Acting and Performance Summer Institute

Acting and Performance Summer Institute


The UCLA Acting and Performance Summer Institute is a three-week, UC credit-bearing, intensive program for high school students in theater arts, encompassing performance training classes, movement-based techniques, a final performance project, guest workshops and field trips.

The program is designed for high school students completing grades 9 through 12, with a serious interest in theater arts, and who seek the discipline and training required for participation in a university theater program or a career in the performing arts.

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 that all levels are encouraged to apply.

This institute is a recommended pre-requisite for the advanced intensives.

For more information, please view the REGISTRATION section.


This UCLA Acting and Performance Summer Institute runs twice this summer. Both programs are the same and each runs three weeks on the following dates:

  • First Session (A):
    • Saturday, June 24-Saturday, July 15, 2017
  • Second Session (B):
    • Saturday, July 15- Saturday, August 5, 2017



"It was the best weeks of my life. A memory I will cherish forever!"

"I really loved meeting dedicated students and teachers and being surrounded by that energy. I also enjoyed the movement focused curriculum. I feel much more centered and focused in my acting."

"It really gives you an idea of what an intensive BFA/BA would be like in college. This has honestly been one of the coolest things I have ever done; I wish it didn't have to end."

"This experience changed my life."

"My favorite part of the Institute was just having the ability to express myself freely and openly, meeting life-long friends and inspirational teachers."

"I truly feel that this program has helped me to grow as a person and actor."

"My favorite part of the Institute was being able to get out of my comfort zone with people from all around the world."

"SAPI was an amazing opportunity to grow as an actor, and I would encourage anyone who loves the art to go for the summer and stretch themselves, while having an amazing time. "


Admission to the program is by instructor consent only. Digital auditions are held for admission. As part of the registration process, each applicant must submit the following:
  • A 500 word essay
  • A letter of reference from a high school instructor verifying the applicant's ability to successfully participate in a disciplined and rigorous theater program.
  • A resume. If you do not have a resume, submit a brief description of your theatrical and/or artistic experience.
  • A video of a two minute monologue or improvised scene. Prompts are provided.

The essay will be prompted on the registration form. Both the letter of reference and the resume can be uploaded (.pdf) during the application process. For the video component, you will need to upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, or similar site, and paste the private link during the application process.

You will need to upload one file into a private link on either YouTube or Vimeo and include the password to your private link. The link will be your audition, which consists of your slate and your monologue.

Slate: Please provide your name, the name of the play your piece is from, the character's name, and the playwright. There is no need to explain what is happening in the play. Feel free to say hello to us.

Monologue Length: two minutes preferred, slightly under or over two minutes is acceptable.

How to shoot the monologue: Frame it so that you are facing the camera for a medium to close up shot. Please use your best judgement for what will work best for your monologue. If you will be moving during your monologue, a medium shot may be better. You may choose to speak into the camera or slightly off camera. Do a practice take, or two, or three. Review your takes, see what works, and adjust as needed. Do not be overly critical of yourself.


  • Audition against a blank wall or door.
  • Please do the monologue in one take.
  • If you would like to shoot your slate in a separate take and then edit the take of your monologue into one file, that is fine.
  • You may shoot it from your phone or tablet. We are not worried about high production value. The most important thing is that we can see you and hear you.
  • Please do not do a scene with someone reading lines off camera.
  • Please do not send prior performances or tapings from plays. Record a new video according to the audition specs for purposes of this application.
  • Please do not put pressure on yourself to deliver the "perfect" audition. Do your personal best, be yourself, and don't forget to have fun.

We look forward to receiving your audition and application!

Tell us about your dream Theater Institute (not one that exists-make it up). What classes does it have? What do you learn? Imagine that anything is possible. What do you hope to gain from this Theater Institute?

NOTE: Students should compose the essay before beginning the online registration process. There will be a text field on the online form into which the essay text should be copied.


After completing the online registration form, you may be contacted via email with a request to submit a video of yourself.

Videos can be recorded by phone, tablet, or camera. Do not worry about high production value. What’s important is that we can see and hear you clearly. One of the following must be submitted for the video component of the application.

  • A monologue (1-1.5 minutes) that you really connect with. Your slate must include your name, name of character, play, and playwright;
  • OR

  • Improvise or write something that you perform using ONE of the following prompts. These are deliberately vague. We want to see where you go creatively. It can be dramatic, comedic, or both. Recorded material only needs to be 1-1.5 minutes. Before you begin, let us know which of the two prompts you are doing by indicating the letter below:
    • You are trying to get someone(s) to follow your cause.
    • You are doing everything you can to convince an authority figure (parent, teacher, etc.) to allow you to do something.



Registration is conveniently done online here starting February 15, 2017.

In order to guarantee a spot in the program, a valid payment of the non-refundable deposit ($400 for international students; $150 for all others) is required if registering prior to the May 1 payment deadline.

After the May 1 payment deadline, a full payment of all fees including the non-refundable deposit but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required for registration.

Registration is not complete until the required payment is made. Those who are not prepared to pay can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make payment, however you're space will not be reserved until payment is received.

This deposit is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins.

If you withdraw, this deposit will appear as processing fee charge on your BruinBill account.

If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment.

When your application is accepted from the wait list, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If applicable, the document and IEI fees must be paid on MyUCLA after registration. For more information, please refer to FEES AND PAYMENT in the left column.

Already submitted the registration form but need to make a change or complete registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address.

Changes that can be updated or made using the retrieve form include:

  • Paying non-refundable deposit
  • Uploading required documents
  • Dropping a current program

If you would like to switch into a different program or add additional programs, please contact our office at with your five-digit registration number, the students first and last name, and a description of the change you are requesting.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: All international students participating in the Acting and Performance Summer Institute must obtain an F-1 student visa. For more information, please see VISA INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.



The UCLA Student Code of Conduct has been developed to maintain a safe, supportive, and inclusive campus community that engages students in order to foster their academic success, personal growth and responsible citizenship. Therefore you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner which demonstrates respect for yourself, your fellow Summer Sessions students, UCLA's faculty members, and members of the local community.

Behavior governed by the UCLA Student Code of Conduct includes:

  • Academic honesty
  • Treatment of others
  • Health and safety
  • Use of resources
  • Use of alcohol and controlled substances

UCLA’s reputation for academic excellence and institutional integrity is among the most valued assets; as such, academic integrity is of paramount importance and UCLA does all within its power to maintain its standards.

During the summer, matriculated UCLA students and visiting students alike are members of our diverse and inclusive True Bruin community. For more information on the student code of conduct, please visit the Dean of Students' website.

Program Dates

JUNE 24 - JULY 15, 2017

JULY 15 - AUGUST 5, 2017

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15: Summer Institutes Registration Opens

MARCH 1 - APRIL 1: Summer Scholars Support for California High School Students application available

MAY 1: I-20 Request Submission Deadline for Session A

MAY 1: Full Payment via MyUCLA due for Precollege Summer Institutes

JUNE 1: Refund Deadline for Precollege Summer Institutes

JUNE 1: I-20 Request Submission Deadline for Session C

JUNE 23: iStart Orientation Deadline (Session A) - International Students ONLY

JUNE 24 - JULY 15: Acting and Performance Summer Institute (A) - Acting & Performance (A) - Residential Program

JULY 15 - AUGUST 5: Acting and Performance Summer Institute (B) - Acting & Performance (B) - Residential Program)