"The Young Conservatory is the absolute best place for any hopeful young artist. It instilled in me a sense of excitement and confidence, as well as the tools that I would go on to use in developing my professional career. I will forever be indebted to A.C.T. for the leaps it has allowed me to take as an actor, artist, and citizen of the greater world."
—Darren Criss, YC alumnus (currently appearing on the TV series Glee)
"I can’t say enough about the A.C.T. Young Conservatory. Student actors rarely have such a chance to have a world created around them that’s so supportive of what they’re attempting to achieve in such a complete way."
—Tony Award–winning actor BD Wong, A.C.T.'s The Orphan of Zhao
Act out and dream big! At our Tony Award–winning conservatory, students ages 8 to 19 develop their talents, perform in professional-caliber productions, and gain the confidence to succeed—all in a comfortable, creative, and fun environment.
Young Conservatory (YC) classes are exciting, engaging, and challenging. Courses such as acting, musical theater, clowning, and physical comedy offer something for every student's taste and schedule. YC teachers and directors are active theater professionals who understand and enjoy working with young people.
The YC teaches more than just acting. Students learn to incorporate the craft of theater into their everyday lives, developing concentration, imagination, professionalism, character, and self-confidence along the way.
The YC stages four public productions a year, participates in international exchange programs with theater companies in Europe, and is the nation's leader in commissioning new plays written specifically for young actors. YC actors are also given first priority for casting when A.C.T.'s professional productions need to fill young roles. Learn more about current performance opportunities for YC students.
By training at the YC, students gain the creative and communication skills to succeed in just about anything. Many students go on to study art in college, and our alumni are often seen gracing stages in the Bay Area and across the country. Some alumni, such as Milo Ventimiglia, Winona Ryder, and Nicolas Cage, go on to successful acting careers.