Summer Programs
Theatre Residential Institute for High School Students
Theatre Day Camp is not offered this Year

Theatre Residential Institute - July 5-17, 2015

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Students acting in play

Alfred University welcomes high school students to our beautiful campus each year to take part in this exciting overnight summer camp. This two-week program, for students interested in learning more about theatre performance and production, provides each participant with opportunities for progress in theatre. Our unique blend of broad choices and training in specific areas leads to many energetic classes and much individual growth. With a dynamic, engaging, talented and caring faculty; terrific facilities; and lovely surroundings, the Alfred University Theatre Institute could make this your best summer ever! Check out some comments from past campers.

The Program
Summer Theatre at Alfred University provides a great opportunity for students to create, experience, and develop perspectives and skills in theater through full group sessions and with a good deal of individual attention, training and experience in theater from our distinguished faculty. Students work on improving skills and developing new levels of expertise in two or three areas of performance and/or technical theater. There is range, choice and growth for everyone. The emphasis is on having fun and enjoying our beautiful natural surroundings while learning!

  • Actor Training - including improvisation, text analysis, character development, staging, voice production and movement

  • Technical Theatre - including stage managing, scenery, costume and lighting

  • Voice and Voice Development

Students arrive on campus between 2:00 and 4:00 PM for registration and check-in on Sunday, July 5 and check-out Friday afternoon, July 17. Sunday registration is followed by orientation, dinner and welcome activities. Institute sessions begin Monday morning. During a typical day, students attend classes in the morning and afternoon and participate in recreational activities and rehearsals in the evening. View a sample schedule.

three girls in costume laughingMorning sessions focus on actor training, including improvisation, text analysis, character development, staging, voice production and movement for actors. All students will learn more about theatre through text and performance.

Afternoons are devoted to design and technical theatre, with sessions in stage managing, scenery, costume and lighting. Students will receive experience and training in all areas, with opportunities to focus on one or two areas during the course of the two weeks. Other afternoon sessions provide students with experience in voice and voice development. Two voice training sessions early in the Institute lead to options for more sessions in voice for the stage, including some preparation for musical theatre. In the late afternoons students will choose particular areas to work on: voice for the stage, acting, design, technical theater and/or stage managing.

At least one field trip to a professional theatre will be included in the schedule. Students will tour the facility and view a professional theatre performance.

The program will conclude with a public performance of scenes and at least one rehearsed short play.

College Credit Option
Rising juniors and seniors who attend this program can earn two hours of college credit, if desired, by completing extra assignments and paying an additional $100. (Acceptance confirmation packets will include a course registration form that must be returned by students who wish to earn the 2 credits.)

When not in classes or rehearsals, students have lots of fun participating in a variety of enjoyable recreational activities. Living, dining, and learning together, they have ample opportunity to get to know each other and develop lasting friendships. Activities typically include:

  • Ice-breaker games on the first night to help everyone get acquainted

  • Movies in Nevins Theater

  • Visiting a nearby lake for picnics and campfires

  • Outdoor games such as "Capture the Flag" and "Ultimate Frisbee"

  • Indoor games such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," "Project Runway," ping pong, board games, basketball, etc.

  • Social gatherings with refreshments & music in the Knight Club

  • Relaxing and socializing at the Terra Cotta Coffee House

  • Farewell party on the last night

View AU Summer Academic Camps Video

Who Can Attend?

This dynamic program is for students who will enter grades 10, 11 or 12 next fall who are interested in learning more about theatre performance and production. The number of participants is kept small to allow for individualized attention. (AU also offers summer theater day camps for younger children. Please see day camp information at the bottom of this page.)

The Faculty
Dr. Becky Prophet, AU Professor of Theater, teaches acting, directing and playwriting, and serves as the Director of the Summer Theatre Institute. Questions about class content should be directed to her. Professor Prophet can be reached via email or by calling the AU Performing Arts Division at 607-871-2562.

Zachary Hamm is the Technical Director for the AU Performing Arts Division. During the academic year he teaches technical theatre and is responsible for the organization and set of every theatre production and dance concert on campus. Prior to working at Alfred University, he worked for PlayMakers Repertory Company in North Carolina, Heritage Repertory Theater in Virginia, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. He can be reached via email.

Rebecca Weaver, Adjunct Instructor of Voice at AU and completing doctoral studies in voice at the Eastman School of Music, teaches voice for actors and presents master classes at the institute. She invigorates the institute curriculum through teaching health and care of voice for performers, and can be reached via email.

When students are not in workshop sessions or rehearsals, they are supervised by specially-trained Camp Counselors who serve as mentors, positive role models and friends. To ensure everyone has a safe, healthy and enjoyable time on campus, summer students are expected to abide by the University's summer programs rules & regulations.

Housing and Meals
Students stay in secure University residence halls dedicated to summer campers (2 per room) and must bring their own pillows, blankets and bed/bath linens for the week (bed linens must fit the extra-long twin residence hall beds). Laundry facilities are available in each hall at no charge. Males and females are housed in separate halls. Camp Counselors will be on-site in the residence halls at all times.

Delicious, all-you-can-eat, cafeteria-style meals are served in the campus dining hall. Our Dining Services chefs do an excellent job in accommodating campers with food allergies and other special requirements.

students-working-with-teacherTuition, Room and Board
The camp fee is $1,995 (includes a $200 deposit). This covers tuition, supervision, program materials, field trip, recreational activities, room and board from dinner on the first day through lunch on the last day.

The $200 deposit must be submitted with the application. Full payment of the balance is due by June 1, 2015.

(Commuter Rate: Students living locally who wish to attend this institute as commuters may do so. The commuter rate, which includes lunch each day, is $995. Evening recreational activities are not included. Students who wish to commute must check in at registration on Sunday and arrive on campus by 9:00 AM for classes on subsequent days. Pick-up time on most days will be 5:00 PM but there will be exceptions. Timing on the day of the field trip will be different, there will be some evening classes and rehearsals, and the institute will end after the performance on the last day. The faculty will provide commuters with more detailed information at the first class. Please be sure to check the "Commuter" box on the application form.)

Further information, including a detailed program schedule and driving directions will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

Financial Aid
Sorry, there are no scholarships or other forms of financial aid available for students in any of our summer programs.

How to Apply - Application Form
The application deadline is May 1, 2015.

Students who wish to apply must submit:

  • A completed application form
  • $200 deposit
  • Copy of an up-to-date transcript or most recent report card
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers (on official school stationery)
  • A one-page essay telling us why you would like to attend this program (in your own words, with your signature at the bottom)
  • A recent photo (headshot if possible)

Please send materials to: Office of Summer Programs, Alfred University, Saxon Drive, Alfred, NY 14802, fax to 607-871-2045 or scan and send to us via email.

girl working in shop Acceptance Procedure
After May 1, the Institute Directors will evaluate all applications and determine which students will be accepted. Acceptance/non-acceptance notification will be provided by email and letter by the middle of May. If you require an earlier decision, please indicate this by including a note with your application form. (Students who apply after May 1 will receive notification within 1 week after we receive their application materials.)

Accepted students will receive, along with their acceptance letter, instructions on where to find and download all required materials including medical forms, liability releases, emergency notification forms, etc. These materials must be filled out as soon as possible and must be back in our hands by June 1. Updated immunization information (including dates) is also required at that time. (If you do not have updated immunization information on hand, you may want to acquire this from your physician now to avoid processing delays.)

Cancellation Policy
Refunds, less the $200 non-refundable deposit, will be made for cancellations received by June 5. A 50% refund will be made for cancellations received from June 6-19. No refunds are given for any cancellations received after June 19.

For further general information contact the Office of Summer Programs at 607-871-2612. For specific information concerning institute content please contact Dr. Becky Prophet, Institute Director, at 607-871-2562 or via email.

Comments from Former Campers

  • "Theater class was amazing every minute! I learned techniques, warm-ups, energy exercises, stretches, vocal warm-ups and strategies." - Carol F. from Lititz, PA

  • "I loved every aspect of the theater class. It was great that we started out with games and activities and continued on to memorize and put together an entire show! There was just the right amount of structure and fun. I learned how to really have motivation for every single one of my lines. Another thing I learned was the real importance of the ensemble." - Najah M. from Beacon, NY

  • "I learned so much that will make me a better actor, and I learned so much about tech theater too! " - Emily M. from Towson, MD

  • "I learned to be a better actor and express myself. " - Eric W. from Hornell, NY

  • "I learned how to work as a better crew member and to just have fun with everything!" - Rachel H. from Pickerington, OH

  • "I learned so much and improved different acting techniques." - Sean S. from Dansville, NY

  • "I loved the theatre and improv games and I loved the voice lessons. I also loved the games and movies during recreation time!" - Emily C. from Buffalo, NY

  • "The RAs were amazing and awesome! I'll never forget them. I learned a lot from this camp. Very nice campus! Thanks Becky, Zach and Rebecca!" - Alyssa S. from Ridgeway, PA

  • "All my theater classes were amazing and the technical sessions especially helped. We covered lighting, sounds, stage management, design, construction of a set, prop management, voice for actors, movement, text analysis and on and on. I learned so much!" - Olivia E. from Japan


About Alfred

Alfred University is located in the peaceful village of Alfred in western New York State, where summer days are warm and nights are cool and comfortable. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful meadows and valleys, Alfred University is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable week learning more about a favorite subject and meeting other students who share your interests.

The campus, a 6-hour drive from New York City, 2 hours from Buffalo, and 1 1/4 hours from Rochester, is easily accessible by car or bus from all directions and is just five miles south of Interstate 86. The nearest major airport is the Rochester International Airport (about 65 mi. north). Transportation to/from that airport can be provided for an additional charge if we receive your request by the due date indicated in your acceptance notification. After that date campers must make their own arrangements with an airport limo service.