The Acting Intensive

What does our Performance Training look like?

Led by the esteemed award-winning actor/director Brian McDonald and an experienced faculty, this intensive 1-week program provides aspiring actors with a comprehensive training experience typically found at the collegiate level.

Each day begins with a deep dive into physical and vocal expression, as well as improvisation, setting the stage for creative exploration and skill development. In the afternoons, students immerse themselves in selected scenes and monologues, guided by a curriculum that focuses on acting principles, scene analysis, character development, and performance techniques.

The program culminates in a showcase where students present their hard work and growth to an audience of family and friends. Designed for students with a true passion for advancing their acting abilities and aspiring to pursue a career in the world of theater, this intensive provides a platform for serious performers to elevate their skills and deepen their craft.

Dates and Times

Dates: July 15 – 20, 2024
Times: Monday through Friday 10am-3pm
Performance: Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.

Scholarship Application



Acceptance is by Audition. 

Ages: 14 to 22
Requirements: Acceptance is by Audition. Previous performance experience is helpful for those interested in attending this class.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Tuition: $450 (Students participating in both The Acting Intensive and The Musical Theare Intensive can save $100 off their total tuition cost)
Our tuition covers all materials needed for the duration of the camp.

This includes:

  • Young Actors Conservatory T-shirt
  • Student headshot
  • A video of the final presentation

Families seeking assistance in covering tuition costs are invited to apply for a scholarship.

Scholarship Application

Submit an Audition Video

Instructor Bios

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald (ETC Director of Education and Outreach) is an award-winning actor, director, and educator. He appeared in the national tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid. Regionally, he appeared on the stages of Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Miranda Performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center, Rubicon Theatre Company and the Ahmanson.

Brian has been honored with many awards, including the Ventura Mayors’ Award for Emerging Artist, LA Weekly’s Best Supporting Actor Award and an Independent Award for his most recent performance in the one-man-show, Buyer and Cellar.

Most recently, he directed It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at ETC. Other directing credits include the critically acclaimed world premiere of A Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Other Desert Cities, A Tuna Christmas, The Sunset Limited (with Joe Spano and Tucker Smallwood), Bus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), MASTER HAROLDand the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards Including Best Play) and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by Cheri Steinkellner.

He also conceived and directed the critically acclaimed holiday musical review, A Rubicon Family Christmas. Brian’s work as a director has earned him an Independent Award and StageScene LA Award for Best Director. He is a graduate of Boston Conservatory and a member of Actors Equity Association, The Screen Actors Guild and The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Refund Policy


  1. Refund requests must be made in writing: All refund requests must be made in writing via email or postal mail to the Director of Education.
  2. Refund deadlines: If a refund is requested before a specified deadline (e.g., two weeks prior to the start of the camp), the full amount of the registration fee will be refunded.
  3. No refunds after the deadline: If a refund is requested after the deadline, no refund will be given unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a medical emergency or a family crisis. In such cases, the Director of Education will review the request and determine whether a partial refund is possible.
  4. No refunds for missed days: No refunds will be given for missed days of camp due to illness, family vacations, or other personal reasons.
  5. No refunds for disciplinary actions: No refunds will be given for campers who are dismissed from camp due to disciplinary actions or violation of camp rules.
  6. Transfer option: If a camper cannot attend camp, they may transfer their registration to another camper, provided that the camp director is notified of the transfer at least one week before the start of camp.
  7. Non-transferable fees: Registration fees, deposit fees, and other fees are non-transferable and cannot be applied to future camps or programs.
  8. Other conditions: ETC reserves the right to modify or adjust the refund policy at any time, with or without notice, in its sole discretion.

We hope that this policy will be fair to all parties and help ensure that all students have a positive and fulfilling educational experience.

Learning Outcomes

ln this class, students will learn about the process of craft and deepening their approach to acting. The importance of making choices will be stressed as well as discovering ways to remove fears that block creativity, so that the student can find confidence in their unique voice, vulnerability and vitality. Through scene work with partners, the class will begin by learning text analysis and beat-by-beat, moment-to-moment intentions, actions and objectives, before they stand the material on its feet. Stanislavsky’s Five Questions will be applied as a foundation for technique in a simple, easy to understand format, helping to build a character, supporting specifics as a centerpiece to an actor’s work.

This class will cover the basics of creating original improvised theater. Students will learn to improvise in a believable environment, create characters, how to be present and active when listening as well as speaking, supporting your partner, and how to identify the building blocks of a scene.

Shakespeare wrote some of the most beautiful poetry in existence. His works are also filled with complex language structure, double meanings, and bawdy humor. Students will learn how to deconstruct and scan the text and mine Shakespeare’s words to speak the text with ease and understanding. Students will gain a basic understanding of poetic language, metrics, and the conventions of Elizabethan English, allowing for an analysis that will provide the actor with clear actions and objectives.

A stage actor must learn to connect to their voices and bodies in order to engage with audiences as well as fellow actors. This class introduces the student to the power contained in the voice and body through active and accessible voice, speech, and movement workouts that will provide the technique required to be a present and powerful actor.

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