The Union County Academy for Performing Arts is a four-year, full-time high school dedicated to advancing the learning and well-being of all students. Students who enroll in the Union County Academy for Performing Arts will participate in a comprehensive program designed to prepare the actors, dancers, stage managers, and technicians of tomorrow. The Academy welcomed its inaugural class of 50 students in September 2008. It is a highly specialized and safe learning community promoting honesty, integrity, and citizenship while challenging students through rigorous academics. The program cultivates a life-long thirst for learning through problem solving, meaningful project-based lessons, and interdisciplinary education. Simultaneously, students are immersed in a dynamic and intense Performing Arts program in theatre and dance which fosters strong personal, intellectual, and social development while opening the door for students to pursue a career in the Performing Arts.
Applicants are selected from a diverse population of eighth grade students in each of the twenty school districts of Union County. The competitive selection process includes a two-step mechanism whereby students must qualify academically in order to audition to become a Dance or Theatre Arts major.
The school day is divided into four block-time instructional periods in an alternating A/B day schedule. An articulation agreement is in place with Kean University whereby students will spend their high school senior year at Kean University taking a full freshman college course load which includes a concentration in their Performing Arts major. APA graduation requirements exceed those mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education.
Additionally, guest artist residencies and partnerships with the Performing Arts Community are a staple of the program. Partnerships exist with Kean University, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Pineda Conservatory, George Street Playhouse, and Playwright’s Theatre.