Technical Theatre Training

A crew of four setting up props/scenery for Julius Caesar

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.

Technical Theatre Program

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.

How To Apply

Admission to the Conservatory is by application and interview.

We recommend applicants use the Acceptd platform to submit their application material.However, if Acceptd does not work for you, please email for other options.

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.

Accepting Applications
October 1, 2022

Early Acceptance Application Due:
December 1, 2022

Application Due Date:
March 1, 2023


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.
  • Portfolio material is not required; however, during the application process, applicants will have the opportunity to upload any material they would like to share with us. Applicants can also share material during the interview process.
  • Once you submit your application, you will be contacted to set up an interview. You may interview in person or via telephone or video call.

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 concentrated and dynamic program.  Technicians are in the shops, labs, classes, and performance six days a week 9:00 am to 10:30 pm. The conservatory requires full time commitment.
  • It is challenging to maintain 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 some Colleges and Universities that allow our graduates to start as Juniors if accepted into their program.
  • All PCPA students are registered full-time students of Allan Hancock College.  This means that PCPA students have access to all the resources available at the college.  This includes mental and physical health services, IT services, and food resources.
  • All students will need to cover their living expenses. PCPA can help students locate housing and roommates and Allan Hancock College has resources to help students financially.  It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to secure and pay for housing and other living expenses.

For more information please email

Tuition and Fees

California Residents:

Technical Theatre Training tuition is approximately $1,700 per year for California residents.  Technical Theatre students are enrolled in 16 units a semester at $46 per unit.

We are very selective during the audition and interview process, and, therefore, very dedicated to the students we accept into PCPA’s two-year training programs.  PCPA has worked with Allan Hancock College to make our tuition very affordable, so our graduates can immediately go to work as professional actors and technicians without being burdened by student loan debt.

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.

Out-of-State Residents:

Technical Theatre Training tuition is approximately $12,000 per year for out-of-state students.

Out-of-state tuition is $327 per unit tuition plus $46 per unit enrollment.  Technical Theatre students are enrolled in 16 units a semester.  Students can establish California residency during their first year of training.

Additional Fees:

There are additional fees and expenses for parking permits, books and class supplies.

For more information on cost of attendance and any available tuition fee waivers please see

Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s Professional Acting and Technical Theatre programs are fully accredited career and technical education (CTE) programs of Allan Hancock College.

Financial Aid

For more detailed information regarding the cost to attend, the refund policy, and possible exceptions, please visit Allan Hancock College.

For more information about financial aid please see

Financial aid is available through Allan Hancock College To apply contact:

  805-922-6966 x3200

Contact Information

Sara Curran Ice – Conservatory Director – Technical Theatre
(805) 922-6966 ext. 3151

a crew of people setting up the set of Brighton Beach on the stage
Abby Hogan, Scenic Charge Artist is holding up a painting explaining to two other people how a floor stage design comes together
a student sewing on a coat in the costume shop

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.