College Break Thru is a 5-day intensive designed for incoming high school freshmen to seniors, who have a strong interest in musical theatre, dance, voice, and acting. With only seventy-five of the nation’s elite high school performing artists accepted, CBT provides unprecedented access to faculty members and admissions adjudicators from the top 23 performing arts universities, exclusive auditions with individual feedback and over $250,000 in college scholarships.




Master Classes from faculty members from the nation’s top performing arts universities

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Exclusive auditions and individual feedback from faculty members from all 23 universities

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Over $250,000 in exclusive college scholarship available to be awarded at the end of the intensive week

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2018 College Break Thru Scholarship Award Winners
$500,000 College Scholarships Awarded


Through direct participation in BBT, over 120 students have been cast in feature films, television series and pilots, Broadway, National Tour, and regional theatre productions. Over 300 students have been accepted into their choice universities and colleges through the direct relationships formed in their BBT experience. Over $700,000 in college scholarships have been awarded.




Student participants to date



University & College Partner



College Acceptance Rate



College Scholarships Awarded


June 24 - 28, 2019
Boarding on Sunday, June 23, 2019

University Center Chicago
525 S State Street
Chicago, IL 60605


$2,495 by March 1, 2019
$2,595 after March 1, 2019

$35 non-refundable application and audition fee

Payment plans are available in four equal monthly installments.

* Fees include tuition, boarding and three meals
each intensive day


The BBT College Break Thru is designed for incoming high school freshmen to incoming high school seniors, who have a strong interest in musical theatre, dance, voice and acting.

Students are divided into two groups, combining high school freshman and sophomores and high school juniors and seniors, with a maximum of thirty-two students in each group.

Our strict group maximums allow for only 10 freshmen, 22 sophomores, 22 juniors and 21 seniors
across the United States, accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.


If accepted into the program, a payment and student registration link will be included in your acceptance email. Payment is required within seven days of acceptance.

If payment is not received within seven days of your acceptance, the credit card used for your application fee will be automatically charged the full tuition fee.

Your student position will be forfeited if payment is not received within seven days of your acceptance.


  • Please prepare a video of one 32 measure musical theatre or under one-minute contemporary Musical Theatre song that best displays your talents OR one age-appropriate monologue, not to exceed one minute.
  • You DO NOT need both a song and monologue; please send only one.
  • Audition Video: At the time of registration, you will be asked up input you YouTube or Vimeo audition link and upload your headshot and resume.
  • The College Break Thru Selection Committee will review, accept or deny all applications within five business days of their receipt .
  • You will be notified via email within seven days if you are accepted into the program. If accepted into the program, a payment and student registration link will be included in your acceptance email.

Example Day

9:00 - 9:15 Morning Meeting
9:15 - 10:15 SING your BEST at your College Auditions
10:15 - 11:15 Transitioning From Stage To Screen
11:15 - 12:15 Unifying your Unifieds Auditions
12:15 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Your Voice & Body Connection
2:00 - 3:00 Second City Improv Class
4:00 - 5:00 College Audition Video Production Class
5:00 - 6:00 Casting Director Master Class
9:00 - 9:15 Morning Meeting
9:15 - 10:15 University Vocal Auditions
10:15 - 11:15 University Dance Auditions
11:15 - 12:15 University Acting Auditions
12:15 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 University Vocal Audition Feedback
2:00 - 3:00 University Dance Audition Feedback
4:00 - 5:00 University Acting Audition Feedback
5:00 - 6:00 Talent Agency Class

* Schedule is an example and not an exact schedule. All class subjects, instructors and times are subject to change based on registration and availability.

The week concludes on Friday, June 28th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm with a special ceremony awarding over $250,000 in college scholarships. All family members are welcome.


Important Dates:

  • June 24, 2019
    Boarding Check-In

  • June 24 – 28, 2019
    College Break Thru Summer Intensive


Boarding & Meal Plan:

525 South State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60605
(312) 924-8000

Accepted Students


$250K in College Scholarships


Onsite College Acceptance


Featured On All Broadway Break Thru's Social Media


Featured on Broadway Break Thru's Website


Exclusive auditions with feedback with 22 of the top performing arts universities in the country


Exclusive Talent Agency Master Class


Professional College Essay Writing Course


Professional College Video Production Course

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Just click the topic you're interested in get an expanded answer.


Day Staff:

We are only accepting seventy-five students. We have twenty-five faculty members, four assistant teachers and three BBT staff members onsite. During classes that equates to a six student to one adult ratio.

Evening Staff:

Two adult and one male BBT assistant teachers board with the students. The same assistant teachers who work with the students during the day.

The University Center is the boarding facility for Roosevelt University, Columbia College, DePaul University and Robert Morris University students year round. The University Center has a fully trained staff of resident advisors, resident nurses and security officers on site twenty-four hours a day.

You can view the boarding security and staffing information by clicking on the link below.

Incoming high school freshman through incoming college freshman.

Airport transportation to and from the intensive is not provided.

Classes - Please wear comfortable, easy to move in clothing. Dance classes require proper dance attire, including footwear. Women are required to have both jazz and character shoes. Men should wear a shoe that does not restrict your range of motion. No jeans or open toed shoes are permitted in dance classes.

All students will participate in mock auditions and receive for every university faculty member teaching during the intensive. Auditions will be held in musical theatre singing, acting and dance.

Please wear audition appropriate attire for all auditions. It is okay to have one or two audition outfits that are worn for all auditions.

Auditions held during the summer intensive will not be considered as college auditions for any of the universities represented at the intensive.

All students must apply, audition, and meet each university’s admission and audition criteria to be considered for admission. Participation in this program does not determine or guarantee acceptance into any university.

Please see your orientation packets for audition information.

Parking is not provided and automobiles are discouraged for the week.
Students are not required to board, but there is no tuition discount for students who do not board.
The safety of residents and our community is critically important. Broadway Break Thru and University Center’s highly-trained security staff are on-site at all times. Additional security is provided by camera and foot surveillance and UC staff has a strong, established relationship with Chicago police officers that patrol the area. The building is fully equipped with sprinklers, modern fire, and life safety systems and meets the City of Chicago student housing building codes and regulations.
The BBT Summer Intensive is just that, an intensive boot camp experience. Students may excel in different art forms, but all students are required to attend all classes. Unexcused class absence is cause for immediate dismissal from the entire Summer Intensive.
Many of our participating universities and private donors will be offering scholarships to their universities pre-college and college program. Scholarship awards will be at the discretion of the representative of the offering university. Students must apply and be accepted to each university before a college scholarship can be applied.

Freshman and Sophomore students are eligible for many universities Pre-College summer scholarships. Junior and Senior students will be available for all awards.

Broadway Break Thru does not allow or authorize evening activities.
Because of the limited number of students positions available, we are not able to offer any student discounts.

Financial aid and scholarships are not available. Convenient payment plans are available. More information can be found by visiting:

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served Monday through Thursday. Breakfast and lunch only will be served on Friday. Dinner will not be available through the meal plan on Sunday evening after check-in. Meals are provided by University Center’s cafeteria. For more information visit

We are all too familiar with the recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. On that horrific day, Mrs. Herzfeld's students were in their drama class. Mrs. Herzfeld saved sixty-five of her students' lives by barricading them into a closet. Most of the students leading the Never Again movement and seen on television are Mrs. Herzfeld's students.

In honor of Mrs. Herzfeld and her student's bravery and leadership, Broadway Break Thru has created the Melody Herzfeld College Break Thru scholarship. Join us in celebrating Mrs. Melody Herzfeld and her students by donating to the Stoneman Douglas High School College Break Thru scholarship fund. Mrs. Herzfeld will be selecting her students to be awarded the College Break Thru scholarships.

Please click on the link to donate:

A total of 75 students will be accepted into College Break Thru. We will accept 15 high school freshmen, 20 high school sophomores, 20 high school juniors, and 20 high school seniors. Students are accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Four equal payments are deducted from your credit or debit card at the time of checkout.
The College Break Thru Summer Intensive is an educational and audition experience. There will not be a showcase or final performance.

You must prepare both a monologue and a 32-bar song selection, with the accompanying sheet music for your song.

SONG: Students must prepare a 32-bar musical theatre song for their two musical theatre singing auditions, and bring the sheet music in their key. An accompanist will be provided for auditions. No acapella or self-accompanied auditions will be permitted.

MONOLOGUE: Student must prepare and memorize a one-minute contemporary monologue for their acting auditions.

Bring at least five current pictures and resumes stapled together.

Refunds are at Broadway Break Thru’s discretion. If a refund granted, cancellations received by February 1, 2019, will receive seventy-five percent (75%) of all fees paid. Cancellations received by March 1, 2019, will receive fifty percent (50%) of all fees paid. No refunds will be provided after April 1, 2019, regardless of circumstance. Refund requests can be sent via e-mail or regular mail only. Phone requests will not be accepted. All refunds are issued by check. Please allow six weeks for processing.
Broadway Break Thru cannot accommodate roommate requests.
An orientation packet will be emailed after your purchase is completed.
A scholarship award ceremony will be held Friday, June 28th from 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm. The award ceremony is open to the public, and all are welcome. Location information will be included in student’s class schedules.
Students are divided into two groups, combining high school freshman and sophomores and high school juniors and seniors, with a maximum of thirty-two students in each group.

$2,295 by December 31, 2018
$2,595 after December 31, 2018

Tuition includes classes, mock auditions, feedback, and University Center boarding and meal plan each intensive day.

Check-in will be held on Sunday, June 23, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.
Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm
Pick up will be held from 6pm on Friday, June 28th in the lobby of University Center 525 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60605.