at 3Below Theaters
288 S Second St, San Jose, CA
288 S Second St, San Jose, CA

A Nationally Acclaimed and Award-Winning School of Theatre

In 1990, Guggenheim Entertainment created The California Academy for the Creative Performing Arts and has presented classes for over three decades with the distinction of excellence in education. Now, known simply as The Academy, this award-winning educational program will continue its goals of bringing exceptional theatre education at San Jose Playhouse. 

Aspiring theatre artists—of all ages and levels of experience—study here at The Academy. Students enroll each year to work on the fulfillment of their artistic pursuits. Academy classes are taught by accomplished working theatre professionals with courses typically offered on weekday afternoons and evenings and weekends throughout the year. Plan ahead for upcoming sessions:

Winter Session: January – March

Spring Session: April – June

Summer Session: July – September

Fall Session: October – December

This page has general information pertaining to all education programs.
Please see our Class Schedule for specific class information or to enroll.

Classes & Programs

The Academy holds quarterly sessions in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Sessions consist of weekly classes for 10-12 weeks while Programs may run over the course of the full year. Each session we offer classes for youth, students, teens, adults and seniors. 


San Jose Playhouse employs professional theatre artists/educators who have extensive theatre backgrounds and experience working with youth, teens, adults, and seniors. Students will have the opportunity to work with seasoned theatre professionals who are committed to providing a safe, risk-free environment in which they can learn and grow. 


All sessions end with a Showcase, an informal performance for classmates, family, friends, invited guests and other Academy students giving students the opportunity to display what they have learned before an audience.

Location & Parking

All classes take place in San Jose at 3Below Theaters located at 288 S Second Street. The venue offers validation for free parking for up to 3 hours and 30 minutes. 

Class Size

A maximum of 15 students may register for each 10-12 week session. A second educator will be employed for every 15 students. Space is limited and registration is processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Receipt of registration does not guarantee enrollment. An orientation and confirmation package will be emailed upon acceptance.

Class Composition

Part of San Jose Playhouse’s mission is to bring people together from diverse backgrounds in a safe and productive atmosphere. We encourage students of every race, color, religion, ethnic, age, and economic background to enroll.

Closed Classes

All classes are closed. Visitors wishing to remain on property during the class are welcome to wait in the 3Below Theaters lobby where there is free wifi, restrooms, and a cafe. Visitors are welcome and invited to attend the final Showcase but are otherwise not able to attend the classes.

Changes In Schedule

Class and performance schedules and artists/teachers are subject to change.

Postponed Classes

If a class is postponed, it will be rescheduled toward the end of the session.

Class Cancellation

San Jose Playhouse reserves the right to cancel any class if enrollment is insufficient and will refund received payments if the class does not go. Minimum class size is 8.

Tuition & Payment

Full payment is due prior to the first class. Minimally, a deposit of half is due upon enrollment. When you enroll, you’ll see the option of paying in full or paying the deposit only. Payment with a credit card may be made online or by phone at the time of enrollment, or in person with a check made payable to San Jose Playhouse.

Financial Assistance

San Jose Playhouse is happy to offer payment plans as well as need-based, full and partial financial assistance. For full financial assistance, a minimal contribution of time or money is required. The application must be submitted no later than two weeks before each class session. To request an application, please contact us


Registration and tuition fees are non-refundable once enrollment is confirmed.