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The Summer Theatre Institute at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

DeSales University’s Summer Theatre Institute at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival offers professional theatre training to rising high school Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and rising college Freshmen.

July 22 – August 3, 2024


Working with DSU faculty and professional actors from the PA Shakespeare Festival stage, Summer Theatre Institute students experience what it’s like to attend a college theatre program, and gain skills and connections that will serve them as they prepare for college auditions and a career in the industry beyond graduation.  

With both a one-week and two-week full day option, STI students will take classes in all the major disciplines of theatre performance, including:

  • acting
  • musical theatre performance
  • Shakespeare performance
  • audition technique
  • dance and movement
  • elective evening master classes in specialty areas like stage combat and acting for the camera

In addition to the classroom experience, students at STI will also attend PA Shakespeare Festival productions, have lunch with the Young Company to learn what it is like to act professionally, attend evening masterclasses in specialized subjects, and participate in mock auditions where they can gain valuable feedback from our professional staff.


The Summer Theatre Institute at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is the ideal program for a variety of students. Whether your child wants to experience the college studio environment before committing to a theatre major, gain more training to apply to upcoming high school opportunities, or just experience a creative challenge for part of their summer. Returning students will be grouped into Level II studios.

  • Two-week program: July 22 – August 3
  • One-week program: July 22 – 27

Contact Information

If you have questions about the program, please email director Jessica Bedford at or call 610-282-1100 x 1629.

Summer Theatre Institute Information

  • Welcome from the Director

    It is our pleasure to invite you to join us at the Summer Theatre Institute (STI) this summer. With the increase in pre-college programs and the rise of charter schools, we know that you have many options when it comes to selecting a summer course for your theatrically inclined child.

    Because of our relationship with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, we offer a unique opportunity: students can study with a professional actor during the day and then see that professional onstage acting that night, practicing the craft that they teach. This isn’t just proximity, it’s actual engagement. Our promise to you is that the same high standards that have made the DeSales University Theatre program a regional leader and a recipient of national recognition for excellence will be in full force at STI.

    Come spend the summer with us or give your child the benefit of this incomparable opportunity. We know you will be glad you did!

    Jessica Bedford, Director

  • Sample Schedule

    • 8:30-8:50 Announcements and Warmups
    • 9-10:20 Acting Studio
    • 10:30-11:50 Musical Theatre
    • Noon – 1 Lunch
    • 1-2:20 Shakespeare Performance
    • 2:30-3:50 Dance or Movement
    • 4-5 pm Daily Round Up


  • Residential Option

    Students have the option to live on campus during the Institute. The Residential Option includes additional evening and weekend activities. Students are supervised by Residential Counselors, who live in the residence hall with the students throughout the program.

  • Tuition and Fees

    2-week Intensive (July 22 – August 3)

    • Tuition: $970
    • Application Fee: $25
    • Total: $995

    1-week Intensive (July 22 - 27)

    • Tuition: $650
    • Application Fee: $25
    • Total: $675


    2-week Residential

    • Room: $650
    • Board: $400
    • Residential Program Activities Fee: $200
    • Total: $1250

    1-week Residential

    • Room: $350
    • Board: $200
    • Residential Program Activities Fee: $100
    • Total: $650


    • Students who withdraw before July 6, 2024 will receive a full tuition refund less a $25 application fee.  Students who withdraw between July 6 and July 19, 2024, will receive a tuition refund less a $100 tuition deposit and the $25 application fee.
    • NO MONEY will be refunded FOR ANY REASON after July 22, 2024.
  • Enrollment

    Register and Pay

    We are enrolling a maximum number of 36 students for the STI class of 2024. Once that number is reached, enrollment will be closed and a waitlist will form. Otherwise, enrollment will remain open until the following dates:

    Enrollment Deadlines

    • July 6, 2024 for residential students
    • July 19, 2024 for non-residential students

    All fees must be paid prior to check-in or student will not be permitted to take class. There is a $25 non-refundable registration fee for applying.

    If you want to attend the Institute for college credit, please be sure to also fill out the College Credit Application in the next tab down. (Coming soon.)

  • College Credit

    Students with a high school graduation date of 2026 or prior may register under TR 111 and receive 3 transferrable credits from DeSales University. Qualified students must participate in the full two-week intensive.

    Apply for Academic Credit

  • Scholarships

    • A limited number of need-based scholarships are available for students who meet the criteria.
    • Scholarships are only available to students enrolling in the two-week intensive.  Awards will be given as a discount off of tuition but do not include room and board fees. 
    • Scholarship application deadline: April 20, 2024

    Apply for an STI Scholarship

Contact Us

Summer Theatre Institute
2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034