The Fun of Summer Repertory Programs

Spring is not yet here but have you thought about your summer plans?

Many public and private colleges and universities host Summer repertory programs for students looking to be immersed in theater in their months off from school.  Even for the recent college graduate, a work opportunity at a small summer program can be a great stepping stone towards a career in stage coaching. For the theater professional, mentoring a summer youth program can be a nice respite from a full schedule set to begin again in the Fall.

Many students and coaches alike will agree that the best reason to participate in a Summer repertory program is the opportunity to collaborate with a highly talented and creative group in a small team atmosphere. Rehearsals start immediately with the pressure to produce a polished performance in a matter of weeks; but it’s that drama and intensity and ultimately that team effort that create an exciting experience for both the actors and the staff.

The term Repertory comes from the word Repertoire. In other words, a theater company may perform a “collection” of plays in a set rotation within a certain amount of time.  In these modern times, each play usually runs from 3-6 weeks at a time- and ideally, the Summer season allows for the perfect conditions (time and weather-wise ) to stay on schedule.

A small theater company may not have the facility or means to execute a full production set, but while school is out, many colleges are able to lend a stage or two to these companies in name of educating the public about the Arts. Like the Marin Shakespeare Company, for example, which puts on performances at the Forest Meadows Amphitheater at Dominican University in San Rafael, CA. They call this Summer series “Shakespeare Under the Stars.”  In fact, many of us have experienced Shakespeare under the stars in our own towns and cities where outdoor theater is an anticipated Summer event.

If you are looking for a list of repertory programs near you, you may want to start by checking out your local universities or perhaps search online to find lists of programs by city and state. Backstage.com just released an updated list of programs by state that you may find helpful.

Who’s ready for some fun?

 

Featured Photo Above: Children learn about the production of a musical theatre during C-R Kids Summer Theatre Academy at Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, N.Y. on Monday, August 1, 2011.  (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

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