Who We Are
Our founder, Ellen Lettrich, has been working with young musical theatre and acting performers for almost 28 years, first as a high school classroom teacher and theatre director and, after receiving her MS in Speech-Language Pathology, as a medical voice therapist.
Her diverse teaching experiences led her to found Musical Theatre College Auditions (MTCA), a college theatre audition preparation company. Ellen built MTCA’s team of actively working teaching artists who themselves are grads of rigorous theatre training programs such as Juilliard, Yale School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Michigan, the Boston Conservatory, and NYU Tisch.
Over the past 20 years, MTCA has prepared hundreds of students for college theatre auditions and yielded exceptional success rates. Through her work with MTCA, Ellen saw how difficult it can be for low-income students and those from underrepresented communities to access the information and financial resources needed to be competitive in the audition process for college-level acting and musical theatre programs.
Ellen founded The Fund for College Auditions to bridge this information and financial gap: to support the expenses that are part of college auditions, to provide fair compensation to experienced, innovative, student-centered teaching artists who can help these students excel artistically, and to subsidize college audition information workshops for underserved high schools and theatre groups.
Our Board of Directors
Our Education Partners
TFCA scholarship recipients may use their scholarship funds to train with any of the following:
College Audition Coaches
(includes monologue coaches, song coaches, dance coaches, voice teachers, and college guidance)
(monologue coaching and college guidance including essay work)
Our Support Partners
The following organizations partner with us to support our TFCA scholarship recipients by donating their products and services:
We are always open to connecting with education partners with whom our Scholars can work on a regular basis to prepare artistically for college auditions and/or who can provide college guidance for the audition process, in particular with applications and financial aid paperwork.
For our song and monologue coaching partners, we seek theatre educators who have all of the following:
- an undergraduate degree or beyond.
- at least 5 years experience as a teaching artist of the specific discipline they will be coaching (must be in a supervised capacity for all years that occurred during your undergraduate education).
- experience preparing 10+ students for undergrad college acting and musical theatre auditions over each of the last 5 years or beyond and can provide references from your alumni students and families.
To avoid conflicts of interest, we seek song and monologue coaching partners who are not currently faculty people or auditors for audition-based acting or musical theatre programs.
For our vocal technique teaching partners, we seek those who have:
- an advanced degree or equivalent coursework & teaching experience in Musical Theatre Vocal Pedagogy or Contemporary/Commercial Voice.
- 3+ years of teaching experience with a combination of MT and/or gospel and/or pop professional students, college students, and high school students.
Exceptions can be made to the above criteria at the discretion of the TFCA Education Committee.
Each year, we also seek out dance studio partners in the geographic areas where our Scholars from that year live and rigorous, regular ballet and theatre jazz virtual dance classes for beginner and beginner-intermediate teens.
Ellen Lettrich, MS, SLP-CCC
In 29 years as a vocal coach, including preparing thousands of young artists for college auditions, Ellen Lettrich learned how much students in underserved areas need financial support to prepare for admissions requirements at college theatre programs that are, in their own way, more selective than Ivy League universities. That’s why she began the Fund for College Auditions in January 2019.
Ellen began her teaching career working in both high-school social studies and educational theatre. During seven years in the classroom, she fused these interests by developing the course “History Through Acting,” exploring historical events through both formal research and scenes from significant theatrical works. She also created a partnership connecting Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama musical theatre majors with her high school students. From this partnership, the for-profit audition coaching and college counseling company MTCA (Musical Theatre College Auditions) was formed.
MTCA now serves nearly 250 students per year, making it one of the nation’s largest firms of its kind, matching young artists with coaches working in Broadway, TV, film and new media including YouTube and video games. Ellen was MTCA’s Director and head song and vocal technique coach until she created The Fund for College Auditions.
Ellen’s vocal coaching draws on her diverse experiences as a performer, director, high-school teacher, and medical voice clinician with a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Ellen’s expert knowledge of musical theatre song repertoire makes her a sought-after consultant for both students and professional actors building audition-repertoire books.
In addition to her coaching, Ellen maintains a private voice therapy practice. She served as an Educational Outreach Coordinator and clinician for the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center from 2007 to 2010, and as a Voice and Speech Pathologist with Weill Cornell Medicine’s Sean Parker Institute for the Voice in New York from 2010 to 2016. Her patients have included Tony and Obie Award-winning performers, recording artists, teachers, attorneys, business executives, and other professional voice users. She especially loves working with high school and collegiate theatre students and young professional performers.
In the theatre, Ellen served as one of two assistant voice coaches for the Broadway musical Matilda, where she had the great joy of working with MTCA alumnus Clay Thomson. Ellen was also the vocal coach for Broadway’s Hand to God and vocal health advisor for the 2016 Broadway production of The Crucible and the 2017 off-Broadway production of Yen.
Ellen graduated summa cum laude from Villanova University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her teaching credential from Seton Hill University and her Master’s degree from Duquesne University. She also attended the University of California at Los Angeles and The University of London for graduate study in history.
Michael J. Moran, MBA, MS
First Vice President
Michael Moran is a Managing Director for Health Solutions for FTI Consulting, a global business advisory consulting firm. In this role, he guides health care organizations through managing change, performance improvement initiatives and advisory services in any area where support is needed: financial, legal, operational, political & regulatory, reputational, and transactional.
Initially an athletic trainer by education, Michael has cared for athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional level. Since moving to the business side of health care, he has managed progressively larger operations in disciplines including physical therapy, orthopedics/sports medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, general surgery, women’s health, laboratory services, radiology services, and multidisciplinary/multi-specialty physician organizations. Prior to FTI, Michael was the COO for a 700+ provider hospital-owned medical group.
Aside from these accomplishments as an employee, Michael also owned and operated his own Physician Practice Management Consulting Company from 2012-2018. He is an expert in business development, strategic planning, compensation planning, financial management, human resource management, contract negotiations, and physician practice operations.
Michael’s MBA degree is from Baldwin Wallace University in suburban Cleveland, which also boasts nationally-recognized programs in musical theatre, acting and arts management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. and a master’s degree in sports medicine from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to his extensive business expertise, as Ellen Lettrich’s brother, Michael has been an objective observer of the college audition process for many years.
Karen Coleman, MS, MSW
Second Vice President
Karen has over 25 years experience leading and managing public health, clinical and child welfare programs. Ms. Coleman began her career as a social worker at Hahnemann University Hospital working with patients with neurological disorders and HIV. She was instrumental in creating the first-ever Case Management Department at Drexel University’s Partnership Comprehensive Care Practice in 1999 before her promotion as the Department’s Administrative Director. In that role, Ms. Coleman managed daily operations supporting a 45-member team, and expanding programs to include Peer Education and Training, Self-Management Support Programs, hospital-based HIV testing, and HIV services for women and children that extended to The Dorothy Mann Center at St Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Ms. Coleman now serves as the Community Umbrella Agency Director of a child welfare organization serving well over 750 children where her commitment is to the goals of safety, permanency, and well-being as the foundation of all child welfare practice.
Ms. Coleman holds an undergraduate degree in Health Planning & Administration from Pennsylvania State University, a MSW degree from Temple University, and an MS in Project Management from Drexel University. She’s been recognized for her excellence in clinical care and serves on various professional committees and community boards. Her daughter, Kayla, is a 2018 NYU Tisch Drama graduate in Musical Theatre.
Kimberly Mullaney is a veteran education innovator, relatively new to theatre education. She is the associate director of station relations at WNET New York Public Media, supporting programs such as PBS NewsHour Weekend, Nature and Firing Line with Margaret Hoover. As WNET’s associate education director, she was the project director for American Graduate Day, an annual eight-hour live television broadcast highlighting educational innovation in at-risk communities, and a co-founder of the Celebration of Teaching and Learning, an annual conference of thousands of educators designed to spotlight and incubate innovation. Earlier, she served as a consultant to the Public Broadcasting Service’s Ready to Learn preschool initiative, and as education director at Planned Parenthood of Maryland, where her work with at-risk youth earned one of the Centers for Disease Control’s first Community Block Grants for HIV/AIDS prevention.
Kimberly has a B.A. from Hollins University and has served on the board of InterACT Theatre Productions in South Orange, N.J. Her son is an up-and-coming actor whose college audition process was overseen by Ellen Lettrich and her MTCA colleagues.
Christopher Graff, JD, CPA
Chris Graff is a partner at The Medical Management Consulting Group, Inc., a financial planning practice for medical professionals in Virginia Beach, Va., where he has worked since 1994. He received his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 1991 and his law degree from Widener University School of Law in 1994. Chris is licensed in Virginia and Pennsylvania and became a certified public accountant in 2000. Chris speaks in professional venues about legal issues pertaining to medical practices, including employment law, the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, patient confidentiality and medical records, policy manuals, and Virginia and Federal legislative updates. He has also done legal and consulting work related to theatre education for several years.
Angela Green is a Human Resources Business Support Specialist at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, America’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health care and health care policy. She has worked at several non-profit organizations, including the Rutgers University Foundation. She has long supported the arts, volunteering with many local theatre programs in the greater New York area. She formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Villagers Theatre in Somerset, N.J., where she has co-produced two shows that won Perry Awards for excellence in New Jersey community theatre.
Ms. Green graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with a degree in economics and sociology. Her daughter is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University’s acclaimed Drama program with a Musical Theatre certificate.
Deirdre Dennehy-Basile, PhD
Deirdre Dennehy-Basile was raised in a family of actors but, always the rebel became a Clinical Psychologist. She is well aware there’s a really good joke in there somewhere. Her psychology training has come in handy every day as the mother of four theater kids. Passionate about theatre and about all students having access to college educations and theatre training, she is thrilled to be a part of TFCA.
Diversity and Equity
Alejandro Rodriguez is an Associate Producer at PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theatre company in residence at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is also founding Artistic Director of the Artist as Citizen Conference, organized by New York-based Artists Striving to End Poverty, an immersive educational program to develop the whole artist through traditional classes, career-skills workshops, and programs on citizenship, service and promoting social justice through the arts.
In 12 years as a performer, he created many roles Off-Broadway, including Charlie Rosa in Ghetto Babylon (which won the National Latino Playwrights Award based on this Off-Broadway performance), and Gabriel in the New York Times Critics’ Pick Bird in the Hand. He played Romeo in The Acting Company’s national tour of Romeo and Juliet, and Edgar in its production of King Lear. He has also performed at regional venues including the Kennedy Center, the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Denver Center Theater Company, Baltimore Center Stage and the Los Angeles Theater Center. His film and TV credits include Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Dates from Hell (Discovery ID), and the feature film Emoticon.
As a writer, Alejandro’s first full-length play, Sorry, enjoyed a sold-out run at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in New York. His earlier work, Now is the Time, was produced three times in New York and toured throughout Canada. He has lectured at multiple colleges, is on the faculty of The Performing Arts Project in Winston-Salem, N.C., and has taught at the City University of New York. His new play, Tropical Storm Warning, received its first public reading in December 2017. Alej is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
As a military wife of 23 years, Carrie has called many different places home. She graduated from NC State University in 1999 with a degree in Secondary English Education and currently teaches 9th and 11th grade English in Virginia. She is the proud mother of 3 teenagers and 2 adorable Labrador Retrievers. In her spare time, Carrie is a freelance editor for aspiring young adult authors. She enjoys CF workouts, ice hockey games, and, of course, MUSICALS! Her oldest daughter is a recent “survivor” of musical theater college auditions. Over the past 10 years, Carrie has supported her daughter through volunteering in local youth theater organizations, working in both fundraising and artistic capacities. She is excited to serve TFCA as she has a heart for helping students achieve their dreams.
College Mentor Representative
Kris Saucedo is truly humbled and elated to be working with TFCA, as scholarships and support from an army of people allowed him to be where he is today. As a queer first-generation Mexican-American son of a single mother, he is deeply passionate about arts education being accessible to everyone regardless of their identity, socioeconomic status, and differences in a world full of systematic and institutional biases.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ high school acting conservatory and will be earning a BFA in Musical Theatre at Penn State University.
Select Regional performance credits:: Chasing Rainbows (Pre-Broadway World Premiere), Gypsy (Clarence), A Christmas Carol (Ensemble), Joseph… Dreamcoat (Ensemble), Tuck Everlasting (Jesse Tuck, directed by Joe Barros), Anything Goes (Billy, directed by Tony Spinosa), Music Man (Ensemble, directed by Chase Brock) Zombie Prom (Josh/Dance Captain). @Krisbway