Class Clowns are set to conquer campus high schoolers learn to “make ‘em laugh” in theatre arts’ summer camp

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Photo by Nathan Jones

The Theater Arts Department at California State University, Long Beach, announces the inaugural session of Summer Comedy Academy (SCA), an intensive, two-week long series of classes aimed at bringing out the comedian in local high school students. Students will have an opportunity to take classes in Stand Up, Improvisation, Clowning, Mime, Sketch Comedy and Comic Variety.

Academy Director, Jerry Prell, a long time performing artist and arts educator explains: “Training in the Comedy Arts builds confidence, spontaneity and communication skills…and, it is great fun.” The Academy’s faculty of professional comedians and teachers have designed a curriculum to encourage each student to find their own comedic voice. “Everyone is different and everyone finds different things funny,” adds Stand Up and Improv coach Lucy Craig. “SCA works with each teen comic to hone their individual talents.”

SCA will offer two sessions open to high-school-age students. Tuition will include full-time classes, practices and rehearsals, culminating in a Comedy Showcase on the main stage of the Studio Theatre at CSULB. There will also be an “After Academy” offered daily during each session, which will ground students in theatre and performance basics, like Scene Study and The Art of the Monologue.

Jerry Prell has been working as an actor, teacher, and director for over thirty years. He was Dean of the Musical Theater at the Hartford Conservatory, and the founder and former Artistic Director of New England Actors’/Academy of Theatre (NEAT).He has worked as actor in television, feature films and on stage in New York, Los Angeles, regionally and in Europe. Jerry is a recipient of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Arts Award and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Distinguish Advocate for the Arts Award.

Summer Comedy Academy will have two sessions, July 11th – July 22nd, and July 25th – August 5th. Each session will meet from 9am – 3pm, Monday – Friday. Students may register for one or both sessions. “After Academy” will be offered Monday – Friday during both sessions from 3-5pm. Classes will take place in the Theatre Arts Department on the CSULB South Campus, accessible via West Campus Drive. Fees are $425 per student, per two-week session and $75 per student for the “After Academy”. Discounts are offered for siblings and students who wish to enroll in both sessions. For registration and information, please contact Jerry Prell at or visit

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