If you’re a theater student considering a gap year before college, then you’ve come to the right place. Gap years and gap semesters are becoming an increasingly popular option for many young people and can take on many different forms. There are also many reasons a student may decide that a gap year is right for them. Some students may want to reapply to schools if they didn’t find the best fit the first time around. Others may need more time to decide their next steps or may want to work and save money or have an internship or professional experience. For arts students, a gap year can be a wonderful opportunity to focus on artistic training before making the leap from high school to college. Read on to discover just a few of the many gap year programs offered for young theater artists.
ArtsBridge GapYear is a 15-week virtual intensive actor training program for musical theater and acting students designed to bridge the high school and college experiences. The program is ideal for high school graduates taking a year off before applying or reapplying for college admission and for college students on leave who either intend to return to their school or transfer.
With a core focus on Meisner technique, ArtsBridge GapYear offers a robust curriculum led by renowned educators with additional support and guidance by ArtsBridge college admission experts. Weekly classes include Meisner Technique, Alexander Technique, Storytelling & Text Analysis, Voice & Speech, Monologue Class, private monologue coachings and voice lessons, as well as master classes and workshops with guest faculty.
August 30 – December 22, 2021 online. Learn more.
During the AMDA Gap Programs students ages 18-25 spend 8 weeks in New York City focusing on their theatrical training. Students choose to focus on either Acting for Stage and Screen or Musical Theatre. Training with AMDA faculty and industry professionals is complemented by weekly trips around the city including shows, studio tours, landmark attractions, museums, and more.
June 20 – August 15, 2021 in New York, NY. Learn more.
The Berridge Creative Semester is a 10-week gap program hosted in Normandy, France. Students ages 18-22 take advantage of a variety of opportunities for artistic development, cultural immersion, arts activism and service, travel, and language learning. The Creative Semester is open to young artists with interests including theater, film, studio art, writing, dance, graphic design, and photography. The program culminates in an arts festival allowing the students to celebrate and showcase their work with their peers and the local community.
January 24 – April 3, 2022 in Normandy, France. Learn more.
The International College of Musical Theatre’sOne Year Preparatory program in New York is currently on pause, however they’re still offering their Three-Month Top Up Musical Theatre Course in London, which is also a great option for gap year students. In the three-month program, students ages 18 and older train in acting, singing, and dance and have a chance to explore London. Students have a full time schedule with classes in foundational musical theatre topics and plenty of opportunities to work with industry professionals including casting directors, actors, music directors, and directors.
September 14 – December 10, 2021 or January 4 – April 1, 2022 in London, UK. Learn more.
The New York Film Academy offers two 1-year Conservatory programs for performers: Musical Theatre and Acting for Film. Students spend 8 months training with a full schedule of classes in these immersive, conservatory-style programs. Musical Theatre students hone their craft and prepare for the professional world with a variety of classes including dance, song interpretation, voice & speech, acting, and more. Acting for Film students work in a hands-on environment to develop their acting skills and understanding of the film business.
Musical Theater: August 2021 – April 2022 in New York, NY. Learn More.
Acting for Film: August 2021 – April/May 2022 in New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; & South Beach, FL. Learn more.
Performing Arts Abroad offers many theatre programs for young artists including their 4-month Industry Immersion Semester in London Theatre. Students ages 18 and older focus on one of three tracks (Musical Theatre, Acting, and Technical Theatre & Theatre Studies) with courses taught by University of Roehampton faculty and master classes by London theatre professionals. In addition to their theatrical training, students attend at least one production each week and explore London and other cities with their peers including trips to Bath and Stratford-Upon-Avon.
September 15 – December 18, 2022 in London, UK. Learn more.
While their regular Gap Year Diploma course is paused due to Covid-19, the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama is offering Online Short Courses for theater students. These part-time courses run throughout the year and are designed for students of all training levels and schedules. Course levels range from Introductory, to Specialist & Intermediate, to Advanced. Subject areas include Acting & Performance, Communication, Design & Production, and Writing.
Offered throughout the year online. Learn more.
Want to learn more about the dos and don’ts of taking a gap year? ArtsBridge college admissions expert Halley Shefler offers her advice in this Working Mother article.