The Theatre Program within COCA’s Pre-Professional Division (PPD) is designed for students who want rigorous training to prepare them for a professional career in theatre as well as for students who want an intensive style of conservatory training.
Audition for the Theatre Program
Students ages 10–18 are invited to audition for the Theatre Program.
Student Companies and Placements
COCAwrites students are 12–18 year olds who develop and write their own scenes, plays, and musicals while reading and participating in workshops of new plays and musicals written by professional playwrights. This program combines directing, playwriting, and dramaturgy to help develop those students’ interests in creating new work. Company members make a full school year (September–May) commitment and each spring, selected student works deliver staged readings alongside professional productions and readings in the COCAwrites Festival. To audition for COCAwrites, students must submit a writing sample of a minimum of two monologues and participate in an interview process. Company dues are $475 per year and sliding scale tuition is available to qualified students who are accepted.
In addition to weekly Monday rehearsals, students in COCAwrites are required to enroll in three classes to augment their development as a PPD theatre artist: acting, directing and dramaturgy and their choice of elective (voice, production, or art & design suggested, but other arts disciplines accepted). Their course levels will be given on acceptance.
Improv Troupe students ages 10–18 years old participate by audition in the company. They practice long-form and short-form improvisation, sketch comedy, and activities that involve audience participation—vital skills for every versatile actor, director, and writer. Improv Troupe is a full school year (September–May) commitment and each semester includes a public, ticketed performance at COCA. To audition for Improv Troupe, students attend an improv workshop. Company dues are $475 per year and sliding scale tuition rates are available to qualified students who are cast in the company.
In addition to weekly Sunday rehearsals, students in the Improv troupe are required to enroll in three classes to augment their development as a PPD theatre artist: acting, production, and their choice of an elective (voice or directing and dramaturgy suggested, but other arts disciplines accepted). Their course levels will be given on acceptance.
Additional Opportunities for Theatre Students
COCA student performance opportunities are available to the general public, but COCA Theatre PPD students who participate in companies and attend their required classes are able to go directly to callbacks in these audition processes. Students in these performances pay a $275 participation/training fee. Sliding scale tuition is available for cast students. Watch for audition notices on the COCA website to learn more about the specific timing.
- COCA Summer Musical
In addition to performance opportunities, design/tech mentorship placements are available only to COCA Theatre PPD students. Students who are interested in exploring positions like set, light, or costume design/build, stage management, or directing can be paired with a professional adult and shadow them through an entire production. Students with a full show design/tech mentorship placement pay a $275 participation/training fee. Sliding scale tuition is available. Email Carolyn Carter at email@example.com to learn more information about placements in either of these productions.
- COCA Summer Musical
Volunteer opportunities to work backstage on COCA productions are available and encouraged for COCA Theatre PPD students, but open to all students. Students interested in a future career in theatre arts will gain valuable experience, perspective, and contacts who will be helpful in recommendations for college applications. To volunteer backstage, students must have completed a Theatre Production class or obtained permission of the Technical Director with information about school-based, backstage experience. Email Shawna Flanigan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about volunteering.