Musical Theatre Program

The award winning Musical Theatre program at Westinghouse Arts cultivates the inspired performing artist in the areas of acting, voice, dance, technical theatre, and music literacy. Through guided exploration, technique-focused coursework, and progressive instructional techniques, Musical Theatre students cultivate their skills and talents to prepare for their postsecondary and professional goals. Industry standard practices are observed and instruction is delivered in a student-centered manner. Students graduating from this program will be provided the tools they need to succeed in the fast paced, ever changing industry of Musical Theatre!

The Musical Theatre program at Westinghouse Arts Academy is a vibrant and exciting experience for students interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts. Our program combines intensive training in acting, singing, and dancing with the opportunity to participate in fully-staged musical productions.

Students in the MT program take specialized classes in voice, dance, and acting techniques, as well as participate in rehearsals for the school’s many performance opportunities. In addition to rehearsals, students also have the opportunity to participate in workshops and masterclasses with industry professionals, giving them valuable insight and hands-on experience.

At Westinghouse Arts Academy, we believe that Musical Theatre is a collaborative art form, and our program reflects this belief. Students work closely with each other and with other departments to bring their work to life, developing strong teamwork and communication skills in the process.

From auditions to opening night, students are involved in every step of the production process, gaining valuable experience in all aspects of theatre production. Classes explore human and social conditions, performance skills, audition technique, text analysis, musical theatre history, culture, and the concepts of community teamwork through the performing arts.  Studying Musical Theatre helps develop transferable skills: creativity, leadership, responsibility, analytical and critical thinking, self-confidence, attention to detail, discipline, and perseverance. 

Not only does the Musical Theatre program strive to turn out the next generation of performing artists, but we also believe in fostering the next generation of theatre creatives and educators! Student leadership roles such as assistant directors, choreographers, dance captains, and stage managers are available to our students looking to explore leadership opportunities within the arts. These students work closely with their professional overstudies as active participants in the production and creative processes. Not only does this provide excellent tutelage for our aspiring theatre creatives but these experiences make for incredible additions to our student’s growing artistic portfolios for future jobs or admittance into their postsecondary program of choice.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop vocal technique, including control, resonance, and interpretation.
  • Enhance acting skills through character development, script analysis, and scene work.
  • Build stage presence, performance confidence and stagecraft.
  • Develop teamwork, collaboration and communication skills in ensemble performances.
  • Expand knowledge of musical theater history, styles, and cultural context.
  • Learn effective audition techniques and strategies.
  • Increase physical and emotional flexibility and control for stage performance.
  • Collaborate with peers and develop teamwork skills for musical theater productions.
  • Foster a positive and supportive ensemble environment through rehearsals and performances.
  • Increase understanding of musical theater repertoire and musical theater genres.
  • Develop critical thinking skills to evaluate and analyze musical theater productions.
  • Cultivate creativity and individuality in self-expression and interpretation.
  • Improve musical interpretation and storytelling through song.
  • Develop stage combat skills and stage safety awareness.
  • Expand knowledge of musical theater production including design, costumes, lighting, sound, and stage management.

Artistic Expectations

Students seeking admission to the musical theatre program should:

  • Display a sincere want to gain a deeper understanding of the American Musical Theatre.

  • Demonstrate a desire to improve their technique and ability.

  • Commit themselves to behave in a manner consistent with professionalism.

  • Be willing to make big mistakes….and make a concerted effort to fix them.

  • Support their peers on-stage, behind the scenes, and in the classroom.

  • Be willing to take corrections on technique and material. We always have more to learn, be a forever student!

  • Know how to respect peers, instructors, materials, and facilities.

  • Be willing to explore new pathways of discovering your art.

  • Be prepared to work equally as hard on their academic success.

Required Courses

  • Fundamental Techniques I & II (9th – 12th grade)
  • Advanced Techniques I & II (10th – 12th grade)
  • Acting I & II (9th & 10th grade)
  • Music Literacy
  • Intro to Piano
  • Stagecraft
  • Musical Theatre Practicum
  • Musical Theatre Senior Capstone Performance

Please view our Program of Studies here.

Audition Requirements

Musical Theatre combines all areas of the performing arts into one major. Acting, Singing, Dancing, and Music are all present in the training of a Musical Theatre Student. Applicants of this program should be aware that they will train in all disciplines as part of their coursework sequence if they are accepted into this program.

The Musical Theatre program at Westinghouse Arts Academy requires applicants to submit the following materials to be considered for admittance into the program:

Component 1: Introduction Video

Please record a 1-minute long video of you introducing yourself and why you would like to be considered for acceptance into the Musical Theatre program at Westinghouse Arts Academy.

Component 2: Vocal Technique Video

Please record a video of you singing 1 – 1.5 minutes of a song that you sing very well.

(A song from musical theatre repertoire is preferred, but not required)

Component 3: Acting Technique Video

Please record a video of yourself presenting a 1 – 1.5 minute monologue from a published play (no movies or musicals).


If you do not have a monologue prepared, you may submit a second video of you singing a song that is contrasting to your first choice. This means that the song is, in some way, different from your first song choice. This could be a difference in style, time period, tempo, or any character contrast. This video should be 1 – 1.5 minutes.

Component 4: Dance Technique Video

Please select one of the pre-recorded dances to learn, learn it at home, and submit a video of yourself performing the choreography. There is a Musical Theatre Jazz Combination, a Tap combination, and a Ballet combination to select from.

Altogether, you should be submitting four videos for review.

Tips for recording your videos:

  1. Make sure you record somewhere that is well-lit, relatively quiet, and please make sure you are standing or sitting (if necessary) to present your materials. No laying down!
  2. Please record your videos in LANDSCAPE (horizontal)!!
  3. In each of your videos that contain audition material, tell us what your material is before you start to present it. For example, “Hi, this is So Much Better from Legally Blonde”.
  4. Most importantly, BE YOURSELF!! Show us who you are and what you love to do!

Performance Opportunities/Events

  • Musical Theatre Practicum (Fall- MT Majors only)

  • Spring Musical

  • Fall Play

  • Monthly Performing Arts Studio Class/Masterclasses

  • Summer Musical Theatre Intensive

Past Masterclasses & Special Guests


  • Jenn Collela – Tony Award Nominee (Come from Away, Chaplin, If/Then)
  • Christy Altimore – Broadway Actor (Anastasia, Spring Awakening, Mama Mia)
  • Caitlin Kinnunen – Broadway Actor (The Prom, Spring Awakening)
  • Matt Gumley – Broadway Actor (Elf: The Musical, The Addams Family, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins)
  • Scout Backus – Broadway Actor – (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Davis Wayne – Broadway Actor (Hadestown)
  • Jordan Leigh McKaskill – Touring Actor (Book of Mormon, Punk Rock Girl, Jagged Little Pill)
  • Savannah Bruno – Amusement Park Entertainer – (RWS & Associates


  • Rick Edinger – Program Coordinator: Musical Theatre – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Aaron Galligan – Stirele – Musical Theatre Department Head – Slippery Rock University
  • David Skeele – Professor of Acting – Slippery Rock University
  • Daina Griffith – Actor and Coach – Griffith Coaching Acting Studio
  • Dr. Bill Crawford – Psychiatrist and author specializing in empowering young artists.
  • Chrisala Brown – West African/Diaspora Dance
  • Ben Pimmental – Recent Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Graduate

Achievements & Recognition

​Gene Kelly Awards 2022 – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee:

–  Best Musical (Won!)

–  Best Scenic Design (Won!)

–  Best Costume Design (Won!)

–  Best Lighting Design (Won!)

–  Best Vocal Ensemble (Won!)

–  Best Dance Ensemble (Won!)

Along with the many performing opportunities offered to our students, those participating in the spring musical have the unique and distinguished experience of performing for the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre! Since Westinghouse started participating in 2017, we have received over twenty GKA nominations! While the GKAs are a competition, it is viewed by our community as a celebration of high school musical theatre.

Musical Theatre Faculty

Select the faculty member’s name to view their professional background and contact information.

Nick Lens | Head of Performing Arts Department

Nick Lenz | | 412-646-1718 ext. 7200

With nearly two decades of unwavering commitment to Musical Theatre, Mr. Lenz’s journey has been marked by excellence, innovation, and an unyielding dedication to fostering inclusive artistic spaces. His journey in Musical Theatre began in Pittsburgh, where he trained and performed with institutions like Pittsburgh Musical Theatre and Stage Right! School for the Performing Arts. His quest for artistic excellence led him to Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. Currently, he is diligently pursuing a Master of Education in Advanced Teaching from the University of the People, further solidifying his commitment to the craft of education.

Notable productions under his leadership include titles such as “Into the Woods,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Seussical: The Musical,” “All Together Now (2022 Gala),” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and most recently “Godspell.” His artistic vision has not only brought acclaim to the program but earned regional recognition. Under his leadership, Westinghouse Arts Academy’s numerous nominations and impressive 11-time award recipient of the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre. 

Central to Mr. Lenz’s philosophy is the creation of inclusive and nurturing artistic spaces. His classrooms stand as a refuge, embodying diversity and inclusivity by warmly embracing all individuals, especially those from the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities. In his unwavering commitment to fostering acceptance and inclusivity, he ensures that students from all backgrounds not only feel welcomed, but genuinely valued.

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