Summer Academy Overview

New Bedford Festival Theatre is proud to include educational opportunities in the arts through both our Summer Academy high school apprenticeship program and a college internship program.

Our Summer Academy offers high school students from New Bedford (as well as from Fall River and throughout the South Coast) an invaluable learning experience. Students who are accepted to the program fully engage in the hands-on, artistic, and collaborative work of the theatre. They work behind the scenes on our professional mainstage musical production at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, honing their skills in various areas of technical theatre such as lighting design, sound design, costume supervision, stage crew, and more. Summer Academy participants also attend several workshops run by professional actors and theatre technicians on a vast range of topics from improvisation and dance to stage management and production. Finally, our high school apprentices are afforded the opportunity to work on their very own production directed by a college directing intern. Our goal with this special apprentice production is to give students the chance to work on a short play that explores issues of social justice and awareness, culminating in a free public performance held in New Bedford.

NBFT’s college internship program provides extensive training in the fields of directing, musical directing, property management, marketing, and operations. Students enrolled in any local college theatre program may apply. Interns engage directly in the work of a professional theatre production team and have many opportunities to showcase their own skills and knowledge, as well as to hone them further.

Many high school apprentices have gone to further education in Theatre on the College/University level and attribute their desire for work in theatre with their experiences with the Festival Theatre Summer Academy. Areas such as stage crew, lighting, sound, costuming, properties, stage management, and production office are part of the many interests students can be involved in. College-age interns have performed in many productions and have gained experience working with professional directors, choreographers, music directors and fellow performers.