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Frequently Asked Questions


I'm thinking of making my career the theatre. Is the University of Rochester the place for me?

The University of Rochester is a university with a strong liberal arts component and a focus on research. Within this liberal arts environment, the International Theatre Program offers students a comprehensive theatrical experience, a chance to work with world-class professional directors and designers, and a number of classes--covering almost the full range of theatrical activity--to improve and develop both skills and talent. We are, however, not a conservatory training program (though a number of our students have gone on to professional acting and backstage careers). If you are sure you want to dedicate your life to the theatre (as sure as anyone can be after high school!) you should maybe look at one of the larger, professional training programs offered by established universities. If however, you want a solid education with a vibrant and rigorous introduction into the practical world of theatre and acting, the International Theatre Program may be ideal for your needs.

If you're a prospective student and would like to know more, click here

Is there a theatre Major?

Yes, though not in the traditional sense. We offer an English Major with a Theatre Concentration. We also offer a very popular Minor in Theatre. For more information, visit the English Department Website

Do I have to audition to get into the Theatre Program?

Since we're not an independent department (but rather a Program within the English Department) and since we draw students from the entire undergraduate student body, you don't have to audition to be accepted into the Theatre Program. You should apply to the University of Rochester for admission in the same way as any other student would. To be cast in a Theatre Program production, however, you do need to audition. These auditions are held on the first Friday and Saturday of every semester, and are open to all students at the University of Rochester. If you want to stage manage or work backstage on a production, these auditions are also the time to come forward and set up a stage management interview with the Production Stage Manager (you can also just sign in to the Stage Management class).

Are there theatre clusters?

There are two theatre clusters (listed under English in the Cluster Directory): Plays, Playwrights, and Theater (H1ENG011) and Theatre Production and Performance (H1ENG018). For more information, click on the links below.

Theatre Clusters :: Cluster search Engine

Do you offer internships?

We offer "internal" internships (a PR and Marketing Internship in the Theatre Program itself -- for more on this internship, click here) and we help finance two students to be part of the Williamstown Theatre Festival Intern Company. We've also helped arrange outside internships in the past, and UR students have worked at the Lincoln Center Institute, Geva Theater Centre in Rochester, the O'Neill Center in Waterford, CT, the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY, and at La MaMa ETC in New York City. Additionally, we will go out of our way to help students set up specific internships based on their needs.

Do you produce any musical theatre?

Our 2007-2008 season saw us present our first musical, and we've been producing musicals ever since. Musicals are definitely part of what we do. That being said, we do not produce a musical every year, but, like the major Shakespeare productions we do, we do one every four years. Many of our non-musical theatre productions have singing and extensive music in them, so if you're interested in musical theatre you should still audition for Theatre Program plays. You might also want to contact the music department, which offers a "musical theatre workshop" (though not every year), or the student activities group 'Off Broadway On Campus'.

Music Department :: Off Broadway On Campus

What student-run theatre facilities exist on campus?

All International Theatre Program productions are acted, managed and built (i.e. the sets, costumes, etc.) by students; but the directors, designers and technical directors are professionals. Drama House, an academic living center across the road from Todd Union, is a great place to go to look for students who are interested in all the performing arts. The house also has space for students wishing to put on their own shows. Finally, the Theatre Program produces and runs a student One-Act New Play Festival in the Spring semester. Selected plays are written, directed, designed, built, acted and produced by students. There are also some on-campus student-run theatre groups, including TOOP (The Opposite of People).

Drama House :: TOOP

What is Drama House?

Drama House is a Special Interest Residence dedicated to providing quality housing and programming for students with an active interest in all branches of the performing arts. Drama House is administered by the International Theatre Program in conjunction with Residential Life and the English Department. The House accommodates up to twenty students and is situated on the Fraternity Quadrangle. Apart from living quarters and a kitchen, it has a lounge area which transforms easily into an intimate black box theatre. Rehearsals, performances, social events, and numerous other activities take place in the house. If you're interested in living in Drama House, please contact the faculty director of the house, one of the student officers, or Residential Life at 275-3166.

Drama House :: Contact a Drama House Student Officer :: Contact the Faculty Director of Drama House

What theatre facilities do you have?

The International Theatre Program uses the facilities of Todd Theatre, a large black-box theatre located in Todd Union. The theatre space, originally the dining hall of the old student union building, is about 80' x 35' feet and can be configured in numerous ways. We've staged plays in the round, environmentally, in a proscenium setting, on a thrust, in an 'alley' configuration, and pretty much every other way too. We have also used the lobby of the theatre for performances. A brand new acting, voice, movement and multi-purpose performance studio, The Linda E. Sloan Studio opened in 2014.

Why is it called Todd Theatre?

Todd Theatre is named after Elizabeth Connelly Todd, a great benefactor of the University of Rochester.

Why is it called the International Theatre Program?

We added the word 'International' to our name many years ago, when a Theatre Program production of The Brothers Karamazov toured to Russia and also to New York. The name stuck, and for many years it was very apt as we were (and continue to be) staffed by an international group of artists. Faculty, staff and visiting artists have come from South Africa, the UK, India, Italy, China, Canada, Australia and Russia. We are also dedicated to presenting great plays from the international dramatic canon...so 'International Theatre Program' says a lot about who we are and what we do.




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