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

Summer Theatre Classes for Youth & Teens

It’s Not Just a “Theater Camp.” It’s a Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory for Aspiring Theatre Professionals.

San Jose Playhouse’s Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory is more than just a theatre camp. Our program offers a conservatory setting staffed with trained, experienced, professional educators who make their living as theatre artists. We offer an intense – but fun! – four-week experience to build skills in acting, music, dance, improvisation, and other areas all having to do with musical theatre. 


June 13 through July 8, 2022
9:00am to 3:00pm
Mondays through Fridays

(no class on July 4)


3Below Theaters & Cafe, located at 288 S 2nd St (corner of 2nd St and San Carlos in downtown San Jose.)  


Our summer conservatory is designed for students with a strong interest in musical theatre entering 3rd through 9th grade in the fall of 2022.


Although the process and training is the highlight of the program, we do culminate in a showcase. This year we will present a collection of songs and scenes all heading down the yellow brick road as performers recreate hits from “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Wiz”, and “Wicked” to showcase what they’ve learned over the four weeks. The showcase performances are at 7pm on Wednesday, July 6 and Thursday, July 7.


Conservatory core classes are split by beginners and Conservatory PLUS. If your student is ready for more in-depth learning and experience, they’ll be able to audition for Conservatory PLUS and take part in classes, workshops, and master classes tailored to their emerging skills.

Daily Schedule

Mondays through Thursdays:

8:45am Arrival and Check-in

9:00am – 9:30am Warm-ups & Morning Fun

9:30am – 12:00pm Core Class Rotation

Students will be grouped by experience and age for a rotation of classes in acting, music, singing, dance, movement, and improvisation

12:00pm – 12:30 Lunch

12:30pm – 2:30pm Rehearsals

During the second half of the day, we’ll be in rehearsal for the showcase.

2:30pm – 3:00pm  Group Activities

To end each day, we’ll regroup as a complete ensemble for group games, activities, movies, and fun



8:45am Arrival and Check-in

9:00am – 9:30am Warm-ups & Morning Fun

9:30am – 12:00pm Electives

Students will be grouped by interest to take part in a variety of electives including make-up design, audition technique, resume/headshot design, clowning, music theory, improvisation, musical theatre history, and more

12:00pm – 12:30 Lunch

12:30pm – 2:00pm Company Rehearsals

2:00pm – 3:00pm  Surprise

To end each week, we’ll surprise the group with a fun activity like a movie musical on the big screen, a theatre game show for prizes, theatre Olympics, and other fun


Core Classes

Here’s where we learn the basics – the ABCs of acting, singing, and dancing. But, don’t be misled – you won’t find students sitting at a desk doing book work for four weeks. Instead, our Acting Studio, Voice Studio, Movement Studio, and Page to Stage curriculum will have students begging for more as they learn from our gifted staff in an entirely innovative and entertaining way. In all of our Core
Classes, students will enjoy the highest caliber of arts training available for young people while inspiring creative thinking, self-confidence, and good communication skills.

Students will be grouped by age for their Core Classes. The songs, lyrics, and text used for these classes will be taken from the themes explored in the final production.

Core Class: Acting Studio

Designed to stimulate imagination and creativity, students will work to increase their ability to respond creatively and spontaneously to challenges of stage performance through improvisation, theatre games, role-playing, character analysis, and the development of self-expression.

Skills acquired: characterization, stage presence,
ensemble-building, flexibility, fluency, and creative problem solving techniques

Core Class: Movement

No matter what area of theatre you want to explore – whether acting, singing, dancing, or all of the above – you need a strong understanding of how your body moves in space, how it relates to those around you, and how to control your body to create a safe space while presenting a strong character. Through animal work, dance through time, creative dramatics, and audition prep we’ll build a strong foundation in using our entire body to create our art.

Skills acquired: placement, rhythm, spatial relationships, and body

Core Class: Improvisation

Every actor’s toolbox should include the skills gained in Improvisation. In this core class you’ll learn improv theory, move on to trust exercises, begin the process of teambuilding, and finally enjoy improv exercises and games.

Skills acquired: creating dialogue, oral interpretation, recognizing themes, developing concepts, and building characters

Core Class: Music & Voice

We have so much to pack into this class to make sure you leave ready to nail your next audition as well as navigate music rehearsals once you are cast. From properly preparing sheet music to make it possible for your accompanist to support you during an audition, to understanding how to read your score, this core class will provide a solid understanding of what’s expect of a musical theatre artist during the audition and rehearsal process. Advanced students will be given audition technique and take their understanding of music theory to the next level.

Skills acquired: relaxation, breathing, performance confidence, basic music theory, and musical theatre history


Students will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of elective classes. Past electives have included stage combat, stage design, make-up, improvisation, dance styles, puppetry, circus arts, and more. The electives will introduce the students to the many elements of theatrical production and the complementary roles of actor, designer, and director.


During week one, students will participate in Auditions for the faculty. We will spend time on Day 1 & 2 to work with students on what to prepare for their audition. Students are welcome to use a song
from their repertoire. Staff will teach material to the students during the first week that can be used for the Audition. It is important for everyone to remember that these auditions are only introductions; everyone in the conservatory is cast and will have a role in the production.

Rehearsals & Production

Placed in groups with students of all ages, students will participate in rehearsals for their final production. Rehearsals will consist of exploring the themes presented in the text, learning the music, the choreography, and the staging for the production. Students will also have opportunities to participate in designing and building the costumes and scenery for the production, and will have the opportunity to better understand how a theatrical production is marketed and funded as they participate in ticket sales and the promotion of their production.

  • Mission

    Our mission is to provide students the opportunity to work hand in hand with fellow students and theatre professionals, while simultaneously building wonderful friendships with other students of varying ages and interests. While the experience does present aspiring performers with a unique acting, singing, and dance challenge, the point of the program is not to produce a musical. Instead, it is through the medium of theatre that students experience personal growth, learning and fun.

    Guggenheim Entertainment developed this program to ensure students experience theatre dreams, dedication and discipline in a supportive professional atmosphere. However, just as important in our minds is the result that, regardless of acting ability, our students learn to draw
    on their own resources, becoming “stars” in all their endeavors – including those beyond the stage.

  • About

    The team that developed this program have been offering educational theatre programming in the Bay Area since 1986. Presented by Guggenheim Entertainment, the Conservatory Staff provides students with over 120 hours of instruction, inspiration, and innovation culminating in a fully mounted musical production. Daily Core Classes focus on building skills and techniques in Basic Acting, Movement, Voice, Theatre History, Script Analysis, and Improvisation. Afternoons are dedicated to rehearsals and technical aspects of mounting a live musical. The program promotes confidence and creative thinking and provides professional instruction in Musical Theatre History, Theory, and Ideology. And just when you thought we couldn’t get anything else into four weeks of learning and fun, students will also enjoy special guest artists, engaging electives, and special
    surprise activities on the final two days.

  • Costume & Make-up

    Each student will be asked to provide certain basic elements of their costumes such as pants, a skirt, or a shirt. All specialty and character elements will be provided by the producers. In addition, students will
    be asked to provide their own tights, socks, undergarments, and/or shoes.

    Students will wear basic stage makeup, provided by the student (a handout of what to put in one’s make-up kit will be provided as part of the Conservatory). If more elaborate make-up is determined necessary as part of the theatrical design, a makeup and hair design workshop will be conducted as we draw nearer to production week.

  • Tickets

    Every cast member is encouraged to sell a minimum of 10 tickets. Seating is reserved. Each family will be issued two complimentary tickets to one of the two performances within the first six rows. All other ticket sales will be sold and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved Seating will be $15 per person. All guests entering the theatre must have a ticket. We will connect with all parents to issue tickets and explain reserved ticket procedures as we draw nearer to performance time.

  • Volunteering

    We welcome your participation in this process and are always pleased to involve parents and siblings as we create the final product of  the conservatory. If you are interested in participating in production work or serving as an usher, please let us know. Other volunteer positions could include box office, publicity, and more. We will certainly appreciate any help we can get for “strike.” Strike (the dismantling of the set) will take place immediately after the final performance on Thursday night. Just let us know of your interests.

Meet The Staff

Conservatory Director

Scott Evan Guggenheim has been teaching for over three decades guiding young artists to become stars in all their endeavors, including those beyond the stage. He has been honored by the American Theatre Wing (giver of the coveted Tony Award) with the Award for Excellence in Theatre Education as well as by the Helen Diller Foundation for his pursuits in theatre education. 

Movement Specialist

Shannon Guggenheim has been teaching and choreographing professionally since the age of 15. She’s an award-winning choreographer for her work on the stage as well as for contestants in dance and cheerleading competitions. Her students have gone on to become leaders in their fields thanks to her tutelage and mentorship. 

Music Specialist

Stephen Guggenheim is an accomplished singer, having performed around the world in opera and musical theatre. When home in California, he operates a voice studio and serves as resident musical director for GE/3Below. His extensive experience and vast knowledge of musical theatre, opera, music theory, technique, and performance make him the ideal addition to the team for students ready for comprehensive voice and music study.

More staff announcements coming soon

  • Tuition

    Our Summer Musical Theater Conservatory including 120 Hours of Instruction plus two live performances for $1145.00.

    Save $150 when you registered and pay in full by 4/30; total due is $995

    Save an additional $50 when enrolling a sibling.

    $155 deposit due at the time of enrollment. (At check-out, choose option 1 OR 2, not both)

  • Scholarships

    A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Please complete our contact form request an application.

  • Cancelation Policy

    If for any reason enrollment must be canceled or changed, San Jose Playhouse must be advised in writing.

    In accepting an application, San Jose Playhouse reserves a space for each student and turns away those with an interest for whom there is no more space. Refunds will be provided before May 15, 2022 less a $55 administrative fee. After May 15, 2022, no refunds will be made for absences or withdrawals for any reason.

    San Jose Playhouse shall be made aware of any special needs or limitations of a student. San Jose Playhouse reserves the right to cancel any enrollment or to dismiss a student whose conduct or behavior is deemed unsatisfactory to the best interests of the program. In this case, no refunds will be made.

    San Jose Playhouse reserves the right to cancel any program due to insufficient enrollment.