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California Actors Workshop

Education Unlimited -

California Actors Workshop offers a concentrated summer training experience in the art and craft of acting. Young actors have the opportunity to learn the crucial skills of building characters, playing objectives, and expressing interior emotions physically and vocally. Students discover not only how to express themselves individually but also how to work as an ensemble, gaining valuable leadership skills while having fun and making friends.

Practice the Techniques Professionals Use This hands-on, conservatory-style program gives students a chance to learn some of the most important and influential acting practices of the modern theater. Our core curriculum draws from Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares, the foundation of twentieth century realistic acting. Other courses (based on faculty expertise) may include Improvisation, Voice, Movement, Script Analysis, Shakespeare, and Acting for the Camera. Courses become more advanced and intensive over the course of our three specialized sessions.

Learn from Real Theater Artists At the California Actors Workshop, we believe that actors learn best by actively working with professional and academic theater artists who are devoted to nurturing the next generation of actors. Students here immerse themselves in scene work and exercises under the instruction of a top-notch faculty. All of our instructors either teach acting at prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley and Stanford University or have substantial professional acting and directing experience. Additional master classes offer students the rare opportunity to develop their craft with inspiring and accomplished guest artists.

Visit Theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area Located on the Stanford University campus, the California Actors Workshop exposes students to the rich theatrical heritage of the San Francisco Bay Area. Actors ranging from Annette Bening to Robin Williams got their starts in San Francisco. Bay Area theaters such as the American Conservatory Theater, the Magic Theater, and the Berkeley Repertory Theater have launched many successful acting careers and have given voice to some of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century, including Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, and David Henry Hwang. Students at this Workshop will attend plays at professional San Francisco and Berkeley theaters, discuss production choices with actors and directors, and even have the opportunity to see what goes on “behind the scenes.”

California Actors Workshop - Staff Profiles

Staff are typically subject matter experts and experienced teachers. Staff assignments vary by program and all staff are held to the highest possible standards. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:

Education Unlimited - Shannon Davis, MFA (Instructor)

Shannon Davis, MFA — Instructor

Shannon is a professional Theatre Director and Educator located in the Bay Area. She is originally from Wisconsin where she received her MFA in Directing/Acting at UW-Madison, and a BA in Directing & Vocal Performance at UW-Whitewater. She has also studied with the Moscow Art Theatre USA-Harvard. Shannon specializes in Directing & Teaching...

Education Unlimited - Pamela Davis, MFA (Lead Instructor)

Pamela Davis, MFA — Lead Instructor

Pamela is tickled to be back for another summer with EU and the California Actors Workshop, and to be heading the CAW team this year. Although she currently lives and works in Chicago, Pamela is from California originally, and holds a BA in political science from UC Berkeley, as well as an MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. 


Education Unlimited - Samuel Haley-Hill, MFA ( Instructor)

Samuel Haley-Hill, MFA — Instructor

Sam Haley-Hill is a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley who teaches Public Speaking and Acting in the department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. Sam also coaches Policy and Public Forum debate for the...

Education Unlimited - Kelly Rafferty, PhD (Instructor)

Kelly Rafferty, PhD — Instructor

Kelly Rafferty, PhD is a theater/performance artist and educator based in Oakland, California.  

As a writer, director, and performer, Kelly uses her dark sense of humor and finely tuned analytical skills to make the familiar strange, inviting audiences to engage with the world differently.  Her plays, solo shows, and performance installations...

We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed.

Upcoming Camps

California Actors Workshop

The California High School Actors Workshop focuses on teaching the professional acting techniques that translate onto both stage and screen. Over the course of 14 days, students participate in a morning core course and choose from a variety of specialized afternoon electives. Students showcase their work in an extraordinary final performance, which includes monologue work and ensemble short scenes.

Admission Requirements Eligible students must...

High School Actors Workshop (Abridged)

This one-week program builds students' acting, creative expression and public speaking skills, helping students perform confidently onstage in a variety of settings. Through daily monologue work, scene work and a variety of electives, the students will discover how to create rapport with the audience and let their personal charisma shine.

Monologues Learn techniques and pr...