The Theatre School > Conservatory > Summer High School Training Program
Request Information Apply Now For Summer 2020
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, students live in a DePaul University residence hall and study one of five concentrations
- acting, comedy arts, design,
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 showcase your work for your fellow students, families, and guests.
"I have grown because I was able to learn and experiment by doing. I was able to let go of personal barriers and self-doubt so now I feel less timid to create my own opportunities."
"The professionals who taught us were incredibly friendly and went out of their way to give us many extra opportunities to form connections and learn, as well as providing an honest view on how their job functioned."
Students should schedule their travel in order to arrive on-campus by 5pm on the Program's start date, Saturday June 27, 2020. This will give you sufficient time to get settled in before dinner and the Summer Program Orientation. The administrative office must be notified if you must arrive later than 5pm.
Students and their families are responsible for arranging travel to/from the program. The two airports in Chicago (O'Hare International and Midway) are equidistant from campus. The Summer Program does not offer a shuttle service to/from the airport but many cab companies offer flat rates from the airports and students can also arrange their own Uber or Lyft. Directions to The Theatre School building and parking information can be found here.
Our faculty-to-student ratio varies from 1:7 to 1:10 and Summer Program faculty and staff live in the residence halls as Resident Hall Directors and Resident Hall Assistants (RAs) during the program. The school is assigning RAs per every 7-10 students. RAs will also be available on Sundays to help students plan their days off and will assist with escorting students to any required off-campus events or performances during the program. Summer Program students must abide by an 11:00pm curfew unless otherwise determined by the Summer Program Director.
We work closely with students and their families on a case-by-case basis to best accommodate any special needs that a student may have - this includes any dietary needs. Please alert us as early as possible on the health questionnaire (accessible after the student is admitted) so that we have sufficient time to help make the program accessible to all students.
"In class I was able to learn a lot about myself and theatre. The evening events provided new prospective to the work we worked on, but also on storytelling and its importance."
The application for summer 2020 is now open; applications and materials should be submitted by March 1, 2020. (After March 1, applications will continue to be reviewed until the program is full.) Applicants can indicate an interest in multiple concentrations, however students can ultimately only enroll in only one concentration: acting, comedy arts, design, directing, or playwriting.
The total cost of the summer program for 2020 is $7,600. If admitted, a $3,000 deposit will be due by May 1 to secure your place in the program. The remaining balance will be due by June 1.
The cost for the Summer Program covers all classes, programming, DePaul University housing, three daily meals, field trips, theatre performance tickets, and transportation to/from all required off-campus events. Students will attend multiple professional theatre performances in and around Chicago during the Summer Program and these costs are all included as part of tuition.
Students will have two Sundays off and may choose to bring additional spending money for meals off-campus, souvenirs, museums, etc. on these days.
The Theatre School offers financial aid (in the form of scholarships) to students who demonstrate financial need. The financial aid application can be submitted as part of the application process. If a student is awarded a scholarship based on the financial aid application, the scholarship amount will be communicated in their acceptance letter.
We also encourage students to apply for additional outside funding. Your local charity groups (Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, National Honors Society, etc.), your school's Arts & Activities Fund, or your school's Parent Teacher Associations will sometimes offer financial support and can be an effective way to help reach your goal. Another way to gain financial support is through national scholarship foundations that target summer program funding for high school students, such as:
The American Theatre Wing's Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative focuses on "providing America's youth access to theatre through the power of education." Click here for more on this scholarship's 2020 application process.
The Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship Program is a valuable resource available to "high school students who wish to attend a recognized pre-college, or summer intensive arts education program." Click here for more information about this foundation's 2020 scholarship process.
Admission is open to rising high school juniors and seniors. All applicants must demonstrate permission from parents/guardians in order to enroll and attend the program.
International students are welcome! Because the High School Summer Training Program is a non-credit program, you will not need a student visa in order to attend. However, you may need a non-immigrant Visitor Visa if you are not a citizen of a country eligible for travel to the U.S. without a visa. There are no additional application documents necessary to apply to the program as an international student, but all application materials must be in English or translated into English. The program is taught entirely in English and participating students must be confident in intermediate written and spoken English.
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.
The photograph does not need to be an official headshot.
"I have gotten to see my work on stage and learn to push for my vision. I feel more confident in my work and am ready to fight for my future."
Questions about the Summer High School Training program can be sent to Kayla Raelle Holder, Director of the Summer High School Program, by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Kayla's work and experience can be found
The application for Summer 2020 will open in the winter. Please request information and we can remind you when the application is available.
The total cost of the summer program for 2020 is $7,600. A $3,000 deposit will be due May 1 to secure your place in the program. The remaining balance will be due by June 1.
Students will have two Sundays off and may choose to bring additional spending money for meals off-campus, souvenirs, museums, etc. on those days.
Financial aid is available to students who demonstrate financial need. The financial aid application can be submitted as part of the application process. If a student is awarded a scholarship, the scholarship ammount will be communicated in their acceptance letter.
Admission is open to rising high school juniors and seniors. International applicants are welcome; international students who enroll in the summer program must obtain a tourist visa in order to attend. All applicants must demonstrate permission from parents/guardians in order to enroll and attend the program.