Due to COVID-19 our staff is tele-working. For questions, email academy@gmu.edu. All private lessons and classes are now online.

Summer Advanced Actors Showcase

Acting students performing in a summer play

Summer 2021 registration will be open in March!



This very unique and highly intensive program gives actors the experience of developing complex characters and performing a full-length production, while receiving top-level training. Each actor will receive a role and will work as an ensemble to rehearse and record a full-length performance at the end of the week, to be shared digitally with family and friends after the program is complete. This program is always focused on the ensemble, meaning each actor is given time to shine on the virtual stage.

On the first Monday we meet, the group of actors audition for roles in a play that they’ve never read. By the end of the day, they have begun developing characters and learning the blocking for the play. This continues through mid-week, along with the focus on specialty skills that may be needed in the production (e.g. stage combat, choreography, etc.) By Thursday, the actors are running the show off-book and memorizing their material. By Friday, the ensemble is performing on stage, in a recorded performance with simple technical elements (lights, basic set, props, costumes, and sound.) A digital copy of the performance will be shared with the actors after the program is complete. This is a very advanced and exciting challenge for any actor.

Due to safety restrictions, space is extremely limited in each age group. Registering early is recommended.


Ages:  12 – 18
Dates:  July 26 – 30, 2021
Times:  9:00 am – 3:00 pm (M-F)
Tuition:  $425
Discounts:  Register by May 15 for $10 off
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, deLaski Performing Arts Building/Music Theater Building
*After Care not available for Summer 2021

Coming soon!

Register Now





Mary Lechter
AFYP Director:  Mary Lechter
Faculty at Mason’s School of Theater
Read about Ms. Lechter

A graduate of University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Speech Communications, Mary has been working professionally as an actor in the metropolitan Washington-area, Los Angeles, and New York since 1985. She has worked at Washington area theaters including Theater of the First Amendment, Arena Stage, Studio Theatre, and Source Theatre. Television, radio and film credits include ABC’s All My Children, Barry Levinson’s Avalon, Diesel Films’ Dracula’s Mother, the MGM/Lionsgate thriller Hit and Run, and several spots for NPR’s Morning Edition.

Mary founded AFYP in 1997, and has seen the company grow from being its only teacher with a sporadic program schedule in rented spaces to where it is today: a year-round program with a full staff, working in conjunction with Potomac Arts Academy, for which she is Associate Director.

She is a longtime member of Mason’s School of Theater faculty in the areas of Performance and Theater Education. She was named a 2013 “Teacher of Distinction” and was a 2014 TEDxGeorgeMasonU speaker (“Magic Moments: the Transformative Power of  Theater“). She previously taught at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her professional memberships include The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actor’s Equity Association, and the Educational Theatre Association.

Mary’s directing credits include An Experiment with an Air Pump and Shakespeare in Hollywood (George Mason University); Still Beating Hearts and A Godless Man (Theater of the First Amendment First Light Festival); Happy Holidays, Charlie Brown, 101 Dalmatians, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play; Willy Wonka, Jr.; Peter Pan, Jr.; A Seussified Christmas Carol; Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (AFYP).




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