Training for Young Artists

Summer Academy Overview

The Summer Academy is a five-week professional theatre training program for up to 30 selected young actors, ages 12 to 18, who wish to explore, define and develop the actor in themselves. Open to students of all levels of theatre experience, Summer Academy provides quality training for the beginning actor, as well as advanced level study for the young actor with previous experience. Each year the Summer Academy program rotates between a Shakespeare, Contemporary Acting, and Musical Theatre focus.

Led by professional artists in the industry who are passionate and skilled in their craft and in working with young actors, courses will include Acting, Text Analysis, Voice and Diction, Movement, Monologues, Expansions, Singing Ensemble, Movement Ensemble, Journal/Reflection, and Rehearsal/Production. In addition, a weekly Master Class led by a guest instructor is included. The program culminates in a showcase of the students’ work, on Geva’s Wilson stage. The showcase is free and open to the public.

Summer Academy 2020

The focus of the 2020 Summer Academy program will be Musical Theatre.

Program dates and audition information will be posted in late January 2020.

For Summer Academy Apprenticeship application information for college students, please visit the “Early Career” tab, above.

Summer Academy 2019

The focus of the 2019 Summer Academy program will be Contemporary Theatre, and the program dates are July 8th-August 9th (Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm). The Summer Academy showcase performance will take place on Saturday, August 10th and students must be available the full day.

Admission is by audition and interview only. Auditions will be held on Thursday, March 14th from 4-6pm at Gantt Recreation Center, Friday, March 15th from 4-6pm at Wilson Commencement High School, and at Geva Theatre Center on Saturday, March 16th from 10am-6pm and Sunday, March 17th from noon-4pm. Anyone may audition at any location. Audition appointments must be scheduled in advance. Contact Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email starting Thursday, February 14th to schedule your audition.

To audition, please prepare a contemporary 1-minute monologue (memorized). Please also bring 2 copies of your resume, and a headshot or recent photo. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time to fill out some paperwork. Each audition appointment is 10 minutes, which includes both the audition and the interview.

Students will be notified on Friday, March 22nd of their acceptance into the Summer Academy 2019 program.

Summer Academy tuition is $1,350 for the full five-week program. Full and partial need-based scholarships are available!

Download the Summer Academy 2019 Brochure here.

Download the Summer Academy 2019 Frequently Asked Questions here.

The Geva Summer Academy is sponsored by the Donald F. & Maxine B. Davison Foundation, and the Fred Willmott Foundation.

For additional information about Summer Academy, please call Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email


The Stage Door Design Project is a Geva Theatre Center education program designed to introduce talented and motivated 9th-12th grade students who identify an interest in the design opportunities of theatrical production including scenic, costume, lighting and sound design, to the creative process and skills practiced by theatre professionals in the crafting of Geva productions.

Students will have unique access to visit several steps in the Geva production process and share ideas directly with Geva artists while they work with a team of their peers to create and present cohesive designs for a hypothetical production of a selected play. They will read and respond to a script, talk with a professional director and designers about what a production can communicate through design and why, and visit Geva during the build, rehearsal and technical rehearsal periods prior to attending a public preview performance.

A Stage Door Design candidate does not need to have extensive experience in a specific area of theatre design or technology, but a creative, inquisitive mind is a must. We believe that design is an interpretive process integral to storytelling and seek students with the passion to create compelling stories. While we will explore the practical application of ideas, this program will emphasize why design choices are made over and above the technical solutions of how those designs are achieved. Candidates who can apply both rigorous analysis and imagination in their examination of a play will thrive with this opportunity.

Program Example

For the Stage Door Design 2013 Project, participating students were divided into three production teams of four students, with each team consisting of a student designer focused on costume design, lighting design, scenic design, and sound design. Each team was guided by one of Geva’s own resident artists or designers. The teams of young designers were challenged with creating a unified series of designs for several different scenes within Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, an upcoming production that would be featured in Geva’s 2013-2014 Wilson stage season. Each production team crafted their own unique artistic concept for their scenes within the script, allowing the Stage Door Design Project to conclude with three very different approaches to the story, and resulting in three very different sets of possible designs for the same play.

Students documented their creative process through blog entries that were posted on the Geva Journal blog in the fall of 2013 prior to the Opening Night of The 39 Steps, and the students designs were featured as a lobby display in the Geva lobby throughout the run of Geva’s production of The 39 Steps. The Stage Door Design class of 2013 was invited back to Geva to attend a performance of The 39 Steps together and discuss the production’s actual costume, lighting, scenic, and sound designs, and compare and contrast them with the designs for the hypothetical production they created in the spring.

Young Writers Showcase

Selected from an open submission pool of Rochester area students, the Young Writers Showcase features short plays by writers aged 13-18. This event provides a rare opportunity for young writers to have their works performed by professional actors and offers them a glimpse into the process of moving a play from page to stage. Plays from the spring Showcase receive further rehearsal and development in the fall Festival of New Theatre.

Dates and details for the 2020 Young Writers Showcase will be posted in the early spring of 2020.

Showcase Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Submission Deadline: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Selected Writers Notified By: Monday, April 9, 2018

We want YOU to write a play for us!

Geva Theatre Center invites aspiring playwrights from the Greater Rochester area, ages 13-18, to submit short plays for consideration for the Young Writers Showcase. We recommend submitting plays of no more than 10 pages and with no more than eight characters.

Script-in-hand concert readings will take place Saturday, May 5, 2018 in Geva’s Fielding Stage. Writers will attend rehearsals of their work in the morning before the 3pm performance, which is free and open to the public.

Submission requirements:

  • Include clear contact information on the script, including name, address and phone number.
  • Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return of the script if submitted in hard copy.
  • Each submitted play must have only one author. Unfortunately, group projects cannot be considered for the Showcase.
Scripts may be submitted by mail or by hand delivery to:

Young Writers Showcase
Geva Theatre Center
75 Woodbury Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14607
Submissions may also be sent electronically to

For more information, contact Jean Gordon Ryon at (585) 420-2034 or

Submit your play or learn more!


In college or just graduated? Are you looking for an opportunity to jumpstart your career, make an impact, and get more involved? Geva also offers a variety of early career programming including alliances with area colleges, fellowships, apprenticeships, and internships.

SUNY Brockport Alliance

This program enables Geva’s guest artist-educators to come in contact with undergraduates at SUNY Brockport by teaching rotating courses (including acting, directing and playwriting) at the university, as well as providing guest lecturers from our roster of visiting professional artists. Geva is thrilled to be partnering with SUNY Brockport again for our 2019-2020 season. SUNY Brockport theatre students also have opportunities for auditions and internships with Geva Theatre Center. To visit the Department of Theatre and Music Studies at SUNY Brockport, please click here.


One Directing Fellow and one Literary Fellow are hired annually. The Directing Fellow may direct a production at SUNY Brockport, assistant direct at Geva, and/or rehearse understudies as needed. If you are interested in applying for the 2019-2020 Directing Fellowship, please send a cover letter and resumé to:

Skip Greer
Director of Education
75 Woodbury Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14607

You may also submit your application electronically to

Summer Academy Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are available for three young professionals to work as assistant teachers for our five-week Summer Academy program. Most apprentice candidates are college students pursuing a degree in theatre (and typically preparing to enter their junior or senior year). Priority is given to returning alumni of the Summer Academy program and to SUNY Brockport theatre students. This is a paid position. To apply for a 2020 Summer Academy apprenticeship position (our focus will be Musical Theatre), please send a resume and a cover letter detailing your interest and qualifications to:

Lara Rhyner
Associate Director of Education
Geva Theatre Center
75 Woodbury Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14607

You may also submit your application electronically to

Applications will be accepted from February 1, 2020 – March 15, 2020; hiring decisions will be announced by the end of March, 2020. Your application must include (either on your cover letter or resume) an email address, phone number, and mailing address. You can read more about this year’s Summer Academy program on this page by clicking on the Summer Academy tab above. For questions about Summer Academy apprenticeships, please contact Lara Rhyner.

College Internships

Most of Geva’s intern positions are filled by students who participate in the Brockport Alliance and voice an interest in an internship to Skip Greer, Director of Education. If you are a SUNY Brockport student and would like to apply for an internship position, please send a cover letter and resumé to:

Skip Greer
Director of Education
75 Woodbury Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14607

You may also submit your application electronically to

Additional internship positions are occasionally assigned to non-SUNY Brockport college students on an individual basis. College internship positions at Geva vary between full-time (35-40 hrs. per week) and part-time (15-25 hrs. per week) and are unpaid. Most internships last for the length of a semester. It must be possible to arrange academic credit through your educational institution to apply for a college internship. Please note that we do not offer production internships during the summer months. Previous internships have been in development, marketing, acting, and several areas of production, including costuming and lighting.

If you are a non-SUNY Brockport college student seeking experience in a specific area of theatre, please submit your resume and a detailed cover letter describing what type of opportunity you are seeking, what you expect to gain from an internship, your specific availability for an internship, and your prior theatre experience. Internship inquiries should be addressed to:

Lara Rhyner
Associate Director of Education
75 Woodbury Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14607

You may also submit your application electronically to

High School Internships

If you are a high school student who is interested in an internship, please call Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email

Additional Resources

If you are looking for casting or employment information, please click here.

Stage Door 2020

Details will be announced in the Fall of 2019.

Stage Door Project 2018: The Diary of Anne Frank

Continuing Geva Theatre Center’s mission of placing our work at the crossroads of artistic excellence and community engagement, Geva is partnering with Pittsford Mendon High School in a shared production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

In addition to being part of Geva’s season, we asked Pittsford Mendon High School to include The Diary of Anne Frank as part of their season. The high school production, directed by Kelli Loucks Hawryschuk, will occur on a parallel timeline as the Geva production and includes a young company of actors, dramaturg, stage manager, and theatre business, graphic design, and stage operations students. Each student artist will share the process of exploring The Diary of Anne Frank alongside their professional counterpart from within the Geva company.

The Mendon cast will participate in an acting workshop with Geva, connect with their professional actor counterparts through numerous correspondences and character insight sharing sessions, and visit several rehearsals at Geva (including the first rehearsal, table work rehearsal, blocking rehearsal, working rehearsal, tech, preview, and opening). The student creative team will also meet with, shadow, and share discoveries alongside the departments they are reflecting. In turn, the Geva company will attend a Mendon cast rehearsal at the high school, offer technical support for the Mendon production, and cheer on their student counterparts at the final performance.

This unique collaboration culminates when the student company returns to Geva to polish their show, working with our crew to incorporate Geva’s existing lighting, sound, and scenic elements created for our own production, into their production. The students will then perform their own version of The Diary of Anne Frank on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:30pm on Geva’s Wilson stage, with Geva’s full crew and technical support.

For these students, the Stage Door Project is an incredibly thrilling and extremely rare opportunity to connect with a nationally recognized regional theatre and learn alongside professionals in the theatre industry. By embracing this young company from our community, we have the privilege of learning from their insights into the world within and outside the Annex, as it was in 1942, and as it is 2018.

Click here to purchase your tickets for this one night only event. Advance purchase is highly recommended as the sell-out risk is high.

How To Get Involved

If your high school would like to partner with us on a Stage Door Project in a future season, please contact Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at 585-420-2058 or