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 September 2019. 


Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. 

January 11-12 at 7:30
January 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the IStage Performance Ensemble

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Book by Doug Wright
Music Adapted and Arranged by David Weinstein

Directed by John Eby
Music Directed by Piero Bonamico
Choreographed by Amelia Nickles

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

Recommended for audiences in grade 4+


Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories, Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. is an enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance. In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home – and her fins – behind and live in the world above. But first, she’ll have to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl whose enchanting voice he’s been seeking.


O, Wonder! A Tempest Tale

March 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.
March 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the Pegasus Ensemble
Written by James Lex
Based on The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kirsten Grorud


O, Wonder! follows a motley group of characters who have found themselves shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Prospero, ruler of the land and former duke of Milan, sets out to seek revenge on his brother who exiled him many years ago. The plan goes awry when his daughter, Miranda, falls for the prince. This tale – complete with magic and music – explores greed and first love on a turbulent island where every character is bound to discover something new. 



The Secret in the Wings

March 29-30 at 7:30 p.m.
March 31 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+


Once upon a time, bedtime stories featured ogres, monsters, kings, and queens; openly cautioning children about the dangers of the world. Secret in the Wings weaves in and out of six lesser-known fairytales with movement, song, humor, horror, and dreamy theatrical style. Unlike common fairytales of today, these reject the usual themes of love and marriage and instead illuminate the dangers of childhood but also the power that can arise from making brave choices and fighting the superficial façade of a fairy tale’s “happily ever after.”



Failure: A Love Story

April 26-27  at 7:30 p.m.
April 28  at 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the Acting Conservatory (Graduating Class of 2019)
Written by Philip Dawkins
Directed by Ricky Ramon

Recommended for audiences age 10+


By the end of 1928, all three Fail sisters will be dead — expiring in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally consumption. Tuneful songs, and a whimsical chorus follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River, before their time unexpectedly runs out. A magical, musical fable where, in the end, the power of love is far greater than any individual’s successes or failures. Imagination Stage’s Acting Conservatory students delve into an exploration Brechtian style, showcasing actors on stage at all times – transforming into numerous characters in full view of the audience. With stripped away set, props, and lighting designs, the actors connect directly with audiences, inviting them into this delightful and highly theatrical production.


Through the Looking Glass
IStage Dance Theatre Performance
May 2-3, 2019
Choreographed by Ashlee McKinnon


Through the Looking Glass is a devised work using the theme of beauty to escape those things real and unreal. 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.


Flight of the Lawnchair Man

May 17-18 at 7:30 p.m.
May 19 at 6:00 p.m.

Presented by the Musical Theatre Conservatory (Graduating Class of 2019)
Book by Peter Ullian
Music & Lyrics by Robert Lindsey-Nassif
Adapted by Marc Tumminelli
Directed by Ricky Drummond
Music Directed by Deborah Jacobson
Choreographed by Patricia “Pep” Targete

Tickets on sale April 17 – recommended for audiences age 10+


Jerry Gorman is a regular guy from Passaic, New Jersey who just wants to fly. The neighbors think he’s nutty and his mother disapproves. But his girlfriend Gracie believes in him. Loosely based on a true story, Jerry soars to 16,000 feet with nothing but a lawnchair and 400 helium balloons. Flight of the Lawnchair Man is a musical that reminds us that dreams can come true if you believe in yourself.


How to Escape the Sky
May 31-June 1 at 7:30 p.m.
June 2 at 3:00 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

Tickets now on sale!


Athena’s Academy of Flight is not your average boarding school – it’s scattered across magical clouds, 10,000 feet above the ground, and the students who attend have wings that allow them to fly from class to class. However, on the day of the school’s big flying race, disaster strikes and the students lose their ability to fly. No one knows why this happened, but the students have to work together to figure out How to Escape the Sky before the storm comes that night. A brand new musical about teamwork, friendship, and blueberry pie.