The Conservatory

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Acting

PCPA's Actor Training

PCPA - Pacific Conservatory Theatre, is unique in that in addition to studio work, classes, and master classes, students receive mentorship from professional artists in the studio, in classes, in one-on-one tutorials, and in the context of producing PCPA's professional Equity productions
PCPA's Resident Company is comprised of highly talented professional actors, choreographers, designers, technicians, and directors who have a dedication to producing quality professional theatre and a deep seated passion to teach. Click the Faculty heading for a list of instructors and their bios.

1st Year Actor Training Program


At Pacific Conservatory Theatre, the student's professional training begins right away. Acting students are immersed in the life of the conservatory, jumping right into rigorous skills training and studio work. A common working vocabulary is introduced, as well as a repeatable acting process, text analysis, basic music theory, singing techniques, and dance fundamentals. Students explore the concept of self-use in their movement and voice/speech classes and are given context for their practical work by studying Theatre History. These foundational concepts will be built upon over the course of their two-year journey. Students progress in the first year by applying these basic concepts to increasingly more sophisticated material.

2nd Year Actor Training Program


The training in the 2nd year directly builds on the foundational acting tools and skills that are learned and acquired in the first year. The 2nd year student is introduced to more sophisticated concepts and methodologies in all disciplines: Acting, Voice and Speech, Movement, Singing, Dance, and more. The second year also focuses on audition techniques and the business side of being a marketable actor. Several casting directors, artistic directors, and agents come to PCPA to audition our students during the second year of training. The year culminates in the presentation of 2 fully staged productions, which are cast solely with the graduating class, and are directed by either resident or guest directors. These showcases provide an opportunity for the professional community, as well as family and friends to see the fruition of two years of rigorous and fulfilling transformation.
Acting I
Singing Techniques
Professional Theatre Dance Styles
Text Analysis
Theatre History
Movement
Voice & Speech
Shakespeare
Musical Theatre Ensemble Intensive
Actor's Lab
Acting II
Acting Styles
Movement
Combat
Musical Theatre
Shakespeare
Voice & Speech
Circus Skills
Actor's Lab
Singing Techniques
Audition Techniques & the Business of Being an Actor
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Actor Training program.
Students must first audition. If the student is asked to attend our Acting Conservatory Callbacks he or she will then be invited to go through the application process.

Click here for information about the Audition Tour and how to schedule an audition. Please schedule an audition by February 15.

Students auditioning for the two-year Actor Training Conservatory will audition with:
• 2 monologues (one classical, preferably Shakespeare; one contemporary, i.e. post-1900) totaling together no more than 3 minutes in length (approximately 60-90 seconds each).
• 16 to 32 bars of a song. Please bring clearly marked sheet music; an accompanist will be provided.
• 8 x 10 photograph (headshot) preferred; smaller is acceptable.
• Resume detailing performance experience, education/training, and special skills.
• We do accept video auditions. Email video links to casting@pcpa.org (YouTube or Vimeo work best)

If you are invited to our Acting Conservatory callbacks in March you will need to provide:
• An application.
• Two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or directors (not family).
• Your most recent school transcripts.
• Mission Statement: a two-page (minimum), typed
  • "Mission Statement" in which you discuss your educational, professional, and personal goals and why PCPA can benefit you.
• All material can be emailed to casting@pcpa.org

You need to have a high school diploma or be at least 18 years of age to attend the conservatory. Students who have not graduated from high school may be admitted to the program if they are 18 years of age and demonstrate in the interview that they are able to benefit from the PCPA program.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre is a very rigorous program. Actors are in the studio, rehearsal, and performance 6 days a week 9:00 am to 10:30 pm. The conservatory requires full time commitment.
• You will not have time for an outside job
• We are all theatre all the time. We do not offer general education classes.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre is a vocational program. We do not offer an associates or a bachelor’s degree.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre's goal is to make sure you are ready to enter the professional world after graduation.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre can be part of a four year path to a Bachelor’s degree. We have relationships with several Colleges and Universities that allow our graduates to start as Juniors if accepted into their program.
• You will need to cover all of your living expenses. PCPA can help you find housing and roommates, however, it is your responsibility to secure and pay for housing.

For more information please email casting@pcpa.org

PCPA values excellence and professionalism in all aspects of its company and public life. Integral to this position is the demonstration of practical initiative; respectful, courteous and cooperative relationships; affirmative, efficient and ethical working practices. Successful PCPA students derive deep personal fulfillment from the exemplary completion of their work, and in the flexibility required to respond to emergent challenges and opportunities, in accomplishment of the evolving work of the theatre and its training programs. PCPA expects a strong commitment to the mission of the theatre in service to task, colleague, company and community.

Pacific Conservatory Theatre's Professional Acting and Technical Theatre programs are fully accredited career and technical education (CTE) programs of Allan Hancock College.
This two-year, state-supported Conservatory is part of the California Community College system; therefore, the cost of attending PCPA’s Pacific Conservatory Theatre is lower than that of other theatre training programs. California state residents pay a $46.00 per unit registration fee each semester.
PCPA Acting students typically register for 19 to 21 units per semester.
PCPA Technical Theatre students typically register for 16 units per semester.
To qualify as a California State resident, students must have physically resided in the state of California for one year prior to the first day of classes and must be able to demonstrate the intent to make California their home.
Enrollment fees for out-of-state residents are significantly higher (see below).
Additional fees and expenses include parking permits, books, and class supplies totaling approximately $400-$600.
Current registration fees are as follows:

Enrollment Fees
Resident Tuition - $46.00 per unit
Non-Resident Tuition for international students and non-California residents - $276

Health Fees
$19.00 Fall & Spring Semesters

Student Center Fee
$10.00 per academic year
The enrollment fee is refundable up to the second week of the semester (not including summer which is the first week). The tuition fee for non-residents is refundable according to a sliding schedule, depending on which week the student withdraws from the program and depending on whether the classes are semester-length or term-length classes. Refund applications must be submitted to the Allan Hancock College Registrar within the first four weeks of the semester or the first two weeks of the term.
Financial aid is available through Allan Hancock College.
If you would like to apply please contact (805) 922-6966 x3200
or email finaid@hancockcollege.edu

Technical

PCPA's Technical Theatre Training


Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s two year Technical Theatre program encompasses all areas of technical theatre. The training models professional standards and practices through a master/apprentice approach. Students participate through invitation and advance based on demonstrated growth of skills and professionalism
PCPA's Resident Company is comprised of highly talented professional designers, technicians, directors, and actors who have a dedication to producing quality professional theatre and a deep seated passion to teach.
Click the faculty heading for a list of instructors and their bios.
Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s two year Technical Theatre training program offers intensive, vocational technical theatre training while participating in a Professional Theatre company. Based on industry models, the program guides the technical student from their discovery of concepts through professional level validation. Each student’s journey is uniquely tailored to meet the individual student’s desired focus, level of training, and educational need. Students train in lights, sound, props, paints, set construction, costumes, stage management, and more. Introductory and advanced study in theory and practice is designed to prepare the student for a career in the technical crafts of the entertainment industry. Students spend, on average, seven to ten hours per day in direct contact with working professionals. Self-marketing is an integral part of the program; students are instructed in the basics of cover letter, resume and portfolio preparation and presentation. During the second year students attend the USITT conference and interview with several professional companies. Our students have been highly sought after by companies like the Disney Corporation, Cirque du Soleil, ZFX, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Santa Fe Opera as well as schools like Cal State Fullerton, Penn State University, Boston University, University of Memphis, Southern Oregon University, and more.
Admission to the Conservatory is by application and interview. Advancement in the Conservatory is based on merit – maintenance of acceptable grade standards, demonstrated professionalism, and continued growth. Students are expected to adhere to the standards and best practices of the profession.


Students applying for our two year Technical Theatre Conservatory need to provide:
• An application.
• Resume detailing education/training, theatre experience and/or special skills.
• Two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or directors. (not family)
• Your most recent school transcripts.
• Mission Statement: a two-page (minimum), typed
  • "Mission Statement" in which you discuss your educational, professional, and personal goals and why PCPA can benefit you.
• All material can be emailed to casting@pcpa.org
• Please schedule an interview at your earliest convenience once you have submitted the above material. You may schedule an interview by emailing casting@pcpa.org
• If you have portfolio material you would like to share with us it may be emailed or brought with you to your interview, however, a portfolio is not required for admittance to the Conservatory.
• If you are not able to travel to PCPA we are happy to interview you over the phone.


You need to have a high school diploma or be at least 18 years of age to attend the conservatory. Students who have not graduated from high school may be admitted to the program if they are 18 years of age and demonstrate in the interview that they are able to benefit from the PCPA program.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre is a very rigorous program. Technicians are in the shops, labs, classes, and performance 6 days a week 9:00 am to 10:30 pm. The conservatory requires full time commitment.
• You will not have time for an outside job
• We are all theatre all the time. We do not offer general education classes.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre is a vocational program. We do not offer an associates or a bachelor’s degree.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre's goal is to make sure you are ready to enter the professional world after graduation.
• Pacific Conservatory Theatre can be part of a four year path to a Bachelor’s degree. We have relationships with several Colleges and Universities that allow our graduates to start as Juniors if accepted into their program.
• You will need to cover all of your living expenses. PCPA can help you find housing and roommates, however, it is your responsibility to secure and pay for housing.

For more information please email casting@pcpa.org

PCPA values excellence and professionalism in all aspects of its company and public life. Integral to this position is the demonstration of practical initiative; respectful, courteous and cooperative relationships; affirmative, efficient and ethical working practices. Successful PCPA students derive deep personal fulfillment from the exemplary completion of their work, and in the flexibility required to respond to emergent challenges and opportunities, in accomplishment of the evolving work of the theatre and its training programs. PCPA expects a strong commitment to the mission of the theatre in service to task, colleague, company and community.

Pacific Conservatory Theatre's Professional Acting and Technical Theatre programs are fully accredited career and technical education (CTE) programs of Allan Hancock College.
This two-year, state-supported Conservatory is part of the California Community College system; therefore, the cost of attending PCPA’s Pacific Conservatory Theatre is lower than that of other theatre training programs. California state residents pay a $46.00 per unit registration fee each semester.
PCPA Acting students typically register for 19 to 21 units per semester.
PCPA Technical Theatre students typically register for 16 units per semester.
To qualify as a California State resident, students must have physically resided in the state of California for one year prior to the first day of classes and must be able to demonstrate the intent to make California their home.
Enrollment fees for out-of-state residents are significantly higher (see below).
Additional fees and expenses include parking permits, books, and class supplies totaling approximately $400-$600.
Current registration fees are as follows:

Enrollment Fees
Resident Tuition - $46.00 per unit
Non-Resident Tuition for international students and non-California residents - $276

Health Fees
$19.00 Fall & Spring Semesters

Student Center Fee
$10.00 per academic year
The enrollment fee is refundable up to the second week of the semester (not including summer which is the first week). The tuition fee for non-residents is refundable according to a sliding schedule, depending on which week the student withdraws from the program and depending on whether the classes are semester-length or term-length classes. Refund applications must be submitted to the Allan Hancock College Registrar within the first four weeks of the semester or the first two weeks of the term.
Financial aid is available through Allan Hancock College.
If you would like to apply please contact (805) 922-6966 x3200
or email finaid@hancockcollege.edu

Professional Internships

Internships
PCPA offers professional internships in multiple areas of theatre. PCPA’s master-apprentice approach to training provides unique experience with theatre professionals both resident and guests. As an intern you will be training directly with professionals in their respective fields.
Benefits of an Internship at PCPA
• Opportunity to gain practical experience in your chosen field.
• Work in both an outdoor and indoor thrust stage.
• Taking time off before Graduate school to work in a conservatory environment and mentor less experienced students will help your process when you get to graduate school.
• Join a network of over 50 years of alumni.
• Spend your summer or fall and spring in California.
• Winter/Spring interns are required to participate in a portfolio review each semester. We help you learn to prepare and present your portfolio to the industry.
• Having completed Graduate School, build your professional portfolio.
Things to Consider
• Interns are required to be registered students of Allan Hancock College. PCPA may cover some of the registration fees.
• PCPA has scholarships available. But not all internships include a scholarship. The IRS considers these scholarships taxable income.
• Interns will be informed of all required personal supplies before they accept the internship.
• The program does not offer a degree.
• Scholarshiped interns are scheduled, on average, for 40 to 48 hours per week.
• Internships can range between 3, 9 or 12 months with the possibility of more.
• Each department will have schedules that vary depending on your duties and the overall production schedule.
• You will not have time to keep an outside job.
While at PCPA we expect you to experience the following
• Develop strong work habits
• Be tired
• Build and refine your portfolio
• Practice your craft
• Enjoy the great California weather
• Decide if this is the best career path for you.
• Have fun
Enrollment is by interview only
To be considered for an interview PCPA’s Professional Internship applicants must submit an application form, a current resume listing previous theatre training, theater experience, and list three references. Applicants may also be requested to submit relevant portfolio items. We will contact candidates that meet PCPA’s requirements to arrange an interview. Meeting minimum qualifications does not assure a candidate an interview. If you are not contacted we will keep your resume on file until August 1st of 2015 for possible future consideration.

Interviews are generally over the phone or via video conference. Additional interviews occur throughout the state of California, with additional sites in Utah, Washington, SETC, and USITT. Exact dates and locations vary by department.
Housing
PCPA’s Company Manager can assist students in identifying reasonably priced housing options within the community. Rental costs vary greatly depending upon students’ requirements. A student can expect to pay between $600 and $1200 per month for housing costs.
Outreach Acting Interns are not required to fill out an application prior to their audition.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SELECTED INTERNSHIPS:

Carpentry

Carpentry Interns work under the supervision of the Technical Director. This internship provides students with the opportunity to work alongside professional scenic carpenters while they develop and hone their skills in all areas of scenic construction. Opportunities may include executing scenic evaluations and shop drawings. Based on skill level and desire, interns may serve as assistant technical director for an appropriately sized production.


Costume Design

Costume design interns work under the supervision of the costume shop manager and the resident costume designer. Candidates need to understand the design process and basic structure of production within the costume shop. Student interns will serve as assistants to the resident costume designer on main stage productions. Depending on experience and capabilities, interns may be offered design opportunities in PCPA's season.

Costume First Hand Technician

The first hand interns work under the supervision of the costume shop manager, the resident costume designer, and the resident cutter. Student assignments and schedules vary depending on the assessed requirements of each production. Responsibilities include cutting, fitting, altering, tailoring and manufacturing various costume pieces. Candidates should possess some tailoring experience and exceptional stitching skills.

Costume Stitcher Technician

The stitcher interns work under the supervision of the costume shop manager, the resident costume designer and the costume project initiator. Student projects include sewing mock-ups, altering/restoring garments, pressing/preparing material, hand-finishing garments, cleaning/restocking of costumes, supplies and equipment, and assisting with general shop maintenance. Prospective stitcher interns should be ready to expand their knowledge and embrace new theatrical construction techniques. Assignments and schedule vary according to production requirements.

Directing

The Directing Intern works under the supervision of the Associate Artistic Director and works directly as assistant director with multiple resident and guest directors throughout the Main Stage and Outreach Tour seasons. Directing Interns participate in the casting, design, rehearsal and tech processes on productions to which they are assigned. They work with the Stage Management Department to prepare understudies and to run understudy rehearsals. Directing Interns may work with conservatory students on independent directing projects as time allows.

Dramaturgy

The Dramaturgy Intern works under the supervision of the Artistic Associate and works directly as a dramaturge with multiple resident and guest directors throughout the Main Stage and Outreach Tour seasons. The dramaturgy intern may also write copy for programs, season promotional materials and Study Guides for the Outreach Tour and Main Stage productions, as well as participate in public panels and discussions around season productions.

Lighting

Lighting interns work under the supervision of the resident lighting designer and staff master electrician. An internship in lighting offers students the opportunity to serve as the lighting design assistant and /or master electrician for a wide range of productions during the Winter/Spring season. The responsibilities of lighting interns include equipment maintenance, practical construction, hanging and focusing light plots, and supervising student crews.

Musical Direction

The Musical Direction Intern works under the supervision of the resident musical director. Musical direction interns have the opportunity to serve as rehearsal accompanist for musical theater classes and professional productions, assist students and professional actors with music preparation, assist the music director in rehearsal, conduct performances, and travel to audition sites during a 5-6 week casting tour in December/January/February. There may also be the opportunity to serve as the music director for a production depending on the needs of the season and the experience level of the intern.


Outreach Acting Intern

The PCPA Acting Internship program is for experienced acting students (typically, graduates of BFA or MFA programs) who are seeking opportunities to perform, use and strengthen their craft, and acquire new strengths in an environment that believes in supporting artists as they build professional careers. Interns audition and are cast and/or understudy in mainstage productions. Interns also work with the Office Education and Outreach, forming a touring ensemble which brings the experience of professional, live theatre to school age audiences through on-site performances and programs. Equity Membership Candidacy (E.M.C.) weeks can be accrued during this internship. All Outreach Acting Interns are awarded Scholarship support.
Admission is by audition. Actors do not need to submit an application.
Please click here for information about the Audition Tour and Audition Requirements.


Props

Properties interns work under the supervision of the director of properties. An internship in stage properties offers students the opportunity to create props for a wide range of productions working with a variety of materials including plastic, wood, fabric, and metal. Interns may serve as Prop Master for a specific production, taking that production from design through rehearsal, into technical rehearsals as the chief liaison between the designer, the rehearsal process, and the build schedule in the prop shop.

Scenic Art

Scenic artist interns will assist and be under the direct supervision of the Resident Scenic Artist for a wide range of productions during the Winter/Spring Season. Interns will be exposed to a wide range of scene painting techniques, from textured, sculptural scenery and slick realistic faux finishes, to flat painted two-dimensional scenery. Depending on intern interest and skill level, there is an opportunity for scenic artist interns to act as charge artist for one or more productions. As charge artist, the intern will budget, provide samples, supervise a crew and be responsible for the painting of an entire show to the specifications of the scenic designer.

Scenic Design Assistant

Scenic design interns work under the supervision of the resident scenic designer on design work by the resident scenic designer, additional staff designers, and guest designers. Duties include production of bid drafting, rough models, final drafting, and final models under deadline circumstances. In addition, interns conduct period research, supervise student assistants, and attend meetings and rehearsals as needed. The interns will be asked to assist staff with scenic painting and properties construction on a project-specific basis. Interns should possess good organizational skills as well as strong oral and written communication skills. Depending on experience and capabilities, interns may be offered design opportunities.

Sound

Sound interns work under the supervision of the sound director, serve as assistant to the resident sound designer, and assist with the managing of the sound department. The responsibilities of sound interns may include installing and maintaining audio and video equipment for productions, mix engineering for musicals, and supervising student crews. The sound intern should have a well-rounded background in audio technologies, including analog and/or digital multitrack recording, P.A. or monitor mix engineering, sound system troubleshooting, and theatrical sound design. Knowledge of theatre process is essential. Based on experience and abilities, the intern may be offered design opportunities during the Winter/Spring Season

Stage Management

Stage management interns will serve as Assistant Stage Managers and/or Stage Managers for main stage productions throughout the season. The outreach intern will stage manage the education and outreach productions during the winter/spring season. In addition to regular stage management duties, interns will mentor production assistants and assist in general office duties. Interns are eligible to join the Actors' Equity Association's Membership Candidacy Program and can accrue membership candidacy weeks, if they so choose.

PCPA’s Mission

PCPA values excellence and professionalism in all aspects of its company and public life. Integral to this position is the demonstration of practical initiative; respectful, courteous and cooperative relationships; affirmative, efficient and ethical working practices. Successful PCPA interns derive deep personal fulfillment from the exemplary completion of their duties, and in the flexibility required to respond to emergent challenges and opportunities, in accomplishment of the evolving work of the theatre and its training programs. PCPA expects a strong commitment to the mission of the theatre in service to task, colleague, company and community.


Summer Actors/Technicians

Summer Company - Acting
Our summer season usually starts the last week in May and runs through September, yet the majority of the company is typically finished by the end of August. Most actors are with us for more than one show; however, single show agreements are possible.

Equity Actors
PCPA has a year-round resident Equity company. We also offer some additional Equity contracts for specific summer roles. PCPA works under the URTA Tier III contract.

Non-Equity Actors
PCPA casts several non-union actors during their summer season.
All non-union guests are awarded scholarships.
Scholarships begin at $285/wk and go up from there depending upon experience and level of training.

How to Audition

PCPA holds a three month audition tour December through February every year.

Please click here to visit our Audition Tour page for more information about audition requirements and where PCPA will be auditioning.

Video Submissions
If you cannot make it to one of our audition locations we will accept video auditions. You can email your video link along with your headshot, resume, and cover letter to casting@pcpa.org. YouTube or Vimeo works best.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information please email casting@pcpa.org

PCPA values excellence and professionalism in all aspects of its company and public life. Integral to this position is the demonstration of practical initiative; respectful, courteous and cooperative relationships; affirmative, efficient and ethical working practices. Successful PCPA actors derive deep personal fulfillment from the exemplary completion of their work, and in the flexibility required to respond to emergent challenges and opportunities, in accomplishment of the evolving work of the theatre and its training programs. PCPA expects a strong commitment to the mission of the theatre in service to task, colleague, company and community.

Summer Company - Technical
Every year, PCPA brings in technicians from all over the country to work with us during our summer season.
Our summer season usual starts in late May and runs through September, yet many technicians are finished by the end of August.

Most technicians are with us for more than one show, and most technicians receive scholarship support from PCPA.

We are actively Looking for:
Carpenters, Scenic Design Assistants, Costume Design Assistants, Costume Technicians, Stitchers, Props Artisans, Scenic Artists, Assistant Stage Managers, Production Assistants, Lighting Design Assistants, Electricians, and Sound Technicians.

Please click here to visit our Technical Intern page for more information about how to apply.
Business Office
805 928-7731
info@pcpa.org
Box Office
805 922-8313
boxoffice@pcpa.org