Five Reasons to Work with NTSA's Creative Team Over the Summer

5 reasons work with creative team

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. 

1. Incredible Support

At NTSA, we believe that our most important job is supporting you so that you can help our students be the best that they can possibly be. That means we’re continually checking in to see if there’s any way in which we can make your job easier. As former NTSA Artistic Manager (and director of Clipped, NTSA 2013) Benjamin Viertel once said: “All along the process, [NTSA] never said ‘no, we can’t do that because we don’t have enough money’ or ‘no, we can’t do that because we’re only kids.’ There was never a ‘we can’t’; there was always a ‘we can’ or ‘we’ll find a way to do it.’” NTSA has stuck by that philosophy throughout the years, which has consistently resulted in better productions, happier directors, and more successful students.

2. Artistic Freedom

We will never micro-manage your production at NTSA. While we’ll probably be in your rehearsal studio often — taking photographs, filming video, and occasionally grabbing quotes for a press release, we’ll never interfere with the creative process. We’re also definitely not an artistically conservative program. We’re not looking for another rehash of a classical musical; we want that cutting-edge (and sometimes controversial) interpretation of the material, the one that you’re too nervous to share in your interview because it’s not what you normally see in “high school programs.” That’s exactly what we’re looking for. We’re always pushing the boundaries of what can (and should) be expected from student artists.

3. Dedicated Students

NTSA’s students are some of the best in the country. We run a selective program, which means that our students are admitted based on the quality of their application materials. Not only that — but you’re usually the one who gets to select them. Directors, music directors, and choreographers meet up via Skype to discuss and choose their ensemble. While you won’t be casting specific roles until the students arrive on-campus (so that you can better evaluate their skills through an in-person audition day), you do get to create your own casting pool based on their audition videos. Our students have gone on to top-tier conservatories, have received national awards, and have started their own successful theatre companies. We’re continually impressed by them — and we’re sure that you’ll be as well.

4. Professional Environment

While we have a good time at NTSA, we’re not like a traditional summer camp where you have to work double-duty. None of our staff members sleep in “bunks” with the students. Instead, staff members simply live on the same floors as students, usually in single-occupancy rooms. Staff members are welcome to go off-campus whenever they have free time. Each staff member does have a few supervisory periods during the week (specifically during meal times and after rehearsals), but, for the most part, you can easily grab an Uber into town to catch a movie, go shopping, or enjoy the many culinary delights of Western New York (rated the third best city for food in the world by National Geographic).

5. Ongoing Investment

NTSA makes an ongoing investment in all of our students and staff members. Most of our promotions happen from within the company. Benjamin Viertel (Director, NTSA ’13) and Josh Bell (Production Manager, NTSA ’14) both spent time on our leadership team, as our Artistic Manager and Co-Executive Director respectively. We want to work with staff members that will keep coming back year-after-year — staff members who will start out as acting coaches and then return to direct full-scale productions and then eventually join our Board of Directors or take on leadership positions (like Artistic Manager). And even when you move onto your next major project, NTSA will always be there supporting you in the wings! (We’ve been known to send mini-cupcakes from Baked by Melissa on opening nights!)

Posted on Dec 10, 2017 in About NTSA  

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