Patron Services: 858.550.1010

Education & Outreach
Young Performers' Conservatory
Young Performers' Conservatory YP@LJP Brochure

June 19 – July 21, 2017 | $1,500

Each summer the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse offers an intensive five week acting experience for high school students in grades 10-12. The curriculum is designed to prepare actors for a serious college theatre program and a career in the performing arts. Our program focuses on the actor’s process. Eight hours a day, five days a week, our students study acting, scene study, voice and speech, ensemble-devised performance, movement and yoga alongside some of the most exciting theatre professionals in the field.

The 2017 Summer Conservatory is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation

The Program

Each week acting students spend five weeks in intensive training classes which include:

  • Classical Scene Study
  • Modern Scene Study
  • Stage Combat
  • Ensemble Devised Performance
  • Voice & Speech
  • Movement
  • Yoga

Conservatory students also have the opportunity to work with the many exciting guest artists who are in residence at the Playhouse during the summer season. Past award-winning artists include: Christopher Ashley, Frank Galati, Jefferson Mays, Des McAnuff, BD Wong, Doug Wright, Roger Rees, Claudia Shear, as well as cast members from Playhouse productions including Memphis, Limelight and Peter and the Starcatcher. Conservatory students attend rehearsals and La Jolla Playhouse productions.

Meet the Conservatory Director

James Pillar has been working in the professional Theatre for nearly 20 years in the varied capacities of Director, Performer and Teacher. Directing projects include work for the Royal Shakespeare Company (Summer Projects), BBC Radio, British Film Institute, Alakazoo Children's Theatre (London) and Traveling Lantern (San Diego). James has performed his own work at the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Blue Coat Gallery (Liverpool), Green Room Theatre (Manchester), and at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as touring Europe and the UK with the award-winning Pants Performance Association. As a Teaching Artist for La Jolla Playhouse, James has created original theatrical works with students both in school residency programs and at LJP’s Young Performers Workshop. James holds an Honors Degree in Theatre, specializing in Directing, Composition and Performance from Dartington College of Arts in the UK.

How to Apply

La Jolla Playhouse is interested in applicants who are willing to take risks, want to be part of an ensemble and have an open mind about new ways to approach material.

The application for the Conservatory includes an online application with essay questions, two letters of recommendation, an audition and an interview. All application materials must be submitted by May 13. Auditions and interviews will be held at La Jolla Playhouse on April 30, May 1, and May 21. Parents and students are encouraged to meet at the Playhouse for an orientation prior to the beginning of each program. T-shirts and schedules of activities will be distributed to participants at this time. Orientation for all [email protected] programs will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2016.

Please complete and submit your application online HERE.

Please have your references submit their letters of recommendation HERE.

Upon acceptance, a non-refundable deposit of $200 is required at the time of registration to hold your spot, the remaining balance of $1,300 is due before the first day of the program.

A limited number of scholarships are available for students in need through The Sidney E. Frank Foundation. If you are interested in applying for one of these scholarships, please fill out the application HERE.


Parents and students of all [email protected] programs are encouraged to meet at the Playhouse for an orientation prior to the beginning of the program. T-shirts and schedules of activities will be distributed to participants at this time.

Orientation for all [email protected] programs will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017. YPC orientation will take place from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm.

Click Here for a Map of the Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations

For more information on the Conservatory, please contact our Education & Outreach Department by phone at (858) 550-1070 x101.

La Jolla Playhouse Conservatory Alumni have been accepted into these prestigious drama programs across the country:

  • American Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts
  • American Conservatory Theatre
  • Amherst College
  • Bard College
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Boston University
  • CalArts
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • College of Santa Fe
  • Emerson College
  • Julliard
  • New York University
  • North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Northwestern University
  • Occidental College
  • University of Southern California
  • University of California at Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Santa Cruz
  • Yale University
  • They have also performed in major motion pictures, on television and in national tours.