BUSTI students have the option to choose between a course of study in either Performance or Design. Students in both tracks come together as an ensemble for technique classes, collaborative theatre ensemble, experimental theatre laboratories, and master classes. The tracks separate three afternoons per week, during which time Performance Track students take core acting classes and Design Track students attend core design classes in scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, and stage management. What follows is a detailed breakdown of the daily curriculum:

In the morning, all students take Technique Classes in Design and Movement, Voice and Movement, Singing, Stage Combat, and Dramatic Literature.

Three afternoons per week, students train in their chosen track: Performance or Design. Performance students take Acting classes, where they learn to warm up, follow their impulses, pursue objectives, develop a character, and mine the possibilities of a script through scene study. In Design classes, students study script analysis, graphic communication skills, collaboration, character development, and storytelling through scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, and stage management. Toward the end of the BUSTI program, each student has a one-on-one conference with their Acting or Design teacher to receive feedback on their growth over the course of the five weeks and to engage in a dialogue about future pursuits.

Two afternoons per week, students dive into specialized training in a series of Master Classes exploring various elements of theatrical artistry. Past master classes have included Audition Technique, Suzuki, Directing, Viewpoints, Clowning, Alexander Technique, Playwriting, Solo Performance, Shakespeare, and Theatre for Social Change.

During the evenings and on Saturday afternoons, students rehearse in Collaborative Theatre Ensembles to devise an original performance piece inspired by an Artistic Muse. These projects are process-oriented ensemble pieces, geared toward empowering individual students to develop a collective artistic voice. At program’s end, all students perform these projects in the College of Fine Arts TheatreLab@855. Family and friends are invited to attend.

On Friday evenings, students participate in Experimental Theatre Laboratories. Student conduct experiments that question what theatre is and what theatre can do for artists, audiences, and communities.

Required Core Curriculum Events on select weeknights and weekends round out the curriculum, providing a wide range of theatrical and artistic experiences that complement the learning in the classroom.

A Typical Theatre Institute Day

9–10:30 a.m. Singing Class
10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Movement Class
12:15–1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:45–5 p.m. Acting or Design Class
5–7 p.m. Dinner
7–10 p.m. Theatre Ensemble Rehearsal
11 p.m. Curfew

Undergraduate Audition or Portfolio Review

Toward the end of the summer, students entering the senior year of high school will have the opportunity to interview for the professional training program at the School of Theatre at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. Students demonstrating exceptional promise and commitment may wish to apply for admission to the School under the Boston University Early Decision program.

Students who opt not to interview during the summer, or students who are entering their sophomore or junior year of high school, are invited to participate in a mock college audition or portfolio review. Students receive feedback as to how to improve their audition/portfolio for the future.