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Summer Acting Academy

Summer Acting Academy

The Summer Acting Academy is a one-week professional theatre training program for young actors who wish to explore and develop their skills in all areas of performance. 

Open to students of all levels of theatre experience, the Summer Acting Academy provides quality training for the beginning actor, as well as advanced level study for the young actor with previous experience. All classes take place on the West Virginia University Evansdale Campus in the Creative Arts Center.

Led by WVU Faculty and guest artists who are dedicated and skilled in working with young actors, the courses include a wide range of studies in: Acting, Stage Combat, Voice and Speech, Movement, Scene work, Monologues, Character Masks, Musical Theatre, Film Acting and Improvisation.  In addition to basic voice, movement and acting classes, we have areas of specialization.  In 2017 we focused on  Shakespeare and Stage Combat, while in 2018 specialty classes included  Musical Theatre, Playwriting and Film Acting.  Stay tuned for info about our 2019 program!  Each academy culminates in a final presentation and party for kids and families.

This year we will continue our successful overnight Teen Academy for ages 12-18! Students can also sign up for the day only (11 year olds are eligible to participate without the overnight option). 

In addition to intensive training, participants will have the opportunity to see a West Virginia Public Theatre play, participate in an on-camera and evening workshop and go swimming at the WVU Recreation Center!  

Please call the WVU Theatre & Dance office at (304) 293-2020 to inquire about financial aid opportunities.

Movement class 2019 Academies
The Young Academy
(ages 7-11)

(Monday June 17 - Friday June 21 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Performance: Friday, June 21


Check in will be at 8am Monday through Friday and check out will be at 1pm, in the CAC Lobby. Please have your child bring a snack and a drink and wear comfortable movement clothes. The Young Academy performance will be on Friday at 12pm and will be followed by a party with cake and T-shirts!


The Teen Academy (ages 12-18, 11 year olds eligible without the overnight option)

(Sun. June 16 - Sat. June 22 )

Performance: Saturday, June 22

Register by May 31st and get a $50 discount!

Check in (for students in the dorms) will take place at Braxton Hall at 10am on Sun June 17th and will be followed by a  Kick Off Lunch for All Teens and their Families in the WVU Creative Arts Center (CAC)!

Check out will be on Sat June 22rd for teens staying in dorms. If you are not staying overnight be sure to pack a lunch and dinner, or you can apply for a meal plan! Evening events and info on appropriate attire will be sent to you. Daily check out for daytime participants will be every evening at 9pm. 

Student in mask Acting Academy Classes


This class will investigate techniques to deepen observation and listening skills, and will incorporate the use of objectives, obstacles, and given circumstances. Scene work will be explored using specially selected contemporary and classical texts. 

Student acting in mask


This course will introduce students to the Viewpoints, a system for observing, understanding and analyzing movement. Through the use of structured movement improvisations, increase movement awareness of yourself and others, and then use that awareness to create a group movement piece for the showcase performance.


Apply the skills learned in other classes to a short monologue, and be able to present yourself well in a monologue audition situation.

Voice and Speech

This class will cover breath control, projection and resonance, as well as warming up and cooling off skills, as they apply to the acting of text.


Character Masks

Explore bringing different characters to life through the use of masks, and the awareness from the mask of how each unique character moves and sounds.


S pontaneity, Awareness, Concentration and Trust. In this class, you will get in touch with your natural instincts and impulses, learn to take risks, building a sense of trust and support with your fellow students and yourself.

Stage Combat 
This class explores the physical preparation for and safe use of hand-to-hand combat techniques for the stage. Suzuki movement will be incorporated into this class. 

Movement class

Time will be spent working on the final demonstration providing students the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in the other courses. The week will culminate with the students’ demonstration presentation.

TEEN ACADEMY: What to Bring


1. Swimsuit and beach towel (Wed night)
2. Camera 
3. iPod or other MP3 player, CDs (Dorms only) 
4. A night-light or lamp for your dorm room* 
5. Bed Linens and towels*

6. Oscillating fan for your dorm room*
7. Your favorite pillow, stuffed animals and an extra blanket might help you feel more at home*  

8. If you bring a cell phone, remember to turn it off before class.

9. Umbrella (you never know!)

10. Something nice to wear to the WVPT play in the evening (Thursday Night)

*Items that apply to on-campus residents only


1. Movement clothing: gym clothes, yoga pants, or shorts, whatever is comfortable for tumbling on the floor. 

2.Refillable water bottle


1.  Spiral or binder notebook and pencil/pen. 
2.  Sharpie Marker to mark your personal items 
6. Yoga / exercise mat (Monday night)

Extra Cash

Festival shirts will be on sale on Saturday June 23rd (see T-shirt order form. Advanced orders are recommended, as there will be a limited amount of shirt sizes on sale).  Vending machines are located at the CAC.