The NTSA Difference

We always say that NTSA represents the future of the American theatre. But what exactly does that mean? What makes NTSA different from any other summer theatre program out there?

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Professional Shows, Professional Stages

At NTSA, we only produce a few select shows each summer to ensure that every production is of the highest professional quality. We always invite local press to review our shows, as well as theatre managers and festival programmers who may be interested in transferring our shows to their stages in future years. NTSA isn't a theatre summer camp; NTSA is a pre-professional theatre company for Broadway-bound student artists.

Lifelong Friends (and Collaborators)

You aren’t just going to meet some of your best friends at NTSA; you’ll also meet collaborators that can help push your career to the next level. After graduating from NTSA, our alumni have worked together to write brand-new musicals, film web series, stage award-winning performances at festivals, and even start their own off-Broadway theatre companies (like Third Space and The Great Room Company).

Opportunities in Every Department

NTSA invests just as much into cultivating our backstage talent as we do our onstage talent. We provide our student directors, designers, stage managers, and producers with daily one-on-one instructional meetings, as well as regular skills-based workshops and online Q&A sessions with theatre professionals from around the world.

Midweek Trips

Students have the opportunity to take trips out into Western New York and Southern Ontario twice per session. During these trips, students train with professional performers and directors from companies such as the world-renowned Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival, in addition to attending performances, going on private backstage tours, and engaging in post-show conversations with the company.

Alumni Membership

Your NTSA experience doesn’t end when the curtain falls on your production. You’ll join a national network of NTSA graduates and receive lifetime membership in our alumni association. All alumni receive monthly newsletters (listing opportunities for young artists like fellowships, conferences, and grants) and access to networking and training opportunities provided by NTSA.

Our 2018 Season Shows

The year is 1971. High school student Michael Dork has created an invention that could change the world as we know it — but can he finish it in time to beat Arch Industries, the multinational technology conglomerate, after his floppy disks are stolen? Will his friends take first prize in the local sci-fi convention’s starship competition? And will Michael ever be able to get Holly Manson, the new girl in school who dreams of becoming the first female astronaut, to notice him? Based on Son of Dork’s pop-punk album Welcome to Loserville, NTSA will be bringing this West End hit to New York City for a special one-night only engagement.

Listen to the Playlist

In an isolated laboratory deep in the Neo-Victorian city of New Albion (a city populated by zeppelins, alchemists, and one-eyed dwarf-run mafias), Annabel McAlistair, an aspiring scientist, discovers how to bring back the dead, placing them in the bodies of mechanical automatons. This cult-classic steampunk opera follows four generations of the McAlistair family as they meddle with the forces of life and death — and then have to deal with the unfortunate repercussions. The Dolls of New Albion will have a two-week performance run in Western New York.

NOTE: We highly encourage students who are auditioning for The Dolls of New Albion to download the original cast recording (as well as the other albums in the New Albion series). Download it here.

Listen to the Playlist

Devised theatre has taken the United Kingdom by storm over the past decade. Using this process, an entire creative team — performers, designers, technicians, and facilitators (the equivalent of directors) — develop a show collaboratively. This summer, NTSA’s students will be creating a world premiere production under the guidance of a professional UK-based facilitator that will premiere off-Broadway for a special one-night only engagement.

Our Facilities

NTSA's summer programs are held on Daemen College’s campus in Amherst, New York. One of the safest cities in America, Amherst is a cozy yet eclectic suburb, only a quick bus ride away from metropolitan Buffalo and the Canadian border. Daemen College, with its state-of-the-art design studios (with tons of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows) and spacious rehearsal studios, provides a vibrant artistic home for our students.

Students either live in the dorm rooms at Canavan Hall (with one or two other roommates) or in Campus Apartments (with one other roommate) depending on the session, ensuring that they get the full college experience. During meals, students can choose from a variety of healthy and delicious options in Wick Student Center’s dining hall, and all dietary needs can be accommodated by the professional catering staff.

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Alumni

Although NTSA was only established in 2012, our young alumni have already racked up some extraordinary accomplishments

Marla Louissant (NTSA 2014)

Marla received the Jimmy Award (the National High School Musical Theatre Award) for Best Actress in 2015 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. The following year, she appeared in New York City Center Encores! God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (alongside Broadway stars Santino Fontana, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and James Earl Jones) and recorded the premiere cast recording. This summer, she appeared in Vassar Powerhouse’s first musical workshop, Stilyagi, written by Tony Award winning playwright Lisa Kron (Fun Home) and directed by Tony Award winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening).

Watch a Clip

Benjamin Viertel & Lio Sigerson (NTSA 2013), Kyle Wilson & Sam French (NTSA 2014)

These alumni started their own off-Broadway company, Third Space, which recently produced The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant at the New Ohio Theatre and Fireface at the Brick Theater. Called “inventive and sophisticated” by The New York Times, Third Space has also received residencies at HERE Arts and Abrons Art Center. Third Space is currently preparing for the world premiere of Kragtar: An American Monster Musical (written by Wilson and French, directed by Viertel), produced in collaboration with Theatre NOW at the West End Theatre off-Broadway.

Photo: Third Space’s 2017 production of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Jon Rodriguez, Micheal Blasini & Parade Stone (NTSA 2014)

This trio recently formed their own theatre company, The Great Room Company, and staged Singr: An Intimate Cabaret at The Sheen Center in New York City — featuring their former NTSA co-stars: J.D. Killikelly, Marla Louissaint, and Anna Wnukowski (NTSA 2014). The Great Room Company’s mission is to create “inclusive theatre for The In-Between. In other words, the phase of life where you’re just trying to figure it out.” You can read more about their work in Latina Magazine.

Photo Credit: Yaribel Castillo

Isaac B. Hopkins (NTSA 2014)

Isaac just wrapped up a year-long Fulbright fellowship in Caledonia, Ontario where he developed a new play about a native rights land claim protest back in 2006. A prolific playwright, he received the New Georgia Award for New Plays and already has four published plays to his name. Isaac also founded his own theatre company, the North-East Georgia Stage Actors’ Guild.

Rae Binstock (NTSA 2015)

Rae was recently named one of The Lark's 2017-2018 Rita Goldberg Playwrights' Workshop Fellows. She previously received the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists Grant, as well as playwriting residencies at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska and the Helen Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. She teamed up with director Alex Tobey (NTSA 2015) and sound designer Rob Silverman-Ascher (NTSA 2015) a second time for Watch Me Burn, which appeared at the Wild Project’s Fresh Fruit Festival.