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

This three week summer program at Oxford University, immerses students aged 16 – 18 in Acting classes and Cultural Studies with an emphasis on Shakespeare. 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 program is based in Oxford University’s Wadham College, home to some of the most beautiful gardens and buildings in the city of Oxford.

This program runs every summer. In 2017, the program will run from Saturday 22nd July – Saturday 12th August 2017.

To participate you must have turned 16 by July 1st, 2017.

March 1st is the deadline to receive a guaranteed audition. We will accept applications on a rolling basis after that until all spaces have been filled.


About the Audition
Please prepare two monologues: one from Shakespeare and one from a contemporary play of your choice. Please make sure that your Shakespeare piece is in verse. You have four minutes in total for the two monologues. You will also be given a Sonnet to read cold at the audition. If submitting a recorded audition, the cold reading will be mailed to you.

  • The Midsummer Conservatory Program is an intensive 3-week program of Acting and Shakespeare Studies. Classes are held 9:00 AM -6:00 PM five days a week. 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 An introduction to the Age of Shakespeare and the origin of Elizabethan text. Together we will visit Shakespeare in performance.
    • 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. Once a week classes also focus on early dance, related to the texts being studied.
    • 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 During the program there are two tutorials with one of the Deans, providing focused one-to-one work on pieces selected by the student.

    For information about applying to the Midsummer Conservatory Program, please contact:

    Jennifer Rockwood
    T: 212203 6956

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

    Christina Ibironke, Programs Manager
    T: +44 207 487 0730

  • Weekends
    Throughout the program, 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 the historic sights and museums of Oxford as well as for learning lines, rehearsing together and preparing for the week ahead.

    Meals will not be provided in Wadham College on Saturdays and Sundays giving students the opportunity to try the wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants around Oxford.

    For the planned day executions 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 Programhis Shakespeare course builds to an Open Day where the students perform for family and friends, sharing their new found knowledge developed throughout the 3 weeks.

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

    Professional actors, directors and academics share their knowledge of Shakespeare in weekly masterclasses.

    Students also have Masterclasses in Physical Theatre and Stage Combat delivered by leading British practitioners in these fields.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation is provided within the Wadham College Campus and consists of a private room for each student with shared bathroom facilities on each floor.

    Students are supervised by two experienced chaperones who also reside in Wadham College 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 Deans of BADA, the Programs Manager and the chaperones.

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


    BADA’s Midsummer Conservatory Program is based at Oxford University’s Wadham College, which was founded in 1610 and lies in the heart of Oxford. The college is ideally located and only a 15 minutes’ walk from the Oxford Railway Station and 10 minutes’ walk from the Gloucester Green Bus Station.

    Oxford is one of Europe’s great university cities and contains many of England’s most sublime and beautiful buildings and hosts some of its finest and most historic museums as well as beautiful parks and meadows for our summer program participants to explore.

    Wadham College becomes BADA’s home away from home during the Midsummer Conservatory Program and offers a comprehensive range of facilities as well as easy access to Oxford’s rich and historic attractions.

    The BADA Office is located in Wadham College’s Campus, close to the student accommodation.
    The classes and masterclasses take place in several rooms across Wadham College, including the beautiful Moser Theatre.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday to Friday, are provided for all students at Wadham College. There will also be an afternoon tea on Open Day and the Farewell Dinner which will be held in Wadham College’s historic Hall, which is one of the largest in Oxford.

    Wadham College also has extensive gardens, including the stunning Fellows Garden, which is perfect for a relaxing walk or quiet reading of your Shakespeare texts.

    Please note that BADA is an organisation which contracts with Wadham College for the use of facilities for the duration of the Midsummer Conservatory Program, but which has no formal connection with The University of Oxford.

  • The Midsummer Conservatory Program’s faculty features distinguished artists from British theatre. Recent faculty members include:

    Christopher Cook, Joint Dean of BADA
    Marcelle Davies
    David Kenworthy
    Eunice Roberts, Joint Dean of BADA

  • The 2017 Midsummer Conservatory Program fees are:

     Application Fee
    (non refundable)
    Tuition $3,144
    (including a single private room and breakfast,
    lunch and dinner Mondays-Fridays at Wadham College)

    Students will be notified within four weeks of their audition whether or not they have been accepted. On acceptance, in order to hold their place, applicants will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of US$500, which is deductible from the fees payable.

    All fees are payable in US dollars.

    Financial Assistance

    BADA is a not-for-profit organisation committed to attracting as broad a range of students as possible and so we encourage students to apply to us directly for financial assistance.
    Awards from the BADA Scholarship Fund are allocated on merit, as shown in the audition and IF the applicant has expressed a need for financial assistance to attend one of our summer programs in their application form.

    Allocation of these awards will not be made until AFTER all admission decisions have been finalised.
    While BADA is committed to making its training accessible to all students, the BADA Scholarship Fund may not, in all cases be able to provide the award that matches the exact expressed need of each applicant.

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

    BADA suggests that if you are offered a place on the program, you should then seriously consider the benefits of taking out a fee protection plan. If for any reason you cannot start or complete the course, insurance would alleviate if not eliminate your financial loss.