During the academic year, students in our Conservatory and Ensemble programs perform full-scale musicals – either in our intimate, 142-seat Christopher and Dana Reeve Studio Theatre or the larger Lerner Family Theatre. These programs require an intensive commitment spanning one semester to two years and require an audition. Below are examples of last year’s performances.


Learn more about upcoming auditions for the Conservatory and Ensemble Programs. 


Information about this year’s student show season will be available in November 2019. 


Mamma Mia! 

January 10-11 at 7:30 p.m.
January 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the IStage Performance Ensemble

Music & Lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Book by Catherine Johnson

Directed by Jeff Sachs

Please note that this is a student production taking place on our Lerner Family Theatre stage.

Recommended for audiences in grade 4+


Sophie is ready to get married to her fiancée Sky, except for one thing – she has never met her father and wants him present for the big day. She invites three men that she discovers in her mother’s diary and believes to be candidates, but when they all arrive, Sophie’s mother Donna becomes distressed. As Sophie, Sky, Donna, her friends, and the three potential fathers prepare for the big day, emotions run high and surprises abound.



March 20-21 at 7:30 p.m.
March 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the IStage Performance Ensemble
Written by Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Nikki Kaplan
Assistant Directed by Alison Gee
Choreographed by Sara Herrera

This show is recommended for ages 10+


Called by Time the “theater event of the year” and nominated for three 2002 Tony Awards, Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses weaves together the ancient myths of Ovid telling stories about life’s endless pursuit of love. Beginning with the well-known story of Midas and his golden touch, through stories about Orpheus and Eurydice, Aphrodite, Zeus, and other gods, their stories are not without ramifications, sometimes devastating ones. ISPE’s sophisticated ensemble of actors and dancers bring to life this hauntingly beautiful script about humanity’s grappling with life’s tenacious craving for love while facing an ever-changing world.



Acting Conservatory Performance

April 24-25 at 7:30 p.m.
April 26 at 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the Graduating Class of 2020

Recommended for audiences age 10+


The Acting Conservatory is an intensive two-year acting technique training opportunity for students entering grades 7-10 (completing the program as 8-11 graders). Their final semester is spent applying their acquired skills towards rehearsing and performing a fully supported non-musical production with a guest team of directors and designers from the professional theatre community of Washington, DC.


IStage Dance Theatre Performance

May 21, 2020
Choreographed by Ashlee McKinnon


The IStage Dance Theatre is an intensive, performance-based ensemble of advanced dancers working together to present an original modern dance in the spring semester. The final show is a presentation of student choreography as well as an original work by McKinnon. 


Improv Night at Imagination Stage
May 5 at 5:00 p.m.

Featuring the IStage Improv Troupe
Special guests – Wonder Whale of Washington Improv Theatre


Join us for a night of laughs as our Teen Improv Troupe joins college/adult improv troupes from the DC theatre & comedy scene! Each team performs a set in the long form Harold style, using one word from the audience as a jumping off point to create 15 minutes of scenes and characters, all without any kind of script. The night ends with all teams combining for a “Jam,” seeing what happens when teens and adults improvise together! The Teen Improv Troupe is an audition-based program for students in grades 9-12 to explore advanced character creation and improvised storytelling while honing rapier-like wit.


The Drowsy Chaperone

May 15-16 at 7:30 p.m.
May 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the Musical Theatre Conservatory (Graduating Class of 2020)
Book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison
Recommended for audiences age 10+


The curtain rises on a present-day musical theatre fanatic eager to tell you about his favorite Broadway musical – The Drowsy Chaperone. He’s the ultimate Everyfan and “Drowsy” is his guilty pleasure. As he begins listening to the rare cast recording, the show cleverly and magically blooms to life, telling the hilarious tale of a pampered Broadway starlet and her debonair fiance, an overzealous producer, a dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a couple of bumbling gangsters. Ruses are played. Hi-jinks occur. And the plot spins everyone into musical comedy euphoria.


Speak Out on Stage – Play
May 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
May 31, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Devised by the Speak Out on Stage Ensemble

Book by Doug Robinson
Directed by Aria Velz

Speak Out on Stage – Musical
May 30, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
May 31, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

Devised by the Speak Out on Stage Ensemble

Book by James Lex
Music and Lyrics Composed and Directed by Jonathan Kirby
Directed by Tyler Herman


Speak Out on Stage (SOOS) gives young performers the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas to help create fun, dramatic, and insightful new works for the stage. This is your chance to “Speak Out” about what’s important to you! In honor of Imagination Stage’s 40th year, we have expanded our Speak Out on Stage program to two companies who perform on the Lerner Family Theatre Stage!