Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is the National Theater Institute?

With a singular schedule and an unmatched breadth of training, the National Theater Institute's six semester-long programs offer students a springboard to the professional world at the two-time Tony Award-winning Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Founded in 1970, NTI's credit-earning theater intensives, taught by industry professionals and master teachers, train actors, singers, directors, dancers, designers, playwrights, and composers who are high school graduates, undergraduates, and post-graduates. Programs include the National Theater Institute Semester (NTI), Advanced Playwriting (NTI-AP), Advanced Directing (NTI-AD), National Music Theater Institute (NMTI), Moscow Art Theatre Semester (MATS), and Theatermakers Summer Intensive (TM). Connecticut College is the school of record and issues transcripts for all programs.

Q: Who is eligible?

Applicants must have a minimum of a high school diploma, GED, or demonstrate the ability to benefit. The National Theater Institute welcomes applicants undertaking a gap-year (between secondary school and university), undergraduate students, post-graduates, and professionals looking for a broad-based theatrical training intensive.

In our selection process, we look for a proven ability to handle the demands of disciplined theater work and to be a positive and contributing member of an ensemble. Successful applicants demonstrate a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an intensive semester of study as well as a determination to complete the chosen program in a conscientious manner.

Q: What is unique about National Theater Institute?

The immersion into the craft of theater that you receive at NTI is unmatched at any other program. The sheer amount of hours you are given to devote solely to developing your art is unique in and of itself. We also believe our extensive faculty of working professionals and our vast alumni network are great and unique aspects of any NTI program.

Q: How can I tell which is the right program for me?

The NTI and NMTI semesters tend to draw incredibly passionate students who thrive in an ensemble and prefer to have an outlet for creativity in the theater beyond just one discipline. The NTI students want to focus more intently on the production dramatic theater, while the NMTI students want to focus more intently on the production music theater. These are students of varying ages and levels of professional experience. They are total theater artists who wish to improve in every area of theatrical expression and genuinely wish to develop their craft with a group of like minded peers.

The Advanced Semesters (Directing and Playwriting) tend to draw students with a set focus, but understand the importance of ensemble and creating collectively. These students tend to be upperclassman or post grad, mostly because it is important for these students to have experience directing and writing plays prior to studying with us. These students are seeking to hone their craft through constant creation of new material.

MATS students tend to be focused and passionate actors who are interested in a cultural experience as well as intensive theater training. These students tend to be committed actors and wish to experience first hand the profound impact Russian training has had on the American theater and cinema.

The Theatermakers tend to be similar to the Advanced students in that they come in having a focus and appreciate ensemble training. The difference lies in the desire to present their work to a professional audience on a weekly basis, these public presentations are a core component of the Theatermakers Summer Intensive.

Q: I'm not a theater major, can I still study with you?

Absolutely! NTI provides rigorous theater training across all artistic disciplines and is designed to complement a liberal arts education. While students studying theater certainly do attend NTI, our training is also beneficial to students looking to broaden their horizons outside of their majors. Often, NTI credits are able to apply as elective credits for students with a vested interest in theater that happen to be majoring in another field. Below is a list of some of the declared majors of our students:

Acting Education Psychology
Africana Studies English Religion
American Studies Feminist Studies Rhetoric
Anthropology Film & Television Production Russian Language
Art History French Russian/Slavic Studies
Arts Administration Gender Studies Social Justice
Arts Entrepreneurship Global Studies Sociology
Asian Studies Government Sound, Performance, and Visual Inquiry
Biology Interdisciplinary Studies Studio Art
Business Management Liberal Studies Theater
Chemistry Literature Theater & Cinema Performance
Cinema Management Studies Theater Arts
Comparative Studies Managerial Economics Theater Directing
Composition Mathematics Theater Education
Computer Science Media Studies Theater Performance
Creative Writing Music Theater Production
Dance Musical Theater Theater Studies
Design and Technology Performance Vocal Arts
Directing Piano Performance Vocal Performance
Drama Playwriting Writing  
Dramatic Writing Political Science  
Economics Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities
Q: How many credits are earned and how do they transfer?

Connecticut College is the school of record for the National Theater Institute. Credits are awarded to undergraduates who successfully complete the program. Final grades are reported to Connecticut College where they are recorded by official transcript and forwarded to the student’s college or university registrar upon request. Connecticut College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Students are encouraged to check with thier academic advisor to confirm policies for study abroad, off-campus courses, and/or transfer credits. Please contact NTI with any questions.

NTI, NMTI, MATS  20 credit hours or 5 course credits
NTI-AD, NTI-AP  16 credit hours or 4 course credits
Theatermakers Summer Intensive  8 credit hours or 2 course credits

Q: What is the non-discriminatory policy?

The National Theater Institute seeks to attract students of diverse backgrounds and, to this policy, no applicant for admission is discriminated against on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or national or ethnic origin.

Q: What kind of student support services are available while attending NTI?

NTI is a rigorous and rewarding program, we want each student to benefit from all that it has to offer. Therefore a student’s well-being is of utmost importance. The NTI staff is incredibly willing to assist you in making sure your personal health and safety is always first priority. We are proponents of demystifying the stigma attached to issues of mental health and work with students to accommodate counseling appointments (both by phone and with a local professionals). Each student is a vital member of the ensemble and we work to ensure their best health. Please contact our office if you have specific questions or concerns!

Admissions

Q: May I visit campus?

Absolutely! We love to have students visit campus for a personal tour, in-person interview, and/or class visits with prior arrangement. To schedule campus visit, please contact us nti@theoneill.org or 860-443-7139.

Q: Do I have to audition?

For NTI and NMTI, we ask for supplementary videos or audio files demonstrating your abilities in two (2) of the following forms: singing, dancing/choreography, acting, or composition/songwriting. Original material is welcomed! Each upload should not exceed five (5) minutes in length.

For MATS, we ask for supplementary videos or audio files demonstrating your abilities in two (2) of the following forms: acting, singing, or dancing/choreography. Each upload should not exceed five (5) minutes in length. 

For NTI-Advanced Directing, NTI-Advanced Playwriting, Theatermakers (Director or Playwrights) we require applicants to submit a sample portfolio of their work. This can include, but is not limited to, scripts, rehearsal documents, video, audio, photos, etc…

For Theatermakers Acting, we require video auditions of contrasting monologues.

Q: The Personal Statement is such a small space to say so much, what do you look for?

Our advice as you prepare your application is to be as honest as you can be, and focus on letting the real you come through in the application. Try not to get caught up in what you think we see or read. We look for students who have a hunger and readiness for an intensive training experience; someone open to new ways of working; someone willing to risk, fail, risk again; and someone excited about creating theater in an ensemble. Most of all, we want to get to know you as theater artist and learn what you hope to achieve. The statement is your chance to tell us how you think attending NTI will help shape your story.

Q: What is the 12-College Exchange?

The Twelve-College Exchange Program is a cooperative program for residential student exchange between the National Theater Institute and the following colleges: Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Wheaton or Williams. Students at the at the above colleges must also submit a 12-College Exchange application with their school to facilitate the transfer of credits and finances. 

Financial Aid

Q: Are scholarships available?

Click to learn about NTI scholarships and financial aid best practices here.

NTI offers modest need-based scholarships to qualified students. We are unable to support a full tuition request at this time. Details about the available scholarships are listed above. To be considered for scholarship, students must complete an NTI Scholarship Application. Students must provide all necessary documentation to qualify. Scholarships may not be applied to the program deposit.  

Students with specific financial aid questions are encouraged to contact Program Administrator Amanda Ritchie at aritchie@theoneill.org or 860-443-5378 x 224. 

Looking to support a student scholarship? Donate here or contact contact the Development Office.

Q: What if I am currently receiving financial aid at my school?

If you are currently enrolled (including being on a summer break) at another college while attending NTI, you should contact that school's financial aid office and inquire about their policies for financial aid consortium agreements. A financial aid consortium agreement may allow you to use financial aid that is being applied toward your bill at your home college to attend NTI. Please contact Program Administrator Amanda Ritchie at aritchie@theoneill.org or 860-443-5478 x 224 with questions.

Q: I am completing the FAFSA. What is NTI’s school code?

As a semester-long program, NTI is not a Title IV school, and does not have a school code to include on the FAFSA. Students are encouraged to use thier existing school code and work with their financial aid, off-campus studies, or study abroad office. Connecticut College’s code should not be used.

Q: What are the estimated additional expenses for each program?

The numbers below are a quick look at additional expenses for the average student attending a semester with NTI. In cases of financial hardship, NTI is able to help defray the cost of books and supplies. Please contact nti@theoneill.org with questions.

NTI, NTI-AD, NTI-AP, NMTI
Travel to/from CT
Books and Supplies ~$400
Personal Expenses ~$800 (approximate for laundry, sundries, and souvenirs).
Refundable Room and Key Deposit $125

MATS
Travel to CT in September
Travel from NYC airport in December
Visa Fee ~$400
HIV Test ~$200 (if not covered by insurance)
Books and Supplies~$400
Personal Expenses ~$800 (approximate for laundry, transportation, sundries, and souvenirs).
Meals ~$1,300-$2,200 (options include school cafeteria, restaurants, and dorm kitchen)

Theatermakers Summer Intensive
Travel to/from CT
Books and Supplies~$300
Personal Expenses ~$400 (approximate for laundry, sundries, and souvenirs).
Refundable Room and Key Deposit $125

Q: What is NTI’s Withdrawal/Refund Policy?


 

On or before 90 days before start of semester

On or Between     90-60 days before start of semester

60 days before start of semester

$900 Deposit

0% refunded

0% refunded

0% refunded

Costs Incurred on Student's Behalf

0% refunded

0% refunded

0% refunded

Tuition

50% refunded

0% refunded

0% refunded

Housing

100% refunded

50% refunded

0% refunded

Q: Does NTI provide health insurance?

No. All students entering the program are required to carry their own health insurance or be covered under their parents' plan while studying with NTI. Proof of coverage is to be submitted along with your student forms upon admittance to any of NTI’s programs.

NTI Semester

Q: Who teaches the classes?

NTI’s faculty is comprised of master teachers and industry professionals. From award-winning directors, playwrights, and actors to working dancers, composers, and designers, all of these artists come to NTI to share their expertise. Throughout the semester and during residencies in London or New York City, students will study with as many as 50 core faculty members and guest artists who are working at the top levels of their respective fields. You will spend 10 hours a day working with these professionals, building skills, expanding your range as an artist, making connections, and gaining valuable mentors. Meet our faculty here.

Q: What technique does NTI Teach?

NTI is not constricted to a single approach to theater. We expose our students to a wide range of professionals with expertise in various techniques. NTI encourages students to become acquainted with as many methodologies as possible in order to begin developing their own unique outlook on artistic development. Because of the intensive nature of our programs, our students are also given a depth of experience in the various techniques they are exposed to. Approaches we have worked with in the past include, Suzuki, Viewpoints, Composition, Balinese mask, Myerhold, Feldenkrais, as well as many variations of Stanislavsky and Meisner, among others.

Q: Are there any days off at NTI?

Due to the immersive nature and conservatory style of NTI, there are very few days off during the semester. Students will be given a short break in late November during fall semesters or in mid-March during spring semesters.

Q: Do I have to find my own housing?

No, all students live and work on the O’Neill’s campus. In fact, due to the intensity of the schedule and the ensemble nature of the training at NTI, we require students to live on the O’Neill campus for the duration of the program.  It is an opportunity to immerse yourself fully in your work and development as an artist and free yourself from outside distractions.  Situated on the shoreline, it also just happens to be a really beautiful place to live for a semester. Learn more here.

   

Q: Why should I attend NTI, a domestic program, instead of spending a semester abroad?

For a student looking to work professionally, NTI provides the best of both worlds: professional contacts currently working in the theater industry and an abroad experience! NTI travels to London for two weeks, giving students the opportunity to gain abroad experience even during a “domestic” program.  With NTI in London, students see the all the famous landmarks, tour several prominent museums and historical sites, as well as see as many as 10 shows (more than the average study abroad semester). For students interested in world cultures and looking to make a career in the theater, there is no better place than NTI. Students regularly work with artists who call Bali, Peru, Mali, Abu Dhabi, and England home.

Q: As someone who wants to be an actor, what’s the advantage of doing NTI since it also teaches directing, writing, and design?

Being well informed and knowledgeable about the entire theatrical process is essential to the art of good acting. Once an actor understands what it means to direct, write, or design a piece of theater they begin to see their own work in a different way. For instance, they learn how to better communicate with their director or they learn how to better interpret a playwright’s text. NTI also believes in creating “hyphenate” theater artists who can pursue work as actors, directors, playwrights, designers, or any combination of those.

NTI-Advanced Programs

Q: What is your definition of “advanced”? Do I need extensive experience to apply?

Our advanced semesters are intended for students who have a pointed desire to advance themselves in the fields of either directing or playwriting. The experience levels of these applicants varies from undergraduates with minimal experience to post graduates with quite a few credits to their names to adult students looking for a career boost. If you have a desire to pursue one of these fields, by all means apply! We look for passion and drive in our students just as much as we look for prior experience, so don’t let the term “advanced” deter you from completing an application.

Q: Who teaches the classes?

NTI’s faculty is comprised of master teachers and industry professionals. From award-winning directors, playwrights, and actors to working dancers, composers, and designers, all of these artists come to NTI to share their expertise. Throughout the semester and during residencies in London or New York City, students will study with as many as 50 core faculty members and guest artists who are working at the top levels of their respective fields. You will spend 10 hours a day working with these professionals, building skills, expanding your range as an artist, making connections, and gaining valuable mentors. Meet our faculty here.

Q: Do I have to find my own housing?

No, all students live and work on the O’Neill’s campus. In fact, due to the intensity of the schedule and the ensemble nature of the training at NTI, we require students to live on the O’Neill campus for the duration of the program.  It is an opportunity to immerse yourself fully in your work and development as an artist and free yourself from outside distractions.  Situated on the shoreline, it also just happens to be a really beautiful place to live for a semester. Learn more here.

   

National Music Theater Institute

Q: Who teaches the classes?

NTI’s faculty is comprised of master teachers and industry professionals. From award-winning directors, playwrights, and actors to working dancers, composers, and designers, all of these artists come to NTI to share their expertise. Throughout the semester and during residencies in London or New York City, students will study with as many as 50 core faculty members and guest artists who are working at the top levels of their respective fields. You will spend 10 hours a day working with these professionals, building skills, expanding your range as an artist, making connections, and gaining valuable mentors. Meet our faculty here.

Q: My school doesn’t have a music theater program, so I’ve never actually been in a musical. Am I still eligible to apply?

Absolutely! This is quite common. On your resume, list whatever theatrical experience you do have. Then, in your supplementary video you can show us the music theater skills you feel the strongest in - singing, dancing/choreography, acting, or composition/songwriting. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to perform in musical scene study at NMTI

Q: Are there any days off at NMTI?

Due to the immersive nature and conservatory style of NMTI, there are very few days off during the semester. Students will be given a short break in late November during fall semesters or in mid-March during spring semesters.

Q: Do I have to find my own housing?

No, all students live and work on the O’Neill’s campus. In fact, due to the intensity of the schedule and the ensemble nature of the training at NTI, we require students to live on the O’Neill campus for the duration of the program.  It is an opportunity to immerse yourself fully in your work and development as an artist and free yourself from outside distractions.  Situated on the shoreline, it also just happens to be a really beautiful place to live for a semester. Learn more here.

   

Moscow Art Theatre Semester

Q: What technique does MATS Teach?

MATS students are immersed in the Stanislavski training method at the very theater where he developed his approach.

Q: What are the passport requirements?

A: You MUST have a U.S. passport valid through June 2018. If your passport expires before June 2018, please renew immediately. Failure to renew your passport in a timely fashion may jeopardize your enrollment in MATS. 

Q: Do I need a travel Visa for Russia? Does NTI help with that?

Yes, once accepted into the MATS program NTI help arrange your visa. The cost is the responsibility of the student ($350-$425). Please note, to provide your Visa, NTI will need your physical passport beginning in June. Passports must be valid for 18 months after the end of the semester. Additionally, the Russian Consulate requires a specific HIV test for each student traveling to Russia. The cost of the test is the responsibility of the student.

Q: How will the current situation in Russia affect my safety at MATS?

We are proud to offer the only training program for U.S. undergraduates at the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre School. NTI has been sending students to Moscow since 1991 and understand that many students and families may have concerns about studying in Russia given the current and ever-changing political climate. Over the last 20 years, we have been witness to many less than ideal political situations through which our semester advanced without incident or impact on the training and quality of life for students. We are confident that this will be the case for the upcoming semester and are progressing with applications, enrollments, and visas as planned. The leadership of the National Theater Institute, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and Moscow Art Theatre School is cognizant of the difficulty that shifts in diplomatic relations create for students who want to study abroad. There is a team of people (in Connecticut, Washington, and Moscow) monitoring the situation. We have close ties with the Russian cultural ministry and the U.S. embassy in Russia both who continue to be supportive and protective of our students studying in Moscow.

Students live in dorms which have both wi-fi, security, and a nightly curfew. Students spend the majority of their time in Moscow under supervision, either in classes at the Moscow Art Theatre School six days a week or seeing theater performances and cultural sites. Students should exercise due caution and discretion and follow the recommendations of the U.S. Department of State for travel. Though Russia has its own issues with race and discrimination, the School environment is completely race blind and supportive of all students.  The faculty expects everyone to become Masha or Vanya or Treplev, regardless of age, color, etc.  

Theatermakers Summer Intensive

Q: I am relatively new to directing and the things I have directed I haven't taken photos of. What can I include for my Theatermakers-Directing portfolio?

Include any documented materials you do have, but don’t feel like you are necessarily at a disadvantage if you don’t have photos or a large body of work under your belt. There are many different ways for you to share with us your ideas and promise as an emerging theater artist and we encourage you to consider sharing your plans for future projects, example of an annotated script, action outlines, director’s notes, ground plans, rehearsal schedules, concept images, script analysis, etc.  

Q: Can I apply to multiple focuses if I submit several applications?

You are welcome to apply for multiple focuses and submit separate applications for each.  Each application will be evaluated separately.

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