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Walden Theatre Conservatory

The world-class Conservatory Program engages young people and our community through extracurricular classes in acting, directing, playwriting, stagecraft, stage combat, dance, movement and voice and with our highly regarded season of plays. Our Shakespeare education program is among the most comprehensive in the nation and culminates each year in the Young American Shakespeare Festival. Conservatory alumni are regularly accepted to and have studied at the country’s finest university theatre training programs. Seven of our graduates have attended The Juilliard School, with others going on to Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Cornish, Minnesota/Guthrie, dePaul, Yale, and a host of other prestigious programs. Former students have had unmatched success professionally in regional theatre, television and motion pictures, both as actors and as production directors & designers. 

Enroll Now for Fall 2018

Clearly the Walden program is ambitious and sets a high bar for its students. At the same time, they are viewed not just as performers, but as developing human beings as well.
–Theatre Dept. Chair, Cornish College of the Arts.

Click the button below for info about adult classes (ages 18+)

Adult Classes


Returning Students: Please submit the form mailed to you. If you no longer have that, you may use the Enrollment Form above and be sure to include student info and update any information (address, phone, email, emergency contact) that has changed since the previous term.



Class Levels

IMAGINATION – ages 5-8

Fall 2018 begins September 8 (Sat) or September 10 (Mon)  Days/Times: Saturday Mornings, 9:30 – 11:30am Monday Afternoons, 4:30-6:30pm Cost:$350*

Participants will learn the fundamentals of drama by working with one another and the instructor to conceive and perform an original play. The workshop strengthens literacy and teaches kids the value of their individual perspective and imagination. In addition to creating the concept for the play, participants will help design the props, set, and costumes for a comprehensive theatre experience that they’ll share with friends and family at the culminating performance at the end of the class.

IMPROV – ages 9-12

Fall 2018 begins September 8 (Sat) or September 10 (Mon)  Days/Times: Saturday Mornings, 10:00am – noon Monday Afternoons, 4:30-6:30pm Cost:$445* Students are introduced to the actor’s toolkit – voice, body, imagination, and courage – through fun games and exercises that develop active listening, teamwork, and concentration skills. Students learn how to unreservedly try another’s ideas, share the stage with others, and be understanding and attentive audience members.

STUDIO – ages 10-13

Fall 2018 begins September 5 Days/Times: Wednesdays & Fridays 4:30 – 6:30pm Cost:$635* Intermediate students discover and explore written material from American classics and Shakespeare with a focus on text analysis and storytelling to bring scripted characters to life. Students learn how to use a script and memorize lines, give and receive constructive criticism, and rehearse with a director.

PLAYMAKING 1 – ages 14-16

Fall 2018 begins September 4 Days/Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00pm Cost:$750* Rotations in foundational theatre classes: improvisation, playwriting, audition skills, character creation, scene study and ballroom dance. Students learn how to speak with authority, take creative risks, and lead and follow with humility.

APPRENTICE – ages 13-15

Fall 2018 begins September 5 Days/Times: Wednesdays & Fridays, 4:30 – 6:30pm Cost:$695* Acting techniques are explored alongside 10-minute plays from previous Young Playwrights Festivals in the fall, and a Shakespearean tragedy, comedy or history in the spring. Students learn how to use movement to embody characters, make text-based artistic choices, and work respectfully and constructively as an ensemble.

PLAYWRITING – ages 13-18

***Fall Semester Only*** Start Date TBD Days/Times: Mondays, 4:30 – 6:30 Cost:$350* a-la-carte (Free to join for students already enrolled) Students learn from professional playwrights how to transform imagination into characters, dialogue and action by writing monologues, dialogues and short plays. Students create new works that speak authentically in their own voice. This is a valuable experience for students wanting to submit plays for the Young Playwrights Festival.

PLAYMAKING 2 – ages 15-18

Fall 2018 begins September 4 Days/Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00pm. Cost:$800* Rotations in advanced storytelling classes: improvisation, playwriting, and theatrical genre studies for actors, directors, and dramaturges: Epic Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, and Renaissance.

PERFORMANCE 1 – ages 16-18

Fall 2018 begins September 4 Days/Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00pm. Cost:$800* The focus of these classes is on advanced vocal work (speech, diction, accents, articulation and breath control) and movement (period movement, stage combat and dance), character development and acting techniques. The Performance Classes are the primary casting pool for Walden Theatre/Blue Apple Players productions.

STAGECRAFT – ages 16-18

Fall 2018 begins September 4 Days/Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00pm. Cost:$800* Rotations in advanced technical classes that coincide with plays being produced during the season: set, prop, lighting, and costume design and construction, stage management, and play analysis for designers.

PERFORMANCE 2 – ages 16-18

Fall 2018 begins September 4 Days/Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00pm. Cost:$800* Builds on the advanced vocal work (speech, diction, accents, articulation and breath control) and movement (period movement, stage combat and dance), character development and acting techniques of PERFORMANCE 1.

Financial Aid

Each semester, Commonwealth Theatre Center awards thousands of dollars in need-based tuition assistance. Financial Aid forms (click to request) are due approximately three weeks prior to the beginning of each semester. The scholarship committee, composed of board members and staff, reviews requests and makes awards. All financial information remains strictly confidential, and is not shared with parties other than the evaluation committee and recipient. Because of the high demand for assistance, more partial scholarships than full scholarships are awarded.

Benefits of Participation

The Conservatory challenges and inspires young people to be their most creative selves. Instructors and directors instill in students a love of literature, writing, and theater in a challenging, yet nurturing environment where students learn life skills and make lasting friendships – while learning to act. The skills developed in the Conservatory are ones that are necessary for every child to possess: listening, memorization, physical awareness, focus and concentration, cooperation, communicating verbally and physically and storytelling. Numerous studies have shown that participation in the arts…

  • Improves academic performance and test scores
  • Improves reading and math skills and the capacity for creative thinking
  • Improves attitudes and skills that promote the learning process
  • Builds social bonds, improves self-image, self-regulation and tolerance
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