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College Connection is a unique, one of a kind program, designed to help high school students and their parents navigate what can be a confusing and challenging application process. Through our programming, we offer three different options for students:


These workshops touch on every part of the audition process for colleges. Musical Theater Classes include: Vocal Coaching, Monologue and Dance Audition Prep.



Interactive Q&A sessions provide information about the various types of theater college programs through our Stagedoor alumni college students currently attending these fine institutions.



We use our massive alumni base to help you make personal connections and answer more detailed questions about specific programs.

We started our program to meet the needs of the many families that expressed a need for Stagedoor to help guide them through the complicated college application journey. How do I choose the right program? How can I speak to some students who actually go to my schools of interest? How do I tackle the audition? Do I need a coach?

As educators, we decided to make a program that is affordable, help the students find their individual selves in their audition pieces, figure out how to look for a program that suits their needs, educate them on programs they haven't heard of yet, and bring our students to a place where they can breath a sigh of relief and feel the excitement in finding their new home, beyond Stagedoor.

Our program is not like any other, it is dynamic, informative, and helps the student elevate themselves to their full potential. Scholarships are available by contacting for more information. Please scroll down to learn more about each offering:


Our prep courses are taught by our prestigious Stagedoor staff who are knowledgeable about the college audition process. These class intensives will meet to provide our students with guidance to help prepare them for what lies ahead in the college application process.


We are excited to offer nine weeks of college prep classes beginning in November 2023. Please see our Plans & Pricing Page for package details.

Scholarships are available by contacting for more information. 


College Connections is offering a series of six classes for your organizational needs in the college audition process. Our advisor, Nick Hrutkay, is the Education Director of Stagedoor Manor having coached students through numerous college applications processes. He knows exactly how stressful and complicated it can all feel, and is here to help you. Our Advising and Audition Material Prep classes save parents time, energy, and frustration in guiding the organizational and strategic parts of the applying process, while allowing your child to be prepared for the artistic responsibilities involved in auditioning for universities. 

If you are planning to work with Nick, we strongly recommend that you have your list of schools that you are applying for and the necessary information for each specific school before classes start. Nick will aid you in everything from school list prep, class requirements for schools, choosing appropriate audition material, and more. 

This class meets for a total of six times:

1. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023

2. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023

3. Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023

4. Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023

5. Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024

6. Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024


Our coaching classes will meet for several hours each week starting the January 27, 2024. Students will receive personalized coaching on their college audition material in the areas of acting, music, and dance. We will help you with the taping of your audition from beginning to end. Full Musical Theater ($1750), Music & Dance Only ($1600), and Monologue Only ($1200) packages are available. 

These classes meet for a total of nine times:

1. Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024

2. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024

3. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024

4. Saturday, March 2, 2024

5. Saturday, March 16, 2024

6. Saturday, March 30, 2024

7. Saturday, April 13, 2024

8. Saturday, April 27, 2024

9. Saturday, May 4, 2024


For questions, please contact: 

(Please note that times and dates are subject to change.)


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Taught by Justin Amellio - Ashbrook

Chair of the Theatre & Dance Department and Associate Professor of Theatre

"This acting workshop will focus on introducing the students to the necessary skills required to get the most of their college auditions. The main points of focus for this workshop will revolve around helping students leverage material choice, prepare with individuality at the forefront, start with substance and make their marks. This workskhop seeks to provide each studen with the most imipactful tools for their individualied and continued preparations toward their college auditions"

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Taught by TBA

"In this workshop there will be discussion of how to find material that will be not only appropriate for you but will make available the essential that is you. The student will be given the tools to activate their acting choices through textual analysis and the application of specific focus questions as well as understanding the importance of physical focus and the moment before.  Students should come to the workshop with at least one song prepared and have sent the PDF of the song-cut to me through Dropbox. I will provide an accompaniment track for the student from the PDF. There will also be discussion of how to find material that will be not only appropriate for you but will make available the distinction that is you."


dance prep class

Taught by TBA

"This workshop will focus on preparing you for the dance audition. Students will be introduced to terminology and technique commonly used in dance auditions and will work on mock audition combo’s where they will focus on learning choreography quickly, adding style to technique and learning how to really make an impact with their auditions. In addition we will cover audition etiquette, the difference between filmed and live dance auditions and how to find the dance education for you."




Our Q&A-based Panel Events are Stagedoor led by alumni attending known and less known college programs continuing their theater education in many ways around the country. Our events for 2022 are over, but we will return with more in the fall of 2023! In the meantime you are able to purchase the video recordings of all three of our 2022 events for a total of $50.

Events 2023

 All Three Events $100

West Coast Schools

Central Schools

East Coast Schools

October 6

October 13th 

October 20th

Dates are Subject to Change 


Our interactive events are in a Q&A forum designed for parents of students applying to theater programs. These events will be led by our Stagedoor staff, who are experts in the theater college application process. Our interactive Q&A forums will include students who are Stagedoor alumni  in college programs pursuing theater education around the country.


There will be 3 events in total. Three events will include schools by region (West Coast, Central, and East Coast) and are designed to introduce students to programs they may have not already considered but stand out to Stagedoor as elite programs.

Please note that times and dates are subject to change.

For further questions, please email: 


 4 Connections $110

This program was designed to help students and parents navigate what can be a confusing and challenging application process for college theater programs. It is especially hard to get a feel for student life during this time. 


Our goal is to put Stagedoor Manor high school students in touch with our college alumni who have successfully traveled the distance and are eager to share their knowledge and experience. 


We will match you with 1-4 students available from our list of schools per your request. In addition, we’ll share over some cheat sheets and guidelines to make sure you’re getting the most out of this opportunity. This is a great way to find out about the schools you are interested in from students who actually attend these schools. 


The college application process is challenging and intimidating, made even more so by adding in auditions that come along with theater programs. We’re looking forward to connecting you with a friendly face who can help you through it all and give you some insight to make it easier!



Arts ED London

University of Alabama

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA)

Baldwin Wallace University 

Ball State University

Barnard College

Boston Conservatory at Berklee 

Boston University

California Institute of the Arts

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

The University of Central Florida

Chapman University 

University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music

Coastal Carolina University

Colgate University

Colorado College

University of Colorado Boulder

Connecticut College 

University of Central Florida

University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Connecticut College 

Dartmouth College

Diablo Valley College

Elon University 

Emerson College 

Evansville University of Theater

Florida State University

Harvard University

The Harrt School - University of Hartford Ithaca

Ithaca College

Kenyon College

LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts)

Loyola Marymount University

Manhattan College

Marymount of Manhattan College

University of Miami 

University of Michigan

Michigan State

Middlebury College

Muhlenberg College

Nebraska Wesleyan University

University of New York - Tisch

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Northwestern University

Oberlin College

Pace University 

Point Park University

Radford University

Rider University

Rockford University

Roosevelt University

Savannah College of Art and Design

Shenandoah University

Smith College

University of Southern California 

Syracuse University

Temple State University

Trinity College in Dublin

Tufts University

Tulane University

UC Santa Cruz

University of Washington

Washington University

Wesleyan University 

West Chester University

Western Connecticut State University

Yale University

and many more...


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Monologue Coach

Justin is an Associate Professor of Theatre and the Head of Performance for the Theatre & Dance department at Indiana University South Bend where he founded the department’s concentration in musical theatre performance (as a part of their B.F.A. degree offerings) and also specializes in teaching all levels of acting and directing.  A proud graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s M.F.A. program in Theatre/Movement Pedagogy and an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Justin is so excited to be working with Stagedoor on this new College Connection program. 

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   Vocal Coach  

David Carl is a music director and composer who is currently in his first year of law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He spent five summers at Stagedoor Manor and music directed nine different productions. Outside of Stagedoor, he's the co-founder of Little Red Light Theatre and music directed the productions of Hello Again and Thrill Me. Other favorite projects include Kragtar: An American Monster Musical with Theatre Now New York and The Dolls of New Albion with NTSA. As a composer, he collaborated with playwright Owen Panettieri to create the score for Vestments of the Gods which was featured in the 2014 NY Fringe Festival (produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda.)

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Dance Coach

Diontey Michael began his studies at the Richmond City Dance Theatre for modern and jazz. He immediately joined The School of Richmond Ballet on a full scholarship. As a teenager, he attended the prestigious Virginia School of the Arts on a full scholarship. He's also attended summer programs at The Royal Ballet School, The Jofferey Ballet, and River North Dance Chicago. Upon graduating high school, he attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with another full scholarship from former Dean of Dance and American Ballet Theatre Principle Ethan Stiefel. His professional career began as a trainee with the Richmond Ballet; later, he went on to perform as a Guest Artist with the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Nomad Contemporary Ballet in NYC, and Missouri Ballet Theatre. Diontey has performed in The Nutcracker, Giselle, George Balanchine's Rubies, and many original works and has been featured in Mark Morris's Gloria, Stephanie Martinez's Transport, and Salvatore Aiello's Sanza Fretta. He was featured as a dancer in ABC's Holiday Movie "A Christmas Kiss" he's performed with Disney Cruise Line, pop artist Lady GAGA and was also a contestant on the hit Fox television show SYTYCD. He's also performed in musicals such as "Hairspray" aboard the Symphony of the Seas, "In the Heights," "Beauty and the Beast," "Hairspray" and in the Off-Broadway production of "The Wild Party. He's choreographed original works for Longwood University, Missouri Ballet Theatre, and Virginia School of the Arts. He has choreographed for "The Wiz," "Seussical," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Rock of Ages," and "Meet me in St. Louis." Diontey's aesthetic is very Neo-Classical with a flare of Contemporary Ballet. He's influenced by Limon, Cunningham, Nikolai and Balanchine.


Advising & Material Coach

Nick Hrutkay is an award-winning director who creates work across all boundaries of theater. He currently serves as the Education Director and Assistant Artistic Director for the internationally acclaimed Stagedoor Manor, and devises projects as a Teaching Artist with Quantum Theatre. His work has been seen at theaters across the country having mounted over 75 productions, including Central Square Theater, The Kennedy Center, Theatre Row, The Brick Theater, Alchemical Studios, Playwrights Local, The Huron Playhouse, Keystone Repertory Theater, Hippodrome Theatre, Stagedoor Manor, and more. Nick is the former Artistic Director of The Huron Playhouse, one the longest-running summer stock theaters in the United States. As a Dramaturg for Dramafest at Stagedoor Manor, he oversaw the annual new work festival while mentoring students whose selected plays were published through Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc. He has taught at Stagedoor Manor, Hippodrome Theatre, Quantum Theatre, The Huron Playhouse, Stagedoor Manor Studios, and Pittsburgh Musical Theater, where he was the Chair of the Acting Department for the PMT Conservatory. He is the recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival / Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Fellowship; a Broadway World Award for Best Director of a Musical; and an ArtWorks Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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