Who can participate?

We are looking for driven and responsible students who have demonstrated mature and significant achievement in theater—onstage or behind the scenes.   Generally, these students also excel academically, particularly in communication, English and the humanities. 

This program is intense and demanding, both intellectually AND physically!  Students are involved in strenuous activity for significant portions of the day.  Classes and rehearsals generally extend through a 12 hour day 6 days a week during which students are required to remain physically active, intensively at times.  While we welcome and encourage students of diverse physical abilities, physical stamina (regardless of ability) is a requirement of every student in the program. We have worked successfully with a wheel-chair-bound student as well as students with a variety of physical conditions, including heart conditions.  Key to those successes, however, was the general health of the students, their persistent intentions to participate, and their consistent communication with regard to their unique circumstances.

So, lots of energy and a positive attitude are fundamental to a successful candidate for the program.  Students who come without such willingness hinder the morale and progress of the entire program and preclude other students from participating. The ability and intention of a student to respect and contribute to the group endeavor is critical to the success of the program for all.   

As this is a residential program for which students receive college credit, participants are required to remain on campus throughout the entire three weeks of the program.

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise Governor’s School in Theater Arts is sponsored by the division of Gifted Education within the Virginia Department of Education.  As such, the program is designed and intended for students designated as “gifted” within Theater Arts.  Since most school districts do not define or designate gifted criteria for theater, school districts may simply select students who have “demonstrated mature and significant achievement/s” within Theater Arts, onstage or backstage.