Walden Theatre Conservatory

CTC's 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.

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

New and Prospective Families

Each term we invite new and prospective families to look behind the curtain of one of the top theatre training programs in the nation and see firsthand the excellence of our programs for young people ages 5-18 — from beginners to pre-professionals.

There’s no fee or obligation to enroll, and it’s a chance to learn more about the programs for all ages and meet instructors. We also provide some entertaining moments and refreshments.

Adult Acting Classes

Students 18+ can enroll in 8-week sessions
of CTC's Adult Acting program.

All levels of experience are welcome!

The early Fall 2020 semester is now closed,
but we're planning an additional session
available for late Fall 2020!

Conservatory Classes

Beginner Classes

Students ages 5-12 of any experience level will enter the Conservatory at the Imagination or Improv level. These programs meet ones per week and introduce concepts and skills that will be essential to continuing to grow as young people and young artists. As they gain experience, students will be promoted to intermediate and advanced classes to keep them challenged and further develop their skills, confidence, collaboration, and creativity.

Intermediate Classes

Open to students ages 13+ who are new to the Conservatory (contact us for class placement before enrolling) and younger students promoted from Improv, Intermediate classes continue building stills with twice-weekly meetings every Wednesday and Friday. Students at these levels are eligible to audition for CTC's season of plays, where they take the stage alongside their more-experienced peers.

Advanced Classes

Students attaining this level or entering with considerable experience (contact us for class placement before enrolling) attend classes twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In Playmaking and Performance, students study advanced theatre making and acting technique, with opportunities to showcase their skills in performance, directing, and even designing and stage managing for CTC's full season of plays. Those looking ahead to college theatre programs may join our Master Skills class (more on the below) that's offered as an optional, free program.

Specialization Classes

(Free to join for students already enrolled in a class above, or may be taken a la carte for a fee)

Students ages 13-18 are encouraged to join the optional Playwriting class that meets weekly on Mondays. This is a free program for those already enrolled in a Conservatory class, or it can be added for a fee for others not enrolled in a Conservatory class. Advanced students planning to audition for college theatre programs can add Master Skills that meets Saturdays to hone audition packages and learn the ins and outs of applying to top schools.

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

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.

For Fall 2020:
Financial aid options may be limited this semester due to smaller class sizes and greater organizational overhead. While we hope to be able to accommodate requests, please note that we cannot guarantee financial aid availability for all who apply. Award decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis as funds are available. If you are in need of financial aid, please select below and the business office will contact you.

Withdrawal Policy

COVID-19 may still affect class schedules in the fall and we cannot predict exactly how. If CTC decides not to hold fall semester classes at all, your $100 deposit WILL be refunded. But if CTC decides to go ahead with fall classes, even If in-person classes are interrupted by act of god, governor, or the CDC, your deposit will NOT be refunded, as we are confident we can fulfill our promise to students through virtual instruction in place of in-person classes, as needed.

If for any reason you decide to withdraw from class, a written withdrawal notice must be received via email to enroll@commonwealththeatre.org. You will receive a withdrawal confirmation email detailing any refunds due to you and/or any fees due from you.

If you make tuition installments, you will not be eligible for a withdrawal refund. Delinquent accounts are not eligible for a withdrawal refund. $100 class deposits are not eligible for withdrawal refund.

If you pay tuition in a lump sum at the start of classes and then choose to withdraw before the semester ends, you may be eligible for a partial refund. Refund amounts are prorated by month based on withdrawal date and class level, minus the $100 deposit. The official withdrawal date is the date that we receive written communication of your intent to withdraw. The refund eligibility schedule may be found in the Payment & Fees section of the Conservatory Handbook, which will be provided to all enrolled students before the start of classes.

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