Mission Statement: To improve and enhance the quality of educational theatre in the state of Texas through advanced and accelerated classes in acting, voice and movement, stagecraft, and production concepts.
Tal Lostracco’s Summer Theatre Camp at Baylor University is a 2 week intensive theatre camp for high school students to strengthen their skills relating to theatre, acting, and technical theatre. Students will stay on campus in dorms and will be cast in one of the productions offered. Students who choose the acting route are cast in a model UIL One-Act play by one of the state’s leading directors. They will keep a regimented schedule: morning classes including acting, dance and movement, and voice. Afternoons are geared to technical rehearsals and actual rehearsals of the shows. Students who choose to work with the technical aspects of theatre will work with the design and technical staff in learning various skills related to technical theatre including design and production. The not-for-profit program is guided by a collective of artists and educators that have been a part of the camp since its inception in 2001.
About Tal Lostracco
Tal Lostracco, affectionately known as “Tal,” was a profoundly influential figure in Texas educational theatre. With a laughter that filled rooms and a charismatic personality that was equally immense, he left an indelible mark on students and teachers throughout the state. Born as Tony Angelo Lostracco in Freeport, Texas, on October 3rd, 1958, he embarked on a journey that would make him a celebrated figure in the world of Texas educational theatre.
Tal’s passion for theatre blossomed during his years at Katy High School, where he was nurtured under the guidance of Bo Williamson. He graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown in 1981, having earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Minor in Theatre. His time at Southwestern was enriched by the mentorship of two legendary theatre professors, Angus Springer and Dr. Richard Hossalla. He continued his academic journey, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Theater from Lamar University.
At the time of his untimely passing, Tal held the position of the head of the theater department at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens. Before this role, he had a distinguished tenure as the head of the department at Lon Morris College. Additionally, he dedicated fifteen years of his life to teaching in high schools and junior highs, including Canadian HS, Dumas HS, Seminole HS, and Rosenberg BF Terry HS. His exceptional productions earned him nine UIL One-Act Play State Meet appearances in various conferences, including AA, AAA, and AAAAA. Notably, while teaching at Canadian High School in the Panhandle, he clinched the state championship in 1987 with the production of “What I Did Last Summer” by A.R. Gurney. He returned to the state meet on eight more occasions, achieving first runner-up four times and second runner-up once. At the collegiate level, his production of “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek” received a nomination to the regional festival of ACTF.
Tal Lostracco’s legacy extended far beyond his impressive theatrical accomplishments. He was widely recognized for his dedication to sharing his love for acting and theatre with countless students and educators across Texas. He conducted numerous workshops and clinics in preparation for the UIL One-Act Play contest and served as an adjudicator for the UIL OAP contest. His contributions culminated with the prestigious honor of judging the UIL OAP State meet contest in 2005, shortly before his passing.
In a bid to provide training to students and teachers statewide, Tal created a summer theatre camp at Lon Morris College in 2001. In 2004, the camp relocated to Trinity Valley Community College, where he assumed the role of chair of the theatre department. Following his unexpected passing in 2006, the camp was renamed in his honor. In 2009, it found a new home at Southwestern University and later moved to Baylor University.
Over the years, his summer theatre camp has evolved into one of the foremost summer theatre training programs in Texas. A non-profit endeavor, the program is led by a collective of artists and educators who have been an integral part of the camp since its inception in 2001. Their mission is to elevate the quality of educational theatre in Texas by offering advanced and accelerated classes in acting, voice and movement, stagecraft, and production concepts. Tal Lostracco’s enduring legacy continues to enrich the world of theatre education in Texas, touching the lives of countless students and educators.