Two actors on stage
“It transformed me as an actor and was so professional. It showed me lots of thing I had never seen before and opened my eyes to many different opportunities."
Summer Acting Institute Student, 2018

Summer Acting Institute

At this time, we plan to welcome back students for in-person programming this summer.  We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make adjustments as needed.

Rehearsals and performances will be socially distanced, with mask-wearing requirements and extremely limited in-person audiences. All performances will be simultaneously live streamed. See below for the safety measures we are taking.

APPLICATION AND ADMISSIONThe Summer 2021 program is currently waitlist only. Admission to our Teen Institutes is by application and audition. Applicants will be accepted on the basis of their commitment to exploring the acting or musical theatre craft, their willingness to collaborate in a group process of discovery with other young artists, and their ability to handle the demands of the script or musical score. All applicants must complete a written essay expressing their interest in the program. APPLY NOW (waitlist only).

Due to the limited nature of our enrollment, admission is competitive. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. You will be contacted shortly after your application is submitted to schedule an audition (prepare a musical theatre song for Musical Theatre programs or a monologue for the Acting Institute). Auditions will be held via Zoom.

Please Note: Due to the need to keep programs small, acquire PPE, and put safety cleaning protocols in place, there will be a temporary increase in in-person tuition prices in 2021.  As always, we will offer need-based full and partial scholarships to ensure that our programs are accessible to students and families experiencing financial hardship.


-- JOIN THE WAIT LIST:  The Theatre Lab's Performance Intensive for Teens!

In-Person Acting, Auditioning and (optional) Musical Theatre Training
Culminating in a Public Performance of Scenes, Songs and Monologues
For 13-19 year-olds who want to take their skills to the next level!
All students receive daily training in improvisation and scene study as well as an extended auditioning workshop, led by professional actors, that will focus on either monologues or musical theatre (students can choose musical or non-musical track).
This program is directed by Theatre Lab Founder and Co-Executive Director Buzz Mauro.
July 26-Aug 6, M-F 12pm-4pm (4pm performance on Friday, Aug 6)
4000 Connecticut Avenue, NW (Van Ness metro)
This program requires an audition. Apply Now.

Summer Safety Measures

The safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains of the utmost importance. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow all safety guidelines from the CDC and local government agencies.

  • Program sizes will be kept substantially smaller in summer 2021
  • Students and teachers will be required to wear face masks at all times.
  • Classroom and high touch areas will be disinfected with approved CDC cleaning solutions
  • Programs will take place in a building with an updated HVAC filtration system
  • Eating and anything else that requires removal of masks will take place outside at designated times.
  • Performance plans will be evaluated closer to the start of each program and venues, audience restrictions, and performer masking guidelines will be adjusted accordingly.

COVID Refund Policy: If The Theatre Lab has to cancel in-person camps due to COVID-19, you will be given the option to switch to a virtual program or to be issued a full refund.

Summer Acting Institute for Teens

A unique four-week training program for ages 13-19
Program Director: Deb Gottesman;  Production Director: Randy Baker

July 19-August 13 (12pm-6pm), Evening Performance August 13
Production:  ALMOST, MAINE by John Cariani

Rehearses and Performs at The Theatre Lab, 900 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Tuition:  $1,275
Need-based scholarships available.

The Theatre Lab’s Summer Acting Institute for Teens is designed to immerse young adults in the art of acting—from mastering the essential principles of the craft to participating in a public performance of a challenging contemporary work at the end of the four weeks. The curriculum includes audition seminars, improvisational workshops, voice and speech training, movement training, and scene study, as well as special programs designed to give interested students insight into the workings of the professional theatre community.

In addition to the daily training, students will present a full production of ALMOST MAINE by John Cariani. A series of nine scenes about love and loss occurring on a single night in a mythical Maine town, ALMOST, MAINE is alternatingly absurd and heart-wrenching, and filled with gorgeous glimpses of magical realism. The New York Times calls it “a beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings” and it affords actors unique opportunities to explore complex relationships and character development. The summer program is directed by actor Deb Gottesman, a founder and co-director of The Theatre Lab, and includes a staff of highly trained instructors and specialists including award-winning director Randy Baker (Rorschach Theatre), who will direct the final production.


Summer Acting Institute participants take all of the following courses:

THE DRAMA WORKSHOP: An improvisational workshop designed to explore core acting skills, including: creating a character, activating needs, developing spontaneity and focus, and communicating effectively with others on stage. Students will be challenged to discover new ways of thinking, expressing themselves, and creating.

AUDITIONING: An intensive seminar designed to prepare students to perform monologues in an audition setting, this course focuses on developing confidence, rechanneling nervous energy into creative energy, and using the body and voice effectively to tell a story. At the conclusion of the seminar, students use their monologues to audition for ALMOST MAINE. All students are guaranteed substantial and interesting roles.

STAGE MOVEMENT: Designed to increase the actor’s range of movement and physical expressiveness, this course incorporates elements of mime, dance, and improvisation, as well as training in relaxation and posture development, in order to maximize the potential of the body on stage.

VOICE AND SPEECH: Designed to give students the skills they need for clear, effective speech on stage, this course focuses on developing proper breath control, improving diction and projection, dialect, and maximizing the flexibility and range of the voice.

SCENE STUDY: An intensive exploration of scripted work, this course focuses on developing the actor’s process through the introduction of powerful rehearsal techniques. Course culminates in a public performance of ALMOST MAINE.

In addition to the above classes, students participate in a variety of special workshops—such as acting for film and TV, mask work, and stage combat—led by guest artists from the Washington theatre community.