Arts Academy Boarding High School: Theatre

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The Theatre 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 Theatre Division offers programs of study for theatre majors with three emphases:


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. Read theatre faculty biographies

How to Apply

  1. Prepare the materials listed here: Audition Requirements for Acting or Musical Theatre or Portfolio Requirements for Theatre Design and Production.
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Submit your audition in the Academy Education Community 

Our admission representatives 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. Click the link to learn more about our 2020-21 productions! Past productions include:


  • The Lark by Jean Anouilh
  • Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka
  • Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical - book by Dennis Kelly; music & lyrics by Tim Minchin
  • One-Act Festival
  • Anne of Green Gables: Scope for Imagination by Shelby Lewis and P45
  • Men on Boats* by Jaclyn Backhaus
  • As You Like It** by William Shakespeare
  • A Chorus Line* - book by Nicholas Dante and James Kirkwood Jr.; music by Marvin Hamlisch; lyrics by Edward Kleban   
* Adapted to online performance
** Adapted to audio production



  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon
  • Everybody - by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
  • Violet - based on "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts, music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics and book by Brian Crawley
  • The Children's Hour - by Lillian Hellman
  • Tartuffe - by Molière, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame - based on the novel by Victor Hugo and songs from the Disney film, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Peter Parnell


  • 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 

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
  • The Juilliard School of Drama
  • Pace University
  • Northwestern 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 prƒepared 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:

  • Noah Rickets (2010)
  • Kimiko Glenn (2007)
  • 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
  • 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

Academy Theatre students receive yearly recognition from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts competition. Theatre majors have also received recognition from the Art Schools Network student talent competition and the August Wilson Monologue Competition. 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:

  • Alexandra Silber
  • Kit Yan
  • Chris Miller
  • Purple Rose Theatre Company
  • Sydney James Harcourt
  • Jarvis George
  • Hunter Bell - Tony-nominated writer of [title of show]
  • Victoria Clark - Tony Award-winner
  • Barrett Foa - Broadway and television actor

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.

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.

The Phoenix Theatre is a 200-seat flexible black box.

A professional scene shop.

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