Musical Theater Summer Camps for High School Students

Written By Trent Lorcher

When the dismissal bell rings on the last day of school, students start to sing and dance. For those who want to keep singing and dancing throughout the summer, these musical theater summer camps for high school students will help.

Musical Theater Summer Camps for High School Students

There's more to musical theater than what they show on High School Musical. These summer programs take over where Zac Efron left off.

Acting and Performance Institute at UCLA

It's no surprise that one of the top musical theater summer camps in the country takes place a short drive from Hollywood. UCLA's three-week summer program for high school theater arts students features performance training classes, movement-based techniques, a final performance project, guest workshops, and field trips. The program's primary goal is to give high school students completing grades 9 through 12 the skills and discipline required to enter a university theater arts program or prepare them for a career in theater.

The program invites students at all levels to apply. Applicants must obtain a letter of reference that states their ability to succeed in a disciplined and rigorous theater program. A digital audition and instructor consent play a major role in the admissions process.

USC Performing Arts Summer Conservatory

Not to be outdone by its crosstown rival, the University of Southern California (USC) hosts its own four-week summer immersion program for high school students. The USC Performing Arts Summer Conservatory exposes students to different styles of dance and helps them learn the art of telling a story through movement. Vocal performance classes focus on helping students learn how to feel the music and act the song. Acting classes help students connect to characters and texts through the principles of acting.

Program highlights include learning from professional actors, trips to professional theatre in Los Angeles, and a workshop production viewed by faculty, students, family, and friends. All applicants must submit an audition mp3.

FLS Acting Camp and English Language Program

Although not specifically a musical theater camp, the FLS International Acting Camp teaches aspiring actors what it takes to pursue their acting and performance dreams. With expert teachers leading the way--straight from nearby Hollywood's big studios--students learn to act in front of a camera, work on skills in enunciation, character analysis, improvisation and reacting to other characters in a scene.

This camp is perfect for international students needing to improve their English skills, earn college credits, or receive high school credits while finishing up their US high school diploma.

Summer Arts Camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts

Most pre-college summer camps take place on university campuses throughout the US. The Summer Arts Camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts takes place on 1200 acres of forest in Northern Michigan, making it one of the unique musical theater summer camps for high school students. Camp programs include Musical Theater Production, Contemporary Musical Theatre Showcase, Musical Theatre Audition Intensive, Repertory Theatre Production, and Theatre Improvisation.

Interlochen holds camps for students of all ages. Admissions to high school programs require an audition, portfolio, or other materials, in addition to the online application.

Boston University Summer Theatre Institute

Highly motivated high school theater art students in the New England region can look to Boston University's Summer Theatre Institute to sharpen their musical theater acumen. Program designers created a program that mirrors the freshman experience within the school's College of Fine Arts School of Theater. Those interested in attending BU can earn up to four college credits for their coursework.

The BU Summer Theater Institute does not limit itself to the classroom. Throughout the five-week program, students engage with Boston's professional artistic community. Applicants must include an essay, a letter of recommendation, and a resume.

Emerson College Pre-College Musical Theatre 5-Week Studio Program

When you spend the time and money learning the fundamentals of Musical Theatre, you should expect rigor and expertise. Emerson College provides rigor and expertise as one of top musical theater summer camps for high school students. The program focuses on "technique-based training in skill development for singing, acting, dance and song interpretation and reflects on the training in the Emerson BFA Musical Theatre Program, which emphasizes process."

High school students entering the 11th or 12th grade are eligible for the musical theater program. Applicants must include a one-song audition to be considered for the program.



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About the author

Trent Lorcher has taught high school English for 19 years. In addition to hosting a foreign exchange student from China, he's traveled extensively, including 18 months in Central America, 2 years in Italy, and additional time in Mexico, France, Morocco, and Spain. He dreams of one day retiring to Spain with his beautiful bride in a place big enough for their 5 kids to visit.

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