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 either the Performance Track or the Design Track. Performance students learn how to warm up, follow their impulses, pursue objectives, develop a character, and mine the possibilities of a script through scene study. Design students study script analysis, graphic communication skills, collaboration, character development, and storytelling through scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, and stage management.

Two afternoons per week, students dive into specialized training in a series of Master Classes. 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. The students’ personal work as theatre artists influences the topics of exploration.

Required Core Curriculum Events, generally local theatrical performances, on select weeknights and weekends round out the curriculum.

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. 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.