The Theatre School > Conservatory > Summer High School Training Program

Summer High School Training Program

Experience Conservatory. Experience Chicago.

Note: only the "apply for summer 2019" buttons on this page will lead you to the summer program application. All other application links on The Theatre School website are intended for students pursuing entrance to degree programs.


Program Overview

The Theatre School's Summer High School Training Program is designed for rising 11th and 12th grade students who want a taste of intensive conservatory theatre training in the heart of Chicago, one of the world's most vibrant theatre communities.

For three weeks in July, students live in a DePaul University residence hall and study one of four concentrations (acting, design, directing, or playwriting) with Theatre School faculty and some of the most exciting theatre professionals in Chicago. While this is a non-college credit program, students dive into the rigor of conservatory training and begin to prepare for the college audition and interview process, all while experiencing many of the theatrical and cultural events Chicago has to offer and the artists (including Theatre School alumni) that make it all possible.

As a student in the program, the primary coursework will stretch and challenge you to grow in your area of concentration, and master classes and workshops will allow you to explore other interests. At the end of the three weeks you will have a showcase of your work for the other students, families, and guests.

Our students with local Puerto Rican storyteller Melissa DuPrey, in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.
Above: Our students with local Puerto Rican storyteller Melissa DuPrey in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Daily Schedule & Expectations

  • Classes run Monday through Friday. Students have a daily lunch break and, depending on coursework, may have an additional free period during the day.
  • Evening programming, including panels, shows, and master classes, will end each day and provide an opportunity for students to experience the professional production culture of Chicago.
  • Saturdays include elective workshop intensives.
  • Sundays are off-days, intended for independent work, rest, and exploring the city.
  • Students are expected to attend and participate in their classes; complete all assigned coursework, homework, and projects; and participate in our end-of-program showcase.
  • In service of creating community and ensemble, students in the program will be required to live in DePaul University assigned housing. Learn more about DePaul housing.
  • Summer High School Program students are expected to meet the same level of professionalism and respect for conduct as all DePaul students. View the DePaul Code of Student Responsibility.

Important Information

The summer 2019 session will run from Sunday, July 7 to Saturday, July 27, 2019. The showcase day for families and guests will be Friday, July 26, 2019.

The application  for the 2019 summer session opens October 1, 2018. The deadline to apply for summer 2019 consideration is March 1, 2019.

The total cost of the summer program for 2019 is $7,600. This includes tuition, housing, meals, and programming fees. A $3000 deposit will be due May 1 to secure your place in the program. The remaining balance will be due by June 1.

Financial aid is available to students who demonstrate financial need. Financial aid can be applied for during the application process.

Admission is open to rising high school juniors and seniors. International applicants are welcome; international students who enroll must obtain a tourist visa in order to attend the program. All applicants must demonstrate permission from parents/guardians in order to register.


The application for summer 2019 is now open; applications are due by March 1, 2019. Applicants can indicate an interest in multiple concentrations, however students can ultimately enroll in only one concentration: acting, design, directing, or playwriting. All of the following materials are required by March 1 in order to be considered for admission:

Online Application Form

This is the first step in the application process. As part of the application form, you will need to submit your essay, resume, and photograph. Your letter of reference and high school transcript will be uploaded separately, after you submit the application form.

500 Word Essay

​The essay is part of the application form will be in response to the following prompt: how do you plan to impact the world through theatre?


As part of the application form, upload a brief list or description of your theatrical and/or artistic experience highlighting creative and artistic work accomplished, activities, and previous training.


The photograph does not need to be an official headshot.

One Letter of Reference

The letter should be from someone who is qualified to speak to your ability to participate in this program such as a teacher, a director, etc. On the application form, you will have the opportunity to list the recommender's name and email address (you will be able to change/update this after submitting, if needed); after you submit the application form, an email will be sent to your recommender prompting them to upload their letter to your application file.

The letter can also be uploaded by the applicant on the application portal after submitting the application form.

High School Transcript

After you have submitted the application form, you will gain access to the application portal. Please use the "upload materials" section on the application portal to upload a copy of the student's transcript. The transcript should be as up-to-date as possible.


Questions about the Summer High School Training program can be sent to Laura Biagi, Director of the Summer High School Program, by emailing​. More information about Laura's work and experience can be found here.

"Our Chicago location uniquely positions The Theatre School as the cornerstone of the most vibrant professional theatre community in the country."