Actor Training
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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
Voice & Speech
Musical Theatre Ensemble Intensive
Actor's Lab
Acting II
Acting Styles
Musical Theatre
Voice & Speech
Circus Skills
Actor's Lab
Singing Techniques
Audition Techniques & the Business of Being an Actor
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.
We begin taking audition appointments November 16.

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 (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

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

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 16 to 18 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 - $262.00 per unit.

Health Fees
$20.00 Fall & Spring Semesters

Student Center Fee
$10.00 per academic year

For more detailed information regarding the cost to attend, the refund policy, and possible exceptions, please see the Allan Hancock College webpage.
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
Business Office
805 928-7731
Box Office
805 922-8313

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