Acting and Performance Summer Institute

Acting and Performance Summer Institute


June 19 - July 9, 2021
UCLA Course Credit: Theater 50 (2 units) and Theater 72 (2 units)
Three Week Online Program



The UCLA Acting and Performance Summer Institute is a virtual three-week, UC credit-bearing, intensive program for high school students in theater arts, encompassing performance training classes, movement-based techniques, and a final showcase where students create their own content through the devised theater process.

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

Participation in the program is by admission only (See REGISTRATION section below for more information).


Program Eligibility

To apply for the Acting and Performance Summer Institute, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Enrolled in grades 8th – 12th during Spring 2021

Students who do not meet the minimum program requirements should not apply and should consider other summer opportunities.

Application Requirements

To participate in the Acting and Performance Summer Institute, you must meet all eligibility requirements, apply, and receive acceptance into the program.

  • A 500 word essay responding to the following prompt: How do you plan to impact the world through your storytelling?
  • A letter of reference from a teacher, director, or similar that can attest to your theatrical ability, challenges, and areas for growth. Please either upload the letter after submitting your registration form OR have your recommender email the letter to (PDF format with your 5-digit registration number).
  • A resume. If you do not have a resume, submit a brief description of your theatrical and/or artistic experience.
  • A video of a 1- 1½ minute monologue or improvised scene.

The essay will be prompted on the registration form. Both the letter of reference and the resume can be uploaded (.pdf) through the registration portal. For the video component, you will need to upload your video and make it private to YouTube, Vimeo, or similar site, and paste the private link during the application process. Note: All responses and links will not be accessible to edit in any form after submission of the application.

Preparing For Your Digital Audition

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

Slate: Please provide your first and last 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: 1- 1 ½ minutes is preferred

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 judgment 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. Please remember to review your takes, see what works, and adjust as needed before submitting your audition. Trust the process and do not be overly critical of yourself.

Digital Audition Guidelines

  • 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.
  • Do not do a scene with someone reading lines off camera.
  • Do not send prior performances or tapings from plays. Record a new video according to the audition specs for purposes of this application.
  • Do not put pressure on yourself to deliver the "perfect" audition. Do your personal best, be authentic, and don't forget to have fun.

How To Apply

Application for the Acting and Performance Arts Summer Institute can be done conveniently online using the steps below.

  1. Prepare all application requirements prior to starting the registration process
  2. Access the Summer Institute Online Registration Form starting February 15. Read all terms and conditions, then scroll to the bottom and “Continue to Registration.”
  3. Complete the first page of the online registration form by answering all mandatory questions, then select “Continue” at the end of the first page.
  4. Provide responses to all questions on the second page of the online registration form, including your essay response and your private link and password to your monologue (see Application Requirements above for more information).
  5. Submit your registration form.
  6. Once your form is submitted, you will be directed to the Retrieve Registration page. Select “File Uploads” to upload your letter of reference and your resume (see Application Requirements above for more information).
  7. Allow up to two weeks for the program instructor(s) to review your application after submission. An email will be sent to you with the official decision.
  8. If accepted to the program, follow the steps in your acceptance email to make payment of the $350 non-refundable registration fee and reserve your space in the program.

A space in the program is not reserved for you until valid payment of the non-refundable registration fee* is completed. Those who are not prepared to pay after program acceptance can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make payment, however, you risk losing a space in the program if the program reaches capacity prior to the ability to pay.

We look forward to receiving your audition and application!

This registration fee 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 the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the waitlist, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If registering after May 1, full payment of all fees including the non-refundable registration fee but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required to reserve your space in the program.

How to Make Registration Changes

Already submitted the online registration form but need to make a change or finish your registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. To retrieve registration, please complete the steps below:

  1. Access the Summer Institute Retrieve Registration Form here.
  2. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address. Fill out the form, then “Submit.”


Student Quotes

Past participants have found the Acting and Performance Summer Institute to be an unforgettable experience. Below, please find statements from former students.

"I loved this program so much! It made me fall in love with Devised Theatre and makes me want to create more of my own original work. It also helped me to gain confidence in myself. A great program! Best 3 weeks ever!"

"Even though UCLA was already my TOP 1 dream school, this program reinsured my love for UCLA and the TFT program itself. I really appreciated every moment of this program and I'm sure the people I met within those 3 weeks will be a part of my life forever. I miss everyone SO MUCH!"

"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."

"I really enjoyed the program and in terms of work, material, and classes, I thought it was perfect. I loved having the opportunity to work hard on acting, because I don't usually have it. I thought all the field trips and workshops were great and the time well organized. 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."

"I loved hearing about what it takes to be a working actor in the industry."











Program Dates

JUNE 19 - JULY 9, 2021

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15 - APRIL 1: Summer Scholars Support for California High School Students Application Period

FEBRUARY 15: Registration Opens

MAY 1: Payment due in full

JUNE 15: Refund Deadline - Refund Deadline for Summer Institutes

JUNE 19 - JULY 9: Acting and Performance Summer Institute

UCLA Summer Sessions 2021 will be remote. Learn More.