Training for Young Artists

Summer Academy 2020

Summer Academy, Geva’s renowned young artist conservatory training program now in its 24th year, will take place fully online for the summer of 2020.

The dates for Summer Academy 2020 will be weekdays from July 20th-August 21st (please note this is an adjustment from our previously scheduled dates of June 29-August 1).

A full list of the regular weekly courses and one-time masterclasses that we will be offering as part of this summer’s Academy program, as well as schedule, tuition rates and scholarship information, and registration forms, will all be available on this page on Tuesday, June 16th.

As always, need-based scholarships will be available, and we will work with parents/guardians to set up payment plans that work for your family.

We appreciate your continued flexibility, patience, and support as we re-imagine Geva Summer Academy, with everyone’s health and safety as our first priority, to provide quality training for young artists in the most enriching and fulfilling way possible, consistent with what you’ve come to know and expect from Geva. We are excited to foster new methods and approaches to young artist training, and explore the power, wonder, and joy of theatre and what we can create together.

We will be offering young artists between the ages of 12 and 18 a menu of inspiring and engaging online courses and masterclasses designed to provoke artistic curiosity, provide quality training, amplify artistic opportunities, and connect young artists with peers and professional theatre-makers alike. No auditions are required this summer.

If you have any questions about Summer Academy 2020, or would like to be notified by email when our course offerings are available and registration opens on June 16th, please contact Lara Rhyner, Summer Academy Director and Associate Director of Education, at

For a glimpse of our program’s tenets, mission, curriculum, and what makes Geva Summer Academy Rochester’s premiere young actor training conservatory, please check out our Brochure and Frequently Asked Questions. Although much of this year’s online learning approach will be different than what is outlined in these materials (produced prior to the emergence of Covid19 in New York State), the heart of the program and our desire to nurture and empower young artists remains the same, and we can’t wait to welcome this year’s class of young artists into the Geva family!

Download the Summer Academy 2020 Brochure here.

Download the Summer Academy 2020 Frequently Asked Questions here.

The Geva Summer Academy is supported by the:
Donald F. & Maxine B. Davison Foundation
Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation
Dr. Tomas C. Hernandez & Dr. Keith S. Reas
Eric & Elizabeth Rennert

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 include (varying by summer) Acting, Text Analysis, Voice and Diction, Movement, Monologues, Expansions, Singing Ensemble, Movement Ensemble, Song Prep, Dance, Journal/Reflection, Rehearsal/Production, and Master Classes. The program culminates in a showcase of the students’ work, on Geva’s Wilson stage. The showcase is free and open to the public.



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.

The Stage Door Project: Once

Join us on Monday, March 9th at 7:30pm in the Geva Theatre Center Wilson Stage for a special one-night-only production of The Stage Door Project: Once.

Continuing Geva Theatre Center’s mission of placing our work at the crossroads of artistic excellence and community engagement, we invited Bishop Kearney High School to collaborate with us on the award-winning musical, Once.

The Bishop Kearney production of Once, directed by Paula Steffen, includes a young company of high school actors, Bishop Kearney alumni performing as the musicians, and students who have been learning about production, stage management, publicity, dramaturgy, and more from the Geva’s staff and creative team of Once. Each onstage and offstage student participant shared the process of exploring Once alongside their professional counterpart from within the Geva company.

The student cast connected with their professional actor counterparts from the Geva cast through character insight sharing sessions, a cast-to-cast dinner, and visits to multiple rehearsals at Geva including the first rehearsal, several working rehearsals, tech, and opening night. The student creative team also met with, shadowed, and shared discoveries alongside the Geva departments they were reflecting. In turn, the Geva company of Once attended a student cast rehearsal at Bishop Kearney High School, and will be in the audience to cheer on their student counterparts at their performance on Geva’s Wilson Stage on Monday, March 9th (incorporating the existing lighting, sound, and scenic elements created for our own production of Once, into their production, and with Geva’s full crew and technical support).

The Stage Door Project is the only program of its kind in the country. For students and educators, it is an incredibly thrilling and extremely rare opportunity to connect with a nationally-recognized regional theatre and to explore the birth and growth of a production from the inside out alongside professionals in the theatre industry. By embracing this young company from our community, we at Geva have the wonderful privilege of learning with and from their energy and insights into youth, life, love, humor, and the artistic process.

Tickets to the March 9th Stage Door Project performance of Once are $20 and may be purchased online at TICKETS, over the phone at 585-232-4382, or in person at the Geva Box Office. The Stage Door Project is made possible in part by the Guido and Ellen Palma Foundation.

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