Blue Lake’s Theater Program offers a well-rounded, dynamic, and equal opportunity approach to actor training. While at camp, each theater camper will study acting, voice, movement, and script analysis under highly trained professional actors and teachers. Students may also choose one of three emphasis areas — Shakespeare, Musical Theater, or Contemporary Acting — where they will receive greater depth of instruction and apply the techniques taught at camp in small group performances presented on the final Sunday of the session.

Musical Theater majors will also study dance, while Shakespeare and Contemporary Acting majors study stage combat. Selection of emphasis classes is done on a first-come, first-served basis and is requested at enrollment.

Inspired by Shakespeare The Intermediate Shakespeare program (sessions 3 and 4 only) provides all the same high quality training in acting, voice, movement, script analysis, and stage combat that contemporary acting majors receive, but the material rehearsed for performance on Final Sunday will be differentiated to allow each camper to tackle Shakespeare on his or her own terms. Those campers who are ready for the challenge of Shakespearean language will have the opportunity to perform work from the Bard’s canon, while others will perform modern language texts inspired by Shakespeare’s characters and stories. Shakespeare majors rehearse and perform in The Rose Theater.

Theater students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of interest while at camp. Students also have the opportunity to attend Summer Arts Festival performances, as well as participate in recreation, camp activities, and attend arts-focused educational events in the evening.

All Theater students are expected to offer a demonstration of their craft by submitting a placement video prior to arrival. Requirements vary according to major, but all audition pieces must be memorized, written for the stage, and reveal the actor’s ability to create an original interpretation of the text based on character, objective, and obstacle.

Contemporary Acting campers should prepare a one minute contemporary monologue for this placement audition. Shakespeare campers should prepare a one minute Shakespeare monologue or soliloquy. Musical Theater campers should prepare a 16+ measure excerpt from standard musical theater repertoire.

Students auditioning for the Shakespeare Scholarship will be considered for the maximum allowable scholarship amount within the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Scholarship program. Recipients are selected via video audition, with preferred placement auditions due by February 28th, and second round auditions due by March 28th. Visit Scholarships to submit your application and audition.


Audition Requirements:

  1. A dramatic / serious Shakespearean monologue; approximately 2 minutes.
  2. A comic Shakespearean monologue; approx. 2 minutes.
  3. A statement explaining your interest in studying Shakespearean acting.
  4. Letter of recommendation from your theater teacher and/or director endorsing your acting ability and citizenship.


Auditions will be evaluated on the following key elements:

  • Vocal clarity (diction and support)
  • Clarity of character and circumstance
  • A clear, effective, and appropriate dramatic structure
  • Grounded and meaningful physical choices
  • Comic timing and honest emotional connection, respectively

Blue Lake’s Elizabethan Theater

Blue Lake’s theater, named The Rose in honor of one of London’s first of the Elizabethan period (circa 1587), is a synthesis of various popular 16th century English theaters. The design is based upon surviving sketches and documents from that period. The Rose, approximately ½ the size of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, has a traditional thrust stage, a Juliet balcony, seating for approximately 600 in two galleries, plus a groundling area providing space for an additional 150 attendees in the yard. Blue Lake may very well be the only place in the U.S. where secondary students can study Shakespeare performance in a reproduction of an Elizabethan theater, and we are pleased to offer this unique experience to our Theater majors.