Summer Institute : Theater : Classes


Both Acting and Musical Theater students participate in Core Classes, weekly Electives & Master Classes, as well as coursework specific to their chosen Track.  View a Sample Schedule.


All Theater students receive the following core training, which we consider essential for performing artists of all disciplines: 

ACTING STUDIO Practical approaches to crafting character and scene work are combined with techniques designed to build physical and emotional stamina and to encourage the spirit of play and risk that are essential for developing a vibrant and engaging presence for the stage. 

VOICE An exploration of the potential for connection in the artist’s speaking and singing instrument. Acting students investigate breath, posture, and articulation in support of a fully engaged relationship to text and the spoken word. Musical Theatre students study singing techniques through vocal exercises and solo repertoire in a group voice class and laboratory for their musical theater performance class.

MOVEMENT An investigation of the actor’s physical self: flexibility, strength, centering, and dynamic relation to the performance space and to fellow actors. 

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All students are offered a wide range of electives and masterclasses that vary weekly and that offer a comprehensive approach to performance. Likely elective topics include Improvisation, Audition Technique, Script Analysis, Viewpoints, Michael Chekhov Technique, Directing, Design, and Playwriting. 

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Theater students will select either an Acting track or Musical Theater track in addition to their core classes.

› Acting
Acting track includes core classes, electives, and: 

SHAKESPEARE Shakespeare’s language is introduced and explored through a variety of practical and creative exercises. The demands of poetry and heightened language are effectively explored, and the rich context and history of Shakespeare’s canon are investigated to create a dynamic context for performing his work in the 21st century.  

VOICE (Voice & Speech) Students investigate the practical aspects of breath, posture, and articulation; they also investigate the dynamic potential for meaning and emphasis, training to deliver text with clarity, depth, and power. 

SPECIAL TOPICS: NEUTRAL MASK & STAGE COMBAT Neutral Mask trains the actor to develop a heightened sense of bodily and spatial awareness, full relaxation, physical neutrality, and a greater presence onstage. Stage combat offers training in both armed and unarmed combat for practical application in classical and contemporary plays. 

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› Musical Theater
Musical Theater track includes core classes, electives, and: 

MUSICAL THEATER PERFORMANCE  An exploration of the fundamental principles of singing acting. Students learn to effectively communicate the dramatic event of the song through analysis and practical application. Technique is developed through exercises and repertoire study. 

VOICE (Singing Lab)  Musical Theater students study singing techniques through vocal exercises and solo repertoire in a group voice class and laboratory for their musical theater performance class. 

SPECIAL TOPICS: MUSICAL THEATER DANCE  & VOCAL ENSEMBLE  Musical Theater Dance trains students in Jazz, Ballet, and Tap techniques oriented to the specific needs of the musical theater performer. Classes focus on building strength and awareness while extending the student dancer’s physical and expressive range. The Musical Theater Vocal Ensemble studies musical styles and techniques for crafting, styling, and performing group musical theater repertoire.

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