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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

We encourage everyone to apply. Our program is demanding and we look for hard working, talented students who are serious. Applicants for the high school programs should have previous training and stage experience. However, many years of voice lessons or dance classes are not required. Only a desire to learn, develop and grow - all with a positive attitude - is required. Students age 12 - 15 with little to no experience are encouraged to apply to our Rising Stars program.

Which program should I apply to?

If you are currently 12 - 15 years of age and would like to be in a fully staged production you should apply to Rising Stars. This program is first-come, first-served for any student who is not applying for Financial Aid. If you want to apply for financial aid you will need to submit an audition.

If you are currently an eighth grader you have 3 options. 1) apply for Rising Stars with no audition 2) apply for the High School Music Theatre Program with an audition 3) apply for our Ultimate Summer Experience and participate in TWO fully-staged productions (Rising Stars & High School Music Theatre Program).

If you are currently a ninth grader who is or will be 15 or under at the time of our program, you have two options. 1) apply for the High School Music Theatre Program with an audition 2) apply for our Ultimate Summer Experience and participate in TWO fully-staged productions (Rising Stars & High School Music Theatre Program).

If you are currently a sophomore or junior you can 1) apply to the Pre-College Intensive and focus on the college audition process, 2) High School Music Theatre Program and participate in a fully-staged production or 3) Ultimate Summer Experience and participate in BOTH the Pre-College Intensive and High School Music Theatre Program.

If you are currently a freshman, sophomore or junior who is NOT interested in the college audition process then you should apply to the High School Music Theatre Program and participate in a fully-staged production.

Where do students come from?

Our participants have come from all 50 states, Canada, South America, Turkey and China. You will meet students from everywhere when you attend our program!

Do I have to live on campus?

For residential programs, yes, students must live on the OCU campus for the entire program where they are supervised 24/7 by our OCU Summer Music staff and counselors. A food plan provides students with three meals a day (Monday thru Saturday) and two meals (brunch, dinner) on Sunday in the OCU cafeteria.

Will I have a roommate?

Yes. You will either be in a room with one or two roommates and share a bathroom with one other room. No more than 5 students share a bathroom.

Can I select my roommate?

Yes. If you have a friend coming to the same session, you may request to room together and we will do our best to accommodate your request. Otherwise roommate assignments are made based on age.

Are the dorms co-ed?

Everyone from our program will stay in the same dorm but we do separate into male/female hallways. The common areas are the only areas in the dorm that are co-ed. Males and females will not share bathrooms.

What does a typical day look like?

I would describe our program as "rigorous". We start early and work about 12 hours a day. So if you are looking for a "camp" experience with lots of free time and social activities, this is not the program for you. By the time our high school participants leave we want you to understand what it's really like to be a college music theatre major. It's fun, but also lots of hard work, long hours, and showing up with a good attitude!

You can view a sample schedule on each program's page.

Do I have to stay for the entire program?

Yes. We do not allow students to arrive late or leave early except in a case of emergency. Once campers check-in they are not allowed to leave campus (even with parents) until the scheduled check-out time. Exceptions may be made for instrumental programs at the discretion of the instructors.

What will I do between programs if I'm doing the Ultimate Summer Experience?

Meals will still be provided and you will still be supervised during "off" day. But you will have a little extra rest time and we will plan some special activities just for our Ultimate campers.

How many students will be in the program?

Participation varies by program, but we will cap registration at 30 for Rising Stars, 50 for Pre-College Intensive and 50 for High School Music Theatre.

Can my parents and/or friends visit me anytime during the program?

Visitors (including parents) are not allowed during the program. For safety and liability reasons, students are only allowed to leave campus with their family for approved doctor's appointments.

What should I do if I'm homesick?

We understand that this is a stressful and sometimes frightening situation. Remember, there will be many other students just like you who are away from home for the first time. You'll make friends from all over the country while having fun! Our OCU staff is always here to help at anytime during your stay - day or night.

What should I pack?

Bathroom: toiletries, shampoo & conditioner, hand soap, lotion, feminine products, comb, brush, blow dryer, towel & wash cloth, first aid supplies including neosporin, band aids, bug spray, anti-itch medicine, allergy medicine and/or antihistamine (toilet paper provided)

Bedding: pillow, sheets (twin), comforter or blanketRoom: hangers, laundry basket, small desk fan, clorox wipes, small trash bags or plastic bags that can be used for trash (no trash can provided in room)

Clothes: shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, bathing suit, a few nicer casual outfits, dance clothes, jazz shoes, tap shoes (if you have them)

Music: If you are in the Pre-College Intensive, High School Music Theatre or Ultimate Summer Program, please bring your "book" - 3 - 10 songs you are currently working on that are memorized and performance ready. You will work on these songs in masterclasses and coachings.

Acting: you will receive instructions before the program on what monologues to bring.

We will send a printable packing list upon acceptance.

Are laundry facilities available?

Yes! Washers and driers are provided in each dorm. You will need to bring your own laundry supplies and laundry basket.

Who works on the Summer Music Program's Faculty and Staff?

The faculty is made up primarily of OCU music, theatre, and dance faculty. Special guests with ties to OCU are also often involved. Performing Arts Academy Staff oversees the program. College students serve as counselors and staff members. College students are put through a rigorous interview process determining their talents and skills and interest in working with students. Many staff are former summer program alumni.

Who provides supervision?

Students are monitored at all times and staff is available 24/7. In addition to the counselors who reside on floors with the campers, resident assistants of the University live in the dorms and provide supervision.

Can my child attend church while at camp?

Unfortunately we do not have the human resources available to get students to various area churches and the University is not in an area that makes walking a safe option.

Seussical Jr
Seussical, Jr. Photo by Wendy Mutz