Want to be onstage? Learn to act, sing, dance, write, and direct? To play a part in a hilarious comedy? A serious drama? The world premiere of a musical? Or maybe you’d like to learn stage combat, or improve your improv skills, or create original pieces to perform together? You can do all of this—and more—in a summer of theater at Appel Farm!
Our summer theatre intensive allows you to hone your craft, build your resume, and discover new talents in a pressure-free atmosphere.
Our Approach to Teaching and Making Theater
Our approach to theater at Appel Farm is collaborative and non-competitive. We believe that everyone has the potential to be an amazing, unique performer. We believe that young people, and all people, do their best work in a supportive environment where they’re free to try new things, take risks, and make mistakes. We offer lots of opportunities for people of all experience levels. Been acting for years, and ready to take your skills to the next level? Never been onstage before, and want to give it a try? We’re excited to help you find the next perfect project.
Campers who major in Theater Performance are double majors, spending the whole morning in skills-based studios and rehearsals for their plays.
Our studios are an active, engaging, and fun way to learn the skills of making theater. Campers can choose among a wide variety of skills they’d like to learn—past studios have included solo performance, onstage improvising, physical and psychological character development, and devising. In addition, every studio teaches the basic acting, body, and voice techniques campers need to give a great performance in their plays.
Our plays include comedies, dramas, musicals, classics, modern and experimental theater, and world premiere original productions, sometimes written by our campers! We produce 8 to 10 fully-staged plays every summer, complete with sets, lights, costumes, and sound. We don’t hold auditions, and we don’t make cuts—anyone who wants a role in a play can get one, and every role is a meaningful role.
Want to make some theater, but not sure you want to be in a play? Then try a theater minor! MINORS, held in the afternoon, are a great opportunity to do theater in a more relaxed, experimental environment. Most of our minors change each summer, to reflect the unique talents and abilities of our current staff—past minors include Stage Combat, Playwriting, Intro to Acting, Acting for the Camera, Directing, Physical Comedy, Radio Theater, Solo Performance, Dance Theater. And every summer we offer our perennially popular minors in Improv, Musical Theater, and Spoken Word Poetry!
Want to work on creating a character? Preparing a piece for a Friday Night Concert? Just need some help with your lines? Come to the Actors Studio! The Actors Studio is a place for anyone to come during Late Night Fun Time who’d like to develop acting skills, work on a play or a project, or just spend time talking theater with one of our expert instructors.
About our Head of Theatre Performance, Michael Valdez
Michael Valdez came to Appel Farm in 2014 as Purchaser and Transportation Director and is currently our Head of Theater Performance and Creative Writing. Michael co-founded the Windmill Theatre Company at New College of Florida in Sarasota and thinks of it often, often fondly. He received his Master’s in Theatre from Florida State University and has presented research all across these United States. On any given day, he’s thinking about theater, performance, history, food, and environmental politics. He loves dogs, chrysanthemums, big theatre in tiny places, mountain goats and The Mountain Goats.