Program Dates
  • Loserville: Off-Broadway Musical
    June 16-July 7
  • The Dolls of New Albion: Off-Broadway Musical
    July 8-July 29
  • Rebel Girls [Devised]: Off-Broadway Play
    July 8-July 29
Program Rates
(Course Fee / With Housing)
  • Actor
    $3,290 / $4,970
  • Assistant Director
    FREE / $2,110
  • Directors Studio
    $1,300 / $2,810
  • Designers
    FREE / N/A
  • Musicians*
    $740 / $1,210
  • Stage Managers
    $1,000 / $2,465


Program Dates
Loserville: Off-Broadway Musical June 16-July 7
The Dolls of New Albion: Off-Broadway Musical July 8-July 29
Rebel Girls [Devised]: Off-Broadway Play July 8-July 29


Program Course Fee With Housing
Actor $3,290 $4,970
Assistant Director FREE $2,110
Directors Studio $1,300 $2,810
Designers FREE N/A
Musicians* $740 $1,210
Stage Managers $1,000 $2,465

* Musicians for Loserville will be in session from June 30-July 7
Musicians for The Dolls of New Albion will be in session from July 21-29

Producers must be available from June 15-August 5 and will receive a $100 weekly stipend and free accommodations


Parent Student Handbook
Guide to NYC
Guide to WNY


How will my student benefit from NTSA?

Students who participate in NTSA are able to get a head-start in one of our nation's most competitive industries. Not only are they able to add off-Broadway and regional credits to their resumes before they graduate from high school, they also are able to build their professional networks — working one-on-one with mentors who can open up internship and employment opportunities for them, as well as provide college references. (Many of our NTSA alumni have maintained relationships with their mentors long after they completed their program.) Students will also develop strong relationships with their peers, which can lead to further collaborative projects after their NTSA production ends. Two groups of NTSA alumni have created their own off-Broadway theatre companies, while other partnerships have received prestigious residencies and secured festival slots.

What age do students have to be to participate in NTSA?

Students can start participating in NTSA productions at age 14 in our Actors, Designers, Musicians, Stage Managers, and Directors Studio Programs.

What are NTSA's staff members like?

Previous NTSA staff members have worked with theatres like Manhattan Theater Club (NYC), The Public Theater (NYC), The Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), The Civilians (NYC), Prospect Theater Company (NYC), Pittsburgh Opera (Pittsburgh), and Playhouse in the Square (Memphis). In Film/TV, they’ve worked for art departments at Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, and Comedy Central. One of our former mentors even directed the first production of Edges by Pasek and Paul (Tony Award winners for Dear Evan Hansen and Academy Award/Golden Globe winners for La La Land).

What does the course fee cover? Do we need to make a deposit?

The course fee covers tuition, on-campus accommodations, and meals. For members of our Off-Broadway Companies, the course fee also includes transportation to New York City, hotel accommodations, meals, and tickets to a Broadway performance. Not included in the course fee: all families must deposit at least $125 into an NTSA spending account for their student to cover emergency costs. You can request to have any unspent funds from the spending account returned to you at the end of the summer. 

Because NTSA is a performance-based program, which means that your student’s presence is integral to the success of the entire production, we have a strict refund policy. When you enroll your student, you pay a $500 non-refundable deposit, which indicates your student’s commitment to joining the company. Prior to March 1, 2018, all tuition, except the $500 deposit, is refundable. For cancellations between March 1, 2018 and April 1, 2018, we will refund 50% of your paid tuition, less the $500 deposit. After April 1, 2018, there are no refunds. Unfortunately, we cannot exchange your paid tuition for program credit (to enroll your student in future summer sessions) because students are selected by the director of their specific production, not by the overall program staff.

The only exception are students who have submitted a financial aid form. If, for whatever reason, we are not able to fundraise the student's course fee together, NTSA will return 100% of the money that you've paid (less any processing fees administered by Regpack if you choose to pay online).

If your student has a medical emergency or there's a death in your immediate family* and your student is unable to attend NTSA, we require a written physician’s note or other supporting documentation. Refunds are possible in this circumstance but are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

* Immediate family includes your student's parents and siblings.

Are there scholarships available?

As a non-profit organization, we work hard to make our summer programs as affordable as possible; however, we realize that the course fees are sometimes still too high for students and their families. Any student that requires financial aid will receive the NTSA Fundraising Guide, as well as access to our weekly online fundraising seminars and one-on-one meetings with a personal fundraising coach. Students are expected to fill out the logbook included at the end of the NTSA Fundraising Guide, documenting their efforts to raise their course fee. Any student who is unable to raise their entire course fee can apply to the NTSA Financial Aid Fund for additional assistance. (Students applying to the NTSA Financial Aid Fund must submit their logbook along with their application.) We have never turned away a student based on their inability to pay the course fee.

This year, NTSA also has three $1,000 scholarships available for members of the International Thespian Society — two of which are specifically reserved for students working on The Dolls of New Albion (courtesy of the Paul Shapera Scholarship Fund).

How will my student get to or from NTSA?

Students can either be dropped off by their parents, or NTSA staff members can meet your student at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and escort him/her to the campus. 

While most parents pick up their student directly from the theatre on their performance night, we can also have a staff member escort your student at the end of the program to JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark Airports for Off-Broadway Companies.

All NTSA staff member escorts do incur an additional fee. Students over age 18 are welcome to manage their own departures and arrivals.

What about health care at NTSA?

NTSA has a Program Nurse living on-campus with students to administer their prescription medications, assess and treat minor illnesses and injuries, and escort students to urgent care if necessary. All of our staff members — from our directors to our technical instructors — are trained in CPR and First Aid. We also have established relationships with an urgent care clinic within a few minutes of the campus, as well as a hospital in the unlikely event of an emergency. You will only be called if your student needs to be taken to urgent care or the emergency room, if your student visits the Program Nurse repeatedly with the same medical concern, or if the Program Nurse has any questions regarding your student’s medical form. We require all students enrolled in NTSA’s programs be covered by health insurance.

What about the meal plans for students?

NTSA’s healthy and delicious on-campus meals are professionally catered by the university. The university can accommodate any dietary restrictions that your student might have (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc.). Off-campus meals (on performance days and midweek excursions) will be at restaurants. When the group eats together, students will be free to choose from à la carte items on a pre-selected menu; sometimes, students will be allowed to explore the city in small groups (with parent permission) and choose where they want to have lunch and/or dinner on their own.

How often do students communicate with their parents during the program?

Students are permitted to bring their cell phones, tablets, and/or laptops with them. (However, NTSA cannot be responsible for loss or damage to any belongings during the program.) While NTSA has a strict policy against using technology in the rehearsal studio*, students are free to make phone calls during meal times or during free time at the end of the day.

* If your student uses their cell phone during rehearsal without approval from their director, their cell phone will be confiscated and held in the administrative offices for twenty-four hours. We want to make sure that students are completely focused on rehearsal so that they can have the most successful production experience possible.

What is a typical day like for a student?

8:00 AM: Breakfast
9:00 AM: Warm-Up
10:00 AM: Morning Rehearsal
1:00 PM: Lunch
2:00 PM: Afternoon Rehearsal
6:00 PM: Dinner
7:00 PM: Acting Workshop
8:00 PM: Improv Exercises
9:00 PM: Company Meeting
9:30 PM: Free Time
10:30 PM: Bedtime

What about the midweek excursions?

Thanks to NTSA’s location, we’re able to offer midweek excursions to a variety of exciting arts venues. For an additional fee, students can travel to Southern Ontario to train with theatre professionals at the world-renowned Shaw Festival and Stratford Festival, take a private backstage tour and participate in an intimate post-show conversation with the ensemble, and see both a matinee and an evening performance. Students must have a valid passport to participate in midweek excursions to Southern Ontario. 

Students who choose to remain in Western New York will also go on midweek excursions via public transportation to local institutions like the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

Can my student participate in more than one production?

Students can participate in both Loserville AND Untitled [Devised] or The Dolls of New Albion. They would have to be selected for both productions by their respective directors.

When will we find out if my student has been accepted?

Students who apply by the Early Decision deadline (January 21) will find out if they’ve been accepted by January 28. Students who apply by the Regular Decision deadline (March 4) will find our if they’ve been accepted by March 11. After the Regular Decision deadline, if there are still any slots available, they will be filled on a rolling basis.

Can I talk to an NTSA alumnus?

Of course! Just contact NTSA’s Executive Director Victoria Chatfield (at, and she’ll put you in contact with an NTSA alumnus who can tell you firsthand about their experience!