Study acting and discover Shakespeare on BADA’s Midsummer Conservatory Program for 16 – 18 year olds.

This three week summer programme immerses students in Acting, Voice and Movement classes along with Cultural Studies in Shakespeare’s time. Here, students develop their skills in the acting process, analysis, and critical thinking, which will also help to meet the challenges of applying for college or drama school.

The 2024 Midsummer Conservatory Program will run 13 July – 2 August. 

  • Applications for the Summer 2024 Midsummer Conservatory Program are closed. Applications for Summer 2025 will open in January 2025.

    If you’d like to be notified about future Midsummer Conservatory Program sessions, please sign up for our mailing list.

  • About the Audition

    Auditions for the 2024 Program will be held live via Zoom and will take place in February and March of 2024.
    Please prepare two monologues to be memorized:

    • One from Shakespeare (please make sure that your Shakespeare piece is in verse)
    • One of your own choice. A second Shakespeare or a Contemporary piece.

    You have four minutes in total for the two monologues.

    Please do not deliver the speeches in close-up but instead stand further back from the camera to allow for a full body view when possible. Each individual meeting will last no more than 12 minutes and will include a chat with Course Director.

    For a list of Audition dates, click here.

  • You will receive an admissions decision by early April.  Please be patient; you will absolutely hear from us one way or another.  Admissions decisions are distributed via the Get Acceptd messaging system.


About the Midsummer Conservatory Program

  • The Midsummer Conservatory Program is an intensive three-week programme of Acting and Shakespeare Cultural Studies. Classes are held 9:00 AM -6:00 PM five days a week. Most evenings will be used to learn lines and rehearse with their scene partners.

    Students will explore:

    • Acting Shakespeare Through Text This class focuses on how the language works to develop and support the character through looking at sonnets and in-depth scene study
    • Acting Shakespeare Through Character This class explores Shakespeare’s characters from a range of perspectives using both modern and traditional techniques. ‘Character’ is examined through action, physicality and psychology whilst experimenting with interpretation and style
    • Cultural History Discover the Age of Shakespeare and the origin of Elizabethan text. You will see performances at The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Globe in London
    • Movement Provides insight into the body’s responsivity & dynamism. Work links movement to voice & breath, ensemble work & the importance of stillness, simplicity & generosity in performance
    • Period Dance Studying the practice of period dance from its origins, leading into how it can be used and brought into the present day
    • Voice Each class will start with group work, leading on to individual work within the class. Students will learn not only their own development but that of their fellow students by exploring the breath, projection and communication – all of the fundamentals of safe voice production in order to aid being fully supported on stage
    • Tutorials one-to-one sessions with Faculty
    • Meetings with Faculty/Course Director

    For information about applying or any questions regarding the Midsummer Conservatory Program, please contact:

    Jennifer Rockwood
    T: 212203 6956

  • Weekends
    Throughout the programme, students on the Midsummer Conservatory Program will have a variety of excursions, master classes and group activities planned for them, including at the weekends.

    The weekends will also provide students with some free time to explore as well as for learning lines, rehearsing together and preparing for the week ahead.

    For the planned day excursions to London and Stratford, students are provided with a food allowance and suggested cafes and restaurants (where BADA staff will also dine).


    Open Day
    The work on the Midsummer Conservatory Program course builds to an Open Day where the students share their new found knowledge and work developed throughout the 3 weeks. Families and other guests are welcome to attend Open Day.

    The Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford upon Avon and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London are just two of the theatres visited during the programme – each including a day trip for exploring.

    Students have Masterclasses in Physical Theatre and Stage Combat delivered by leading British practitioners in these fields, along with actors and directors.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation is provided within the St Hilda’s campus and consists of a single room with shared bathroom facilities in a block reserved for BADA.

    Students are supervised by two experienced chaperones who also reside in St Hilda’s for the duration of the Midsummer Conservatory Program; they are on call night and day to ensure the students have the best possible experience.

    Students attending the Midsummer Conservatory Program must adhere to BADA’s code of conduct at all times and follow the instructions given by the Course Director, BADA’s Welfare & Program Support Officer, and the chaperones.

    BADA runs a strict no alcohol policy on this programme. No participant, regardless of age, will be allowed to drink alcohol while attending the programme.


    BADA’s Midsummer Conservatory Program is based at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Located on the banks of the River Cherwell, a tributary of the River Thames that flows through Oxford, St Hilda’s is located across the river from the Oxford Botanic Garden and looks towards the historic center of the city.

    The College’s campus features a number of gardens and planted areas, including the Wildflower Walkway and Riverside Path, which are perfect for a stroll while practicing a monologue.

    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided seven days a week for all students at St Hilda’s.

    Please note that BADA is an organisation which contracts with St Hilda’s for the use of facilities for the duration of the Midsummer Conservatory Program, but which has no formal connection with the College.

  • The Midsummer Conservatory Program’s faculty features distinguished artists from British theatre. To learn more about our Faculty, please visit our Faculty page.

  • We welcome applicants ages 16 – 18.

    Participants must have turned 16 prior to the start of the course (no later than July 1). Prospective applicants who will turn 16 after July 1 should wait to apply until the next application cycle.

  • The 2024 Midsummer Conservatory Program fees are:

    Tuition $3,500
    including a single private room and breakfast, lunch and dinner)
     Total Fees Payable to BADA $6,800


    The above fees to not include the non-refundable Application Fee of $55 which is paid at the time of application.

    On acceptance, in order to hold their place, applicants will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of US$500. The balance of the fees will be due in two installments with final payment due by the end of May.

    All fees are payable in US dollars. Please note, in addition to the fees payable to BADA, participants are responsible for their own airfare, ground transportation to and from the airports and spending money while on the program (including the purchase of snacks at weekends).

    Midsummer Conservatory Programs Refund Policy

    A deposit of $500 is required on acceptance, which is non-refundable. Fees paid in excess of the $500 deposit are refundable if BADA is notified prior to the final payment deadline. No fees are refundable after this date.

    If the program is canceled by BADA due to circumstances beyond our control, all fees, with the exception of the application fee, will be refunded. BADA accepts no responsibility for personally incurred expenses such as flights or pre-booked ground transportation.

    Financial Assistance 

    Limited awards from the BADA scholarship fund are available to assist accepted applicants in defraying the costs of attending BADA’s summer programmes. These awards are based on need and merit.

    Before applying to the program, please note the fees and consider how you will fund the experience should you be accepted.  Only a very small number of applicants accepted to the summer 2024 programs will be chosen to receive scholarship funding from BADA. Awards could be a small as a few hundred dollars. Most accepted applicants will need to provide their own funding.

    Fees for BADA’s summer programmes are not eligible for payment under the federal loan system nor do they qualify as higher education expenses under the 529 plan as they are not credit bearing. Unfortunately, BADA is not in a position to assist in the retention of any additional outside grant or loan assistance.

  • Each year, BADA offers scholarship support to the Midsummer Conservatory Program donated by the Norman Ayrton Scholarship Trust. Established by the bequest of BADA’s first Dean, Norman Ayrton, the Trust works to advance education in the arts. Norman believed that all talented students should have access to the highest-quality drama training and established the Trust so that financial need is not an obstacle to attending the Midsummer Conservatory Program.

    To apply, MCP applicants must express need for financial support on their application. All students who do so will be considered for a Norman Ayrton Scholarship. Scholarship determinations are made based solely on the audition.