The Performance Intensive

Calling all aspiring young artists! Are you between the ages of 14 and 22 and have a burning passion for acting and musical theater? Look no further than our exciting Performance Intensive Camp! This two-week program is designed to provide you with comprehensive training in acting and musical theater, normally reserved for collegiate students. From exploring the principles of acting to honing your skills in mask and movement work, character and scene analysis, and even the business of theater, this camp has it all. Get ready to showcase your talent in a thrilling performance of scenes, songs, and monologues for your family and friends. Join us and take your first steps into the professional world of theatrical performance. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to dive deep into the craft you love!

What does our Performance Training look like?

The Performance Intensive is a fun and challenging program for aspiring artists with a passion for delving deeper into the craft of acting and musical theater! This two-week course offers comprehensive performance training normally reserved for collegiate students with a curriculum that encompasses the principles of acting and musical performance, mask and movement work, character and scene analysis, and the business of theater. This course culminates in a showcase of scenes, songs and monologues for family and friends. Perfect for serious students seeking to dive deep into the professional world of theatrical performance.

Dates and Times

Dates: July 17 – 29, 2023
Times: Monday through Friday 10am-3pm
Performance: Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

Scholarship Application



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


Our tuition covers all materials needed for the duration of the camp.

This includes:

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

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

Scholarship Application

How to Register for Performance Training

To register, click the link below and fill out the online form.

Instructor Bios

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.

BEVERLY “Bev” WARD (Musical Director/ Vocal Coach) attended San Diego Junior Theatre as a child, where she fell in love with the performing arts. By the time she was eighteen she was working with Anne Miller and Mickey Rooney in the National Tour of Sugar Babies. Over the last three decades, Bev has appeared on and Off-Broadway (Epic Proportions, Anastasia, A Child’s Christmas in Wales), in numerous National Tours (Sugar Babies, Crazy for You – Helen Hayes Nomination for Best Actress, Showboat, Billy Elliot), and has sung with renowned musicians and orchestras all across America.

She has collaborated with husband Kirby Ward on multiple directorial projects and together they have written three musicals. By special request from the Gershwin Estate, she and husband Kirby were invited to guest star with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Gershwin: The Political Operettas where their rendition of “I’ve Got a Crush On You” stopped the show.

She has performed for British Royalty, as well as First Ladies Hilary Clinton and Laura Bush. You’ll find Bev’s first EP of folk/pop music, Bev’s Noble House Of Pancake, on iTunes and Spotify. Bev is also a visual artist and has had several showings of her work in and around New England.

JAMES DONLON (Mask and Movement Master Instructor) has been a celebrated master teacher, international performer and director since 1970. He has been on the faculties of acting schools such as The American Conservatory Theater, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, The National Theatre Conservatory-Denver Center, The Yale School of Drama, UC-Santa Barbara, UC-San Diego, and the Oregon Center for the Arts. Donlon has presented residencies with special institutions like El Teatro Campesino, Mexico City ‘s Bellas Artes, Prague’s national Academy of Performing Arts (AMU), Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting, and Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College where he taught Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin and Big Apple Circus clown icon Barry Lubin. He has been a film movement coach for Oscar-winners Javier Bardem, Kathy Bates, and Frances McDormand, as well as film stars Benjamin Bratt and David Strathairn. James created fight choreography for Linda Ronstadt. Among his past students are legendary Broadway musical actor Terry Mann, and Hollywood writers Peter Hedges (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Angus MacLachlan (Junebug), and Noah Harpster (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood). James is the only physical theater artist ever invited to perform with legendary San Francisco street mime Robert Shields of CBS’ The Shields & Yarnell Show. He is the first American clown to perform in the famed Teatro Dimitri of Switzerland. James has performed his original work throughout North America, Europe, and Latin America to critical acclaim. James has been awarded the Golden Hands Gloves by the World Mime Organization for his life-time achievement of excellence in the art of Mime.

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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