In 2001, as she watched her daughter perform with a popular summer camp, a woman turned to her husband and said, “We can do that!”

That woman was Marianne Challis.


A celebrated singing actress, comedienne and cabaret artist, Marianne Challis spent her life in show business. Having performed at Carnegie Hall, Goodspeed Opera House, in national tours and regional theatres across the country, the shimmering Challis also starred in the New York City Opera production of South Pacific as one of Broadway's favorite leading roles, Nellie Forebush. No stranger to educational theatre, Marianne fell in love with musicals at an early age, and was the first runner-up to in the Miss Illinois pageant, winning the talent competition with her compelling singing voice.
A Tribute to
Marianne Challis
While continuing her performing career, Marianne expanded her family and then her life's work to include teaching. She became one of Broadway's most sought after and respected vocal technicians, with singers in dozens of Broadway shows and national touring companies. Marianne significantly impacted the world of musical theatre with her profound gift for inspiring and guiding her students to sing to the best of their brilliant abilities, and empowering them to believe in themselves.

After watching that performance in 2001, Marianne ran with her idea.  Together, with her husband Frank Root, a Broadway actor and respected teacher, they created Broadway Bootcamp. In the decade that followed, Broadway Bootcamp grew to be one of the area’s leading summer theatre day programs, shaping the lives of over a hundred students every summer. Marianne's dream
is a reality, and Broadway Bootcampers are grateful to her every day for the nurturing, caring and fun-filled home she created.

Marianne was taken from us far too soon when she passed in August of 2012. We continue in her memory, and her teaching philosophy lives on at Broadway Bootcamp. Every summer, children will be taught by those who carry on Marianne’s vision. They are encouraged to explore the deep pool of their imaginations and know they are appreciated and valued for their creativity. Every summer, children will believe in themselves and the gifts they have to offer the world because someone took the time to make them feel successful about their hard work and efforts. This is Broadway Bootcamp, and to Marianne we are eternally grateful.