Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre? 
The Columbia Gorge School of Theatre is an actor training program for youth of all ages who love theatre. We are dedicated to the education of young theatrical performers and to giving them an adventurous summer to enrich their pre-college experience. We believe that a rigorous theatre training program helps students gain a sense of community, improves their communication skills , and raises their self-esteem. CGST offers a well-rounded experience to challenge and encourage growth in all students artistically and personally. Throughout the summer students are trained in various disciplines of theatre arts. Students also perform in a show and enjoy all the terrific activities that Lewis & Clark College has to offer. 
Most importantly, CGST is an emotionally safe oasis of love, support, and theatre! 

Where are you located? 
Lewis & Clark College in SW Portland, Oregon
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd, Portland, OR 97219

What address should we use?
You can enroll for camp online, or mail your application to:
Columbia Gorge School of Theatre (winter address)
9215 NE 316th Street
La Center, WA 98629 USA

All enrollment info will be mailed to the La Center address even while camp is in session.

During camp, students can receive mail at:

Lewis & Clark College

Conference & Events Office
c/o Columbia Gorge School of Theatre, Your Name
MSC 105

0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd
Portland, OR 97219

What are your facilities? 
At Lewis & Clark College we will be staying in newer dorm rooms, built in 1998 with modern amenities, including an elevator. It's a smaller campus so less distance between the classrooms, dorm, theatre, and cafeteria. And there is air conditioning in the classrooms and the cafeteria!

What classes do you offer? 
CGST offers a variety of theatre classes to challenge and inspire. Each Session offers different classes. Click here for information on the different classes offered. 

Is there an opportunity to perform? 
Everyone gets to be in a show! Each session offers a different performance opportunity. We feel that theatre students learn by doing, and that they grow by being involved in a stage performance. Students get to give feedback on what type of a production they'd like to be a part of (musical, comedy, drama, etc), but not everybody gets their first choice. CGST students are expected to accept their roles professionally and gleefully.

What kind of summer activities do you offer? 
CGST offers many chances for recreation during free time. The weekends are the perfect time to relax and engage in various activities after a week of rehearsal and classes. Throughout the summer, the camp counselors work to create activities to keep the weekends eventful. These activities may include: volleyball, soccer, dances, movie nights, jewelry making, hiking the campus, scavenger hunts, and field trips. Overall, it's going to be an exciting summer filled with great times! 

What are the dates? What what is a typical day's schedule? 
Click here to find out more about the schedule. 

When are the applications due?
Since CGST is filled on a first come basis, we urge you to enroll as soon as possible. Some sessions fill up early. If you enroll early, you can save a lot of money!

Do you have to audition to attend?
No. The only requirement to attend is that you love theatre! Some students have a lot of experience, and some have almost no experience. Our curriculum challenges and inspires students of all levels. Since there is so much competition in theatre, we strive to create a safe environment for freedom of expression and risk-taking. Your enthusiasm and willingness to learn are the keys to success at CGST.

How large is the CGST program?
We enroll up to 60 campers at a time. We are committed to keeping the class sizes small, and average 16 campers per class. CGST is not a large camp where students get lost in the shuffle. We are a small, professional theatre training program dedicated to individual growth and instruction. Enrollment is on a first come basis, so remember to enroll early!

Is there a discount if we enroll with a friend?
Yes. If you enroll with a friend, you'll both receive a one-time $50 discount.

How old do you have to be to attend CGST?
CGST is open to campers ages 8-18. 
Click here for information on the programs available for each age.

How much does CGST cost?
See the application for the costs of camp. Tuition includes 3 meals a day, snacks, classes, rehearsal, housing, production of shows, a water bottle, a show video, activities, and some field trips. The only additional costs are items you purchase on the campus, or on any field trips. Click here for the current enrollment sheet, which lists the price of each session.

Do you offer scholarships?
CGST offers a limited number of partial need-based scholarships. This is for people who want to attend CGST, but cannot afford to attend. These are only partial scholarships. You will need to fill out a scholarship form, and write a short essay explaining why you think we should grant a scholarship to you. Click here for a scholarship form.

How big is the staff? 
Our permanent staff is Executive Director Jan James and Artistic Director Jesse Merz. We also have Camp Directors, a Musical Director, a Dance Director, a Body and Voice Instructor, Camp Counselors, Interns, and CITs. Our student to staff ratio is 1:3. All instructors have teaching experience, a degree in their expertise, and/or professional credits. 
Click here to read the staff biographies. 

Where does the staff come from?
Our staff comes from all over the USA. Many of our staff members are former campers that return to work for us. Many of our staff members return year after year to enjoy theatre at CGST!

What kind of food is available?
Three meals a day are provided for campers, along with snacks. We accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free and people with special dietary needs.

What supplies do I have to bring?
Once you enroll, a supply list will be mailed to you in May. For an idea of what is required, click here.

Am I required to have health insurance? 
All campers are required to carry health insurance and must furnish the insurance info to us.

Do you accept credit cards? 
Yes, we accept Visa and MasterCard, or you can enroll online.

What kind of rules does CGST have?
We want camp to be fun for everyone, and to run as smoothly as possible. Therefore, we have installed some important guidelines for everyone to follow.
We expect all CGST Company members to be supportive of their fellow Company members at all times. Smoking, drinking alcohol, the use of drugs, romantic contact, sneaking out after lights out, and other unacceptable behavior are all strictly prohibited. You are required to sign a statement that you will abstain from such behaviors before you're accepted into the program. If you fail to follow these rules, we will contact your parents, and you will be expelled immediately with no refund. Failure to follow all reasonable directions of any staff member is also grounds for dismissal. At CGST, we believe in a cooperative spirit. Therefore, all students will be required to work together and do some light chores such as sweeping and cleaning throughout the summer. These will be on a rotating basis, and never take up too much time. They can even be fun! :-) 

What do I do now? 
If you already have an application, fill it out today! You can also enroll online. If you have any enrollment questions, you can contact Jan James, Executive Director, at 503-367-2538, or BlueMoon91@aol.comClick here to apply!

CGST IS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. All that's missing is you! If you would like a brochure and an application, email Jan at and she'll mail one to you.