thursday, July 23, from 10am – 5pm; Friday, July 24, 12pm – 7pm; recital at 7pm (pizza dinner will be provided the night of the recital)
    • $370 per participant, includes t-shirt
    • Students will bring their own lunches daily
    • Cap of 30 students per age group
  • Creative Kids (grades 2-4) will meet Monday, July 20 – Thursday, July 23, from 10am – 3pm; Friday, July 24, 12pm – 7pm; recital at 7pm (pizza dinner will be provided the night of the recital)
    • $320 per participant, includes t-shirt
    • Students will bring their own lunches daily
    • Cap of 30 students
    • Please note that we do not offer post-workshop care for Creative Kids.

Advanced Musical Theatre Workshops

Students that are experienced performers and wish to aim higher will join Broadway professionals as they work to stage a musical in six days. Recital will be Friday, July 31, at 7pm in Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall. 

Auditions required: Sunday, March 8 from 10-3pm. If you are unable to attend the live audition, you may submit a clear video of 1-2 minutes performing a musical theatre song that represents your singing and acting ability. Videos can be submitted to Kelly Stuible-Clark and must be received by Sunday, March 8.

Sign-up to Auditon

Instructions on how to register will be provided after auditions. 

  • Advanced (grades 9-college) will be performing SISTER ACT and Jr. Advanced (grades 5-8) will be performing SEUSSICAL. 
    • Sunday July 26- 12pm-6pm; Mon-Fri July 27-31- 10am-7pm with 7pm recital. Pizza dinner will be provided the evening of the recital.
    • $445 per student, includes t-shirt
    • Students will bring their own lunch daily
    • Cap of 30 students per age group

TIFTT Tech Track

For students entering 6th-12th grade, this three-day intensive will offer a broad, introductory look at fields of technical theatre and design, including production design, stage management, sound and lighting design, costume design, and/or production/company management. This course will allow interested students to begin their exploration of the backstage and offstage world of musical theatre.  

  • Tech Track (grades 6-12) 
    • Mon-Wed July 27-29, 10am-5 pm
      • $350 per participant, includes t-shirt
      • Students will bring their own lunch daily
      • Cap of 12 students

Adult Workshop (Ages 18+)

Wednesday July 22, 7-10pm | $35

Beginners and seasoned performers alike will sing, dance, and act with the Take It From The Top Team. 

Discount for parents/guardians of participants of our summer programs, as well as Wharton Season Subscribers. Contact Kelly at [email protected] or (517) 884-3166.


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. Take It From The Top is made possible in part by Karyn's Dance Place with additional support from John and Ethel Anthony, Linda Arens, Bonnie Knutson and Rich Sneary.

Photos by Harley Seeley

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