20 credit hours or 5 course credits

Fall '14 Semester: Sep. 7 - Dec. 14 | Spring '15 Semester: Jan. 25 - May 3

Find your voice.

An unparalleled program, the National Music Theater Institute semester (NMTI) is for driven students seeking a launching pad into the music theater profession through broad-based, ensemble training.

The NMTI experience — a boot-camp, conservatory-like training regimen, a faculty of professional artists, and two weeks training in New York City through a singular series of NMTI workshops and master classes — is one that students cannot find at liberal arts colleges. It is a springboard for those pursuing a career in music theater to hone their craft, find their voice, and meet with like-minded collaborators.

Risk. Fail. Risk Again.  

NMTI is a 14-week program offered twice a year with classes seven days a week from 7:30am until 10pm. Students of NMTI leave both inspired to and able to participate in the creation of all aspects of a musical. NMTI is unique; there is no other semester-long, undergraduate training program in America that offers this intensive immersion in all aspects of music theater.

In addition to daily classes and workshops, students stage a variety of performances starting with short scenes each week and culminating with an evening-length, work-in-progress production open to the public. The students also have a two-week residency in New York City to see theater and train with professionals in a singular series of NMTI workshops and master classes.

ACTING FOR MUSIC THEATER (NMTI-301) Students are given specialized actor training in a wide variety of scene work and music theater styles by core instructors and visiting artists. Classes concentrate on improving the student’s craft as an actor and on strengthening their intelligence and imagination as an artist. In-depth scene study covers a variety of musicals from Oklahoma! to Avenue Q.

SINGING/VOICE (NMTI-311) Students train in singing as well as vocal technique, production, and care. In addition to singing classes–using songs from classic and contemporary American musicals, songbooks, and pop music– there are speech and voice classes in a variety of techniques and styles (Linklater, Fitzmaurice Voicework, etc.).

DIRECTING FOR MUSIC THEATER (NMTI-202) Working on classic and contemporary musicals, students learn not only the basic skills of directing through table work and practical exercises, they also practice being a confident artistic leader that is able to pull together the complicated threads of a musical collaboration into a unified artistic vision.

WRITING THE MUSICAL (NMTI-203) Through a variety of assignments reflecting the range of contemporary musicals, students develop skills as lyricists, book-writers, and composers. The course culminates in Music Theater Week, dedicated to the development, reading, and staging new 30-minute musicals created by students during the NMTI semester. Music Theater History is a weekly lecture series offered within the writing curriculum.

DANCE/MOVEMENT (NMTI-312) Students train in a variety of dance and movement techniques for the musical actor, including: modern, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, street dance, tai chi, yoga, and acrobatics. Guest artists teach specific workshops in choreography and new dance forms, looking at the movement languages being employed and invented for the modern musical. 

A core element of NMTI is the two-week residency in the epicenter of American music theater, New York City. Students train with prominent artists in a series of workshops and master classes in Acting, Dance, Singing, Design, and Producing. In the city, NMTI visit designers and dancers in their studios and have conversations with orchestrators, writers, and performers. The students attend a wide variety of performances across the city’s artistic landscape—from Broadway to Downtown to Brooklyn. Q&A opportunities are scheduled with some of the brightest creative luminaries in New York. As well as being introduced to the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library, NMTI students also spend a day in a Broadway rehearsal hall, tour the inner workings of a Broadway theater, have a workshop with casting agents, and take part in a symposium on making a creative life in the city. 

Thank you for your interest in applying to the National Theater Institute! We look forward to reviewing your application and learning about your artistic aspirations, professional goals, and educational background.  Please contact us at nti@theoneill.org or 860-443-5378 x226 as questions arise about the application process.

Dates and Fees
Fall 2014: September 7 to December 14, 2014
Spring 2015: January 25 to May 3, 2015

Tuition: $16,650 (includes $900 non-refundable reservation deposit)
Room & Board: $7,900 (meals served 7 days a week)

Total Comprehensive Fee: $24,550 

Application Deadlines
Early applications are encouraged and may receive early acceptance.  To ensure full consideration, please submit your application by March 20 for fall semesters and October 20 for spring semesters. 

Admission Requirements
Applicants must have a minimum of a high school diploma, GED, or demonstrate the ability to benefit.  The National Theater Institute welcomes applicants undertaking a gap-year (between secondary school and university), undergraduate students, post-graduates, and professionals looking for a broad-based theatrical training intensive.

In our selection process, we look for a proven ability to handle the demands of disciplined theater work and to be a positive and contributing member of an ensemble. Successful applicants demonstrate a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an intensive semester of study as well as a determination to complete the chosen program in a conscientious manner.

Finalists for each program will be notified to schedule an interview.  A Skype interview is available if an on-campus interview is not possible. 

Application Process

NTI uses Submittable to help you manage your application. Please create an account below so that you can track your progress. We know it can often take a little time to polish the essay, decide between semesters, or pick your favorite headshot (though NTI doesn’t require anything fancy--just a photo that looks like you). This application allows you to start your application, save it, and submit it on your time. Should you have any questions please contact us at nti@theoneill.org.

You may also submit by mailing your completed application to:
National Theater Institute
305 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385 


Application Materials
All materials may be submitted as part of your online application using Submittable or mailed to NTI.

  • NTI Online Application (or Hardcopy)
  • Official college transcript(s) (or official secondary school record(s) for gap-year applicants)
  • An essay describing how a specific program at the National Theater Institute can help fulfill your aspirations in theater.
  • A completed Evaluation Form from two teachers or qualified professionals familiar with your theater experience. These can be sent electronically to nti@theoneill.org by your school official and/or evaluators
  • A theater resume
  • Headshot
  • A non-refundable $40 application fee. Checks payable to “Eugene O’Neill Theater Center”

 Twelve-College Exchange Students: Please file a Twelve-College Exchange application (available at your school) with the appropriate administrator prior to submitting your NTI application if you attend Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Wheaton or Williams.