The Summer Professional Training Program
- > Summer Professional
- The Acting
- The Intern Company
- The Next Stage
“ALL THINGS ARE READY IF OUR MINDS BE SO” – Henry V
Click the topics below to find out mor about the Summer Professional Training Program.
ABOUT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE
WHERE IS THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE LOCATED?
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is located on the campus of Drew University in scenic Madison, New Jersey (just 30 miles outside of NYC).
WHAT ARE THE OTHER FACILITIES THE THEATRE UTILIZES?
The Outdoor Stage is located on the College of Saint Elizabeth campus in nearby Florham Park. The Theatre’s Support Facility, which houses all administrative offices, production shops, as well as rehearsal and classroom spaces is also conveniently located in Florham Park, less than ten minutes from the performance venues.
IS THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE A COLLEGE OR A PROFESSIONAL THEATRE?
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of the largest professional Shakespeare companies in America. While the performance facilities are located on the campuses of Drew University and the College of Saint Elizabeth, The Shakespeare Theatre is an independent Actors’ Equity regional theatre working under an AEA/LORT Special Agreement. It runs in complete autonomy from the universities.
ABOUT THE INTERNSHIPS & ACTING APPRENTICESHIPS:
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR STUDENTS?
Participants come from across the country and abroad; we’ve had students from as far afield as England, France, Brazil, Canada, and Australia over the years. Most students find out about the program via advisors, peers, or online.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE AGE AND EXPERIENCE LEVEL OF YOUR STUDENTS?
Though the company changes year to year, the average age of participants is typically 21-23. We have had some exceptional younger applicants—students must be at least 18 years of age to apply to the Training Program—and even some Apprentices and Interns in their 30s and 40s. Participants are a mix of college-age and graduate-level students, and the vast majority have completed at least two years of undergraduate education or have equivalent experience. Many internships require experience in the field of study.
ARE GRADUATE-LEVEL INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE?
Yes. The Shakespeare Theatre offers specific graduate-level internships in the areas of design and casting. MFA-candidates, however, have also found great success in the Acting Apprenticeship program as well as the many technical and artistic internships offered by The Shakespeare Theatre.
ARE INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE IN THE FALL OR SPRING?
Yes. We offer bespoke internships (custom-tailored internships usually lasting three to nine months) to qualified applicants. It is an ideal way to get the professional-world credits required for many MFA programs.
CAN I INTERN PART OF THE SUMMER? Not usually. Due to the intense, “hit-the-ground-running” nature of the Training Program, we prefer students to start their internship with the rest of the company. Occasionally, exceptions are made to allow an intern to start late if there is a conflict with university classes or a pre-existing work contracts.
WHY SHOULD I APPLY TO THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE’S TRAINING PROGRAM?
WHY IS THE PROGRAM ADVERTISED AS “EXTREME TRAINING?”
The Shakespeare Theatre is dedicated to excellence in its own work and in the work of its students. The opportunities made available to students in the Training Program—dubbed “Shakespeare Boot Camp” by one of our alumni—allows students to fully immerse themselves for eleven weeks in the rigorous and challenging work of classic theatre within the auspices of a major regional theatre. To make it as a theatre professional, one must have commitment, self-discipline, artistic curiosity, and incredible tenacity and endurance. The Training Program pushes students to find and strengthen these qualities in themselves as few other opportunities provide. I'M ALREADY STUDYING THEATRE IN COLLEGE. WHY SHOULD I GET ADDITIONAL SUMMER TRAINING?
Participating in a professional training program is an investment in your future career, and will reflect favorably on you when you apply to graduate schools or interview for professional employment. This program is an ideal bridge between the worlds of academic theatre and professional theatre. Because The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is passionately committed to the advancement of young artists, the Intern Company is just the first major stepping stone in forging what we hope will be an ever-evolving relationship with our students. Interns that prove their potential are frequently brought back to continue their training, or to assist at the Theatre.
I'M ALREADY STUDYING ACTING AT COLLEGE. WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR ADDITIONAL SUMMER TRAINING?
Participating in a professional training program is an investment in your future career, and will reflect favorably on you when you apply to graduate schools or attend professional auditions. This program is an ideal bridge between the worlds of academic theatre and the professional theatre. Because The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is passionately committed to the advancement of young artists, the Apprentice Company is just the first major stepping stone in forging what we hope will be an ever-evolving relationship with our students. Apprentices that prove their potential are frequently brought back to become members of the Next Stage Ensemble, Shakespeare LIVE!, and the Non-Equity Company. Many of the young Equity leads on the Main Stage are alumni of the Training Program.
As you contemplate the investment of time and money that the Training Program represents, consider that your tuition for the 25+ hours of actor-based classes, master classes, and seminars per week average less than $13 per class hour; a bargain by any industry standards. This does not take into account the invaluable hours of mentorship and observation that the program affords you.
HOW COMMITTED IS THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE TO EARLY-CAREER THEATRE ARTISTS? Currently, more than 26% of the company’s full-time staff are alumni of the Training Program. On average, more than 40% of the technical over-hire and run-crew each year is made up of Training Program participants and alumni. Of the performers on stage each season, over 30% are Training Program participants or alumni. The Theatre’s extraordinary commitment to nurturing quality classic theatre artists of tomorrow is clearly exemplified by the number of young artists who continue to call The Shakespeare Theatre their “artistic home.”
FINANCIAL AID, STIPENDS, COLLEGE CREDIT, ETC:
IS THERE A TUITION FEE FOR THE TRAINING PROGRAM?
There is NO tuition fee for the Intern Company (all non-acting areas), but there is a $100 one-time lab fee to cover some of the costs associated with workshops, seminars, and master classes during the summer.
There is a tuition fee for both the Acting Apprentice Company and the Next Stage Ensemble.
ARE MEMBERS OF THE INTERN COMPANY PAID?
The internships offered through the Summer Professional Training Program are generally unpaid. A limited number of stipends to help offset living expenses are available for qualified interns in select areas. Remember that an internship is an investment in your future career. The experience, hands-on training, and professional contacts you come away with will often pay dividends far down the road.
WILL I BE ABLE TO HAVE AN OUTSIDE JOB DURING THE TRAINING PROGRAM?
Not likely. Due to the intense nature of classes, crew calls, rehearsals, and independent projects, it is impossible for most members of the Training Program to arrange outside employment.
CAN I GET COLLEGE CREDIT?
Yes. College credit is available at most academic institutions through independent study or internship courses, and The Shakespeare Theatre will work with students to complete necessary paperwork. Check with your institution for more information.
CAN I EARN EQUITY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDACY (EMC) POINTS?
Acting apprentices are eligible to earn EMC points if cast in Main Stage or Outdoor Stage productions. Though The Shakespeare Theatre often supplements Main Stage and Outdoor Stage casts with members of the Apprentice Company, this does not guarantee that apprentices will be cast in Main Stage or Outdoor Stage productions.
LIFE ON CAMPUS—HOUSING, TRANSPORTATION, MEAL PLANS:
WHERE DO I STAY WHILE AT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE?
Members of the Training Program are encouraged to live in the residence halls on the Drew University campus. Standard rooms are double occupancy. Subject to availability, single rooms can be requested for an additional fee.
IS THERE A MEAL PLAN? WHERE CAN I EAT?
There is not a formal meal-plan with the University at this time; however, the University snack bar, cafeteria, and bookstore are available throughout the summer for quick meals and shopping. Training Program participants also enjoy the quaint environment of Madison’s charming downtown—a ten-minute walk—, which includes numerous shops and restaurants.
AM I REQUIRED TO LIVE ON CAMPUS?
No. You may choose to live at home if you are within 30 minutes of The Shakespeare Theatre by car; public transportation is not convenient to “3 Vree”, and the schedule is limited. However, we strongly encourage participants to take advantage of an enriched summer experience available by staying in campus housing. PLEASE NOTE: A variety of important (and, in some cases, mandatory) events (Late-Nite Series performances, rehearsals, and meetings) take place after 11:00pm following Main Stage performances.
IS THERE A WORKOUT FACILITY ON CAMPUS?
The Simon Athletic Forum is located near the campus housing, and offers an indoor track, courts for popular sports, a fitness room, a free weight room, and an indoor swimming pool; all available at no additional cost to Training Program participants.
WILL I NEED A CAR?
We encourage all students to bring a car if they are able. Please note that many interns are required to have a valid driver’s license, and it is recommended for all members of the Training Program. A Drew University parking permit, which is required to park any vehicle on campus, can be obtained upon your arrival for $10.
IF I DON’T HAVE A CAR, HOW CAN I GET TO CLASSES AND CALLS?
When possible, the Theatre encourages car-pooling, but all students are personally responsible for getting to and from classes and work calls. Theatre shuttles are run on occasion.