Musical Theater and Acting for Film

3 week
  • 3wk .... $3,195
  • New York
  • 13-19


Students in the Musical Theater and Acting for Film program take on a dual challenge--to hone their acting skills for musical theater and for the screen. Students are given instruction through voice lessons, musical direction, choreographed movement, acting a song classes, and rehearsals with an accompanist to help bring their assigned scene to life as a professionally filmed and recorded Musical Reel. Students study the same Meisner and Method acting techniques as our Core Actors, and gain valuable on-camera experience bringing their in-class lessons to life on the sets of student films.

The Musical Theater and Acting for Film program will provide students with a wide variety of opportunities to apply their growing skills and utilize new acting tools. They learn through varied hands-on experiences that the core concepts of acting and the practices of immediacy and immersion can be applied to acting across disciplines. Students will be challenged to live truthfully regardless of whether they are engaged in improv games in the classroom, on set with a SOCAPA filmmaker, or performing a scene from a musical. This range of experiences offers young actors a unique chance to develop across a broad spectrum.

Teen musical theater actors perform a musical scene at SOCAPA Summer Acting Camp

Musical Scene

Students in the Musical Theater program will spend rehearsal time in class preparing for a scene from a musical, which will be filmed and recorded by our staff. This Musical Scene can be shared with friends and family, or to support a college application. In preparation for the scene students will take a variety of electives focused on strengthening their skills in musical theater, in particular. In addition to working with an accompanist students will have voice lessons, musical and theatrical direction for their scene, learn to act a song, and take a master dance class to build and refine movement skills and choreography specific for their scene.

Teen actors perform for their first film at acting summer camp


Providing students a professional experience working in their craft is a core foundation of all SOCAPA programming. We take set etiquette and professionalism seriously. Both SOCAPA filmmakers and actors are asked to be on time, remain focused to the task, follow instructions, respect locations and persons, and respect the work of their fellow artists. A SOCAPA film teaching assistant accompanies each film to ensure a safe and successful shoot day.

Making a film is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! Students travel all over the city or campus grabbing shots and performing scenes. Some scenes may be scripted while others may be left to the actor's improvisational techniques. As the story comes to life, filmmakers and actors learn the importance of creative collaboration between filmmaker and actor - an experience that informs their work in their own craft moving forward.

After each shoot day the acting ensemble holds a Post-Shoot Debrief to share experiences and indicate what principles of technique they were able to apply on set.

Musical Reels

Some Things Are Meant To Be - SOCAPA Musical Reel, New York City, Manhattan Campus Suddenly, Seymour - SOCAPA Musical Reel, New York City, Brooklyn Campus Only Us - SOCAPA Musical Reel, New York City, Brooklyn Campus How The Other Half Lives - SOCAPA Musical Reel, New York City, Manhattan Campus
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Teen actor experiences working on student films


Actors are cast in student films by the SOCAPA acting and film faculty. Lead and supporting roles are distributed evenly to ensure each student has ample time on camera. Actors receive their script and character descriptions the night prior to shooting at the evening filmmaker / actor production meeting. Actors are asked to review their script that evening but memorization of all lines is not expected.

Summer acting camp students in class


At SOCAPA we create an environment where students feel safe to explore and grow without judgment or gossip. Safe space means that any activity or work done in class stays in class. A lot of things we do in acting class may be abstract, partly because they are steps in a long, evolving process: learning to be an actor. If actors have to worry about “looking silly” or “what others will say during lunch,” they are unable to fully commit to the exercises and let their creativity reach its full potential. This is why we protect each student’s work and their own creative space by committing students to a “safe space” company agreement. Students are asked to not talk about another student’s work or process outside of the classroom.

Performing arts students celebrate the final summer showcase


Every Friday night the student films will be screened for the whole camp at our weekly showcase. The actors will have the opportunity to see themselves appear on the silver screen, often for the first time.

Los Angeles actors and filmmakers celebrate after seeing a movie


Every evening, Monday through Friday, we plan an activity for the students, whether it be a barbecue on campus, a dinner in the city, a cool-off swim, a theater/musical performance, or a film screening. On the Saturday afternoons that are not devoted to shooting and performing, we organize a group excursion. This could include a trip to a museum, the beach or a show in the city. Past evening and Saturday excursions have included trips to Coney Island Amusement Park, live tapings of MTV's TRL, outdoor concerts (The Roots, OCMS, TV on the Radio, etc.), Universal Studios, Pilobolus Dance Group at the Joyce, Disco Bowling, Broadway Shows such as Spring Awakening, Hair, Rent and Avenue Q, Six Flags Amusement Park, Fourth of July Fireworks, Bryant Park Film Screenings, and off-Broadway hits such as Fuerza Bruta and Stomp, to name a few.

Actress Melissa Leo visits the New York City Campus


At least once per session, SOCAPA invites a top industry professional from the New York or Hollywood film or performing arts scene to come to campus and lead a master class for all students, regardless of focus. Some past guests include Academy Award-Winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River, 21 Grams), writer/director John Hamburg (I Love You Man, Along Came Polly, Safe Men, Zoolander, Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers), actor Luis Guzman (Traffic, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, Carlito's Way, Anger Management), writer Hawk Ostby (Iron Man, Children of Men, Cowboys and Aliens), actor Brendan Sexton III (Empire Records, Welcome to the Dollhouse), the four lead characters from American Teen, filmmaker Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Raising Victor Vargas), actor Sarah Clarke (TV show 24, Thirteen) screenwriter Andrew Marlowe (Air Force One, End of Days, Hollow Man), director Morgan J. Freeman (Hurricane Streets), comedian Matt Walsh (The Daily Show, Bad Santa, Upright Citizens Brigade), and the cast of Hair and Spring Awakening on Broadway.

Lumiere Film (week 1)

In a single shot of up to two minutes, students tell a simple story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The project takes its name from the first films by the 19th-century pioneers of early cinema, Pierre and August Lumière. The focus, here, is on mise-en-scène, an essential concept in the art of filmmaking. Students are challenged to carefully arrange all the elements that appear within the shot itself - camera movement, composition, blocking of actors, props, and lighting - to most effectively and creatively tell their stories.

Watch Sample Student Lumiere Films

Porter Film (week 2)

Edwin Porter was one of the first filmmakers to consider the possibilities of editing shots together in a continuous fashion. He led the way in creating the illusion of "continuity," where material shot over the course of days or weeks looks, once it is cut together in sequence, as if it all flows together over the course of minutes. His famous film, The Great Train Robbery, is the inspiration for this second film, where students explore the same issues Porter faced, and make a 3-4 minute film that focuses on continuity. Students have four hours to shoot this film and one day to edit.

Watch Sample Student Porter Films


Headshots are like an actor's calling card - every actor needs a good headshot. So, at SOCAPA every two and three week acting student is scheduled a block of time in the studio to have their headshots done by students in the SOCAPA Photography Program.

Musical Reel

Each three-week SOCAPA Musical Theater and Acting for Film student will work on a culmination scene that will be theatrically and musically directed by our professional staff. Students will have their song professionally recorded and the scene will be filmed by our staff and then showcased at the Final Showcase for the whole camp. Students will take this culmination scene home by way of their online student portfolio pages and can use the scene for college applications, as a calling card for auditions, and to share with friends and family.

11a-3p: Airport Arrivals
1-4p: Dormitory Check-in
5-6p: Welcome Dinner
6-7p: Acting Program Orientation - Meet & Greet with Teachers
7-8:30p: All Programs Orientation
9:30p: Dormitory Floor Meetings & Orientation
10-10:30p Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Overview of Basic Technique
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Imagination and Action
5-6p: Get ready for dinner
7-9p: Dinner on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Scene Study: Incorporating Technique
12-1p: Lunch
1p-3p: Scene Study: Incorporating Technique
3-5p: Audition Technique; Prep Thursday's auditions
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Walking Tour of Downtown/Group Photo
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Shoot Lumieres (Directors 1 & 2); 3wk Students - Reel Scene Script analysis when not shooting
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Shoot Lumieres (Directors 3 & 4): 3wk Students - Reel Scene Script analysis when not shooting
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: SXSW hit "True Adolescents" with our very own Craig Johnson
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Analyzing a Film Performance
12-1p: Lunch
1-4p: Auditions - Public Theater
4-5p: Filmmaking for Actors
5:30 – 6:30: Dinner
7-9:30: Live Concert in Park
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Headshots/Rehearsals with directors (2wk) and Reel Rehearsals (3wk)
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Headshots/Act in Films/Reel Rehearsals
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9p: Week One Showcase
  Karaoke Fest
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
8:30 – 9:30a: Breakfast
10a: Leave for day’s outings
(NY-Washington Square/Village/Soho)
(CA-Universal Studios/Venice Beach)
(VT-Farmer’s market/Church Street/Stowe Mt./Ben&Jerry’s)
Lunch and Dinner – Student’s Choice
7-10p: Evening Show on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
8:30-9:30a Breakfast
10-1p: Writing/Rehearsal/Prep for Talent Show
1-4p: Afternoon Activity (Park, Beach, Museum, Shopping)
6–9:30p: SOCAPA Talent Show
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in

New York City Campus

Jul 14 - Aug 03, 2019 (Session 3)
Room & Board:
13 - 18