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Thank you to everyone who participated in Summer Institute 2020. Stay tuned for Summer Institute 2021 information coming in January.

View Summer Institute 2020 online programs

Staff are currently working remotely. Please direct all questions and inquiries to precollege@uarts.edu.

Information below reflects details for cancelled summer 2020 on-campus programs.

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. 

The Process

Through a rigorous college-level curriculum, you’ll 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 also explore track-specific courses that address your individual needs and other course options that span a wide range of theatrical disciplines.

The Perks

Receive training from our distinguished faculty and participate in master classes with award-winning theater artists. Our faculty are currently working on Broadway, off-Broadway, in film/TV and in major regional theaters. Trips to Philadelphia theaters and a day trip to New York City to attend a Broadway production enhance your experience.

The Proof

Leave with audition-ready materials and preparation, detailed feedback from your instructors and  three college credits.  The program closes with a showcase for friends, family and peers. Rising seniors have the opportunity to audition for fall 2021 undergraduate admission.

Core Classes

You’ll receive the following core training.

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 necessary for developing a vibrant and engaging stage presence.

Focusing on the journey rather than the destination, this course expands your definitions of what theater can be and how it can be made.

You’ll learn the technique of auditioning, explored from both sides of “the table.”


You’ll focus your training by selecting a track of study: Acting; Musical Theater; or Directing, Playwriting and  Production. Tracks allow you to deepen your study with major-specific courses, some of which are listed below.

Further your exploration through a wide range of electives and workshops with visiting artists from Philadelphia’s and New York’s professional theater markets. You will choose your electives once you've arrived on campus.

Elective topics might include Arts Management, Clown, Design, Disobedient Theater, Movement, Playwriting, Rasaboxes, Rock and Pop, Script Analysis, The Singing Instrument, Songwriting, Stage Management, Viewpoints, and Vocal Ensemble.

Previous visiting artists have included

  • Jonathan Larson Award–winning composer Cesar Alvarez

  • Tony Award–nominated actors Forrest McClendon and Rob McClure;

  • Barrymore Award–winning artists Alex Bechtel, Ben Dibble and Justin Jain; and 

  • internationally renowned Pig Iron Theatre Company.

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 2020 Faculty Include

Alex bechtel head shot
Alex Bechtel

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Jessica Bedford

Katie Donovan Headshot
Katie Donovan

BFA '06

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Allison Heishman

Julia Kershetsky

Justin Lujan

Nicole Renna

Ben Smallen

Rob Tucker_headshot
Rob Tucker

2020 Theater Sample Schedule

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    

View past final performances:

2019     2018     2017     2016

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 9th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 717 - 6430