Skip to content
Ana Laura Santana in LB for website. Photo by Kata Sasvari

In support of Northern Stage’s mission to change lives, one story at a time, Northern Stage, in collaboration with The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, presents Boot Camp, a program for young artists who seek to further their education in the theater. Boot Camp will provide personalized and in-depth theater training and mentorship for high school juniors and seniors from throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. 

Admission to colleges, BFA theater programs, performing arts conservatories, and internship programs is highly competitive and requires rigorous preparation. The complicated methods of application can discourage less supported students from applying and Financial aid is also difficult to navigate. Boot Camp will seek to level the playing field by preparing scholars who come from underserved communities to compete at the highest level for continued arts and performance studies.

Run by Northern Stage Director of Education, Eric Love, The Boot Camp Company will include training and mentorship from professional theater artists in acting, singing, and dancing as well as access to college counselors. Boot Camp scholars will also receive financial support for performance opportunities through Northern Stage’s Youth Ensemble Studio and Summer Musical Theater Intensive.

The Boot Camp Company accepts applications from current high school sophomores and juniors who are passionate about deepening their theater training and applying for colleges. We are especially dedicated to serving those who would otherwise be unable to afford professional level arts training. The goal is that each senior will complete the Boot Camp program with admission to a BA or BFA college program, as well as the financial support through need-based, merit, and talent scholarships.

Core Boot Camp Company Training

1. Audition Monologues (10 sessions)
2. Voice Lessons (1x per Week, Total: 30 lessons)
3. Vocal Coaching (1x per Month, Total 8 lessons)
4. Dance Classes (2x per Week)
5. On-On-One Dance Prescreen (4 sessions)
6. Group Audition Master Classes (2x per Month, Total: 10 Boot Camp Days)
7. College Application Guidance
8. College Summer Sprint Week (1 week in August)
9. Professional Headshot & Resume
10. Boot Camp Audition Showcase (2 performances – 1 local, 1 NYC)
11. NYC Audition Trip
12. YES Main Stage Days
13. YES Spring Main Stage Musical
14. Summer Musical Theater Intensive)

2021-22 Boot Camp Company Overview (All Dates Subject to Change*) 

COLLEGE SUMMER SPRINT WEEK: August 15 – 21, 2021 
Boot Camp College counselor, Michele Caccavaro, and Director of Boot Camp, Eric Love, will work with Scholars to prepare their college application and audition materials including finalizing their list of schools and working on college essays.

1st SEMESTER: August 23, 2021 – December 11, 2022 (16 Weeks)
Scholars will work with coaches across disciplines to prepare prescreen videos and train for college auditions.

HOLIDAY BREAK: December 11, 2021 – January 2, 2022 (3 Weeks)
SHOWCASE & NYC AUDITION TRIP: January 3 – January 23 (3 Weeks)
Scholars will present their audition pieces in a showcase to be performed at Northern Stage and in NYC and travel to NYC to complete college auditions and experience Broadway Theater.

POST AUDITION BREAK: January 24 – February 13 (3 Weeks)
Scholars will continue to train and hone their skills in preparation for the spring musical, summer musical theater intensive, and college.

2nd SEMESTER: February 14 – May 1 (11 Weeks) 
Scholars will shift their focus to applying for scholarships, visiting schools, and choosing a college while participating in the spring musical.

Summer Musical Theater Intensive: June 27 – July 31
Scholars will celebrate their accomplishments by acting in the Summer Musical Theater Intensive and preparing for college or their senior year of high school.

*In your junior year you will participate alongside the seniors and complete all aspects of the program aside from the actual college applications.


The Boot Camp Company is not for everyone. It is an intensive program specially designed for young actors who are passionate about deepening their theater training and applying for colleges. When considering Boot Camp candidates, Northern Stage is looking for three qualities: 

Talent: You must demonstrate that you are ready for rigorous, advanced theater training. For BFA minded seniors, you must be ready to compete with thousands of applicants for a handful of spots. 

Desire: You need to want it. A Boot Camper needs to be excited to put hundreds of hours into their training and willing to make sacrifices like missing a party for rehearsal or spending your Sunday working on college applications. 

Need: It is central to our mission that Boot Camp is a need-based program. Students applying for this program need to fill out a scholarship application. When considering whether you qualify as need-based, start with the following question, “Could your family pay for the lessons, college application fees, trip to NYC, summer program, and other features of this program on your own?” If the answer is no, we encourage you to apply to this program. If the answer is yes, please contact Boot Camp Director Eric Love ( for a follow-up conversation.


While there are many teaching artists who are brought in for special workshops or series of master classes, the core Boot Camp team is: 

  1. Eric Love (Director) 
  2. Jackie Pageau (Education Manager) 
  3. Michele Caccavaro (College Counselor) 
  4. Julie Ness (Voice Teacher) 
  5. Jennifer Hansen (Voice Teacher) 

Previous Boot Camp Guest Artists have included: 

  1. Robert Grant (Classical Monologue Coach) 
  2. Kate Kenney (Classical Monologue Coach) 
  3. Austin Davy (Accompanist & Vocal Coach) 
  4. Susan Lamontagne (Dance Coach) 
  5. Ally Sawyer (Dance Coach) 
  6. Jackie Stanton-Conley (Dance Coach) 


ERIC LOVE (Director) is in his sixth season as the Director of Education for Northern Stage. Before making his home in the White River Junction, Love spent seven years acting and directing in New York City. Love made his Off-Broadway debut understudying Christian Borle as The Black Stache in the Peter and the Starcatcher at the New York Theater Workshop. Love’s professional Northern Stage directing debut was Matilda in 2018, featuring 30 local young actors. For the Northerns Stage’s Youth Ensemble Studio and Summer Musical Theater Intensive, Love directed The Raven, Love and Information, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, PrehistoROCK!, Twelfth Night, Dear Edwina, Brown Girl Dreaming, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, School of Rock, The Drowsy Chaperone, and James and the Giant Peach. Love has also directed plays for Lost Nation Theater, Chandler Center for the Arts, Dartmouth, Carolina Friends School, and Boston Children’s Theatre.

JACKIE PAGEAU (Education Manager) is a New Hampshire native and in her second season as Education Manager at Northern Stage where she was previously a founding E-term member and teaching artist. She graduated in 2018 from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Theater and spent two years as a stage manager and theater educator based out of NYC before returning to the Upper Valley. For Northern Stage’s Youth Ensemble Studio and YES Jr., she directed On Any Given Winter Wednesday Night and The Emperor’s New Clothes as well as stage managing Much Ado about Nothing and She Kills Monsters. She has also worked with The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s education tour of Romeo and Juliet and The New London Barn Playhouse.

MICHELE CACCAVARO (College Counselor) has been teaching high school English for 25 years. Throughout her career, she has developed curriculum that supports students as they approach the college application process, including the college and scholarship essay and resume writing. Her interest and knowledge of youth theater has developed from her experience serving as the Executive Board President Of Performer’s Playground, a non-profit youth theater organization in Newport. She has combined her passion for teaching and knowledge of theater into designing Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO’s) for middle and high school students as a way for them to earn school credit for outside theater experiences. She has two daughters who are very active in theater and alumni of Boot Camp.

JULIE NESS (Voice Teacher) is a soprano with a BM in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory. After receiving her training, she went on to make her professional debut with Opera San Jose in California and lived and worked on the West Coast for many years. While living in New York City, she made her Carnegie Hall debut and also performed recitals with Trinity Church and the New York Festival of Song. She has worked with Opera San Jose, Festival Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, and the Chicago Humanities Festival and has sung with the American Bach Soloists and the San Francisco City Choir and Orchestra. Since moving to Vermont, she has devoted her time to teaching voice privately and with the Upper Valley Music Center, recital work, and raising her three young children. Her students are active in the Upper Valley and beyondmany are graduates pursuing classical voice and musical theater degrees.

JENNIFER CAROL HANSEN (Voice Teacher) is a mezzo-soprano with a BA from Dartmouth College. She has performed as a soloist throughout northern New England. She has performed with the Boston Vocal Artists and Opera North and has given solo and chamber music recitals across the northeast. She has been a semifinalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Annual Solo Competition and has been a New England finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Auditions. She is choir director and organist at Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon, a cantor at St. Denis Parish in Hanover, and teaches voice privately in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Jennifer has taught voice since 1988. Her students have gone on to sing in music or theater programs at Oberlin Conservatory, St Olaf College, Belmont University, UNH, UVM, Elon University, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, Dartmouth College, and others.


ROBERT GRANT (Classical Monologue Coach) is a classical actor who has appeared at Northern Stage in Macbeth and received his Masters Degree in acting from Yale School of Drama.

KATE KENNEY (Classical Monologue Coach) is a lifelong lover of Shakespeare and a passionate advocate of arts education for all. She is the Director of BridgeUP Theater in the Schools Kate trained for a year at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and has been a teaching artist for Bridge UP and a Company Member of Shakespeare & Company and Ensemble Studio Theatre

AUSTIN DAVY (Accompanist & Vocal Coach) is a musician based in Boston, Massachusetts who has work in theater education and performance. He has played for Broadway in Boston productions and received his BM in Music Direction from the University of Hartford.

SUSAN LAMONTAGNE (Dance Coach) started dancing at age 3 and later trained at The Actor’s Studio in NYC as well as with many gifted voice coaches and mentors along the way. Her 20-year professional performing career included Broadway and National and International Tours.

ALLYSON WEINER-SAWYER (Dance Coach) is a lifelong dancer and has a Musical Theatre degree from Elmira. She owns The Dance Collective and is a choreographer for Trumbull Hall Troupe and NCCT. She has been nominated several times as Best Choreographer by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards and won Best Choreographer in 2013 for her work in The Music Man.

JACKIE STANTON-CONLEY (Dance Coach) started her ballet training at the age of 7 and after advancing through the R.A.D. Method, she studied on scholarships at various schools including Chicago City Ballet, The Bolshoi in Vail, CO, The New York City Ballet at NYSSA and BalletMet. In the summer of 2009, Jackie earned her certification as an ABT Certified Teacher. 

Thank you for your interest in Boot Camp! 

Made possible through the generosity of the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation.

Boot Camp Company

boot camp headshots for website

What our past students have to say about the program:

“Boot Camp gave me all the opportunity and just asked me to give effort and have discipline.” – David Stark
“Getting accepted into college immediately after my first audition in the city was the most phenomenal feeling in the world.” – Emmy Masteller
“For the first time I am excited for what my future holds.” – Rylee Pauling
“Boot Camp is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” – Kyle Mason

For more information about the program or how to apply, contact Director of Education Eric Love at