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9 Summer Acting Programs for High School Students

Are you a high school student yearning to make your mark on the stage or dazzle on the silver screen?


Then pursuing a summer acting program can be a solid boost to your resume - admissions officers are always on the lookout for students who demonstrate motivation, skill, and passion for a subject, both inside and outside of the classroom.


Even if you do not plan to make a career out of acting and performance art, pursuing your creative interests can make you stand out to admissions officers who want to learn more about how you will enrich the campus community.


In this guide, we cover 9 great summer acting programs for high school students.


Each program is selected based on the program’s blend of training, mentorship, and real-world experiences for you to learn more about the performing arts.


Location: New York City Fee: $3,000 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: March 15, 2023 Program dates: July 3, 2023 – July 28, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grade


Juilliard is known to be one of the leading schools for performing arts - pursuing an acting program is definitely a great way to work on your skills, build your portfolio, and build a strong network!


From intensive scene work to voice and movement classes, participants experience a taste of the rigorous training that sets Juilliard apart.


The program's location in the heart of New York City, and has been commended for its rigor and focus on building skills instead of simply going over basic theory. You should consider this if you are sure of a college career in theater - the cost is a bit too steep if you wish to explore theater before making a choice for college.


Location: Valencia, California Fee: $3,500 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: February 28, 2023 Program dates: July 8, 2023 – August 5, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students in grades 9-12


CSSSA's Theatre program stands as a testament to California's vibrant arts scene. Offering a dynamic curriculum encompassing acting techniques, script analysis, and ensemble collaboration, participants not only refine their craft but also gain insights into the professional theater landscape. The program features a diverse group of artists, drawn from the heart of the entertainment industry. You can consider this program if you are looking to bridge the gap between academic learning and real-world application, all against the backdrop of sunny Valencia, California.


Location: Oakland, Maine Fee: $3,500 (two-week session) Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: April 1, 2023 Program dates: Session 1: June 25, 2023 – July 8, 2023; Session 2: July 9, 2023 – July 22, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students aged 11-17


This particular acting program focuses on both theater as a skill, as well as an experience - you should expect an immersive camp-like atmosphere! With daily workshops, rehearsals, and mentorship from industry professionals, you are expected to not only refine their acting skills but also build lasting connections with like-minded peers. The camp's emphasis on a supportive and collaborative environment fosters personal growth, making it an ideal setting for budding young actors to dive into advanced theater and instruction before applying to university.


Location: Evanston, Illinois Fee: $7,850 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: February 15, 2023 Program dates: July 3, 2023 – August 6, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students in grades 9-12


The Cherubs Program at Northwestern University stands out for its commitment to intensive training in acting, voice, and movement. You will not only learn from experienced faculty but also get a taste of life on a university campus, providing a glimpse into the collegiate theater experience. With a curriculum designed to challenge and inspire, this program equips aspiring actors with the skills and confidence needed to navigate the competitive world of performing arts.


Location: Oxford, England Fee: $6,500 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: March 1, 2023 Program dates: June 19, 2023 – July 22, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students aged 15-19


For an international immersion in theater, the British American Drama Academy's (BADA) Midsummer in Oxford program is unparalleled. With a focus on Shakespearean texts, workshops, and attending performances at the Globe Theatre, participants gain a global perspective on theatrical arts. Nestled in the historic city of Oxford, this program offers a unique blend of cultural enrichment, rigorous training, and exposure to the rich tapestry of theatrical history.


You should consider this program if you are interested in an immersive experience across art and theater history, language immersion, as well as a travel-based experience in theater!


Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Fee: $6,000 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: March 1, 2023 Program dates: June 27, 2023 – July 24, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students entering grades 10-12


The Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Drama Program provides more than just a glimpse into conservatory-style training. With a curriculum covering acting, voice, and movement, participants work on scenes and monologues under the guidance of top-tier faculty. Set against the backdrop of Pittsburgh, a city known for its arts and culture, this program offers an immersive experience that prepares aspiring actors for the challenges of professional theater.


You will be expected to attend sessions, workshops, as well as experience campus life at CMU. There are three main options you can choose from before attending the program - acting, design and production, and musical theater!


Location: Various locations in the United States Fee: $3,200 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: March 15, 2023 Program dates: Multiple sessions throughout the summer Eligibility: Open to students aged 14-19


TPAP's Summer Intensive stands out for its holistic approach, covering acting, voice, dance, and audition techniques. Participants work with experienced faculty and industry professionals, gaining insights into the multifaceted world of performing arts. With sessions held in various locations across the United States, TPAP provides flexibility for students to choose a program that suits their needs while offering a comprehensive curriculum that prepares them for the challenges and joys of a career in the performing arts.


Location: Interlochen, Michigan Fee: $6,400 (four-week session) Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: February 1, 2023 Program dates: June 25, 2023 – July 22, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students in grades 9-12


Interlochen Arts Camp, situated in the picturesque landscapes of Michigan, offers a comprehensive program in theater arts. The pre-professional nature of the camp allows for intensive preparation for a professional career in theater, including immersive technical training, career guidance, substantive feedback and performance opportunities.


With a faculty committed to nurturing creativity and individual expression, this program provides a transformative experience that goes beyond traditional training.


You can read more about the program here - we have covered all you need to know about the program, its prestige, costs, and structure!


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Fee: $3,000 Financial assistance: Available Application deadline: March 31, 2023 Program dates: June 19, 2023 – July 14, 2023 Eligibility: Open to students entering grades 9-12


The Guthrie Theater's Summer Acting Program provides a distinctive blend of classical and contemporary acting techniques.


You will collaborate with professional actors and directors, gaining valuable insights into the nuances of the industry.


Set against the backdrop of Minneapolis, a city known for its thriving arts scene, this program not only refines acting skills but also provides a unique opportunity to understand the intersection of tradition and innovation in theater.



If you’re interested in going beyond theatre arts and want to explore research in fields you’re interested in (e.g., research in theatre arts and acting!), consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1–1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.



Image Source: Juilliard logo

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