JumpStart Theatre

La Jolla Playhouse is pleased to partner with the Educational Theatre Association’s (EdTA) JumpStart Theatre program. The program equips non-theatre middle school teachers with the skills and resources to produce their school’s first musical through a proven combination of hands-on mentoring and boot-camp style training. EdTA, in collaboration with NYC-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI), created JumpStart Theatre, a three-year program which builds sustainable musical theatre programs where none previously existed, and aims to:

  • Engage as many students as possible in all aspects of theatre, preparing them for high school, college, and the workforce by instilling 21st-century skills of collaboration, communication, problem solving, and creativity;
  • Provide a practical and effective path to implementation in underserved middle schools nationwide.


How it works:

Schools are rigorously screened on multiple criteria, most notably, passion and commitment. Participant schools receive the materials, funding, expert training, and experienced teaching artist mentor support to produce one full-scale musical production each year on a three-year path to sustainable capability.

JumpStart Theatre Schools
Current Schools:
Challenger Middle School
Marston Middle School

JumpStart Graduates:
De Portola Middle School
Innovation Middle School
Knox Middle School
Los Coches Creek Middle School
Montgomery Middle School

Spring 2023 – Applications posted for 23/24 school year and Interview period for schools who have applied.
May 2023-August 2023 – Selected schools notified.
September 2023 – Orientation for selected schools.
Fall 2023 – Program begins at selected sites.

Apply now for the 23/24 school year!

Training & Ongoing Mentoring:

Three teachers from each participating school are taught the techniques and skills to develop and manage a musical theatre program (everything from casting, to rehearsal schedules, to staging/choreography and technical requirements, to cultivating parent/community engagement, to achieving economic sustainability) through a series of three, full-day professional development “bootcamps” each year of the three-year program, plus an ongoing mentoring/coaching relationship with an experienced theatre teaching artist.

To learn more email [email protected].

The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with approximately 125,000 active members whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. EdTA is home of the International Thespian Society, which has inducted more than 2.3 million students since its founding in 1929.The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) is the fundraising arm of EdTA, providing financial support to enhance theatre education and expand access to school theatre programs for every child.


JumpStart Theatre is made possible, in part, through the generous support of:

California Arts Council County of San Diego ResMed Foundation
Peggy and Robert Matthews Foundation
Betty Scalice Foundation/Coastal Community Foundation
Sutherland Foundation

2023 August
2023 September
2023 October
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