The ECA Theatre Department provides advanced level, pre-professional training under the tutelage of practicing professional theatre artists. The curriculum models that of a college conservatory training program whereby students:

  • study established and emerging methods and techniques in the areas of acting, movement, and voice and speech; 

  • survey notable plays, playwrights, and styles throughout history, honing their skills of analysis and criticism;

  • explore playwriting, stage management, directing, technical theatre and design;

  • develop and create original work including theatre for social change; and

  • engage in workshops led by prominent master teaching artists.    

The Theatre department strives to bring the finest work to the stage, all the while with a committed respect of the artistic process, and a strong emphasis on collaboration and ensemble work. As a result, students acquire knowledge and develop communication skills that will prepare them for post-secondary and professional careers.  Students’ lives are enriched by the study, performance and appreciation of theatre within a diverse learning environment.


To apply for Admission to the Theatre Department, please visit the Application Process Page
and click the button below to find the requirements for your Theatre Review.

ECA Theatre Review Materials

Theatre Dept Student Handbook 2016-17

Theatre Dept Field Trip Permission Form

Theatre Review Packet

Theatre Dept Course Descriptions 2016-17

Theatre Dept College Recommendation Form

Theatre Faculty Bios

ECA Theatre Dept Summer Packet 2015-16

Photos by Paul Duda


Theatre Dept senior Malenky Welsh won first place in the English Speaker's Union Connecticut Shakespeare Competition on Wednesday, March 1st and senior Willow Giannotti-Garlinghouse won 2nd place.  There were 22 participants in the competition from high schools throughout Connecticut.
Malenky will represent ECA on May 1 at Lincoln Center in the National Shakespeare Competition!
Read the New Haven Register Feature Article about Malenky and Willow's achievement by clicking the following link: 
In the photo below, winners 1-4 from left to right.  First place:  Malenky Welsh - ACES ECA, Second place, Willow Giannotti-Garlinghouse - ACES ECA, Third place:  Elizabeth Bachmann - Convent of the Sacred Heart and 4th place:  Emma Lawton - Greens Farms Academy.


New York City: With a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare on stage at Lincoln Center in New York City, ZOË OLIVER from North Haven, CT, a student of Carolyn Ladd and Ingrid Schaeffer at ACES-ECA, won second place in the 33rd annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition. The Competition took place on May 2, 2016 with 55 semi-finalists from as many ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Zoë previously won the ESU Greenwich Branch competition.

Read the full press release by clicking the following link:

Zoe Oliver wins second place in National Shakespeare Competition

Read about Zoe featured in the North Haven Citizen by clicking the following link:

Zoe Oliver feature article in the North Haven Citizen

Please click the following link to read the
New Haven Register Article about ECA's production of Anon(ymous)!

Educational Center for the Arts merges past with headlines in refugee play ‘Anon(ymous)’

Ingrid Schaeffer, Chair of the Theatre Department at ACES ECA, meets Sir Kenneth Robinson after her presentation on How To Create Ensemble Pieces with High School Students on a Social Issue at the National Magnet School Conference.  

Sir Kenneth Robinson is an English author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies.

Theatre Alum Sophie Dillon published in the NY Times!!

Read her full story, "Modern Love: a Romance that's Extra Zesty" in the NYT Fashion & Style section by clicking the button below:

Modern Love by Sophie Dillon