If you’re a high school student with a serious interest in theater, you probably already know that summer isn’t the time to chill out by the pool or play video games all day; that certainly won’t impress the college admission committees. One productive way to spend your summer is to attend a rigorous summer theater program where you can build your professional network and refine your craft.
There are many summer theater programs, and you should certainly do your research before uploading your audition. In general, ArtsBridge recommends that you apply to summer programs where an audition is required; that way, you’ll be sure you’re studying with students of similar caliber.
Of course ArtsBridge has our own programs in acting and musical theater, but many of our clients attend more than one summer program. This list of ten programs is not exhaustive, but these are the programs that the ArtsBridge community—both our students and faculty—consistently rave about, time and time again.
ArtsBridge Summer We’d be lying if we said we didn’t have a favorite summer program! For the first time, ArtsBridge Summer is running three programs, in two locations. Our flagship program, ArtsBridge Summer, will be on campus at the University of Minnesota during the first two weeks in August. Our new program, ArtsBridge Summer Starter Edition, will be located at the Persidio Performing Arts Center in San Francisco from July 6th-17th. Decide which ArtsBridge program is right for you!
Boston Conservatory Musical Theater Dance Intensive Students (ages 15-25) train in dance with college faculty and Broadway veterans. Students also take classes in voice and acting in order “to build triple threat performers.” Three week intensive through July. More here.
Boston University Summer Theatre Institute is a five-week conservatory experience. It is designed to emulate the freshman BFA experience. Students earn 4.0 college credits for their coursework, which is a nice bonus. More here.
Broadway Dreams Week-long workshops where students receive personal instruction from Broadway performers and industry professionals, and audition for Broadway casting directors and agents. The intensive concludes with a professional showcase at week’s end, starring students alongside their Broadway faculty. More here.
CAP21 The Summer Pre-College Musical Theatre Training Program is a four week program in the field of musical theatre performance. “Equal importance is placed on acting, singing, and dancing.” Runs from the end of June through July. More here.
National High School Institute (Cherubs) is located on Northwestern’s campus, with occasional day trips to nearby Chicago. The Theater Arts programs is five-weeks, followed by a two-week Musical Theater Extension program (but you must attend the former to be considered for the Musical Theater extension). More here.
MPulse is run at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which a beautiful campus and a great school. Students are taught by UMichigan faculty and alumni. The theater and drama program runs first, in the beginning of July, and then musical theater workshop runs at the end of the same month. More here.
The Performing Arts Project This summer intensive is located on the campus of Wake Forest University. Both high school and college-aged performers attend the program, but most classes are “divided according to age and individual strengths.” The TPAP summer intensive runs from late June to mid July. More here.
Stagedoor Manor is located in the Catskills, which is not a bad place to spend your summer, and you’ll stay in a former resort hotel. Stagedoor says of its students find that “time spent on stage and in classrooms is also time spent discovering a world of shared interests.” Stagedoor runs three sessions throughout the summer. While not an audition program, Stagedoor is well-loved by ArtsBridge clients. More here.
University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Session High school students are taught by the faculty members of UNCSA’s School of Drama. From UNCSA’s website: “Here young acting students will spend their days focused on fundamentals of the craft – acting, movement and voice. No previous experience is required, just the passion and persistence for a serious engagement with acting.” The program runs from late June to mid July. More here.
These are ten programs that the ArtsBridge community has tried and tested, but there are many more summer programs out there; you can find a more comprehensive list here.
Wherever you decide to apply, deadlines are looming! Don’t wait too long to decide what to do with your summer, you might be left home on the couch.
Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on summer programs we recommend in theater, dance, visual arts, and creative writing…