Governor’s School

The Governor’s School Program at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise is a three week residential program for juniors and seniors in high school who have demonstrated significant effort and achievement in performance or technical theater.

Students live in college residence halls while studying and earning college credit in theater arts. The Program is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and it completely free of charge to the student participants and their families.

Mornings are spent in classes studying acting, text analysis, theater history, design, and technical theater. The course-work is designed to engage and encourage students, but also to challenge them physically, creatively, and intellectually. So, students should come prepared to have fun working hard!

Afternoons are spent applying the coursework in rehearsals and the production of a fully realized play by William Shakespeare. Students are responsible for all performance and technical aspects of the production– when they are not in rehearsal, they are building sets, focusing lights, preparing costumes and organizing props. Students also spend time reflecting on the process through writing and daily discussions about ensemble work.

Evenings and weekends provide opportunity for social interaction, games, movies and field trips. Each year Governor’s School students pack their bags and travel to Staunton Virginia to see a Shakespeare play (or two) in the only historic replica of Shakespeare’s indoor theater- The Blackfriar’s Playhouse- and to see what people lived like in Shakespeare’s time at the Frontier Culture Museum.

Governors School July 2008 317Students are chaperoned by program instructors and residential counselors who live in the residence hall and dine in the cafeteria with the students. All program participants are expected to sign and uphold a student code-of-conduct.

The Governor’s School at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise is a regional program serving school divisions in Wise, Scott, Lee, Dickenson, Buchanan, Bland, Carroll, Giles, Grayson, Pulaski, Russell, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wythe, Floyd, Patrick Counties as well as the cities of Norton, Radford, Bristol, and Galax (21 school divisions in total). Two students in the 10th or 11th grades are selected by their school districts for participation. Students are expected to have demonstrated strong work in performance or technical theater as well as a positive attitude and strong work ethic. The program serves 24 students a summer.

The Governor’s School of The University of Virginia’s College at wise does not discriminate with regard to special populations including students of minority, ethnic composition, disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions, and/or handicapping conditions. The program is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education with Wise County Schools as its fiscal agent.


ImaginePierrotIf you have a media player that will play an .wmv file (windows media player should work) you can download a slide-show outlining more specifics and pictures from the program by clicking on the image of the traditional clown Pierot on the left.

You can also download a PDF presentation of Governor’s School.

If you have any questions, contact Michael McNulty, Program Director at
276.328.0226 or


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