July 9 – August 3 (4 weeks)

  • Overview
  • Curriculum
  • Tracks
  • Faculty
  • How to Apply

Join us in Center City Philadelphia, one of the nation’s largest theater destinations, for four weeks of immersive study. You’ll choose one of three tracks: Acting, Musical Theater Performance, or Directing, Playwriting + Production. Modeled after the renowned UArts undergraduate experience, this program trains artists looking for individualized and hybrid opportunities to write, direct, design, and produce in addition to performing. Enliven your unique artistry in any direction you choose.

The Process

Through the rigorous college-level curriculum, you will develop skills in crafting character and scene work, grasp the potential of your voice as an instrument and develop a vibrant stage presence. You’ll further your exploration in track-specific courses that address your individual needs, and in electives that span a wide range of theatrical disciplines.

The Perks

You’ll be trained by our distinguished faculty and participate in weekly master classes with award-winning theater artists. Our faculty is comprised of artists currently working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in film/TV, and in major regional theaters. Our curriculum is enhanced by trips to Philadelphia theaters and a day trip to NYC to attend a Broadway production.

The Proof

Leave with audition-ready materials and preparation, detailed feedback from each instructor, and  3 college credits . The experience culminates in a showcase for friends, family, and peers. Rising seniors have the opportunity to audition for fall 2019 undergraduate admissions.

All students take core classes, weekly electives, and master classes. Choose between Acting and Musical Theater tracks, with coursework specific to each track.

Core Classes

All Theater students receive the following core training:

Focusing on the journey, rather than the destination, this course expands students’ definitions of what theater can be and how theater can be made by exploring the ways in which student artists become makers by crafting their own work.

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.

An exploration of the potential for connection and power in the artist’s speaking and singing instrument.

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

A dimensional approach to the technique of auditioning, explored from both sides of “the table.”

Electives & Master Classes

Elective topics may include:
Arts Management, Directing, Design, Improvisation, Michael Chekhov Technique, Playwriting, Rock + Pop Styles, Script Analysis, Songwriting, Viewpoints,
and Vocal Ensemble.

Previous visiting artists have included:
Jonathan Larson Award-winning composer Cesar Alvarez, Tony-Nominated actors Forrest McClendon and Rob McClure, Barrymore Award Winning theatre-makers Alex Bechtel, Ben Dibble, and Justin Jain, and the internationally renowned Pig Iron Theatre Company.


Theater students focus their training by selecting a track of study in one of the following fields:

Within their tracks, students deepen their study with major-specific courses like Shakespeare, Stage Combat, Musical Theater Performance, Dance, Directing, and Playwriting. Students also broaden their explorations through a wide range of electives and workshops with visiting artists from the professional theater markets in both Philadelphia and New York.

Courses in the Summer Institute Theater program are taught by theater professionals, actors, and specialty artists. The majority of our faculty teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert faculty is comprised of seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of actors, playwrights, directors, and artists.

Past Faculty Have Included

Head shot of brind school of theater professor Cesar Alvarez wearing brown winter hat and silver coat
Cesar Alvarez

Theater - Musical Theater
Krista Apple-Hodge headshot, red hair smiling, wearing purple blouse and jean jacket
Krista Apple

Jessica Bedford

Nia Benjamin

BFA '16

Michael Cosenza

Kati Donovan

BFA '06

Rory Donovan

BFA '11

Allison Heishman

Matthew Hultgren

BFA '04

Nicole Renna

Ben Smallen

Mary Tuomanen

Leah Walton

Application Process

  1. Review the Theater application requirements
  2. Complete the application, including personal statement, and submit the program deposit online or by mail.  Start your application    
I've learned a different definition of acting, and tools to use as a growing artist.
— SI 2017 Theater student


Request more info

Contact Pre-College
Pre-College Programs
211 S. Broad St, Terra Hall 909
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 717 - 6430