The right performing arts summer program requires the right fit.
If you talk to enough college students in various theater programs, what’s interesting is that many of them will credit a summer arts program as being a key turning point in their acting or musical theater endeavors. Many have attended more than one program with better results in some than others. That’s why, if you’re searching for the summer program that best fits your personal requirements, there are some very important factors for you to consider.
1. Identify your primary theater goals. Are you looking to elevate your talents in musical theater, or would you prefer to hone your dramatic acting skills? Is your motivation to explore new forms and techniques, or do you need to focus more on the college audition process? There are all types of summer programs, and they each emphasize different aspects of the performing arts. So before you make your program selection, make sure your objectives align with theirs.
2. Check out the reputation of the program. You’re about to spend a good amount of money and devote precious summer time, so do your research. Online reviews are a good place to start. Don’t necessarily be deterred by one or two bad reviews as long as the vast majority of reviewers are predominately positive. In addition you may want to ask the program if you can contact a referral. Naturally, you’ll be connected with people who have had good experiences, but having direct contact with someone who actually attended the program can be beneficial in contributing to your overall impression.
3. Learn all about the instructors. Who will be teaching is every bit as important as what they’ll be teaching. How much experience do the instructors have? What are their backgrounds? What are their areas of concentration? Where else do they teach? Know what to expect by reading the bios and knowing the qualifications of those from whom you expect to learn.
4. Look at the program length and timing. Timing is everything, and with performing arts summer programs, it can vary substantially. Programs run anywhere from 1-2 weeks, all the way up to 6 weeks or more. Scheduling between part-time jobs, summer activities, and family vacations can be tricky. Fortunately, there are more options than ever throughout the summer. So be sure to take all of your plans into consideration before signing up.
5. Consider the location and facilities. Is it important for you to be close to home? Or do you have a destination in mind that you’d like to visit? A number of summer theater programs take place on college campuses. While the college may act as a host, the programs are separate from and not connected to the school admissions office, so don’t make that the reason to attend. Performing arts programs can be found all across the country, all summer long. The content of the program should be your first priority, however the location can be an important factor in your decision process.
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