Every child should be exposed to three things: Scripture, Shakespeare and Gilbert & Sullivan
— Solon Candage, principal of the Sheridan School in Washington D.C., where NYGASP's Executive Director David Wannen attended kindergarten through eighth grade

School Programs & Master Classes

NYGASP has a wide variety of educational programs that are tailored each time to match the needs of schools and presenters across the country. Many programs culminate in various forms of performance, so that students either perform Gilbert & Sullivan themselves, or experience NYGASP’s professionals on stage, or both! To inquire about booking a school program or masterclass please contact David Wannen, Executive Director, NYGASP. david@nygasp.org.


In-School Gilbert & Sullivan Workshops

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Two or more teacher/performers from NYGASP’s active roster enter individual classes and, in costume, conduct thorough Gilbert & Sullivan workshops. The workshops include an interactive journey through the story of a popular ‘Big 3’ title (ex. The Pirates of Penzance), education for the students on themes, vocabulary, and historical significance of the G&S shows, and acting workshops where students are coached through full scenes of dialogue. The students light up when they make their peers laugh out loud portraying the colorful characters of the G&S operas! The workshops can be scheduled to include as few or as many as the school would like – many times encompassing every single class in an entire school (for example: 18 classes over three days of an elementary school…). The content is slightly altered and balanced to match the ages of the students and are ideal for ages 5-13.

Recent NYGASP education programs have been booked by such prestigious institutions Lincoln Center and New York City Center.

Wand'Ring Minstrels Performance

Often after days of workshops involving a student body, a school will present a NYGASP performance of the piece being studied. This performance features the quintet of NYGASP’s leading performers, The Wand’ring Minstrels. These are abridged versions of the famous G&S shows that are cut down to about an hour and perfect for all ages. The most popular program is Pirates in One Act, but additional titles H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado, and Trial by Jury are also available. In many cases students are afforded time to learn musical numbers from the show(with support from their music teachers!), and the performance becomes interactive as students sing and move along with the performers on select songs.

Audition/Performance Masterclass


Getting past self-consciousness and nerves seems an insurmountable challenge for young performers in both audition and on-stage scenarios. Little instruction is given to the techniques and skills needed to audition and perform with confidence. This class is a study of the craft of acting while singing, which if practiced can eliminate anxiety and lead to magical moments while performing. The class, while ideal for high school or college students interested in musical theater or opera, can involve advanced upper middle school (7th- 8th grade) students. All skill levels for high school or college are welcome as long as students have interest. The students learn skills they can immediately implement in order to get cast in their dream roles, get their first job, or enthrall their first audiences! NYGASP provides the teacher/directors and schools or presenters provide accompanist. Students prepare and bring sheet music of a musical theatre song or opera aria, preferably in English.

Gilbert & Sullivan Acting Masterclass


Ideal for ages 12-adults, particularly high school and college students. NYGASP performer/directors teach theatrical, comedic acting technique using Gilbert & Sullivan as base/practice material. Content includes a brief discussion of G&S performance practices, and demonstration by NYGASP director/performers. Students act scenes of dialogue focusing on principals such as creating character; listening; presentation & diction; timing; discovery and trusting the text and using the story. Up to 20-30 active participants per hour. (Multiple scenes of duos, trios and quartets are used to include as many students as possible) This class is sometimes paired with the Audition/Performance class for an inclusive educational experience.

Full School Residency

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This residency has evolved from consecutive annual bookings with the Syosset school district in Long Island, and it is the most elaborate of NYGASP’s educational programming, a fully collaborative experience for students involved. NYGASP teacher/directors workshop a full length show with a large group of students, often between 4th and 6th grades. Each school’s music teacher supports the project by extensively working on teaching the students all the music and lyrics that they are assigned. The students create costumes and learn the choreography of a NYGASP chorus. They are joined by NYGASP professional performers who play the principals, rehearse before performing the show in front of an assembly students from multiple schools. The students truly feel what it is like to be part of a professional show. This residency takes several weeks to complete and requires a great deal of support from schools' teaching staff.