I don’t want to say that we’re masters of traveling on a budget at NTSA — but we absolutely are. As you start planning your summer, we have some advice about how to make your travel dollars go farther. (Get it?)
Posted on Mar 14, 2018 in Financial AidRead More
You’ve spent weeks preparing your application (or, you know, an hour if you read our blog post on Five NTSA Applications That Can Be Completed in 60 Minutes or Less — we don’t judge!). You’ve rewatched your audition video or re-read your statement thousands of times. Not only that, you’ve shown it to your parents, your teachers, your classmates, and your dog (who didn’t offer any useful criticism). But you still can’t bring yourself to hit that submit button, and the clock’s ticking down the minutes until the application deadline.
Posted on Mar 04, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
We recently sat down with NTSA alumna and current Board of Directors President Parade Stone to chat about her NTSA experience. She's been up to a lot since completing her NTSA program — like starting her own off-Broadway theatre company (and hiring actors that she first met at NTSA in the process)!
Posted on Mar 03, 2018 in About NTSARead More
If you’ve read our previous blog entries about creating a devised monologue, you might be wondering: “But how can I make one of these by myself in my bedroom with only my laptop?” We’ve received some fantastic audition videos for our devised production that have been filmed by students sitting at their desks, recording their monologue on their laptop webcam. Here’s what to remember if you’re going this route.
Posted on Mar 02, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Make sure to take advantage of Skype office hours this weekend. Follow these steps to get your questions answered immediately!
Posted on Mar 02, 2018 in About NTSARead More
Kayleen Peña was the first student to ever join NTSA back in 2012. She started as a member of our producing team and was eventually promoted to Director of Marketing. This summer, she’ll be joining the NTSA Board of Directors. No one knows NTSA better than Kayleen does, so we wanted to let her tell you firsthand about her experiences with our organization through the years. (Thanks, Kayleen!)
Posted on Mar 01, 2018 in About NTSARead More
What does a day look like in the life of a typical NTSA actor? We’re breaking it down with two hypothetical students: Kara (a residential student in the devised production) and Kevin (a commuter student in the musical theatre production).
Posted on Feb 28, 2018 in About NTSARead More
We’re coming down to the NTSA admissions deadline, and if you’re applying as a musical theatre actor, you might be wondering: “How do I get started?” Maybe you already have a song that you really like (check out our blog post on how to choose your audition song) but don’t know how to ensure that you’re delivering the best audition performance possible. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to how to prep your audition song, featuring “Candy Store” from Heathers.
Posted on Feb 27, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
One of the questions that we get asked most frequently is what to wear to an audition — mostly from students who are applying to BFA programs and performing arts high schools. Do you want to look professional? Or should you aim for comfort above everything else? We have all the answers you need to look your best on audition day!
Posted on Feb 26, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
Wondering where you’ll be living this summer? Check out this tour of Daemen College’s Canavan Hall (for Session 1 students) and Campus Apartments (for Session 2 students) from their residential life department.
Posted on Feb 24, 2018 in About NTSARead More
If you were previously nominated for a Jimmy Award, then you can attend NTSA for free this summer! Thanks to a generous donor, we’re now able to offer full scholarships to any previous Jimmy nominees who are accepted to NTSA. We’ve never missed a Jimmy Awards ceremony (Marla Louissaint [NTSA ’14] nabbed her own statuette back in 2015!), and therefore we’re thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to all of the high school and college students who've represented their regions at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.Read More
Perhaps the best (and easiest) way to pay your course fee is through the NTSA Referral Program. If you can get thirteen of your most talented friends to audition for and enroll in NTSA programs, then you can attend your own program for free. So how do you convince your friends to apply for NTSA this summer?
Posted on Feb 20, 2018 in Financial AidRead More
If you’re auditioning for NTSA’s devised production, you might want to consider creating a chair duet. If you’re feeling nervous or uninspired, this will allow you to create work alongside one of your friends. It’s also as simple as stringing a few simple movements together. NOTE: NTSA does require something slightly different than Frantic Assembly’s exercise. While you can create a chair duet with a friend, you will need to add in a story.
Posted on Feb 18, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
Kneehigh Theatre. Frantic Assembly. Punchdrunk (the ensemble that brought you Sleep No More). What do these three theatre companies have in common? Not only are they creating some of the most groundbreaking work in the UK, they also all use devised theatre techniques. Devised theatre is a method of theatre-creation where a group of actors, often led by a facilitator (director), work together to create an original production from scratch.
Posted on Feb 15, 2018 in About NTSARead More
So you’ve wrapped up your NTSA program and now you’re wondering “what’s next?" Maybe you’re about to graduate from your BA/BFA program, and you're looking for something that can take your training to the next level. Or maybe you’ve decided to take a break from college life, and you want to spend your gap year doing something that can help you get ahead in the theatre industry. Whatever your particular circumstances, you’re a broke college student now and definitely can’t afford to pay for a summer program. So what’s an aspiring young actor to do? Check out these five (paid!) acting fellowships for your life post-NTSA.
Posted on Feb 09, 2018 in After NTSARead More
Loserville took a path that few musicals commissioned by youth theatres do — from high school summer program to West End (and Olivier Award nominated) production. Imagine that you spent a semester workshopping a brand-new musical in your high school theatre department and then saw that same musical with an all-star cast on Broadway the following year. That’s what happened with Loserville.
Posted on Feb 07, 2018 in About NTSARead More
Little known fact: NTSA Executive Director Victoria Chatfield used to work for Wilhelmina Kids and Teens, the agency that kickstarted the careers of Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls), Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical), Peyton List (Jessie and Bunk’d), Hayden Panettiere (Nashville), and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan). Specifically, she helped give advice to young women who wanted to become actors and models through the Just Ask Marlene (JAM) blog and webcasts.
Posted on Feb 03, 2018 in After NTSARead More
ANNOUNCEMENT: NTSA has decided to bring Paul Shapera’s The Dolls of New Albion to New York City this summer. Instead of being a regional production, this steampunk chamber opera will be playing a special one-night only engagement on Sunday, July 29 at the Theatre Under St. Peter’s.
Recorded in 2012, The Dolls of New Albion has managed to amass a cult following despite only receiving scattershot productions at fringe festivals and in black-box theatres. This is due to the genius of composer Paul Shapera who has built an entire universe full of possessed automatons, voodoopunk cults, anarchist revolutions, sinister backwoods carnivals, and a parallel universe that would put H.P. Lovecraft to shame.
Posted on Feb 02, 2018 in About NTSARead More
Summer programs can be expensive. If you’re looking at your empty bank account and wondering how you can afford to attend a residential program like NTSA, we have one word for you: crowdfunding. NTSA has been successfully raising money for our productions via crowdfunding platforms since 2013, and we’re here to give you our top tricks and tips for crowdfunding your dream summer program!
Posted on Jan 31, 2018 in Financial AidRead More
Are you struggling to complete the video audition section of the NTSA application? You might want to consider doing a duet video audition.
What’s a duet video audition?
A duet video audition is exactly what it sounds like. You get together with your best friend (or even best friends — no more than four in an audition group please) and you record your video audition together.
Posted on Jan 29, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
If you’ve been searching for a pre-professional summer training program, you may have seen some impressive student-to-staff ratios like 2:1. Two students for every one staff member? That means that you’ll be getting unbelievable one-on-one training all summer long, right? Unfortunately, student-to-staff ratios can be misleading. Many summer programs include their non-teaching staff in that ratio — like administrative staff, health care staff, and kitchen and janitorial staff. While all of these folks are instrumental in building a smoothly-running summer program, they aren’t necessarily the ones helping you fine-tune your vocal performance skills.
Posted on Jan 26, 2018 in About NTSARead More
A native of Cleveland, Alexis graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s BFA Musical Theatre program. She first studied dance at the Cleveland School of Ballet before settling into contemporary dance and hip-hop as her primary styles of expression. She’s performed as a guest artist in several classical and contemporary dance companies including The Cleveland Ballet, DANCEVERET, Ohio Dance Theatre, and a collaboration with Robin VanLear, Artistic Director of Community Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Posted on Jan 25, 2018 in About NTSARead More
You really want to audition for NTSA! But you’re in the middle of your high school musical, and you spent the past month studying for the SATs, and you just haven’t been able to get something together and . . . well, it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this year. Not so fast! Today, we’re going through five NTSA applications that you can complete in 60 minutes or less. (We promise!) So if this school year has been too hard for words, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Posted on Jan 20, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
I’ve received so many emails from young actors asking if they should go to an audition. “I’m feeling a little bit sick,” they tell me. “I don’t know if this is the right song for me. I don’t know if I’m experienced enough to work at this theatre. I haven’t had a voice lesson in a few weeks. I’ve been using a pre-recorded track for this piece, and they have a live accompanist at the auditions. I just don’t think that I’m going to do well enough.”
Posted on Jan 13, 2018 in AuditionsRead More
Ben Viertel directed one of NTSA’s first productions, Clipped, in 2013 and then served as NTSA’s Artistic Manager from 2014-2016. Born in France, Ben graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s John Wells Directing Program. He currently serves as Artistic Director of Third Space in New York City. Recent productions include a new adaptation of Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant at the New Ohio Theatre (NYC), which was called “a gorgeous production” with “exuberant staging” and the American premiere of Marius von Mayenburg’s Fireface at The Brick (NYC), which The New York Times called “inventive and sophisticated.”
Posted on Jan 07, 2018 in About NTSARead More
Rebekah Lane will be co-directing NTSA’s first devised work this summer. With an MFA from Towson University (with a focus on devised work), Rebekah brings an incredible wealth of experience to NTSA. Previous writing and directing work includes Mindful Momentum and Foolish Bebop (Art in Odd Places Orlando and Creative City Project: Immerse), Finding Home (Creative City Project), Untitled #52 (Towson University), Words We Wear (Epic Vita), 39 Steps: An Improvised Spy Thriller (Orlando International Fringe Festival), and Bench and Chair (Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center National Puppetry Conference).
Posted on Jan 06, 2018 in About NTSARead More
Meet the directors that you'll be working with this summer — including Sam French, the director of the Regional Company's The Dolls of New Albion!
Sam French co-directed Jimmy!: A Musical Fable with Almost No Historical Basis for NTSA back in 2014. Since then, he’s directed Millicent Scowlworthy at Uncanny Valley (NYC), Baskerville at Cape Fear Regional Theatre, The Beatles Present “The Lord of the Rings: The Musical!” at The Brick (NYC, with fellow NTSA alum Kyle Wilson), and Action at Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Posted on Jan 05, 2018 in About NTSARead More
Nothing can make or break a musical like the music director. Every musical number hinges on her/his ability to interpret the script, teach the material, coach the performers, and manage the instrumentalists. Audiences come to a musical expecting to be blown away by gorgeous sweeping vocals. (There’s a reason why “Defying Gravity” is still going strong after over fifteen years.) If you’re considering a career in music direction, join NTSA’s team this summer as an assistant music director. Check out our top three tips for aspiring music directors and learn how to ace your application!
Posted on Dec 27, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
A fantastic choreographer can take a musical number from meh to OMG in just a few seconds. That’s why, at NTSA, we make sure that our assistant choreographers have extensive one-on-one mentoring and get tons of experience working with our ensembles. Here we have our top three tips for acing your assistant choreographer application. (Assistant Choreographers: You’re applying through the Director Track.) Dance on!
Posted on Dec 20, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Over at NTSA, we love our stage managers (SMs). Armed with spike tape, pencils, and batteries, they keep all of our productions running smoothly. Our assistant stage managers (ASMs) frequently continue on with us to become SMs, and our SMs often branch out into other positions at NTSA like Company Manager, Production Manager, and even Co-Executive Director. Want to join the NTSA SM team? Here are some of our top tips on how to ace the application.
Posted on Dec 18, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
This year, NTSA decided to relocate our rehearsals to Western New York. Not only are we now able to work with more students than ever before (more space!), we also absolutely love the Western New York region — and it’s not because of the lake-effect snow. Check out our top four reasons why we’re feeling the Buffalove in 2018.
Posted on Dec 14, 2017 in About NTSARead More
So you’re procrastinating. You see the NTSA Early Decision deadline approaching on your calendar and just shrug: Why do I need to apply early decision anyway? I’ll just get my application in by the regular decision deadline. Hold it right there. We’re here to give you three very good reasons why applying early decision is the way to go.
Posted on Dec 12, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
There are lots of summer programs out there for experienced theatre practitioners who want to work with students — but none of them are quite like NTSA. Check out our top reasons for choosing NTSA as your artistic home this summer if you're an experienced director, music director, choreographer, designer/technical director, or aspiring producer.
Posted on Dec 10, 2017 in About NTSARead More
One of NTSA’s defining features is our off-Broadway productions. We get it. It’s the very first thing we mention when we start talking to prospective applicants at high school theatre festivals. We provide an opportunity for students to stage pre-professional work in the Theatre Capital of America . . . So why would anyone choose to apply for the NTSA regional production? You don’t get to travel to New York City. You don’t get an off-Broadway credit on your resume. Erm, what’s the upside here? Answer: Way more than you might think.
Posted on Dec 08, 2017 in About NTSARead More
Meet the artists that make NTSA possible, starting with NTSA Executive Director Victoria Chatfield. Victoria started her first theatre company when she was a sophomore in high school. Armed with $100 from a garage sale and a dream, she rented her school’s gymacafetorium to stage her first show, which was a resounding disaster. Never deterred, she continued her producing career, eventually becoming an established part of the Western New York theatre community and earning critical acclaim in The Buffalo News, Artvoice, and Buffalo Spree for her shows, all of which featured work by student actors, directors, designers, stage managers, and musicians. Her goal was to eventually start a national youth theatre in the United States, similar to the ones that existed in the United Kingdom.
Posted on Dec 08, 2017 in About NTSARead More
Financial aid works a little bit differently at NTSA than at other programs. We view financial aid as a collaborative venture: you do some of the work (with our support), and we do some of the work. What does this look like in practice?
Posted on Dec 05, 2017 in Financial AidRead More
If you apply by our Early Decision deadline and get accepted, you’ll only have two-and-a-half weeks to come up with the initial $500 deposit for your program. What does that mean? It means that if you’re applying for NTSA, you should start fundraising that $500 deposit now.
But how can I come up with $500?
Posted on Dec 04, 2017 in Financial AidRead More
One of NTSA's core beliefs is that high school and college students should be given the resources and support necessary to lead their own productions. This led us to create the NTSA Directors Program, which originally partnered with Carnegie Mellon's John Wells BFA Directing Program but, since 2015, has welcomed students from all educational institutions. Our Directors Program provides a clear pathway for students — taking them from first-time novices to full-fledged (and fully-paid) off-Broadway directors. If you’re interested in joining the NTSA Directors Program this summer, we have a few tips for writing your directorial statement.
Posted on Nov 29, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Are you multi-talented? Like maybe you act, but you’re also an accomplished cellist? Or painter? Or folk singer? Or cheerleader? Or DJ? Or baton-spinning, fire-juggling, sword-swallowing figure skater? (If you’re the last one, you don’t even need to fill out the application. You’re accepted. Boom.) Devised theatre is the perfect art-form for integrating your other artistic talents into your performance work.
Posted on Nov 23, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
If you’re an actor, you may be looking at our audition requirements and thinking: “What in the name of Stephen Sondheim is a devised monologue?” While devised theatre is incredibly popular in the United Kingdom, it hasn’t quite caught on in the United States the same way. So we’re here to give you a step-by-step process for how to create your devised monologue from the stimulus provided by NTSA.
Posted on Nov 21, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
We know that you have tons of options when it comes to summer programs — and some of the most enticing are traditional pre-college programs. In these programs, you’ll have the opportunity to spend the summer on a college campus, experiencing what BFA theatre classes are like. There are lots of fantastic reasons to attend one of these traditional pre-college programs: you don’t know if the BFA track’s right for you, you’re not sure about applying to that particular university, etc. However, we believe that NTSA’s usually the better option, and we’re here to give you five reasons why.
Posted on Nov 11, 2017 in About NTSARead More
Tired of belting out "This Is the Moment" for the nineteenth audition in a row? As we've previously mentioned, we don't have a Do Not Sing List at NTSA, but we understand if you're getting tired of the worn-out staples in your repertoire. So we’ve come up with a list of the five songs that we wish we heard more often in auditions. Sing on!
Posted on Nov 11, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
You’re sitting in the hallway outside of the audition room and all of a sudden, you hear it. The BFA candidate inside . . . is singing your audition song. While it’s not the worst thing that could happen, you worry about the judging panel comparing you to Whatsername. So we’ve come up with a list of the five songs that we wish we heard more often in auditions. Sing on!
Posted on Nov 08, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
You’ve spent years perfecting your “legit” tunes. Anything Goes? Try anything got it covered. But then you read those dreaded words on the audition notice: pop-rock song. The good news is that finding a pop-rock song is easy. They’re all over the radio after all. It’s picking the RIGHT pop-rock audition song that’s the hard part.
Posted on Nov 06, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Are you the next Donyale Werle, Kevin Adams, or Darron L. West? (If you know who all of those artists are, we’re definitely speaking the same language!) If you want to design with NTSA this summer, check out our top four tips for completing the designer application below!
Posted on Nov 04, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
If you’re applying to be an Assistant Designer at NTSA, you may have noticed that your application requires a mood board. Today, we’re going to take you step-by-step through how to create a mood board for a hypothetical production.
Posted on Oct 31, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
After countless school plays, you feel like you’ve got this auditioning thing down. But then you read the NTSA application: VIDEO audition? What does that even mean?! Today, we’re sharing our top tips for making the most out of your video audition.
Posted on Oct 27, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Think you need to spend a small fortune getting your headshot professionally taken for your NTSA application? Your perfect headshot might already be waiting for you in your Facebook account. You might not even have to take out your iPhone!
Posted on Oct 25, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
When you start filling out your NTSA application, one of the first questions asks you to upload your resume. “Wait a second!” you might be thinking, “I don’t have a resume!” You might not have one right now — but you can create one in ten minutes or less using these simple steps.
Posted on Oct 23, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Summer camp. Waterskiing on Lake Chippewa. Roasting s’mores over the campfire. Knotting about a hundred friendship bracelets. And putting on full-scale musical theatre productions. There are so many summer camps that provide the best of both worlds — a traditional campground experience mixed with intense performing arts training. Why would you choose NTSA over one of these options?
Posted on Oct 20, 2017 in About NTSARead More
Maybe you have an accompanist at your high school — a music director, a vocal instructor, or just a friend who happens to be good on the piano. For the rest of us, when audition time rolls around, we need to find a pre-recorded accompaniment track. But where do you even start looking? Over at NTSA, we gathered up a list of the five best websites for finding accompaniment tracks (or having them custom-created for you).
Posted on Oct 18, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Ready to get started on your NTSA audition video but don't know where to start? Katherine Steele's Theatre Thursdays on YouTube has some excellent advice! (And we have a few extra tips to help you make the most out of your NTSA audition video!)
Posted on Oct 16, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Parents: If you looked at our program dates and rates and almost X’ed out of the window, stop! Don’t click anywhere yet! I know that there can be some sticker-shock when dealing with summer programs, but I’m here to tell you that they can be affordable.
Posted on Oct 13, 2017 in Financial AidRead More
Unlike many summer theatre programs, NTSA is selective — meaning that we only accept students based on the application materials that they submit via our website. So how do you know if you have what it takes to make the cut? Here we have five ways to know if YOU are the ideal NTSA applicant.
Posted on Oct 05, 2017 in AuditionsRead More
Gone are the days when your student needed a babysitter over the summer. Nowadays, you can head out to work in the morning and not worry about your teenager being home alone. So why would you invest all of that money in a summer program? What can your student get from a summer at NTSA that he couldn’t get through his regular high school extracurriculars?
Posted on Oct 05, 2017 in About NTSARead More