Moving Story Musical Theater Intensive

musical theater workshop fairfax va

Moving Story Musical Theater Intensive

Saturday, January 7 & Sunday, January 8, 2023

Ages 15-20

COVID Safety Guidelines: Mason Community Arts Academy follows all safety protocols required by George Mason University. Visit our COVID Safety Guidelines for more information.


This January, Mason Community Arts Academy and Moving Story welcome students and performers ages 15-20 with musical theater experience to participate in the Moving Story Musical Theater Intensive.

Learn from Top Broadway and Theatre Professionals!

Featuring Rachel Bay JonesCharlotte d’AmboiseErin Gardiner, Kelly Crandall d’Amboise, Colleen Hayes, Jorge Acevedo, Awa Sal Secka, and Christopher d’Amboise.


Held at George Mason University’s School of Dance studios on the Fairfax, VA campus, this two-day musical theater workshop will immerse performers into the world of musical theatre. Featuring top industry professionals including Tony award-winning actor Rachel Bay Jones (Dear Evan Hansen, Pippin, Hair), Tony nominated actor Charlotte d’Amboise (Chicago, A Chorus Line, Pippin), Helen Hayes award-winning actor and Mason School of Theatre professor Erin Gardiner, Emmy nominated director/choreographer Kelly Crandall d’Amboise, Signature Theatre’s Resident Casting Director, Jorge Acevedo, Helen Hayes Award winner Awa Sal Secka, performer and teaching artist Colleen Hayes, and Tony nominated and Mason School of Dance professor Christopher d’Amboise, the Moving Story Musical Theatre Intensive will help guide and prepare you to be your best self as a performing artist.

Charlotte d’Amboise leads a master class in musical theatre dance and performance. This year, Ms. d’Amboise will be teaching via live stream through the Mason LIVE Center Window Wall.

Learn what it takes to work at the highest level and stand out! Spend your weekend fine tuning your audition skills as an actor, singer, and dancer through musical theater classes and workshops with top industry pros! Find your voice in vocal master classes, dance original and Broadway choreography, learn about the business of show biz in a panel discussion with industry professionals, and participate in a special workshop and Q&A with Rachel Bay Jones, streamed via the Mason LIVE Center Window Wall. The Window Wall is a HD video/projection system that links participants from different locations in a realtime, life-size experience. This enables mentors to connect with students regardless of geographic location.

musical theater workshop fairfax va
Broadway veteran Terrence Mann instructs students via Mason’s LIVE Center Window Wall (2020).

Students will receive invaluable feedback to sharpen their audition and performance skills, hone their craft, and most importantly, tap into what makes them unique as a performing artist! Learn from the best, do the work, and have a blast! JOIN US!

Ages: 15-20

Dates: Saturday, January 7 & Sunday, January 8, 2023

Time: 10:00 am–5:00 pm

Tuition: $450

Location: Mason Fairfax Campus, de Laski Performing Arts Building


Tentative Schedule

Saturday: January 7th 10 am – 5 pm

Orientation (30 minutes)

Dance/Repertory class (90 minutes) – Instructor: Colleen Hayes.  A contemporary musical theater dance class with emphasis on individuality, personal style, and technique. Including current Broadway repertoire and original choreography.


Acting Through the Music Theater Song (90 minutes) – Instructor: Erin Gardiner. Musical theater requires a performer to sing their song masterfully but also connect to the material they are singing.  During this workshop, the student will receive the tools needed to fully flush out their acting skills on a musical theater song and put together a better overall musical theater performance.


“Get a Job” (75 minutes) – Instructor: Christopher d’Amboise.  Dance audition tips and techniques for musical theater dance auditions.


Masterclass (90 minutes) – With Tony award winner Rachel Bay Jones. Including some one-on-one mentoring and a Q&A open to all. NOTE: this is will be streamed via the Mason LIVE Center Window Wall.

Sunday: January 8th 10 am – 5 pm

Dance/Repertory class – Colleen Hayes: a continuation of the first day’s class with review of Broadway Repertoire(90 minutes)


Acting a Song and Audition Technique Group A (75 minutes) – Instructors: director/choreographer and former casting director at Signature Theatre, Kelly d’Amboise and Resident Casting Director at Signature Theatre, Jorge Acevedo.  Each student will sing 32 bars of their audition song and receive feedback and adjustments.

Lunch Group A

Acting a Song and Audition Technique Group B (75 minutes) – Instructors: director/choreographer and former casting director at Signature Theatre, Kelly d’Amboise and Resident Casting Director at Signature Theatre, Jorge Acevedo.  Each student will sing 32 bars of their audition song and receive feedback and adjustments.

Lunch Group B

In the Business of Show Business Panel (60 minutes) – With Kelly d’Amboise and Jorge Acevedo


Master Class with Charlotte d’Amboise (90 minutes) –  Students will perform Broadway repertoire and receive feedback and instruction. NOTE: this is will be streamed via the Mason LIVE Center Window Wall.

Guest Artists

Rachel Bay Jones

Read more about Rachel

Rachel Bay Jones is best known for originating the role of ‘Heidi Hansen’ in the Original Broadway Cast of Dear Evan Hansen, and received a Tony Award, Emmy Award, Grammy Award, Lucille Lortel Award, and a Drama League nod for her performance.

An actress acclaimed for her versatile ability to bring life to comedic, dramatic and character roles, she has garnered praise for her performances in Diane Paulus’ Tony Award Winning Revivals of “Pippin” and “Hair”, went on for Patti Lupone in the Original Broadway production of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, wowed New York audiences in the critically acclaimed productions of Michael John LaChiusa’s “First Daughter Suite”  and “Hello Again,” and received rave reviews for her performance as ‘Diana’ in The Kennedy Center’s revival production of “Next to Normal,” directed by Michael Grief.

She can be seen on television in major roles currently on ABC’s “The Good Doctor” & CBS’ “The United States of Al”, and on Amazon’s “Panic,”  “Why Women Kill” on Paramount+, ABC’s “Modern Family” & CBS’ “God Friended Me.”

On Film she starred in “Ben Is Back,” opposite Julia Roberts, and in “Critical Thinking,” directed by and opposite John Leguizamo.

Her debut solo album “Showfolk” can be purchased on iTunes and Amazon.

Charlotte d’Amboise

Read more about Charlotte

Charlotte d’Amboise is an American actress and dancer. She has been nominated for two Tony Awards for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and A Chorus Line and won the Los Angeles Ovation Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Chicago. Additional Broadway credits include Kinky Boots, Sweet Charity, and Damn Yankees, Cats, Carrie, Song and Dance, Company, Contact, and Pippin. She has also appeared in numerous Film and TV shows including Every Little Step and Frances Ha. She’s proud to be Co-Founder with husband Terrence Mann of a Musical Theatre Intensive called TRIPLE ARTS.

Awa Sal Secka

Read more about Awa

Regional: BERKELEY REP: GODDESS (Grio). SIGNATURE: Gun and Powder (Flo), Blackbeard (Kali Maa), Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon), Broadway in the Park, Signature Vinyl. FORD’S: Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), The Wiz (Glinda/Dorothy u/s). ROUND HOUSE: School Girls (Ama), Caroline, or Change (Dottie). KENNEDY CENTER: Me Jane (Maisie), Chasing the Wind (Abby). IMAGINATION: Cinderella (Cinderella), Charlie Brown (Lucy). ARTSCENTRIC: L5Y (Cathy), AIDA (Aida), MEMPHIS (Felicia). CENTER STAGE: Glorious World (Lady 3). ATMTC: James and the Giant Peach (Sponge). STUDIO: SILENCE! (Ardelia). OTC: The Joy That Carries You (Co-writer), Dessa Rose Concert (Dessa), Children of Eden Concert (Eve), Avenue Q. UPCOMING – FORD’S: Christmas Carol (Fred’s Wife). STC: GODDESS (Grio).

Program Faculty

Christopher d’Amboise
Mason School of Dance Professor

Christopher d’Amboise became a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet, where he worked closely with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, dancing all the major roles, as well as originating several works. He left the company in 1983 to pursue other interests, including performing in the Broadway production of Song and Dance, which earned him a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for a role in which he only danced. From 1990-94, he was artistic director, president, and CEO of the Pennsylvania Ballet. His choreography explores the integration of text, dance, music and drama and seeks to reinforce a positive perspective of humanity. He has created more than 80 ballets for numerous international companies. His Tribute premiered with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center in 2007. For musical theatre, he choreographed productions of High Society and the rock musical William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a project conceived by his brother-in-law, Terrence Mann. Television credits include appearances on the Kennedy Center Honors, Live from Studio 8H, and the Emmy-winning documentary He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing. He has initiated outreach programs and taught master classes and workshops at schools and universities worldwide. Mr. d’Amboise received his MFA in Dance from George Mason University, where he currently teaches in the School of Dance.

Kelly d’Amboise
Director, Choreographer, & Teaching Artist

Kelly is an Emmy-nominated director, earning accolades for her work as director of the National Philharmonic’s 2020-21 Season on PBS. As a director/choreographer for television and theatre, she has worked with many artists and luminaries including Vanessa Williams, Chita Rivera, Ariana Debose, Patti LaBelle, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Betty Who, Jennifer Holliday, Laura Osnes, and Norm Lewis. From directing live large scale concerts and benefits and national television specials like An Ella Fitzgerald Christmas for PBS, to choreographing regional theatre productions of Grand Hotel, She Loves Me, Light Years for DC’s Signature Theatre, to writing and directing intimate cabarets, Kelly works in many mediums. As a performer, Kelly has worked on Broadway, in Hollywood and in Vegas with the likes of Hugh Jackman (The Boy from Oz), Robin Williams (The Academy Awards), Penn & Teller (Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular), Placido Domingo (LA Opera’s Samson and Delilah), Sally Field (Beautiful), Tony Bennett (Elizabeth Glaser Benefit), and Jim Carrey (Disney’s A Christmas Carol). Kelly was the Resident Casting Director/Artistic Associate at Signature Theatre from 2017-2021 and now enjoys work as a freelance director/choreographer and teaching artist, teaching and mentoring young artists. Kelly is an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University’s School of Dance and a faculty member of Triple Arts.

Colleen Hayes
Actress, Choreographer, & Teaching Artist

Colleen Hayes is a Frederick, MD native and has spent the majority of her career as a performer and teacher in New York City. She recently relocated to the DMV and is thrilled to be back in the area to continue her work and be closer to family.

Her performing career began with the first national tour of Catch Me If You Can. Other credits include Crazy for You (Patsy) at The Rev Theatre Company, and The Producers and Cinderella at Fulton Opera House. TV commercial credit includes Roaring 20s for DC Lotto. Additional NYC credits include Nickelodeon’s Butterbean’s Café, Corn and Peg, Paw Patrol, and Dora the Explorer where she currently works as an audio book narrator for their digital app.

In addition to her time in New York, she has worked locally at theatres including Signature Theatre and Olney Theatre Center. Her Signature Theatre credits include the world premiere of the musical Diner (music by Sheryl Crow, book by Barry Levinson, directed by Kathleen Marshall), Helen Hayes Award winning Cabaret, Helen Hayes nominated West Side Story (Velma), and Crazy for You (Patsy). She also appeared in Helen Hayes Award winning A Chorus Line (Sheila) and How to Succeed… (Hedy LaRue) at Olney Theatre Center.

In addition to performing, Colleen teaches dance and fitness locally and along the east coast for high schools, dance competitions/conventions, and universities. She recently choreographed the first All County Dance showcase celebrating high school dancers across Frederick County and spent the spring semester as a member of the adjunct faculty at George Mason University teaching Intermediate Broadway Jazz. Colleen holds a degree in Theatre and Dance with a Musical Theatre Concentration from James Madison University.

Joseph Walsh
Mason School of Theatre Professor

Joseph Walsh has three decades of experience in preparing, presenting and conducting opera and musical theater in Virginia, across the U.S. and internationally. He is a conductor admired for his ability to combine dramatic flair and theatrical excitement with sensitivity, detail and a keen sense of dramatic pacing. Recently he was music director for The Pirates of Penzance at Riverside Dinner Theater and Christmas at the Old Bull and Bush, George, Don’t Do That! and Master Class, all at Alexandria, Virginia’s Metro Stage. He has been music director with the In Series in Washington D.C. where he debuted with a production of Kabarett & Cabaret, conducted performances of Fidelio and opened their 2016-2017 season with a double bill of La Serva Padrona and Trial by Jury. Mr. Walsh was involved in the musical preparation of more than 65 productions at Virginia Opera, where he served for 17 years, most recently as associate artistic director and conducted productions of Madame ButterflyDon Giovanni, The Daughter of the Regiment and Susannah, among many others. Subsequently for three years he was general director with Lyric Opera Virginia, where among many highlights he conducted The King and I with Broadway stars Lisa Vroman and Kevin Grey. In addition to these positions, Mr. Walsh conducted at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy for five summers. He served as pianist for two summer programs at the Maputo Music Festival in Mozambique, Africa and conducted for two summers at the GMU Korean Summer Institute in Seoul. He has conducted many orchestras in performances including the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic Orchestra of Romania and the Collegium Philarmonicum of Naples, Italy. He has also been music director for productions at The Delaware Children’s Theatre and Three Little Bakers Dinner Theater, both in Wilmington, Delaware. Mr. Walsh is an active recitalist, accompanying both classical voice recitals and Broadway cabarets.

Currently, Mr. Walsh is a faculty member at George Mason University’s School of Music and School of Theater where he serves as conductor, music director, coach and pianist. Recently, he was music director for productions of RagsBig RiverMerrily We Roll AlongDido and AeneasLa BohèmeIolantheThe Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute.

Mr. Walsh serves as artistic advisor for all classical voice programs offered by the Washington D.C. chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters. He has taught numerous voice master classes and judged many vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions (Middle Atlantic District), The National Society of Arts and Letters’ DC Chapter’s Dorothy Lincoln Smith Voice Competition, Partners for the Arts Vocal Competition and the Charles Williams Voice Competition at Levine Music, where he also serves on the faculty. Mr. Walsh has served on the Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Panel, as well as on the coaching faculties of the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. He has written several children’s opera programs, including Giovanni and the Beanstalk and The Wonderful Wizard of Opera which have toured schools throughout Virginia. Mr. Walsh maintains a private coaching studio at his home in Springfield, Virginia.

Erin Gardiner
Mason School of Theatre Professor

Erin Gardiner is an assistant professor of Musical Theater at George Mason University. She has directed both the Fall and Spring musicals and co-directed Mason Cabaret as part of Mason’s Musical Theater program. Mrs. Gardiner is an award winning professional actress, singer and teacher. Her Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Musical Theater is from James Madison University. For over a decade, Erin has worked professionally as an actress and singer in the D.C. area. Mrs. Gardiner has performed at Signature Theatre, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theater, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre. Recognitions include a Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical and the Roger Sturtevant Award for Outstanding Ability in Musical Theater. She has been a proud member of Actor’s Equity. In addition to her work in theater, Mrs. Gardiner also performs in solo cabarets and other concerts, and teaches private voice.

Jorge Acevedo
Casting Director/Manager
Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre

Jorge Acevedo (he/him) is a Graduate in Arts Administration from Wagner College in New York City. He was promoted to Casting Director/Manager of Artistic Programs in July 2021; previously Jorge was Signature’s Casting & Executive Coordinator. Prior to joining Signature, he was an Artistic Planning Assistant at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Jorge was member of the TEDxBroadway Young Professionals Program in 2019 and is a recent graduate of the inaugural class of Broadway for Racial Justice’s Casting Directive. Jorge serves as Co-Chair of Signature’s Anti-Racism & Equity Working Group. He is committed to doing everything in his power to help make our field a much more equitable and safe space for all.