Join us each summer for a dynamic training program specially designed for educators and teaching artists who use theatrical techniques in the classroom!

Each summer, connect with your dramatic self and find new inspiration in the collaborative, transformative act of making theater by coming Back to the Source at A.C.T.

A world-renowned, Tony Award–winning theater company and top-ranked training institution located in the heart of San Francisco's theater district, A.C.T. has been dedicated to teaching and learning for almost half a century. The distinguished roster of theatrical luminaries who have trained in our studios and performed on our stage include two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, four-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening, Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose, Emmy Award winner Benjamin Bratt, and Cannes Film Festival award winner Omar Metwally.

Back to the Source is a unique opportunity for teachers and teaching artists who use theatrical techniques in their classrooms (or want to learn how!) to plunge into the art of acting and dramatic collaboration. Taught by A.C.T. professional artists, faculty from our conservatory, and national leaders in arts education, this comprehensive course is your chance to take creative risks, bring new insight to your classroom practice, and ignite your passion for theater in collaboration with some of this country's finest artists and educators.

At Back to the Source, you will:

  • Embrace your inner artist while exploring your own creativity
  • Experience the thrill of performance
  • Discover the joy of taking risks and solving problems in a collaborative ensemble
  • Develop innovative strategies and 21st-century skills to bring back to your classroom
  • Stretch your mind to think critically in a theatrical context
  • Engage with world-class faculty and artists
  • Enjoy outstanding cultural events in San Francisco
  • Earn academic credit and CEUs


Application Process

Enrollment is limited and selective. To guarantee your place in Back to the Source, please send your enrollment application package as soon as possible. Participants are considered for acceptance in the program as their completed applications are received and reviewed.


Tuition for the six-day Back to the Source program is $600, which includes tickets to select local cultural events.


A.C.T. offers a limited number of need and merit-based scholarships, with an emphasis on educators working in Bay Area public schools. The maximum award for Back to the Source scholarships is $600. No federal or state aid is available for Back to the Source.

Students applying for an A.C.T. scholarship must complete their Back to the Source enrollment application package and submit an online. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (available at

If you have any questions, please contact A.C.T.'s financial aid office at 415.439.2411 or email

Back to the Source has been put on hold as A.C.T. goes through a strategic planning process. We hope to bring it back in the future to ensure we meet the professional development needs of the educators and artists we serve.


Contact Vincent Amelio,
School & Community Programs
Operations Manager at or 415.439.2450.


Teachers Go Back to the Source

In one 2017 training session, A.C.T. instructor Matt Chapman focused on techniques for getting people's attention.
by Simon Hodgson


“I feel inspired, refreshed, reinvigorated. I learned so much about myself, about teaching, about learning, about life.”

High School Teacher,
East Bay


About A.C.T.

A.C.T. was the first American theater to win a Tony Award for the quality of its training program as well as its performances. A.C.T. was also the first independent theater in the nation to win academic accreditation and the authority to grant a master of fine arts degree in acting. Because A.C.T. is accredited, you can earn undergraduate academic credit upon satisfactory completion of Back to the Source.

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