Theatre & Drama Academy

The MPulse Theatre & Drama Academy provides students with the foundations of movement, scene study, and the development of the actor’s voice. Additional courses in improvisation, acting for the camera, and stage combat round out this conservatory style summer training program. All participants will rotate through each workshop over the two week session with weekend activities including a stage management workshop, connecting with other MPulse students, and exploring Ann Arbor. By the end of the program, participants will have developed specific character work that may be the basis for future auditions.

Dates: June 16 – 29, 2024
Tuition (Including Room & Board): $3,830

Application Status: CLOSED
Non-Refundable Application Fee: $75

Email [email protected] if a waiver code is needed for the $75 application fee due to financial need.

Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2024*
Priority Admissions Notification: March 1, 2024

*Applications will remain open until the program is full. Rolling application submissions will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Please check the application status above to see if we are still accepting applications on a rolling basis.


Christina Traister

Christina Traister

Associate Professor of Theatre

Christina Traister joined the faculty of SMTD in 2018 after an 11-year tenure in the Department of Theatre at Michigan State University, teaching a variety of subjects including classical acting, stage combat, movement, and voice. During her time there she was the recipient and nominee for multiple teaching awards. She has professionally acted at such theatres as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The American Shakespeare Collective (TASC), San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Carmel Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare at Stinson, Center Repertory Company, and BoarsHead Theatre; she also enjoyed a 6 month stint in Taiwan as a stunt performer. She holds an MFA in acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and was part of the very first class to receive a BFA in theatre performance (acting) from the University of Michigan. She is a certified teacher and one of four female fight directors with the SAFD (Society of American Fight Directors), as well as a member of AEA (Actor’s Equity Association), AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), and VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association).

Program Sample Schedule

View the 2023 program schedule.  While schedules vary year-to-year, this will provide insight into the programming provided.

MPulse Application

MPulse Theatre & Drama Academy Application will open on October 15, 2023.

Eligibility & Audition Requirements


The Theatre & Drama Academy is open to students entering grades 11 and 12 in the Fall of 2024. 

Monologue Video

  • Upload a video of the student performing a memorized monologue.
    • Monologue should be no longer than 2 minutes
    • Monologue can be from any play.
  • Your face and body must be visible for the duration of the monologue.
  • Announce your name and monologue before you begin.


Upload a resume that outlines your experiences in theatre and any relevant work experience.


  • Upload one color headshot
  • Headshots should be recent, clear, and against a neutral background.
  • Headshots should be front-facing and from the neck up.
  • Headshots do not need to be professionally taken and should resemble a Driver’s License/Passport Photo.

MPulse Scholarships

Merit Awards

A limited number of scholarships are available for extremely talented students based on Faculty discretion. Consideration for these scholarships is automatic for applications received by the priority application deadline.

Need-Based Awards

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $100,000 or under in the previous calendar year, or with special circumstances due to the pandemic. To be considered you must upload your financial aid materials by the application deadline as part of your application.  This includes:

  • Monthly Expenses
  • Previous Year’s Tax Return
  • Statement of Need

Watson Scholarship (For Michigan Residents Only)

In the spirit of the life of a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School (1942) and Michigan physician, the Watson A. Young Scholarship promotes academic excellence and college aspiration among students with financial need. These need-based scholarships support middle and high school students’ participation in summer opportunities at U-M that seek to develop students’ interests and abilities in academic disciplines and expose students to the experiences and possibilities provided by higher education.

Watson Scholarship Application

American Theatre Wing Scholarships

The American Theatre Wing is committed to fostering a future generation of theatre makers that reflects the diversity and dynamism of America as a whole. Through the Training Scholarships, the Wing is promoting diversity, equity, and access to the arts to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity. Funding will go towards covering the costs associated with summer study and after school training programs for public middle and high school students who come from populations historically underrepresented in our industry; who demonstrate economic need, exceptional talent, and an interest in participating in after school training programs or intensive summer study programs to better prepare for future training at the university level. 

The student’s area of focus can be from any aspect of theatre from performance, to design, to writing, to stage management, and others. Through the Training Scholarships, we hope to create a strong pipeline to the professional theatre for promising artists of all backgrounds.

Learn more.


  • Application Resources: Coming Soon!
  • MPulse Policies: Refund Policy


MPulse Summer Performing Arts Institutes
Office of Engagement & Outreach-Youth & Adult Programs
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Stearns Building │ 2005 Baits Drive │ Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: (734) 936-2660
Email: [email protected]