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Summer Programs in Theater - Stage Management / Tech, not Acting


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My daughter is interested in attending a summer program next summer in stage management / tech.  (Yes, she is already thinking about this!)

She is interested in the program at the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theater.  I was wondering if there is anyone who has a child who has participated in this program, or knows anything about the program, who would share your thoughts about it?  (I know it's a long shot!)

Are there any other programs she should consider?  We've identified the following so far:

* SCAD Summer Seminars - SCAD programs seem more weighted towards film and television than theater

* NSLC Theater Program -  Time appears to be split between acting and management/tech (My older daughter loved the NSLC medical program she attended, btw.)

* Carnegie Mellon Summer Pre-College Program in Design and Production Technology and Management - super expensive!

* NHSI Theater Arts Institute program - mornings are spent in acting-related classes even if you choose to do design/tech in the afternoon

* Emerson College Pre-College Stage Design program - 5 week program, which makes it quite expensive

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How old is your daughter?  I don't know if you're set on doing a program at a college/university, but Interlochen in Michigan has arts camps every summer.  They also have an arts boarding school (which my daughter attended for acting).  They have a theatre design/tech program, for both camp and the academy.  interlochen.org

 

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Is cost a big factor? I mean, you cited the Carnegie Mellon program as expensive, but I think of many of those as being not so far off. I know I've looked at some of the SCAD programs for ds and kind of pulled back.

Ds's teaching theater has a really good program in tech design. There are also summer programs locally to us at some of the mid-size professional theaters that are specifically for theater tech for high school that are pretty great and more in the $1000ish range. Do you have that locally? Or other apprentice programs? Or is she keen to get a prestige credit on her resume and/or an away experience?

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She wants a program that is a week or two away from home for the summer.

She has already gotten herself one internship this fall as assistant stage manager for a production that is just finishing up.  Through that, she made contacts to run lighting on a second company's production next month.  (I've been proud of her initiative!)

Austin and SCAD are in the $1,000-2,000 range.  NSLC is $3,000. The others that I listed as "expensive" are $5,000 and up (including housing and meals).  I'd still be interested to know about any good programs, even if they are expensive, because we might be able to make one of those work for the summer after her junior year if there was one she really wanted to do.

Edited by songsparrow
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Here in Canada, our local professional summer theatre has an apprenticeship program where the theatre company pays the youth apprentices. It's only $300, but that's way better than having to pay! There is a select number of youth apprentices and they apply for their areas of interest; Front of House, Acting, Stage Management, etc. And the program offers free workshops in various acting and producing topics. Maybe we're just super lucky here.

Edited by wintermom
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CMU is a 6 week program, so that’s one reason why it’s expensive. I met my DH in the Pre-College program in 1988, so I’m kind of biased :). They do give financial aid, and used to be fairly generous in doing so. The downside is that it’s easy to fall in love with the school-and then be completely unable to afford to go there. 

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Also, another thought-does your state have a performing arts governor’s School? If they do, there may be a technical theater/production track. In my state, fine and performing arts is the one governor’s School that is not free to students (not nearly as much support from industry, etc), but it’s still a lot less expensive than most of the options you have listed. 

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I had never heard of Governor's schools before, but I googled and unfortunately our state does not offer one in the performing arts. I assume you have to be a state resident to attend the programs?  

Edited by songsparrow
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Yes, in every state I'm familiar with, governor's school is just for state residents. I know they can be tricky for some homeschoolers too, as teacher rec's are how you get tracked into the program in the first place. In some states, I don't even think they're necessarily open to private school students, though I could be wrong...

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In TN, it has to come from a public or private school, but homeschoolers can apply through the school they are registered with-they just have to do the legwork for getting everything together (and the administrator does the recommendation based on their transcript and test results-so while a PS kid could apply mostly based on grades, a homeschooler would need good enough test scores to get the school to be willing to recommend them, whether they’re registered through the school district or through a private school ). Most fine arts kids I know use play directors or private teachers for their recommendations, and there is usually a recorded audition or portfolio. 

 

It’s not an option for everyone, but it’s definitely worth checking out. I hadn’t thought about it for DD until a friend who teaches in PS suggested that DD look at them-she’s working on her essays for a science one today :).

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