Prepare for a university theater program or career in the performing arts
Hone your techniques and gain real-world experience in all aspects of the creative process of theater-making
The UCLA Acting and Performance Summer Institute is a three-week, intensive program for high school students in theater arts. The program encompasses performance training classes, movement-based techniques, and a final showcase where students create their own unique content through the devised theater process.
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.
This program is designed for high school students with a commitment to the theater arts who seek the discipline and training required for participation in a university theater program or a career in the performing arts.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. The program fee also includes the cost of UCLA Housing (for mandatory housing programs). In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
Meet Your Instructors
Perry Daniel is an actor, director, educator, and puppeteer. She teaches courses in Acting, Teaching Artistry, and Puppetry. She is the Program Director for the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s ArtsBridge program, an organization that provides enrichment programming in alliance with Los Angeles K12 schools. These programs are built upon the belief that empowering imagination is pivotal to the development of inspired learners and active community members through equitable access to the performing and visual arts.
As the Co-Creative Director of the Acting and Performance Summer Institute, Perry teaches Vocal and Physical Preparation along with directing devised pieces. Previous APSI classes have included puppetry design, mask making and performance technique, clowning, Commedia dell’arte and improv comedy. Her primary focus is on creating original works through ensemble development and creative collaboration. She utilizes her background as a Pilates and Gyrotonic instructor to assist students in furthering their understanding of artistic exploration through physicality.
Perry’s investment in performing arts, education and outreach is evident in her diverse array of experiences. As an instructor, she has developed and taught movement based acting courses in both New York and Los Angeles. She began her education outreach work in NYC with The 52nd Street Project, a non-profit theater company committed to creative work with the youth in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Her work with the Project led to a writing position with the production company Little Airplane for Nick Jr.’s The Wonder Pets. While in New York, Perry trained with Under the Table Ensemble Theatre (founded by Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre alumni), participating in Commedia dell’Arte and clown shows around the city.
A supporter of Clowns Without Borders, she has toured with the South African chapter, providing humanitarian outreach and psychosocial relief through the art of playing. As an extension of her commitment to arts outreach and education, Perry wrote and directed Tall Tales for the Geffen Playhouse. The debut was followed by a two-month tour of LAUSD elementary schools for over 3,000 students.
Daniel received her BFA in theater from the University of Colorado, Boulder and MFA in acting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Her improv and sketch comedy training is courtesy of UCB, The People’s Improv Theater and Denver’s Impulse Theater. Among numerous stage and camera credits, favorite past roles include, Becca in Rabbit Hole, Arlecchino in Il Sogno d’Arlecchino, Valentina from Goldoni’s The Housekeeper and Cyllene in the Getty Villa’s production of The Trackers. Perry is also a member of the Los Angeles-based theater company Sacred Fools and volunteers at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and Lunch On Me. She has performed puppetry at the Skirball Center, The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, Dynasty Typewriter, and every classroom imaginable. Recently Perry was elected to the board of directors of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry.
2020 – 2021 projects include: facilitating virtual creative movement workshops (LA, NYC, CHICAGO), vocal dubbing for the Dutch Netflix series Undercover, appearing in the upcoming feature Good Side of Bad, performer on the The Dybbukcast podcast, and acting in an episode of Pandemic Pillowtalk. She currently is in pre-production for the webseries Beverly Hill, a dystopian puppet parody of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise.
Vikas Adam is an award-winning actor, voiceover artist, director, producer, and writer. Adam has a BFA in Theater from Syracuse University and an MFA in Acting from UCLA. As an educator, he has taught acting, voice, and movement-based studies from elementary to undergraduate levels. He was the program director for Junior Players, Dallas’ oldest non-profit youth arts organization. During his tenure, Adam worked closely with various school districts and recreation centers to implement free after-school visual and performing arts-based programming with working actors and artists.
Additionally, he annually co-produced PUPFest (a young playwright’s festival) with Kitchen Dog Theater as well as the third show in the Shakespeare Dallas Summer season which included a critically acclaimed Bollywood version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which he also conceptualized, sound designed, and dramaturged.
As a teacher, Adam is constantly updating his curriculum and employs improvisation, movement, ensemble, and character-building exercises with an emphasis on ‘thinking outside of the box’ while building discipline and self-confidence.
Adam has narrated over 100 audiobooks by bestselling authors including Orson Scott Card, Manil Suri, M.M. Kaye, and C. Robert Cargill (screenwriter, Doctor Strange). He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award (the Oscars for Audiobooks) in Fantasy for his work on “Nice Dragons Finish Last”. His favorite theatre roles include Alceste in The Misanthrope, Orlando in As You Like It, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, and Ariel in the Tempest. Adam is currently on the Producing Committee for The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival and on the Advisory Board for Junior Players.
Lea Madda (she/her) is a multidisciplinary theater artist, educator, and voiceover actor. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice Performance from Boston University and an MFA in Acting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Madda has also trained with the SCOT Company in Toga, Japan, and the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland. Recent theater credits include Hand to God (Coachella Valley Repertory), A Bright New Boise (Dezart Performs Palm Springs), The Sound of Music (Alaska CAP), Anne, A New Play (Museum of Tolerance), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatricum Botanicum), Queen of Califas (Los Angeles Theatre Center) and She Loves Me (Actors Coop).
Madda is also an active voiceover artist, providing the English dubbing for international shows on NETFLIX, Amazon Prime, and HBO. In 2016, Madda collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola on his live cinema project Distant Vision, a theatrical film shot live on a single soundstage amongst 30 cameras.
Patrick Hurley graduated from UCLA with his MFA in playwriting. The first part of his Queer Tetralogy On a Queer Day was a Semi-Finalist for The Eugene O’Neill playwrights conference in 2018. His play The Winds of Ariston was part of UCLA’s 2017 New Play Festival. In 2018, his serialized play #instagay had twelve episodes at Sacred Fools Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2016, his play My Play’s Last Scene was part of the Marianne Murphy Staged Reading Series. That same year his One Act Indigo at Midnight was part of the Francis Ford Coppola One Act Play Festival. He worked as a Stage Manager for Francis Ford Coppola on his live television project Distant Vision. He has taught playwriting at UCLA, has been a dramaturg and literary assistant for The Theatre @ Boston Court in Los Angeles, and was the head writer for the 2018 Los Angeles Ovation Awards Ceremony. He is a two-time recipient of the George Burns/Grace Allen Fellowship for Comedy.
Wendy Kurtzman is an Emmy-nominated casting director who has helped launch the careers of many well-known actors including such notables as Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey and Evan Rachel Wood. She has more than 25 years of experience in feature films, movies for television, mini-series and theater. Ms. Kurtzman has worked with many distinguished directors such as Paul Schrader, Diane Keaton, Sally Field and Roland Emmerich, for whom she cast the blockbuster “Independence Day,” starring Will Smith. Prior to starting her own casting business, she was a casting executive at Lifetime and NBC. She began her career as an actress in musical theater and graduated with a degree in theater from UCLA.
In 2013 Wendy launched College to Career Acting, to help emerging BFA/MFA artists navigate the transition from Academia into the Entertainment Industry. Her experience as both a performer and a casting director afford her a unique perspective into what it takes to succeed as a performer. Her ability to call on a strong network of agents, managers, producers, casting directors, composers and musicians provides young hopefuls unique access into the professional world. Currently, Wendy works as a business and career coach and is on Faculty at Pace University and UCLA where she teaches personal narrative, audition technique and transition to the Industry.
Taylor London is professionally trained in many dance styles; Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, African and Salsa. You may have seen her perform on The Voice, American Idol, X-Factor, BET Awards, American Music Awards and more. She has had the opportunity to work with Madonna, Brittany Spears, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, Fergie, Jhene Aiko and Willow Smith. With a passion for dance and a love for kids, Taylor’s fun Hip-Hop class focuses on basic grooves and cardio movement. You can follow her on her Instagram page Taylor London for more!
Actor and director Rod Menzies, is an internationally recognized voice, speech, text and dialect coach. He is a former co-artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles (EST/LA), where he serves on the Board of Directors and contributes as an actor and director in the development of new American plays.
He is also a member of the Open Fist Theatre Company, where he acts and directs. In 2018, he appeared in Zuri Alexander’s award-winning short film, Quiet Denial, which has screened at a number of film festivals including L.A. Shorts, where it was recognized with an Audience Award. As a director, Menzies has helmed more than 60 theatrical productions, including three world premieres for EST/LA, and an award-winning world premiere of Tom Jacobson’sWalking to Buchenwald, for Open Fist. In Los Angeles, he has performed leading roles at Open Fist, A Noise Within, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Pico Playhouse, Getty Villa, Chalk Repertory Theatre and EST/LA. A veteran of the Shakespearean Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Menzies has played many leading Shakespearean roles, including Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet; Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night; Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title role in King Henry V.
As a faculty member in nationally recognized conservatory programs, Menzies has taught acting, Shakespeare and directing, as well as many courses in voice, speech, text and dialects. He is a founding faculty member of Canada’s National Voice Intensive where he taught voice and Shakespeare text for 15 years, and the founding producing director of New York Theatre Intensives, where he taught a summer intensive in new play development in collaboration with the member artists of EST/NY.
Among the actors he has coached are Patricia Arquette, Neve Campbell, David Duchovny, Mariska Hargitay, Adrian Homes, James Purefoy, Marcus Scribner, Alicia Silverstone, TJ Thyne and Sophie Turner.
In addition to UCLA TFT, Menzies teaches at the AMDA Conservatory of the Performing Arts. He received his master of fine arts degree in theatre from York University in Toronto and a diploma in acting from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England.
Jonathan Wang was born in 1973 in Beijing, China. He began his studies in Kung Fu at the age of 8 when he started training in Shan Xi Xing Yi under Master Cui Guo-Gui. In 1989, Wang migrated to the U.S. and started training under Grandmaster Jiang Hao-Quan. Grandmaster Jiang was a distinguished graduate of the Nan-King Guoshou Institute and was one of the top martial arts professors in China. Wang intensely studied traditional Chinese fighting techniques under Grandmaster Jiang for several years. At this time he was also studying Taichi under his father, Master Daniel Yu Wang, one of the few people in the world to have mastered all five classical styles of Taichi as well as Taichi sanshou and weapons.
In more than 20 years of studying martial arts, Wang has established a very respectable professional resume. He has won several championships in various categories throughout the years. In addition to his continued participation in tournaments and diligent training, Wang returns to Beijing several times a year to perfect his skills by training with some of China’s most respected Kung Fu masters.
In addition to his Kung Fu, Wang has two bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations from UCLA, a master’s degree of science in oriental medicine, a national acupuncture certificate, a California state acupuncture license, and is at the forefront of documenting Kung Fu forms around the world before they are lost.