Classes taught at The York Theatre Company and culminate in a showcase performance on the York’s Off -Broadway stage to which industry professionals will be invited.

  • Focus on the story and leave the technique at home.

    • The class is all about ACTING the STORY of a song or aria.

    • We break each song or aria down into a three act play and help you focus on

      • who you are “talking” to,

      • what the circumstances are,

      • what the conflict is and

      • how the song can either achieve resolution to, or increase, that conflict.

  • We work together to find people and situations from your own experience, rather than the story of the show or opera, to bring the song or aria to life – your life.

    • This makes your homework on the song as easy as a memory,

    • keeps your connection to the material vital,

    • keeps the stakes high,

    • and most importantly helps keep the nerves at bay when you walk in to the audition room.

Actors who have worked with Michael are working now on Broadway, on National Tours, in regional theatres and opera houses across the country. (Click on headshot to link to actor’s website.)

Simon Kendall
(McCarter Theatre, Two River Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Fulton Opera House)

After a few months of auditioning without booking anything, I made a choice to change the way I prepare for auditions. I sought the advice and talent of a director and audition coach who could help me better shape my audition performance. Without hesitation, I asked Michael to work with me. As a director, Michael is extremely talented, warm, intelligent, and focused in his approach. He brings the same energy and dedication to his coaching sessions. Michael quickly helped me to refine my ideas in preparation for the audition. He asked questions that I had missed, and he provided clear direction, helping me to shape my initial ideas. The very first time I worked with Michael, I booked the job. He encouraged me to be bold, clear, and imaginative in my choices, and his advice helped me to be more confident in my own abilities. I am quite sure that I wouldn’t have booked this job without Michael. And since I want to work again, I’m certain I’ll be seeking his coaching again!

Garrett Long

(Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, South Pacific, Spitfire Grill, Seussical (National Tour), McCarter Theatre, George Street Theatre) I feel so blessed to have met Michael. Not only is he the most supportive teacher there is, he is sure to get the most out of you. Whether it be throwing some fun ideas at you, our pulling stuff from way down deep inside you. I have experienced many times people getting jobs from his coaching, myself included – he led me right into the role of Gertrude McFuzz in the 1st National of Seussical. He is one of our most talented directors — his guidance is priceless.

Andrea Chamberlain
(Thoroughly Modern Millie, Drowsy Chaperone, The Boyfriend)

I have been in the business for years but was still battling my nerves in the audition room. I was looking for a class where I could work through my nerves, work out the kinks, and get ideas for how to make my auditions better. Michael’s class is exactly what I was looking for. Michael’s no-nonsense approach focuses on your connection to the song and the story you are telling. Not only does he have great ideas and constructive criticism he creates a very relaxed and nurturing environment where you can try new things and explore different ideas. Now when I walk into an audition room I feel more confident, more connected to my material and know that I explored the options and made the best choices possible.

Mathew Edwardsen
(Sarasota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Lambs Theatre, Center Stage Opera, Opera Fairbanks)

What an amazing experience it has been working with Michael.  His direction in Robert Ward’s opera The Crucible was invaluable for finding levels within a character that could easily come across as one dimensional.   He also did an excellent job in bringing out great, emotional performances from the other performers which served as a great catalyst for the growth of the entire piece.  The rehearsal process was intense yet fun, and he managed a few surprises throughout to keep us on our toes!  Definitely looking forward to the next time we are able to work together.

Erin Jerozal

After being out of school for a few years, I felt I needed to find some new audition material, both songs and monologues. I felt like I was in a rut and none of my material was right for me anymore. I started taking Michael’s musical theater audition class based on a friend’s recommendation. I feel like the way I audition has changed completely. I now have confidence when I walk into a room and actually enjoy the minutes or even seconds that I have. Michael has helped me bring such specificity to my material (even the 16 bars) that auditioning now feels like a mini-play to me. His classes are fun and he creates such a creative environment, where taking risks is encouraged. I have met some great people and now look forward to my auditions in a way that I never have.

Liz Kimball

If I can recommend one thing to you as an actor participating in the New York audition scene, it would be to take Michael Unger’s musical theater audition class. Never before have I encountered the DYNAMITE combination of a teacher’s ability to support a student paired with an ability to truly challenge a student; the correct balance of these two qualities is what I long for in classes but was never able to find. Until now! I have known Michael both as a director and as a teacher and I think he is one of those rare artists who is equally gifted in both realms — and is beyond a pleasure in both rehearsals and the classroom. While you are working, he devotes more than 100% of his energy to you and completely tailors his work to each individual student. He is extremely honest, yet always kind and he is able to bring the best, most connected, most specific, most interesting and ultimately most cast-able work out of you. I love our class and we have had some really magical moments; the transformations people made were truly lovely and inspiring! Michael is training a generation of singer-actors who prioritize story-telling and connection to their material, and I feel so lucky that I have had the privilege of learning from him!

Sarah Natochenny

Michael is a phenomenal teacher…his mind is a library, and he always allows an actor to stretch. His criticism is dead on, which anyone can see for themselves by watching others in the class. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a class before, and it is such a relief to finally be able to try out all my choices, and not feel insecure about anything. His class is my top pick!

Louise Stewart

I enjoy taking Michael Unger’s class because he creates a relaxed and warm atmosphere where one can feel comfortable trying new things and making bold choices. Michael has the unique ability to guide a performer through taking a song to the next level, whether it’s a 16 bar cut or a full piece. He knows exactly how to bring out the best in actors and is completely direct without being insensitive. I have found his technique invaluable when working on new material, and even more so when trying to revitalize a number I have had in my book for a while. This class has enabled me to feel more prepared and relaxed in auditions and therefore… and therefore… book more jobs. Michael rocks!

Heather Lindell
(Days of Our Lives, Hairspray, Happy Days, La Cage Aux Folles)

Before taking Michael’s class I struggled with my nerves in auditions. Performing in front of peers in Michael’s class prepared me for auditions more than words can express. I just booked the revival of “La Cage Aux Folles” on Broadway in part because I brought in my audition song to Michael’s class. Michael focuses on the story behind every song, which not only enhances every performance but most importantly, gives actors the tools to walk into any audition with confidence.

Jen Morris

I heard about Michael’s musical theatre audition class when I was stuck in a huge audition rut. I didn’t like the material I was singing, mostly because I didn’t know how to connect to it. I was quickly losing my joy for performing because I was constantly frustrated. I was so worried about what I sounded like that it was affecting everything that happened during my short time in the audition room. During the first class, Michael taught me a process to take the pressure off of my voice and instead to focus on my body, emotion and story. Although I have a four year degree in musical theatre, have sung some great roles and worked on a national tour – no director, musical director or teacher has EVER made it this simple to do my job as a musical theater actress. Michael makes it easy and, better yet, fun again. He has restored my faith in my ability and in this insanely difficult profession!

Michelle Dyer

I just got the national tour of Kiss Me Kate! I never could have gotten this job without Michael’s class! Since Michael has such an extensive background in acting and directing, he knows just what the people behind the table are looking for. I never fully understood what it meant to “act” a song as opposed to just “sing” a song until I took Michael’s class. I feel so much more confident walking into an audition now, because I know that I have that extra edge — a song Michael has worked on. Not only am I thrilled and amazed at how he has transformed my audition songs, it is wonderful to see the growth in my fellow students as well. A must for the serious performer!

Kilty Reidy
(Drowsy Chaperone, In My Life, White Christmas, Encores!, Music Theatre of Wichita)

Michael Unger is among the rare breed of teachers who checks their ego at the door. In doing so he creates a safe, creative, and positive atmosphere that builds you up without having to tear you down. He combines this with a director’s eye and an actor’s sensibility, making it a class you must take.

Andrew Chapelle

(Hamilton on Broadway)

Michael Unger creates a safe and relaxed work environment where actors of any level can work on their pieces and grow. He brakes the song down so that you can effectively communicate it. The class is really useful when watching the other students work with Michael and noting his adjustments. Most of the time I will see something that needs to be fixed on someone else and he will fix it. So I know when he tells me to do something it is for the good of my performance and my growth as an actor. His class has helped me tremendously with ease in the audition room. Thanks Michael!

Esther Ammon
(Grease, National Tour)

I have had the opportunity to take many different classes during my six years in NYC. Michael Unger is, hands down, the best teacher I’ve come across. As a student you quickly pick up on the fact that Michael truly cares about what he is doing. The comfortable environment that he creates along with his ability to break things down, direct and nurture you as you work on a piece, is truly rare. I have taken both his Musical Theater Audition as well as his Monologue class and I have no doubt that his coaching allowed me to have the confidence to secure the role of “Ms. Lynch” in the national tour of Grease, starring Frankie Avalon! I enthusiastically recommend his class to beginners and professionals alike!

Kristen Maloney

Michael Unger is an invaluable resource. He knows what works on a stage and in an audition room, and he has the tools to bring out your best performance in any venue. If you need help for an audition, preparation for a role, or if you just want to polish up your book, Michael has the skills and experience to give you what you need to get on track.

Jen Lee Crowl
(Producers, Rockettes)

Michael has a knack for unleashing an actor’s essence — the energy that comes from within which makes each person unique. Combine appropriate material and Michael’s fine tuning and the end result is a confident and well-prepared audition. My case in point: I needed to express my quirky personality in a funny song for The Producers 1st Nat’l Tour audition. Michael’s ideas were fabulous; he challenged me to take a few risks — so I did — and I got the gig.