at Spotlight Vermont

in association with Bill Reed Voice Studio


VTMTA members and Circle in the Square Theatre School summer musical workshop students at a workshop with Disney Training Artists during our NYC trip on August 1 & 2, 2015

Professional Musical Theatre Training:

Acting, Singing & Dance

Ages 10 to 19, by audition

To be considered as a VTMTA applicant, please click here to complete the online application.

 Auditions will be accepted via YouTube video submissions.

Please email Jen Barden at jen@spotlightvermont.com for an audition, to register and for details about tuition.

Please prepare the following for your online audition:

  1. A memorized song of your choice.
  2. One monologue – contemporary or classical.
  3. A brief example of your dance skills.

Note: If you do not have a monologue prepared, then you may use the words of your song as your monologue.

To read our audition guidelines and for samples of monologues, please click here.

Enrollment is currently open for the following sessions….

Our next session starts on Sat. Oct. 28th, and ends on Sat. Dec. 16th.

( No class on Nov. 4th or Nov. 25th)

Saturdays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

If you would like to audition for the Academy please click on the link above to apply. Admittance to the Academy is by Audition. There is no charge to audition. Once your application has been received we will schedule you for an audition.

I had an amazing time at the VTMTA with Bill Reed and his team! ~ Anouk Von Bernewitz, VTMTA member

We were so happy to find VTMTA for our daughter (Savannah)!  She travels from Rutland every weekend and it is worth every mile for the theory education in dance, music and acting. Thank you for providing such a wonderful, well-rounded, musical theater education. ~ Mindy Hastings

Bill Reed Voice Studio and Spotlight Vermont, both of South Burlington, jointly announced the establishment of the Vermont Musical Theatre Academy in December of 2014. The mission of the academy is to offer students the opportunity to develop their talents as musical theatre singers, actors and dancers. Guided by an accomplished and nurturing faculty, each student will be encouraged to discover the many joys of participating in a collaborative effort of skill development, with the reward of experiencing authentic artistic achievement.

Open to students between the ages of 10 and 18, the Academy will provide an integrated and comprehensive program for the development of speech, acting, singing technique, song interpretation, musical theatre dance and audition preparation. Held at the Spotlight Vermont facility in South Burlington, Academy classes will take place during the academic year in four eight week sessions on Saturday afternoons. Classes begin January 31st, 2015. Performing opportunities will include performances at the end of each session, as well as summer intensives and productions. Training will be provided by the Spotlight staff and Bill Reed, and will include Master Classes with visiting theatre educators and Broadway professionals.

Dr. Reed and Tim and Jen Barden have worked together for years on various performance and educational projects in Vermont and New York City. This new collaboration offers a unique opportunity for young musical theatre performers to participate in an intensive training program that will prepare them for college auditions and a professional career, or for a life of enjoying participating in school and community theatre productions. Reed, who has trained hundreds of students who have gone on to success on Broadway (including TONY Award winners), said: “This is the first time in Northern Vermont that young students have available to them a school year program designed to address all three disciplines necessary to become a successful musical theater performer – singing, dancing, acting.” Spotlight Vermont director, Jen Barden, said: “We’ve structured the course so that students can combine what would normally take three different lessons per week at different times in different places, into one Saturday afternoon. We expect this unique program to attract students from well outside Chittenden County, including Montreal.”


Admission to the Vermont Musical Theatre Academy is by audition.

For more information and to audition, please contact Sally Olson, Managing Director at Bill Reed Voice Studio: admin@billreedvoicestudio.com



Bill ReedBILL REED has dedicated his professional life to guiding singers in their quest to realize their potential as performing artists. Bill was born into a show business family, the son of Vernon Reed of the Buffalo Bills (the acclaimed barbershop quartet). He began his vocal music education at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree. (Bill is a proud member of the Badger Ice Hockey Hall of Fame). He completed his studies at Columbia University, where he earned a doctorate in vocal music education. After a busy and rewarding career as a college choral director, studio voice teacher and concert singer, Bill established a private voice studio in New York City near Lincoln Center, and began his twenty-five year career as singing teacher at the renowned Circle in the Square Theatre School. For over thirty years, he was privileged to work with singers from all over the world, whose specialties ranged from opera to pop and rock, and Broadway to folk and country. He has consulted on a number of Hollywood movies and commercial recordings, and his students have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, City Opera, many European opera houses, and in hundreds of Broadway shows and national tours. Bill’s students have won Oscar Hammerstein, MAC, Drama Desk, Emmy and Tony awards.

In Vermont, Bill’s adult students have had leading roles in numerous local community and professional musical theater productions. His college and school-aged students have performed extensively in school productions and have gone on to study singing and musical theater at many of the most prestigious colleges, universities, and conservatories in the country. A number of Bill’s Vermont students are working professionals and have recently performed in leading roles at the New York City Opera and on Broadway. Bill is in demand nationally as a clinician, and has been invited to give workshops at many colleges, universities, and meetings of professional organizations.

“Working with Bill I gained the endurance to do eight shows a week on Broadway. This man is magic!” ~ Gary Lynch, “Javert” in Les Misérables

Click here to see a feature on master voice teacher, Bill Reed.


JenBarden_headshotJEN BARDEN has been Spotlight Vermont’s Director for close to 20 years. She started dance at the age of 5 at the prestigious “June Claire School of Dance” on Long Island and later went on to be one of their youngest teachers at age 16. Jen went on to study Jazz, Tap and Musical Theater dance with top New York teachers & choreographers like Phil Black, Brenda Bufalino, Frank Hatchet and Jerry Ames. She taught in New York City before moving to Vermont in 1987.

“Jen Barden was one of the very first people I contacted when I got my first Broadway show because the experience and training I received at Spotlight played such a meaningful role in my journey through the musical theater business. Jen Barden.  is one of the most giving, caring and wise teachers I have ever had. ” ~ Paul HeeSang Miller, “Eddie” in Mama Mia




TIM BARDEN,  Spotlight Vermont co-owner, has worked in virtually every possible area of musical theater development and performance. His love for musical theater began when he met the Oscar winning lyricist E.Y.”Yip” Harburg (Finian’s Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz) while Harburg was workshoping a new musical in 1971 at the University of Vermont. A singer, actor, director (who also tap dances), he has appeared in or directed dozens of regional professional and community theater shows including, Brigadoon, The Rainmaker, The Gondoliers, The Mikado, A Little Night Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fantasticks (three times), Closer Than Ever, Baby!, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Oliver and many more. He most recently appeared onstage in the role of Max Bialystock in The Lyric Theatre production of “The Producers”. As a cabaret artist, he was a member of the popular cabaret quintet “Encore!” for over 20 years and performed at Birdland and Danny’s Skylight Room in Manhattan. He studied with Theatre Royal Windsor Director Anthony Wiles. Other teachers who have influenced Tim include Alan Langdon, Scott Zigler, Roger Hornsby, and Harold Guskin. His experience extends way beyond the stage to include technical theater, sound and lighting design, marketing, theater management and producing. He is a former board member and past president of one of the largest community musical theater organizations in the United States (Lyric Theatre).

An accomplished performing arts photographer, Tim has worked with companies such as the Martha Graham Dance Company, Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion, Bill Evans Dance, August Wilson Ensemble, New York Stage Originals (Tap Kids), Broadway Direct and many more.