Summer Intensives

Advanced Arts Training for Ages 11–19

Participants work with professional teaching artists, and meet and collaborate with other talented teens while building and refining skills.

Teen summer intensives are offered in:

  • Art & Design
  • Ballet & Contemporary
  • Circus
  • Leadership
  • Theatre Design
  • Voice
Architecture Design Intensive Student

Architectural Drawing Jr. Intensive

JUN 26–30 | 12:30–4:00PM | Ages 11–14 | $200

Aspiring architects learn the principles of design as they practice drawing techniques necessary to define and explore architectural spaces and geometries. Drawing from observation as well as from imagination, students practice both technical, measured drawings and fluid sketches as the means of developing an architectural process.

Instructor: Sung Ho Kim

Interested students should send a statement of interest to Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org by June 1.

Architectural Model Making Jr. Intensive

JUL 17–21 | 12:30–4:00PM | Ages 11–14 | $200

Aspiring architects deepen their understanding of the principles of architectural design as they create scale models that reflect their ideas for interior and exterior spaces. Physical models are tools that architects use to communicate form and spatial explorations. This class develops material and tectonic understandings of architectural spaces. The discipline of constructing detailed models through the process of measuring, cutting, and assembling is explored.

Instructor: Sung Ho Kim

Interested students should send a statement of interest to Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org by July 1

Architectural Digital Model Making Jr. Intensive

JUL 24–28 | 12:30–4:00PM | Ages 11–14 | $200

Aspiring architects deepen their understanding of the principles of design as they work on the digital platform to discover the expansive understanding of architectural design. Using CAD software, students create complete 3D representations of their ideas for a dwelling.  

Instructor: Sung Ho Kim

Interested students should send a statement of interest to Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org by July 1.   

Ballet & Contemporary Dance Intensive

JUN 5–16 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–19 | $800

This intensive is for dancers looking to refine their technique and artistry, while having fun and working toward their artistic goals. Classes include ballet technique, pointe, men’s, jazz, and contemporary dance. Each summer, the Ballet and Contemporary Intensive is headlined by world-renowned guest teaching artists and stars of the dance world. The dancers work on a variety of repertoire and variations during the two-week process as well as improvisation techniques. Participating dancers must have extensive training, with a minimum of two years of pointe work. This intensive culminates with a free, open performance for family and friends on Friday, June 16.  

Instructors:

Tommie-Waheed Evans, Founder of Waheed Works, winner of the 2019 Princess Grace Award in Choreography and 2021 Guggenheim Fellow

Caleb Mitchell, Former member of the Houston Ballet and Assistant Professor of Dance at Florida State University College of Fine Arts

Levi Philip Marsman, Former member of Ailey II, guest teacher and Freelance Choreographer

Auditions are held at COCA’s annual Regional Summer Intensive Auditions (RSIA) January 14–15, or contact Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Artistic Director of Dance, at adouthit-boyd@cocastl.org to submit a video audition by May 1. 

Ballet Studio Jr. Intensive

JUL 3–21 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 9–13 | $700

Ballet Studio is COCA’s Jr. Ballet Intensive. This full-day, 3-week intensive includes ballet, modern, and character technique classes led by American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum Pre-Primary–Level 5 Certified Instructors Norma Gabriel and Carrie Fernandez. Students focus on elements to improve their training as performing artists: musicality, the expressiveness of contrasting movement energies, and character development. Technical focus includes pirouettes, petite allegro, adagio, and pointe (pre-pointe when appropriate). The dancers learn the process of preparing for a performance. The intensive is divided into two sections—based on each dancer’s ability. Dancers must be levels Ballet II, IIA, III, IV, or V (if currently enrolled at COCA) or have completed more than three years of classical ballet training. Ballet Studio Jr. Intensive culminates with a free, open performance for family and friends on Friday, July 21.  

Instructors: Norma Gabriel & Carrie Fernandez

Auditions are held at COCA’s annual Regional Summer Intensive Auditions (RSIA) January 14–15, or dancers should contact Norma Gabriel, Ballet Studio Coordinator, at ngabriel@cocastl.org to submit a video audition by May 1.  

Circus Intensive

AUG 7–11 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 11–18 | $330

Dive headfirst into this opportunity to create your own circus. Designed for students with experience in circus skills, the Circus Intensive helps you take your work to the next level. Explore aerial work in COCA’s Catherine B. Berges Theatre as we utilize the hoop, silks, and stationary trapeze. Increase your technical skills in trampoline, low wire, juggling, unicycle, acrobatics, ground skills, and clowning. Achieve the perfect balance of grace, athleticism, and comedy as you collaboratively build a production that highlights your special talents. This intensive is for students who have completed Circus COCA, Circus Explorer, or who have gymnastics/tumbling experience.  

Instructor: Mariel Reynolds

Interested students should contact Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org by July 15.  

Film Intensive

JUL 24–AUG 4 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $650

Aspiring filmmakers enjoy this opportunity to learn from video production company Once Films about their local documentary-style filmmaking processes. Students work on three phases of film creation—pre-production: content creation & storyboards; production: technical camera operation, framing, & shooting and sound recording; and post-production: sound and video editing & adding b-roll and special effects. Students create collaborative shorts in groups of three to be screened in COCA’s Staenberg Performance Lab.  

Instructor: Once Films

Interested students should contact Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org with a statement of interest by July 1. Variable pricing available to admitted students.

Songwriting Intensive

JUL 17–21 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $330

Work with professional singer-songwriter and recording artist Michael Beatty to create lyrics and melodies that tell a story and reflect your own unique voice. Identify the important elements of the songwriting, recording, and performance process. Develop the expressive “star quality” of your music from concept to craft to “capturing the moment.” As you hone your own personal songwriting style you also learn best practices for successfully sharing your music with an audience. Students create, refine, and rehearse their songs and record them at Clayton Studios. All musical genres are appreciated. Price includes field trip and all studio costs. 

Instructor: Michael Beatty 

Interested students should contact Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org and share your reasons for interest, musical background, as well as any musical instruments you play and would want to include in your work. 

Teach & Lead Intensive

JUN 12–23 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 15–16 | $330

Interested in arts education? Students, ages 15+, learn about teaching artistry and leadership in this two-week, hand-on intensive. In the first week, the cohort of students examine teaching practice in the arts; examine the power of teaching; practice good oral communication; and look at the qualities of quality education while participating in teambuilding exercises and meeting with arts leaders from St Louis. In the second week, the students are hands-on in a COCA camp classroom half-day and use the second half of the day to reflect on their observations and more deeply explore the intersection of teaching and leading in the arts. Successful participants are eligible for a job as a teaching assistant in COCA Summer Arts Camps after they turn 16.  

Instructor: Susan Kopp

Interested students should write a statement of interest and submit a letter of recommendation to Shawna Flanigan at sflanigan@cocastl.org by June 1.

Summer Camp Musical: Disney’s The Lion King JR.

JUL 17–AUG 4 | 3:30–9:00PM | Ages 12–18 | $395

Teens, ages 12–18, are invited to audition for COCA’s Summer Camp Musical Disney’s The Lion King JR. The African savanna comes to life on stage with Simba, Rafiki, and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle…and back again, in this inspiring, coming-of-age tale. This 60-minute production is cast by audition, rehearses 3:30–9:00PM weekdays for three weeks. It is fully produced and performed complete with set, lights, and costumes in the Catherine B. Berges Theatre on August 4–5. Tuition Assistance is available to cast members who qualify.

Auditions are March 3–4. Register for an audition time at cocastl.org. 

Theatre Design Intensive

JUL 31–AUG 4 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $330

Aspiring designers work hands on—sharpening their skills at reading and analyzing a script, imagining the physical world of the play, and creating designs in their choice of discipline. Students can create a set design, including renderings and drawings; a costume design comprised of renderings and sketches; and/or a lighting design, which includes rendering and drawings. They learn what it takes to build or alter the designs they have conceived by exploring COCA’s Catherine B. Berges Theatre, the scene and costume shops, and light/sound booth. Students leave the intensive with material for a design portfolio and have the opportunity to interview to work as part of the crew of the Catherine B. Berges Theatre for the following year.  

Interested students should contact Cameron Tyler at ctyler@cocastl.org with a statement of interest by May 1. Features multiple professional teaching artists to present a variety of arts disciplines. 

Voice Intensive I: Personal Songbook

AUG 7–11 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 14–18 | $330

Take your singing to the next level. Students have a fresh opportunity to reexamine their personal songbook as well as learn new material from the latest and greatest works of musical theatre.  

Instructors: Alicia Like & Jermaine Manor

Audition requirements: Voice students not currently studying at COCA should submit a one-minute video excerpt of the song of their choice to Cameron Tyler at ctyler@cocastl.org by May 1. 

Voice Intensive II: The Singing Actor

JUL 10–14 | 9:30AM–4:00PM | Ages 15–19 | $330

This one-of-a-kind intensive is developed for vocalists who have completed the COCA Voice Intensive I and are interested in more advanced study. Utilizing songs that represent a variety of musical theatre styles, students integrate method acting technique into voice and scene work to better express a deeper understanding of the emotional life of the song. Students also learn effective audition techniques and identify repertoire that highlights individual strengths as singing artists. Students leave the intensive with two to three contrasting songs prepared for their vocal portfolio. 

Instructors:

Michael Beatty, NYC actor, singer, & Broadway vocal coach

Phil Woodmore, musical director, composer, singer, & Broadway vocal coach

Voice students not currently studying at COCA should audition by submitting a video of one minute of singing to Cameron Tyler at ctyler@cocastl.org by May 1.  

Tuition Assistance

COCA offers need-based tuition assistance to students who qualify for summer intensives.