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6 Summer Theater Programs for High School Students

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Why participate in a pre-college summer program? These experiences give you a taste of college life and allow you to explore your talents and passions. You’ll also meet like-minded people and may even earn college credit.


If theater is an interest of yours, then a pre-college theater program may be for you. Here are six summer programs to consider.


6 Summer Pre-College Theater Programs


1. Ithaca College Summer College for High School Students: Acting


In this three-week session, rising juniors and seniors and high school graduates live on campus and learn a range of acting methods through exercises, improvisations, presentations, readings, and discussions through a course and workshop. The program is open to both experienced and novice actors, who will work on a monologue and scene and perform the scene in front of family and friends at its culmination.


Students also have the opportunity to earn three college credits. The program prepares students to study acting in college and recognize what to look for a college.


Program dates: June 30–July 19, 2019

Application deadline: Rolling (first come, first served)

Application requirements


2. BIMA at Brandeis University


BIMA participants select one of five creative arts disciplines, including theater, to study in this four-week program. The program emphasizes a commitment to “the value of a serious and dynamic encounter between artistic expression and Jewish life.” You’ll explore Jewish identity while focusing on your passion for the arts, although you do not have to be Jewish to attend.


You’ll participate in technique classes and master classes with guest artists, as well as go on trips to see professional Boston theatre performances. The program includes development, rehearsal, and the performance of an original theatrical work.


Program dates: July 2–29, 2019

Application deadline: January 10, 2019 (Priority); April 10 (Final)

Application requirements



3. Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory


Just 38 students are accepted to this prestigious theater program. RSAC also has a Musical Theater Track, which accepts 12-14 students, who learn from Broadway professionals.


Over the course of four weeks, all participants engage in seminars taught by visiting Broadway, TV, and film actors and workshops such as Mask Making, Mime, and Stage Combat, as well as additional courses on acting theory. They also go on fields trips to Broadway shows and cultural centers and receive a link to the professionally-recorded and produced final production. There is an opportunity to earn three college credits at an additional cost.


Program dates: June 30–July 29, 2019

Application deadline: June 30, 2019

Application requirements

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4. Tisch School of the Arts Summer High School


High school sophomores and juniors may participate in this condensed version of Tisch’s undergraduate Drama program and earn six college credits over four weeks. Participants receive 28 hours of conservatory training at either the Atlantic Acting School, the Experimental Theatre Wing, the Meisner Studio, the New Studio on Broadway, the Stonestreet Screen Acting Studios, or in the Production and Design Studio each week, choosing one of seven curricula that offer different acting methods and approaches.


Students also see Broadway shows and showcase their work at a performance for faculty and students and an open-class day attended by family and friends.


Program dates: July 7–August 3, 2019

Application deadline: January 9, 2019

Application requirements



5. A Westside Experiment: Young Actor’s Laboratory at IRT Theater


Teenagers ages 13-17 of all acting-experience levels are welcome to attend this program taught by a working theater company in residence at IRT Theater in New York City. The program covers acting “essentials,” including physical-acting technique, improvisation, and script writing, and offers a “unique spin” on theater: this year, for example, includes a fusion of sign language, spoken word, mime, storytelling, dance, and music.


Program dates: July 8–14, 2019 (Two one-week sessions are available.)

Application deadline: N/A

Application requirements



6. Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University


Taught by summer artists-in-residence and area professionals, this program offers Master classes in the building blocks of theater: movement, audition preparation/text work, and more. In addition to their concentration, students participate in electives that deepen their appreciation for other art forms and a field trip to a local professional production. They gain experience, leadership skills, and an appreciation for the history and culture of their art.


Students must be between the ages of 14-18 and have completed at least one year of high school. The program lasts four weeks and offers the opportunity to earn college credit for an additional fee through Summer Session courses.


Program dates: June 30–July 27, 2019

Application deadline: March 1, 2019 (Note: you must also complete an audtion: March 16, 2019 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and March 21, 2019 at Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, CT)

Application requirements



Want to explore more acting programs for high schoolers? Check out Summer Programs for Prospective Theater Majors for more opportunities.


Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Download our free guide for 9th graders and our free guide for 10th graders. Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from academicschoosing coursesstandardized testsextracurricular activitiesand much more!


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Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.