Study acting on an intensive, month-long programme in Oxford, in association with the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale.

Now celebrating its 40th year, BADA’s Midsummer in Oxford programme is one of the world’s best-known intensive, international acting courses. The programme, based in the historic Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, is designed for committed actors over the age of eighteen and focuses on classical theatre craft with an emphasis on Shakespeare.  Participants work and live at Magdalen alongside the BADA Faculty, made up of leading British theatre practitioners and teaching artists from top American graduate programmes.

We welcome applicants at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as working actors who are not enrolled in educational programmes. Actors aged 18 must have completed one year of college or have graduated high school a year prior to the start of the programme to be eligible to apply for the coming summer. Actors aged 18 who are currently in high school are encouraged to apply for our Midsummer Conservatory Program.

Magdalen College is situated amid 100 acres of woodland, riverside walks, gardens and the tranquil Deer Park. Magdalen’s theatrical alumni include Oscar Wilde, Peter Brook, Katie Mitchell and Andrew Lloyd-Webber; CS Lewis and Seamus Heaney both taught at the College.

This programme runs every summer, and is delivered in association with the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. BADA does not provide college credit for this programme, nor are transcripts available.

The 2024 Midsummer in Oxford Program will run 6 July – 4 August.

  • Applications for the Summer 2024 Midsummer in Oxford Program are closed. Applications were due March 1. Applications for Summer 2025 will open in January 2025. Sign up for our mailing list if you’d like to be notified about upcoming sessions of the Midsummer in Oxford Program.

    In celebration of BADA’s 40th anniversary this year, we are offering a special discount to successful Midsummer in Oxford 2024 applicants who also apply and are accepted to either of BADA’s two June 2024 intensives: the Greek Theatre Program or the Black British Theatre and Performance Program!  Those attending both Midsummer in Oxford and either Greek Theatre (GT) or Black British Theatre and Performance (BBTAP) will receive a 20% discount on fees for either GT or BBTAP.  For more details on the special discount please contact Jennfier Rockwood jrockwood@bada.org.uk.

    If you’d like to be notified about the dates and details of future Midsummer in Oxford 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 March 2024.

    Please prepare the following for your audition:

    • A memorized speech by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries, in verse, no longer than 2 minutes.
    • A memorized speech from a modern or contemporary text, no longer than 2 minutes.


    Each individual meeting will last no more than 12 minutes and will include a chat with a member of the BADA Faculty.

    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 in Oxford Program

  • Classes

    Classes are held every weekday from 9:00am through 6:00pm: Acting, Shakespeare, Voice, Movement and Clown. The first two weeks of the programme combine classes on Shakespeare with general classical acting techniques, with Shakespeare the primary focus of the final fortnight.

    • Acting (memorization required): Acting classes and tutorials use both classical and modern texts to examine the fundamental principles of a contemporary post-Stanislavskyan acting methodology.
    • Shakespeare (memorization required): a contemporary and progressive approach to acting Shakespearean text, focusing on clarity, psychology and performance conditions, and responding to discourses around identity and ownership.
    • Voice (memorization required): classes in the fundamentals of voice, focusing on breath, body, articulation and the connection of voice & text.
    • Movement: classes training the actor’s body for performance, drawing on a variety of contemporary movement methodologies.
    • Clown: classes in the Lecoq/Gaulier physical theatre tradition, focusing on improvisation, physical presence and ensemble performance.

    Approximately 90 participants are selected for the course each year, a mix of graduate and undergraduate participants and working professionals. Program participants have varying levels of experience with Shakespeare but share a seriousness of purpose about their craft and artistry. No class comprises more than sixteen participants.

    It is expected that participants work outside of class preparing and learning lines ready for class; memorization is required for most classes.


    Masterclasses with leading actors and theatre practitioners are held each week.

    Recent Masterclass instructors include: Sir Patrick Stewart, Fiona Shaw, Miriam Margolyes, Lucian Msamati, Deborah Warner, Simon Callow, Brian Cox, Henry Goodman, Julian Glover, Pippa Nixon, John Heffernan, David Suchet.

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

    Jennifer Rockwood
    T: 212 203 6956

  • Weekends
    On Saturday of the middle weekend of the course, the cohort will take a trip to a production at either the National Theatre in London or the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon (the choice will be made dependent on repertory).

    The final Saturday of the course is Open Day, in which open classes and informal performances will take place around Magdalen College.

    The other two Saturdays during the course are yours to enjoy; and participants may use this time to explore historic Oxford, or take a daytrip to London to see a show, visit museums and galleries or just to take in the city.

    Participants are also encouraged to use free time on weekends to learn lines, rehearse together and prepare for the week ahead.

    No meals are provided over the weekend; however Oxford has a huge variety of cafés, restaurants and historic pubs in easy walking distance.

    Events & Excursions

    The following events and excursions are included in the programme fees:

    Oxford Tour
    A creative, fun and challenging introduction to this beautiful and historic city, to help you find your way around.

    Welcome Dinner
    A formal welcome dinner is held in Hall on the first Sunday evening of the program.

    Introduction to Magdalen
    One of Magdalen’s world-renowned faculty will introduce the College’s theatrical and artistic history and contemporary creative culture.

    Trip to London/Stratford
    An all-day excursion to either Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, to see a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company; or to London, one of the world’s great theatre cities, to see a performance at the National Theatre.

    Film Screenings
    Throughout the course, there will be screenings of Shakespeare films, with introductions and/or Q&As with artists, scholars or producers.

    Summer Party
    Enjoy a midsummer’s evening with drinks and dinner on the lawn at Magdalen, and a traditional English game of croquet.

    Grad School Forum
    Participants currently enrolled in graduate school will be invited share their experience on a volunteer panel for fellow Midsummer in Oxford participants who are interested in learning about the graduate school experience.

    Open Day & Farewell Party
    On the final Saturday, Open Day involves informal presentations of scene work to the whole cohort at a variety of locations around the college. Families of participants and other guests are welcome to attend Open Day. There will be Farewell Party and Barbecue afterwards for program participants.

  • Accommodation

    Participants on the Midsummer in Oxford Program will be accommodated in Magdalen College’s housing facilities, located both inside and outside the college walls. Each participant will be allocated their own private bedroom, with shared bathroom and shower facilities. Rooms are located in buildings dating from the 15th – 18th centuries, and may seem rustic compared to modern American college dorms. Due to the historic nature of the buildings in Oxford the rooms will vary in size and style. All rooms are allocated at random by the venue team at Magdalen College. Please note: due to the relatively cool nature of English summers and the age of the buildings, rooms are not climate-controlled.


    Midsummer in Oxford is based at Oxford University’s beautiful Magdalen College, founded in 1458 and situated in the heart of the ancient city. Located about an hour from London and forty miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford is one of Europe’s great university cities, containing some of England’s most famous historic architecture, beautiful parks and meadows, and hosting some of its finest museums and galleries.

    Midsummer in Oxford participants will take classes in several of the historic rooms of Magdalen College, as well as other locations around Oxford including the Sheldonian Theatre, The Oxford Playhouse, St. Columba’s URC, and the Examination Rooms.

    BADA’s formal welcome dinner and all weekday meals are served in Magdalen’s Hall, built around 1480. Magdalen also has a private deer park and meadow walk (Addison’s Walk), perfect for a morning run or evening stroll. The 15th-century Chapel is open daily for prayer and quiet contemplation, as well as hosting concerts and recitals.

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

  • The BADA Faculty is comprised of distinguished teaching artists: actors, directors, theatre makers, practitioners and scholars. To learn more about our Faculty, please visit our Faculty page.

  • We welcome applicants 18+ at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as actors who are not enrolled in educational programmes.

    Actors aged 18 must have completed one year of college or have graduated high school a year prior to the start of the programme to be eligible to apply for this coming summer.

    Actors aged 18 who are currently in high school are encouraged to apply for our Midsummer Conservatory Program.

    Due to the rigorous nature of the course and the high bar set each year by participants, the Midsummer in Oxford Program is not suitable for new actors or those just beginning to focus on their craft. We encourage new practitioners to seek formal theatrical training before applying to the program.

  • The Midsummer in Oxford Program is open to applicants at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as working actors who are not enrolled in educational programmes.

    We consistently have participants enrolled in the following undergraduate and graduate programmes as well as other institutions:

    David Geffen School of Drama at Yale & Yale University
    Barnard College & Columbia University
    Boston University
    DePaul University
    Howard University
    The Juilliard School
    Marymount Manhattan College
    Middlebury College
    Morehouse College
    New World School of the Arts
    Northwestern University
    The New School
    NYU Tisch School of the Arts & New York University
    Pomona College
    Spelman College
    SUNY Purchase
    UMass Amherst
    University of California, Berkeley
    University of Pennsylvania

  • The 2024 Midsummer in Oxford Program fees are:

    Tuition $4,500
    (including a single private room in Magdalen College campus and breakfast, lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday, in Magdalen College Dining Hall)
     Total Fees Payable to BADA $7,950

    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 programme (including the purchase of meals at weekends).

    Midsummer in Oxford 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 programme 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 associated 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.

    If you would like to discuss the possibilities of receiving scholarship funding prior to submitting an application, please feel free to contact our Summer Programs Admissions Coordinator, Jennifer Rockwood: jrockwood@bada.org.uk.

    Note: 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.