National Theater Institute Semester (NTI)
Fall '13 Semester: Sept. 8 – Dec. 15 | Spring '14 Semester: Jan. 26 – May 4
NTI Semester, a 14-week study away program is offered twice a year, in the fall and spring, at the O’Neill’s Waterford, CT campus. Classes are held seven days a week from 9am to 10pm, with a 7:30am warm-up six days a week.
This rigorous approach to theater training exposes students to a broad range of styles and techniques, with coursework rooted in five primary disciplines: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Design, and Movement & Voice.
“I experienced things and grew in ways I never expected. It’s really plain and simple...without the 14 weeks I spent at NTI, there’s no way I would be an actor. None.”
– John Krasinski, NTI Fall ‘01
“The Office” & Promised Land
ACTING (300) The National Theater Institute is not imprisoned in any one method; it embraces those appropriate to the individual text. Emphasis on the art and craft of acting designed to enable the students to free the imagination and enhance their versatility. Classes include scene study, improvisation, audition preparation, and styles. Classes concentrate on strengthening the actor’s intelligence, imagination, and physical connection. Students will work with text from Shakespeare to Robert O’Hara; Sophie Treadwell to Sarah Kane; and Chekhov to Charles L. Mee. Guest artists teach specific workshops in auditioning, ensemble, and devised theater. Past guest artists include The Debate Society and co-founder of The NeoFuturists, Greg Allen.
DIRECTING (201) All students direct scenes and short performance pieces during the semester. Although the emphasis is on directing scenes from classic and contemporary plays during the theater labs, students also direct found texts, devised pieces, and choreographic scores. NTI is a laboratory– students and their fellow ensemble members create a world that they may not be able to inhabit in any other class, space, or place.
DESIGN (210) Celebrating the power of visual theater through exploration of a classical and a contemporary play, students are encouraged to explore individual perceptions and interpretations of text in physical form and are challenged to find clear ways to communicate visually.
MOVEMENT AND VOICE (310) Classes in both vocal technique and production along with dance and movement techniques for the actor. Movement classes include: Tai Chi, Droznin Russian movement, Biomechanics, yoga, dance, and stage combat. Voice training covers Linklater method, dialect work, and singing.
PLAYWRITING (202) Designed to assist aspiring writers in their development through a great variety of projects reflecting the range of contemporary theater. After a series of introductory exercises, students concentrate on writing a 30-minute play with the course culminating in Playwrights Week, a week-long presentation of the student plays.
Connecticut College is the college of record for all five programs of the Eugene O′Neill Theater Center’s National Theater Institute. One semester of academic credit (20 credit hours or 5 course credits) is awarded to undergraduates who successfully complete the program. At the end of the NTI semester, final grades are reported to Connecticut College where they are recorded by official transcript and forwarded to the student’s college or university registrar upon request.
Connecticut College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Visit these two links for more information regarding NTI’s relationship with Connecticut College:
During any one semester students train with as many as 20 core faculty members and guest artists, all of whom work professionally in New York, Los Angeles, and other major theater centers around the world. Due to professional obligations, faculty may vary each semester.
Kathleen Baum: Biomechanics
A professional actress and teacher at Syracuse University. Studied with Gennadi Bogdanov, one of Russia’s leading inheritors of the legacy of Meyerhold’s Biomechanics.
Adam Bock: Playwrights Week
Award-winning published playwright and teacher. In NYC: The Receptionist at Manhattan Theatre Club and The Drunken City at Playwrights Horizons. Resident playwright at Encores Theater in NYC. Member of the MCC Playwrights’ Coalition and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. NTI Alum.
Per Brahe: Mask
World-renowned mask teacher and master teacher at Michael Chekhov technique. Workshops at the Stella Adler Academy, the International Michael Chekhov Conference and the Actors Center. Faculty member at the Yale School of Drama and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Elaine Bromka: Acting with the Camera
Extensive film, TV, Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater work. The mom in Uncle Buck, Emmy award winner for Catch a Rainbow. NTI Alum.
Michael Cadman: Visiting Associate Artistic Director
A Graduate of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and before that a leading member of Britain’s National Youth Theatre, Michael Cadman has enjoyed a long career in British theater, television and film. After five years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he began teaching at NTI in 1994 and was NTI’s Artistic Director from 2006-2008.
David Chandler: Tai Chi and Stage Combat
Teaching credits include: Ensemble Studio Theater, INTAR Theater, Omega Institute and Connecticut College. Fight Choreographer for Yale Shakespeare Club and Wellesley Shakespeare Club. Director, Eagle’s Quest Tai Chi Center.
Peg Denithorne: Acting/Directing
Director and teacher for over 20 years. Ensemble Studio Theatre, Circle Rep LAB, Juilliard in NYC; Theater J, Rep Stage in DC. Has taught in MFA Acting/Directing programs at Rutgers, Catholic University and Johns Hopkins. Artistic Director: New York State Summer School of the Arts.
Donna Dinovelli: Playwriting
Writer for musical theater, stage and radio. MTC Fellow, Richard Rogers Award finalist. Faculty, Graduate Music Theater Writing at Tisch. Work performed at: New York City Opera, Joseph Papp Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theater and broadcast by the BBC.
Colman Domingo: Acting & Auditioning
Broadway: Passing Strange (the musical), Chicago and The Scottsboro Boys. Off-Broadway credits: The Public Theater, MCC, NYSF and the Summer Play Festival. Regional credits: A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, The Guthrie, Huntington and San Jose Rep.
Timothy Douglas: Directing
Artistic Director, Remy Bumpo; former Associate Artistic Director Actors Theater of Louisville; 30 years experience as an actor, director, and educator. Selected productions at ACT, Berkley Rep, Berkshire Theater Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Woolley Mammoth, Denver Center, and Shakespeare & Company. As a Linklater-designated voice instructor, he served on the faculties of Emerson College, American Conservatory Theater, National Theatre Conservatory, University of Southern California, and more. Graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
Wendy C. Goldberg: Directing
Artistic Director of the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference. Directing credits: Actors Theater of Louisville, Denver Center, Florida Stage, Mark Taper Forum, New Dramatists, Playwrights Horizons, and Woolly Mammoth.
Marcus Gardley: Advanced Playwriting
Award winning poet and playwright. 2008 Helen Merrill Award, SF Bay Area’s Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, NEA/TCG Playwriting Participant Residency, and many others. Commissions: New York State Council on the Arts, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Shotgun Players, South Coast Repertory and Yale Repertory Theatre. MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and is a member of New Dramatists and the Lark Play Development Center.
Elizabeth Hess: Acting
Broadway: M. Butterfly. Off-Broadway and regional performances at Manhattan Theatre Club, Samuel Beckett Theater, UBU Rep, Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Denver Center, McCarter, Cleveland Playhouse. Television: Law & Order; Guiding Light; All My Children; Another World; and five seasons starring on Clarissa Explains It All. Film: Soldier’s Heart; A Bedtime Story; Italian Lessons and Buddy & Grace. Graduate of LAMDA, faculty of NYU Tisch and Fordham University theater programs.
Rachel Jett: Droznin Russian Movement
Former member. Stanislavsky Theatre Studio, Washington, DC. Trained at the Schukin College of Theater Arts, Vakhtangov Theatre, Russia. Movement protégé to Andrei Droznin. NTI and MATS Alum.
Gillian Lane-Plescia: Speech and Dialect
Dialect coach for Guthrie, Yale Rep, McCarter, CenterStage, Hartford Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Long Wharf, Seattle Rep among others. Faculty member at Juilliard. Creator of a leading series of self-teaching dialect CDs.
James Luse: Classical Acting & Chekhov Techniqu
As a director,over 3000 readings, workshops and productions including at the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Virgnia Stage Co., Berkshire Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Hilberry Classical Repertory Theatre, and Timberlake Playhouse. Acting and directing faculty at Yale University, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York University, Wayne State University, The Michael Chekhov Acting Studio, Wesleyan University, NY State Education Dept., Hampton University. MFA Acting/Directing Brandeis University.
Brian McManamon: Contemporary Acting
In New York: MCC Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Youngblood, P.S. 122, Target Margin Theater, the BE Company and company member of the Lynx Theater and The Lark Theatre’s Playground. Regional: Hamlet at Burning Coal, American Buffalo and Skylight at The New Repertory Theater, Single Lives at Boston Playwrights’ Theater, The Three Of Cups at the Provincetown Theater Company. Studied at BADA with Mark-Wing Davey and Caroll Churchill , MFA Yale School of Drama.
G. W. Mercier: Scenic Design
Tony Award nominee and two-time Drama Desk nominee. Broadway credits include Juan Darien, A Carnival Mass by Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal, and Ballad of Little Jo. Off-Broadway credits include Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sara Ruhl at Playwrights Horizons.
Elizabeth Rothan: Acting/Voice
New York City acting credits include The Pulse Theater, Cymbeline and Top Girls. Regional credits: Circle Theatre, Theater Three, Dallas Theater Center and Undermain Theater.
Erica Schmidt: Directing
Directing credits include: Shakespeare at The Public Theater; new works at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Play Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Stage and Film; Paper Mill Playhouse, Bard SummerScape. NTI Alum.
Leigh Silverman: Directing
Broadway: Lisa Kron’s Well; West End: Wit; Recent NY Credits include Coraline (MCC/True Love),From Up Here (Manhattan Theatre Club, Drama Desk Nomination), Creature (New Georges/P73),Yellow Face (Center Theater Group/The Public Theater), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (Hourglass Group/37 Arts), Hunting and Gathering (Primary Stages), Recent regional: Lisa Kron's In The Wake (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and Of Equal Measure (CTG). Upcoming: David Greenspan's,Go Back To Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons) and David Henry Hwang’s, Chinglish(Goodman Theatre).
Rebecca B. Taichman: Directing
Off-Broadway: Theresa Rebeck’s The Scene with Tony Shalhoub. Directing credits at Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, The Shakespeare Theatre, The Huntington, OBIE winner, Menopausal Gentleman. Production work with Anna Deveare Smith. Drama League Fellow, NTI Alum.
Eric Ting: Directing
Associate Artistic Director, Long Wharf Theatre. Winner, Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Director, Underneath the Lintel (Long Wharf). Work with American Repertory Theater, Hartford Stage, Opera Boston. Recipient, 2004-2006 TCG New Generations Future Leaders Fellowship.
Anne Tofflemire: Singing
Backstage Bistro award winning Cabaret and stage performer, with notable performances from DC to San Francisco and London’s West End.
Marya Ursin: Yoga and Mask Making
Artistic Director, writer, performer: Mystic Paper Beasts; Director, the Dragon’s Egg. Currently a dancer in the NYC based company SITU. Trained and taught at Merce Cunningham Studio; L’Ecole de Mime Marceau, Paris. Licensed massage therapist and yoga instructor.
Preston Whiteway: Producing for Theater
Serves as the Executive Director of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, overseeing its programs and directing strategic planning and fundraising efforts. He received a BA in Economics from Duke University.
Derron M. Wood: Directing
Executive Artistic Director, Flock Theatre; Associate Artist, National Puppetry Conference. Twenty years directing, New England region and Off-Broadway. Recipient, Connecticut Master Teaching Artist. Studied under Morris Carnovsky. NTI Alum.
As NTI is interested in diverse international educational and theatrical experiences, two weeks of the semester are spent studying abroad. While abroad, students study intensively with master teachers and see a wide range of theater as well as visit museums and cultural sites.
The fall ensemble trains with Complicite, one of Europe’s most important theater companies whose award-winning productions of classics and group-devised pieces tour around the world. The Independent called Complicite “the greatest creator in theatre in this country.” Led by Artistic Director Simon McBurney, Complicite’s performances have ranged from entirely group-devised work to theatrical adaptations and revivals of classic texts. These workshops explore familiar Complicite themes: the use of masks, the manipulation of objects, the ensemble, improvisation, and games.
The spring ensemble trains at one of Russia’s most elite schools, the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. Located in the very center of the city, the Academy was established in 1779 and in the oldest and largest theater arts school in Russia. The Academy’s principal approach is based on the Stanislavsky System, especially his later theater techniques which are not widespread in the States. The faculty of working professionals trains our students in acting, movement, and voice.
Extremely intensive and creatively challenging, this week-long project is dedicated to the development, reading, and staging of up to 15 new 30-minute plays created by students during the NTI semester.
Each semester ends with an ensemble project which allows students to participate in all facets of the production, including acting, directing, writing, design, and choreography. The project is selected specifically for each class. This work-in-progress has two public performances.
SPRING 2014 SEMESTER
Tuition: $16,200 (includes $900 non-refundable reservation deposit)
Room & Board: $7,500 (meals served 7 days a week)
Total Comprehensive Fee: $23,700
In addition to the Comprehensive Fee all students must remit a $100 key/security deposit prior to their arrival at the O'Neill Center, along with all international visa fees. Dates of the program and fees are subject to change.
Admission to NTI is competitive; applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadlines.
Fall Semester: March 20 application deadline
Spring Semester: October 20 application deadline
When selecting students 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. Applicants must demonstrate a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an intensive semester of study at the O'Neill and a determination to complete the chosen program in a conscientious manner. Special attention is paid to the required letters of evaluation and to the interview process. All applicants are welcome, including post-graduates.
Finalists for each program will be notified by phone and/or email to schedule an interview. It is ideal if the interview is conducted in person, however if that is not possible a Skype interview can be scheduled. Directions to NTI.
Completed Application Packages Should Include:
- Signed and dated NTI Application Form (more information)
- 8x10 headshot and a theater resume (the headshot can be an enlarged photo, it does not have to be a professional headshot if you don’t have one yet
- Official college transcript(s). These may be included in your application package or sent directly to us by your college(s) to the National Theater Institute
- An essay describing in approximately 500 words your aspirations in theater, and how you believe a semester at the National Theater Institute can help you fulfill them.
- Two (2) letters of evaluation from teachers or qualified professionals familiar with your theater work. These may be included in your application package or sent directly to us by the evaluator. Please use the Evaluator Form PDF (more information)
- $40.00 USD application fee, payable by check or money order only. Please make checks payable to "Eugene O'Neill Theater Center."
Mail Application and Materials to: NATIONAL THEATER INSTITUTE Eugene O'Neill Theater Center 305 Great Neck Road Waterford, CT 06385
When all application materials are received, you will be notified by phone and/or e-mail that your file is complete.
Details Regarding the NTI Application Form (download NTI Application Form, PDF) NTI applicants should apply using the Application Form for National Theater Institute Programs. Be sure to mark the appropriate sections for the National Theater Institute Semester. The forms can be printed out before being filled out, signed, and mailed. All information included on this website regarding applying to the National Theater Institute Semester is included on the form for your convenience. Adobe Reader® 7.0 is required. If you have questions or difficulty using these forms, please feel free to call or e-mail the National Theater Institute offices at (860) 443-7139 or email@example.com.
Details Regarding the Evaluator Form (download Evaluator Form, PDF, 128k) It is required that each applicant submit two letters of evaluation from teachers or qualified professionals familiar with the applicant's theater work. Each letter should be completed using theEvaluator Form PDF. This evaluator form may be included with the application package, mailed directly to us by the evaluator.
Please review the following policies and related information before you complete your application:
Requirements for Admission
When selecting students 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. Applicants must demonstrate a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an intensive semester of study at the O'Neill or in Moscow, and a determination to complete the chosen program in a conscientious manner. Special attention is paid to the required letters of evaluation. All applicants are welcome, including post graduates. Finalists for each program will be notified by phone and/or email to schedule an interview.
Once you have received notification of acceptance into an NTI program, a non refundable deposit of $900.00 must be paid within 14 days or your position will not be held. This deposit is deductible from your total tuition charge. Payment of the remainder of your comprehensive fee will be arranged upon acceptance.
Check with your school's financial aid office to determine whether your existing loans, grants and scholarships can be applied to the National Theater Institute programs. In many instances they can be transferred. NTI has a limited and need based scholarship program. Please telephone the NTI office at 860-443-7139 if you have financial aid questions.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center assumes no medical expenses for its students. All students must have medical insurance coverage either through their parents, their personal insurance, or from their college or university.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body persons of diverse backgrounds and, pursuant to this policy, no applicant for admission or applicant for employment is discriminated against because of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, national or ethnic origin.
QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR APPLICATION? Please contact the NTI Administrative Assistant – (860) 443-5378 x226 or firstname.lastname@example.org – with any questions regarding your application.
NOTE: Early applications are encouraged, and will result in early notification.