Info & application details coming January 2020

July 6 - July 31, 2020 (4 weeks)

Join us in Center City Philadelphia, one of the nation’s largest theater destinations, for four weeks of transformative 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 being on stage. 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

Receive training by our distinguished faculty and participate in 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. Trips to Philadelphia theaters and a day trip to NYC to attend a Broadway production enhance the curriculum.

The Proof

Leave with audition-ready materials and preparation, detailed feedback from your instructors, and  3 college credits . The experience culminates in a showcase for friends, family, and peers. Rising seniors have the opportunity to audition for fall 2020 undergraduate admissions.

All students take core classes, weekly electives, and master classes. Choose between Acting, Directing, Playwriting+ Production, and Musical Theater Performance 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.

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.

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

Electives & Master Classes

Students 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.

Elective topics may include:
Arts Management, Directing, Design, Disobedient Theater, Improvisation, Rasa Boxes, Playwriting, Rock + Pop, Script Analysis, Songwriting, Viewpoints, and Vocal Styles.

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.

Interdisciplinary Evening Workshops

Students may elect to participate in Interdisciplinary Evening Workshops on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Topics may include acting for the screen, dance/performance for beginners, music + sound art, taxidermy, drawing 101, vocal lab, lyrics + poetry, d.i.y. digital media, film screenings, and more.


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 Improvisation, Shakespeare, Movement, Musical Theater Performance, Musical Theater Dance, The Singing Instrument, Directing, Stage Management, and Playwriting.

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.

Summer 2019 Faculty Include

Alex bechtel head shot
Alex Bechtel

Theater - Musical Theater
Jessica Bedford

Katie Donovan Headshot
Katie Donovan

BFA '06

Theater - Musical Theater
Allison Heishman

Julia Kershetsky

Justin Lujan

Nicole Renna

Ben Smallen

Rob Tucker_headshot
Rob Tucker

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.
— Theater student


Request more info

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