Arts Academy Boarding High School: Theatre Arts

The Theatre Arts program at Interlochen Arts Academy is designed for young artists who are serious about their craft. Through challenging coursework and guidance from a faculty of artist-educators, students develop their skills in all aspects of theatre. Each year, the program presents up to seven productions, giving students a chance to explore a wide variety of repertoire and roles.

The Performance training is Stanislavsky-based and incorporates techniques designed to help the students explore the full potential of their own unique resources. Theatre Arts also offers a concentration in Design and Production that provides pre-professional training in all aspects of technical theatre. When students leave Interlochen, they have a broad range of experiences and are prepared for success in university, conservatory or professional theatre.


The faculty in the theatre program have decades of experience as theatre educators, directors, designers, and professional actors. The majority have advanced degrees in theatre and all have established careers in theatre and theatre education. Collectively, the faculty has expertise in all styles and varieties of theatre from classical to modern dramatic repertoire and musicals. Members of the faculty have received numerous national awards and honors. Several faculty members have been honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and others have been named by Presidential Scholar nominees as their most influential teacher. Read theatre faculty biographies

How to Apply

  1. Prepare the materials listed here: Audition Requirements for Theatre Performance or Portfolio Requirements for Theatre Design and Production.
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Submit your audition in the Academy admissions community -or- schedule a live, on-campus audition or portfolio review by calling 800.681.5912 -or- register to attend a regional audition, offered in several cities throughout the U.S.

Though not required, a campus visit is recommended. You can tour the campus, visit classes, and possibly take in a performance. You can meet and talk with students who are living the Academy experience.

Our admission counselors are here to help you in any way they can. If you wish to talk with someone about Academy programs, the application process, a campus visit, auditions, or other topics, they will be happy to work with you. Simply call 800.681.5912 or 231.276.7472 or email

Performance Opportunities

Performances give students a chance to apply techniques learned in the classroom. The theatre program presents a wide range of repertoire in multiple productions each year. Recent productions include:


  • A Streetcar Named Desire - by Tennessee Williams
  • Tuck Everlasting -  based on book by Natalie Babbitt, adapted by Claudia Shear and Tim Federle, music by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen
  • The Wolves - by Sarah DeLappe
  • A Fire Just Waiting - by Jess Pillmore, book by Ani DiFranco and Jess Pillmore, music and lyrics by Ani DiFranco
  • Oedipus Rex - by Sophocles, translated by Robert Fagles
  • Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - based on play by Christopher Bond, book by Hugh Wheeler, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim 


  • A Flea in Her Ear - by Georges Feydeau
  • She Kills Monsters - by Qui Nguyen
  • The Light in the Piazza - music & lyrics by Adam Guettel, book by Craig Lucas
  • Cardenio - by William Shakespeare & John Fletcher, adapted by Gregory Doran
  • A Wrinkle in Time - based on the book by Madeline L'Engle, adapted by Tracy Young
  • My Fair Lady - book & lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe


  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle - by Bertolt Brecht
  • Urinetown - music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, book by Greg Kotis
  • The Eccentricities of a Nightingale - by Tennessee Williams
  • Rent - music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson


  • Platonov - by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Susan Coyne and Laszlo Marton
  • The Secret In The Wings - by Mary Zimmerman
  • Troilus and Cressida - by William Shakespeare
  • Amadeus - by Peter Shaffer
  • The King and I - music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II


  • Spring Awakening - book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik
  • A Departure - by James Ingagiola, based on a conception by Gulshirin Dubash
  • Coriolanus - by William Shakespeare
  • Into the Woods - music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine
  • The K of D - by Laura Schellhardt


  • Middletown - by Will Eno
  • [title of show] - book by Hunter Bell, music and lyrics by Jeff Bowden
  • Blood Wedding - by Federico Garcia Lorca
  • Othello - by William Shakespeare
  • Miss Saigon - music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil

See more past productions

College Matriculation

Experience in the Arts Academy theatre program prepares students for successful auditions at leading theatre programs at the college or conservatory level. Recent graduates are now attending the following schools:

  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Fordham University
  • Harvard University
  • The Juilliard School of Drama
  • Pace University
  • NYU Tisch School of the Arts
  • The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota Guthrie Theatre program
  • University of Southern California
  • and many other leading theatre programs

Recent Alumni

Students leave the program prepared for further studies and ready to embark on successful acting careers on stage and screen. Students find success and leading roles shortly after leaving Interlochen. Some examples include:

  • Jackson Rathbone - (Class of 2003) featured in the film Twilight and in the television series Beautiful People (ABC Family)
  • Alexandra Silber (Class of 2001) - London's West End productions of The Woman in WhiteFiddler on the RoofCarousel and Master Class on Broadway
  • Michael Arden (Class of 2001) - Broadway productions of Big River and The Times They Are a-Changin'
  • Ben Walker (Class of 2000) - featured in Broadway's Inherit the WindLes Liaisons DangereusesBloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and films including Flags of our FathersKinsey and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • Logan Lipton (Class of 1999) - Wicked on Broadway
  • James Ginty (Class of 1999) - appears in the films The Surrogates and K-19: The Widowmaker
  • Antoinette Trucks (1999) stared in Barbershop (Showtime)
  • Michael McMillian (Class of 1998) - What I Like About You (WB), Saved (TNT), andTrue Blood (HBO)
  • Lora Lee Gayer (Class of 2006) - Follies on Broadway
  • Lucille Sharp (Class of 2008)  - Downton Abbey
  • Dane Laffrey (Class of 2001) - Off-Broadway and New York set and costume designer

Other High Performing Alumni

  • Felicity Huffman - Academy Award nominee for Transamerica and star of Desperate Housewives (ABC)
  • Tom Hulce - Academy Award nominee for Amadeus and producer of Broadway's Spring Awakening
  • Linda Hunt - Academy Award winner for Year of Living Dangerously
  • Jennifer Ehle - Tony Award winner for The Real Thing and star of television's Pride and Prejudice
  • Bruno Campos - star of the Disney film, Princess and the FrogNip/Tuck (F/X) andJesse (NBC)
  • Al Crawford - Lighting Director for Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, founder of Arc3design

Student Honors and Awards

In 2012, nine Academy theatre students received recognition from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. The awards included four honorable mentions, four merit awards and one finalist in the YoungArts competition. Leah Mattfield won the Art Schools Network student talent competition for Musical Theatre in 2011. In 2009, Steven Johnson, Academy theatre graduate, was selected as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Guest Artists

Classes are enhanced by visits from guest artists. Students interact with leading performers who share insights about acting, performance and planning a career. In recent years, numerous artists have worked with students including:

  • Hunter Bell - Tony-nominated writer of [title of show]
  • Jason Robert Brown - Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist
  • Victoria Clark - Tony Award-winner
  • Barrett Foa - Broadway and television actor
  • Sutton Foster - Tony Award-winner
  • Tony Kushner - Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright
  • Stephen McKinley Henderson - Broadway, film and TV actor
  • Ethan McSweeny - Award-winning Broadway and regional theatre director
  • Alan Menken - Academy Award-winning composer of Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Enchanted
  • David Watson – faculty member from the Hartt School of Drama

Other guests have included representatives of Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Disney and Nickelodeon casting.

Alumni Panels - At least once a year, the theatre department invites high-achieving recent alumni to return to Interlochen to take part in panel discussions about starting a career in acting and theatre. Having recently embarked on successful careers of their own, the panelists share valuable insights with current students.

Agent Showcases - At the end of the Academy year, the theatre department invites professional acting agents to campus to offer feedback to the students on their audition material. In college and conservatory acting programs, such showcases are considered an important final step for theatre students and can be an important part of establishing a career. The showcase gives students a chance to experience what it is like to demonstrate their talents in front of industry professionals. Recent agents have included Kevin Emrick, the director of creative development for Stuart Thompson productions; Gerry Koch, theatrical agent for the Gage Group; Chris Nichols, theatrical agent for the Krasny Office; and Joel Carlton, theatrical agent for CGF Talent Agency. 

Venues and Facilities

The Harvey Theatre Complex houses the Academy theatre program. It is a modern theatre facility that contains classrooms and rehearsal space. Many student productions are staged in the 175-seat three-quarter thrust Harvey Theatre. 360-degree virtual tour

Corson Auditorium is used for larger theatre productions. The 1,000-seat auditorium accommodates more elaborate sets and large audiences. 360-degree virtual tour

The Mallory Costume Shop supports student productions with a 15,000 piece collection.

Image Gallery