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The Best Summer Performing Arts Programs for 2019

Even though 2018 hasn’t even come to a close yet, December is the time to start thinking about summer! I’m not just talking about warmer temperatures and lounging by the pool. I’m talking about summer programs!

Now that you’re in high school, it is more important than ever to make your summers count! Use your summers wisely, in preparation for colleges. When you pick a summer program, don’t just pick performance-based programs. Use your summers to take advantage of opportunities to focus on your training that you might not normally get during the school year.

I’m not saying DON’T go for the summer performance camp opportunities, as there are many amazing camps to choose from. Just be sure to balance them by giving yourself equal time to focus on training. Look for intensive programs to improve your voice, acting, or dance skills. Remember, it’s summer… so you’ll want to have some fun too!

Here is my list of the best summer programs for 2019 (in no particular order!). Remember, rising juniors and seniors, I STRONGLY encourage you to explore an immersive college summer program experience, so I have divided the list into two sections: PART 1:  “Musical Theatre Residential Camps” and PART 2: “College Intensives” (Coming Next Week!). 

Click on the name of each program to be taken directly to their website for more information!

Musical Theatre Residential Camps

Buck’s Rock Creative and Performing Arts Camp, New Milford, CT

It’s an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, confidence-building summer adventure. Buck’s Rock is a residential (sleep away) summer camp, where young artists ages 9-18 can make their own choices, follow their own passions, and create their own incredible summer experience. There are more than 30 fully equipped and professionally staffed shops, a large outdoor swimming pool, a farm, garden, performance spaces, radio station, recording studio, and tons of outdoor and evening activities. There are so many things to do, it’s no wonder young artists stay inspired and engaged morning, noon, and night. Located in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Western Connecticut, Buck’s Rock is an extraordinary place to spend a summer creating, learning and making friendships that will last a lifetime.

Personal Note: I had the distinct pleasure of working in the theatre department at Buck’s Rock Camp for the summer of 2018. It is truly an amazing and magical place. After seventy-six years of continuous operation, I can say that it’s the coolest summer camp experience I’ve ever seen and one you may not have ever heard about. If you’re looking for a performing arts camp with the freedom to also do a plethora of other visual arts, including glass blowing, ceramics, painting, leatherwork, and more, I cannot recommend this experience highly enough.

French Woods Festival of the Performing ArtsHancock, NY

French Woods is an individual choice performing arts summer camp for children from 7 to 17 years old. They offer programs in theater, dance, music, circus, magic, rock and roll, visual arts, film and video, sports, tennis, fitness, water sports, skateboard, horseback riding and more. Younger campers have more guidance and supervision, while older campers are able to take on some responsibility and have a chance to work in the areas of their interest.

Stage Door Manor Performing Arts Training Center, Loch Sheldrake, NY

One of the reasons I highly recommend Stage Door Manor is the balance between classroom/training experience and performance opportunities.

Each session, campers are enrolled in six different classes, ranging anywhere from acting, musical theatre, vocal training, movement, dance, film acting, stage combat and so much more. Campers can explore over 60 core classes as well over 25 specialty classes that are offered based on their incoming staff each summer.

Interlachen Center for the Arts, Interlochen, MI

Several summer theatre programs from one week to six weeks make up the Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp offerings. Interlochen was founded in 1928 and is located in beautiful northwest lower Michigan. Each year, thousands of artists and arts patrons come to Interlochen to experience world-class educational and cultural opportunities. Students study music, theatre, visual arts, film, creative writing, and dance, guided by an outstanding faculty and guest artists, and inspired by the scenic beauty of their campus.

Broadway Artists Alliance, New York, NY

BAA offers four summer intensives, which are perfect for students who already have a strong technical foundation and who want to expand and refine their skills. You will attend advanced Master Classes in your Major (Voice, Acting or Dance) and you will also choose from more than 30 electives per intensive to develop your “triple threat” talents! Prior to your arrival, you will work with a BAA Student Advisor who specializes in your Major and who will assist you with your preparations. As an intensive student, you will receive a private coaching in your Major, you will attend a Broadway show of your choice, and you will participate a special Master Class taught by a TONY Award-winning guest!

CROSSOVER Musical Theatre Residential Camp / College Intensive

The College Audition Conservatory, Orlando, FL

In a category all by itself, you’ll find the College Audition Conservatory, in Orlando, FL.

This unprecedented weeklong summer intensive features five full days of workshops and one full day of mock auditions with faculty from ten of the top theatre and musical theatre colleges in the country!

Participants will stay at the beautiful Rosen Centre Hotel on International Drive in Orlando, FL. Days are filled with vocal, acting, and dance workshops with faculty from AMDA, Baldwin Wallace, Carnegie Mellon, Elon, University of Michigan, New York University, Point Park University, Roosevelt University, Texas State University, and Viterbo University.

Parents, this program is for you, too! If you would like to come along for a week in Orlando, there will also be parent-only workshops during the day from college representatives on navigating the audition process, financial aid, staying sane, and more!

The final day will include a full day of mock auditions, so students can get REAL college audition experience with our represented colleges. There will also be a college fair with additional colleges and vendors joining us for the final day. This program is the first of its kind and is not to be missed by any student who is looking at the possibility of auditioning for a college theatre program.

Stay Tuned for PART 2: College Intensives (Coming Next Week!)


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