Theater, Music, and Dance

A group of students acting in a scene on stage
Two students acting on a dark stage
Three students working around a grand piano
Students working on music technology in a computer lab
One student filming two other students outside


Learn to move in new ways, building modern dance technique and drawing inspiration from a variety of styles. 

In this modern dance workshop you will study technique, practice improvisation, delve into partnering exercises, and develop your own choreography. This workshop is tailored to each student’s physical and intellectual desires with emphasis on the creative process. Anyone with an appreciation of movement is welcome. In this workshop you will: 

  • Draw inspiration from yoga, ballet, jazz, African dance, and other movement forms.
  • Choreograph your own performance piece.
  • Contribute to a group project that will be performed at the end of the session.


Build technical skills and explore all the components you need to create your own original films. 

Whether you are an experienced filmmaker or completely new to the craft, this workshop will challenge your knowledge of the medium and give you the skills you need to make effective and engaging films. In this workshop you will:

  • Learn to direct, shoot, and edit through hands-on training. 
  • Explore how cinematic techniques significantly impact the viewer’s perception — How does lighting change the mood of a scene? What does a dolly zoom tell you about the shot? 
  • Understand how mise-en-scène, camera movement, lighting, sound design, and editing all converge to tell your stories on screen.

Music and Songwriting

Delve into the artistry of songwriting and composition, building foundation skills in music and technology. 

This workshop will help you expand on your love of playing instruments and singing. We’ll help you build a strong foundation in music theory, structure, and form so that you have the fundamental skill set necessary to write and record interesting and unique songs. You’ll also have plenty of time to write and experiment with your compositions. In this workshop you will:

  • Hone your craft in at least one private lesson each week 
  • Work in our lab equipped with Sibelius, Garageband and Audacity, as well as other specialized music production programs.
  • Perform your work for the entire community. 

Experience in songwriting is not required; students should, however, be able to play a piano or chordal instrument and be fluent in traditional music notation or tablature.

“The workshop was like preparing for working on my own after Putney. Now I have better motivation to continue working.”

– Noa, Summer ’20


Take a deep dive into the process of acting and creating theater, exploring techniques on and off the stage. 

The Theater workshop uses collaborative exercises to create a sense of ensemble and the “phantom note” that develops when artists truly work together as a unit. We’ll use improvisation exercises and monologues to awaken our creative voices, overcome inhibitions, build confidence, and hone your abilities as a performer. In this workshop you will:

  • Delve into some method acting and work with sense memory to discover the unique emotional palette that makes up our individual identity as actors. 
  • Learn about the technical aspects of theater and gain a basic understanding of lighting, blocking, and direction.
  • Present a final performance of an original work written by you and your peers.

Ready to plan your perfect summer at Putney?

Explore Other Workshops


Visual Arts

Creative Writing