A.C.T.'s San Francisco Semester

Bridge your artistic journey. Extensive actor training and cultural immersion in the heart of SF.


*Please note: San Francisco Semster is temporarily moving online for our Spring 2021 semester.
We will resume in-person classes and training in San Francisco once it is safe to do so.

The San Francisco Semester gave me the tools I needed to take my career to the next level.
—Taylor Iman Jones, SFS Fall 2014

(Groundhog DayHead Over Heels, Emojiland)

Are you ready for an artistic, intellectual, and personal transformation?

Embark on a 15-week actor-training program at one of the country’s most acclaimed professional theater companies—located in the heart of one of the world’s most culturally vibrant and diverse cities. Grounded in a rich academic curriculum, the San Francisco Semester introduces theater artists to the active, ongoing engagement of the Bay Area’s eclectic and energetic arts community.

At our Tony Award–winning nonprofit regional theater and conservatory, you’ll observe some of the best artists in the industry, and invigorate your imagination and creativity. You’ll experience stirring and unforgettable performances, immerse yourself in one of the country’s most thrilling cultural centers, and expand your understanding of what theater can be.

Surrounded by the creative and ambitious theater students of A.C.T.’s MFA Program, you will sample aspects of intensive training as you define yourself as an artist. The length of the program offers an extensive in-depth training, while the weekly schedule offers you time to breathe and to immerse yourself in the city and reflect on your training. 

Why wait? Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to launch your future today. Who are you as an artist—and who do you want to be?

Life in San Francisco

A.C.T.’s offices and classrooms are located in the heart of bustling San Francisco, a major metropolitan area brimming with cultural vitality. We will be your home base, but the city will be your campus as you explore its wonders, discover its artistic treasures, and make it your own. Throughout the semester, students will live at the crossroads of the cultural life of San Francisco, a gateway to the greater Bay Area—and beyond.

On a day off, the Bay Area offers students an extraordinary range of activities—most of which are accessible by public transportation. Take a hike in Muir Woods, go sailing on the Bay, catch a baseball game, hit a jazz club, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, check out a pop-up restaurant, or soak up paintings in local artists’ open studios.

Expand your adventure to the beautiful landscape of Northern California. Spend a day exploring wine country in nearby Napa and Sonoma valleys, head down Highway 1 to view the dramatic coastal landscape near Big Sur, or check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park.

Bridging Your Artistic Training—Alumni

For many students, like Stella Baker (Yale 2018), San Francisco Semester built the foundation to continue their training in graduate-level acting programs, including A.C.T.’s own MFA program with company including Afua Busia (A.C.T. MFA 2019), Justin Genna (A.C.T. MFA 2018), and Clint Bidwell (A.C.T. MFA 2021).

Other alumni have quickly progressed to performing in local Bay Area productions, like Paige Mayes (Single Black Female, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre; School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Henry Alper (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Pear Theatre), and Afua Busia (School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, Berkeley Rep).

Some alums have taken their work to film and television: Rila Fukushima (ArrowGhost in the Shell), Timothy Huls (Commercial: Charles Schwab, Soda Stream), Matt McAbee (Blindspotting), and Stella Baker (The Republic of Sarah). And still, other SFS alumni have gone on to appear on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional stages, including Taylor Iman Jones (Broadway: Groundhog Day, Head Over Heels, Emojiland, Hamilton, Los Angeles Tour), Nicholas Yenson, (Anything Goes, Arena Stage), and Justin Genna (Novenas for a Lost Hospital, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater).

Download more information about A.C.T.'s MFA Program,
San Francisco Semester, and
Summer Training Congress.

Read more about SFS alum experiences in this feature article,

“What Art Can Be.”

Application Info


SFS: Spring 2021—in CA

Early-bird (save $2500 on tuition) applications due
October 23, 2020

Priority applications due:
November 27, 2020

Final applications due:
January 8, 2021

January 25, 2021

Classes Begin:
January 26, 2021

Classes End:
May 14, 2021


Visit our SFS FAQ page or email conservatory@act-sf.org

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I wasn’t sure if a career as an actor was what I wanted. The SFS was like a theater sampler that left me wanting more.” —Afua Busia
SFS Spring 2015, MFA 2019

(School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play)

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