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Acting & Performance Summer Institute

Hone your techniques and gain real-world experience in all aspects of the creative process of theater-making

Program Overview

The UCLA Summer Acting and Performance Institute is a three-week intensive program for high school students in grades 9-12 who seek discipline and training required for participation in a university theater program or a career in performing arts. This program includes performance-training classes, movement-based techniques, guest workshops, field trips and a final performance project. Admission to the program is by digital audition and instructor consent. As part of the application process, each applicant must submit a letter of reference from a high school instructor verifying the applicant’s ability to successfully participate in a disciplined and rigorous theater program. In addition to the letter of reference, we encourage each applicant to submit a resume, if available. Both the letter of reference and the resume can be uploaded during the application process.

*Please note, all levels are encouraged to apply. Each morning begins promptly with tai-chi exercises, followed by acting and movement classes. Other classes may include, but are not limited to: classical acting, combat, acting for the camera and playwriting.

In the afternoon, the performance workshop provides students with practical experience in the rehearsal and performance process. Students are involved in all aspects of the creative process – conceptualizing, writing and transforming ideas into dramatic action. There will be a final showcase for invited guests.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in scheduled workshops and field trips. These may include, but are not limited to: a trip to the Geffen Playhouse, a mask workshop, an industry talk and a resume workshop.

Program Details

This three-week intensive program is for high school students who seek the discipline and training required for participation in a university theater program or a career in performing arts. This program includes performance-training classes, guest workshops, field trips, and a final performance project.

On-Campus (Mandatory Housing)

Due to the intense nature of the Acting and Performance Summer Institute and the time commitment involved, living in on-campus housing is mandatory.

For more information on UCLA housing precollege programs, please see the Housing for Minors page.

Many of our precollege programs with mandatory housing (only) also feature non-curricular evening and weekend activities, the availability of which is at the sole discretion of the academic department offering the program, and are not operated by UCLA Summer Sessions. To learn more about whether (and when) your selected program will host such activities, please consult the schedules for each program or contact the department in question directly:


Session A: June 25-July 15, 2023
Session B: July 16-August 5, 2023

Students are engaged in activities and classes along with breaks throughout the day from 9:00 a.m.- 9:30 p.m., seven days a week.

Grades and Transcripts

Program participants will earn units of credit on a letter-grading basis and will be recorded on an official University of California transcript. Please note that official transcripts are not automatically sent to students. To request a transcript, please contact the UCLA Registrar’s Office.


Theater 50; 2 units, Theater 72; 2 units


Applications are reviewed and admission to the program is granted on a rolling basis starting February 15th. Applying at your earliest convenience, prior to June 1st, is highly recommended.

Applicants who successfully submit all requirements will be reviewed and notified via email of an admission decision within ~3 weeks.

Applicants are required to provide the following during the online registration process:

A 500-word essay responding to the following prompt: How do you plan to impact the world through your storytelling?

A letter of recommendation from a teacher, director, or someone similar that can attest to your theatrical ability, challenges, and areas for growth.

A resume. If you do not have a resume, please submit a brief description of your theatrical and/or artistic experience.

A video of a 1- 1½ minute monologue or improvised scene of your choosing. See Video Audition Guidelines in FAQ below.


The essay will be prompted on the registration form; we recommend having your essay pre-written to copy/paste.

Both the letter of recommendation and resume can be uploaded (.pdf) during the application process.

All responses and links will not be accessible to edit in any form after submission of the application.

Program Eligibility
  • 8th-12th grade in Spring 2023
Grading Basis

Students will receive a letter grade upon completion. See University Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information about academic credit.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

UCLA Summer Sessions Summer Scholars Support

Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2023 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute. Summer 2023 deadline to apply: March 15.

Important Dates and Deadlines

June 1, 2023

Application deadline

June 15, 2023

Enrollment Deadline


Session A
June 25 – July 15, 2023

Session B
July 16 – August 5, 2023