The AndyGram

Sunday, Apr 21st

You are here: Home Theatre Reviews & Features 2015-16 Reviews Connecticut Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Launches Premiere Program in Musical Theater

Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Launches Premiere Program in Musical Theater




National Music Theater Institute offers intensive semester-long,
credit-earning curriculum taught by industry professionals

Waterford, CT — The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has launched an exciting new division of the National Theater Institute, the National Music Theater Institute (NMTI). An unparalleled program, NMTI is for driven students seeking a launching pad into the music theater profession through broad-based, ensemble training.


Applications for the inaugural fall 2014 semester are due by March 20.

NMTI is a 14-week program offered twice a year with classes seven days a week from 7:30am until 10pm. The NMTI experience — a conservatory-like training regimen, a faculty of professional artists, and two weeks training in New York City through a singular series of NMTI workshops and master classes — is one that students cannot find at liberal arts colleges. It is a springboard for those pursuing a career in music theater to hone their craft, find their voice, and meet with like-minded collaborators.

The two-time Tony Award-winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, known as "America's theater laboratory", with its rich theater history and reputation for artistic development and excellence is a dynamic place to study musical theater. Dozens of musicals including the award-winning NineAvenue Q[title of show], and In The Heights had their beginnings on the storied Waterford, CT, campus.

NMTI students train with industry professionals and master teachers in Acting for Music Theater, Writing the Musical, Dance/Movement, Directing for Music Theater, and Singing/Voice. These core classes are supplemented by workshops and mater classes including: Cabaret, Greek Chorus, Business of the Business, Producing for Theater, Breakout Break Through Musicals, and Design, among many others.

NMTI awards 5 undergraduate course credits (20 credit hours) through transcripts issued by Connecticut College, NTI’s school of record.

National Theater Institute Artistic Director Rachel Jett remarks “NTI redefines what one believes to be possible, the possibilities of what can happen in a day, and the possibilities of what can happen on stage. NMTI will enable students to create their own work collaboratively and in every discipline, and therefore lay groundwork for the future of the American musical.”

NMTI is modeled directly on the successful National Theater Institute Semester which, since 1970, has nurtured the careers of almost 3,500 theater artists, including: award-winning actors Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club, "Alias"), John Krasinski ("The Office," writer/director Brief Interviews with Hideous Men), Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother," writer/director Liberal Arts), Jeremy Piven ("Entourage," "Mr. Selfridge"), and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May MarleneAvengers: Age of Ultron); directors Greg Allen (The NeoFuturists), Jeremy B. Cohen (Playwrights’ Center), Erica Schmidt, and Rebecca B. Taichman; playwright Adam Bock (The ReceptionistThe ThugsThe Drunken City); producers Susan Booth (Artistic Director, Alliance Theatre) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer, Manhattan Theatre Club); and many more.

For over three decades, the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference has been the premiere laboratory for musicals and a prime destination for music theater artist including: Jeanine Tesori, Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Benanti, John Tartaglia, Laura Bell Bundy, Andrew Lippa, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hunter Foster, Cheyenne Jackson, Wesley Taylor, Kate Wetherhead, Betsy Wolfe, Steve Kazee, Andrew Samonsky, Quiara Alegría Hudes, John Lloyd Young, Katie Thompson, Adam Gwon, Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Jeff Whitty, Joel Derfner, Ed Dixon, Sheldon Harnick, Walter Edgar Kennon, Howard Marren, Joe Masteroff, Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik, Rachel Sheinken, Michael Kooman, and Christopher Dimond.

The O’Neill’s Executive Director Preston Whiteway comments, “NMTI is fortunate to be able to call upon these and other professional artists who, over the last 50 years, have made the O’Neill their artistic home to share their talents in our classroom and place NMTI at the forefront of contemporary American music theater education.”

The current NMTI Advisory Board includes: Preston Whiteway, Rachel Jett, David Jaffe (NTI Alum; Chair of Theater, Connecticut College), David Dorfman (Choreographer; Chair, Connecticut College Dance Department), Ted Chapin (NTI Alum; President, Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization), Donna DiNovelli (NTI Faculty; lyricist, Prairie), Paulette Haupt, (Artistic Director, the O'Neill's National Music Theater Conference), Scott Richards (NYU-Tisch), Thomas Viertel (O’Neill Chairman), and Jack Viertel (Artistic Director, City Center Encores).

The O’Neill is in the process of a major campus expansion, providing seven new dormitories, a state-of-the-art rehearsal hall, and additional production and rehearsal space to accommodate the fall 2014 semester.

NTI's six intensive credit-earning programs are for writers, singers, directors, actors, designers, and dancers who are high school graduates, undergraduates, or post-graduates seeking a launching pad into the professional world.

To learn more and apply please visit or follow on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram (@NTIRiskFailRisk).\


Andrew C. McGibbon



Andrew C. McGibbon has spent the past thirty years working in live theatre as a stage manager, general manager, producer and leader in the convergence of Broadway and online.

Mr. McGibbon worked as a stage manager and general manager for ten years. In 1994 he created a website devoted to live theatre, The site was subsequently bought by, and became He continued to manage the site for Playbill for four years. In 2000 he became the website manager for With the 2008-09 season he finished his ninth year on the show. He has also worked as a webmaster for the Broadway LeagueJazz at Lincoln Center, and as the Director of Digital Media for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Since 2015, Andrew has been working as an architectural photographer and virtual tour photographer known for his photography of theatres such as the Kimmel Center, Tanglewood, Signature Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Arena Stage and the Goodspeed Opera House. His photography work can be previewed at

Mr. McGibbon is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Independent Theatre Bloggers AssociationActors' Equity Association and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, as well as the American Society of Media Photographers

In addition to his work in the theatrical industry, Mr. McGibbon is also a partner in Simple Solutions Distributing, a manufacturer of filtration equipment for the waste-water industry.

Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell