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OPEN HOUSE: Summer Theatre, Art, Tech Program for High School Students

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Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center

3181 Rainbow Drive

Decatur, GA 30034

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WHAT: The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is proud to present it's 2nd annual STArT Academy!

(STArT: Summer. Theatre. Digital Art & Technology)

OPEN HOUSE: Wed., May 17th and Tues., June 13th; 6pm - 8pm

PROGRAM DATES: Monday, July 10 - Friday July 14, 2017; 9am - 4pm

WHERE: Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center in Decatur, GA

Last year the ABTF partnered with area professors and industry guest lecturers of major networks like OWN and ASPiRE and award-winning filmmakers in Digital and Theatre arts to host a summer program for high school students. It was a HUGE success! Our prime aim is to expose females students and students of color to career opportunities and internships in these high demand fields where they are grossly under-represented.

This year promises to be even better! It is designed to introduce students to experts in the industry as well as the basic technology and craftsmanship needed for creative careers in theatre and digital art. Click HERE and scroll down for photos and student testimonials!

The institute is divided into two seminars:

Seminar 1: Training

Session A: Mon. July 10 - Fri. July 14; 9am - 4pm

Seminar 2: Internship (optional)

A 25-hour professional development internship opportunity spent in practical hands-on learning via the realization of an actual stage production from design to strike during the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival (ABTF) in the fall. Additional internship opportunities as production assistants with businesses that specialize in the digital arts may also be arranged. (Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Seminar 1)

Enrollment Criteria

The academy will accept rising 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders and target females and students of color. However, no one will be denied enrollment based on gender, race or ethnicity. Each student must participate in an informational interview on site or by phone before being accepted.

Step 1: Click this link to complete the online application.

Step 2. Register here for an informational interview. (on site or by phone)

Step 3. If accepted, an enrollment form will be provided and a non-refundable $50 space hold deposit is due. The tuition balance is not due until July 6th. Save $25 off tuition if paid in full on site.

Tuition and Transportation

The tuition is $225 including books and supplies. Once enrolled, students can complete training Seminar 1 to be eligible for the internship opportunity, Seminar 2. Transportation is the responsibility of the participant. Breakfast and lunch is provided via DeKalb Recreation, although some students opt to bring there own.

The students will also participate in a field trip tour of a tech studio for hands on experiential learning. Transportation for the field trip is included.


The goal of the summer institute is to engage and spark interest in the fields of theatre, art technology and the business of creativity for ten selected high school students via seminars led by distinguished faculty from area universities and professional film and tv producers. Our prime aim is to provide quality supplemental community-based, art-integrated learning opportunities. We will also prepare students for 20-25 hours of dynamic hands-on learning as interns with theatre or digital arts companies in the Atlanta area.

Learning Objectives

  • Have a working knowledge of all areas of personnel and operations of theatre and film/tv production as a collaborative effort.

  • Identify and practice safety precautions and procedures in theatre and film/tv production.

  • Understand the basic technological aspects of theatre and film/tv such as light, color, paint, electricity and make-up; and introduce how science and technology serve the artistic quality of theatre production and filmmaking.

  • Introduction the basics of sound equipment operations in theatre and film/tv.

  • Understand and conceptualize scene designs (lighting, sound, set) for the realization of artistic interpretations of theatrical and film/tv productions.

  • Learn about professional careers in design and engineering with specializations in sound, lighting, set design, make-up art technology, costume design, stage management, house management, grip, electrician, production, etc.

  • Acquire the competencies needed to serve as an intern in a theatre or film/tv production setting.

This program is partly funded by Micah 6-8 Media, LLC and Friends of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, a 501(c)3 company. Enrollment fees are non-refundable and activities/subjects may be substituted with a similar offer.

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Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center

3181 Rainbow Drive

Decatur, GA 30034

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