Frequently Asked Questions
I'm thinking of having a career in theatre. Is the University of Rochester the place for me?
The University of Rochester is a strong liberal arts university with 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 classes covering almost the full range of theatrical activity. The Program fosters creativity, risk-taking, and experimentation, while nurturing and developing both skills and talent.
Though a number of our students have gone on to professional acting and backstage careers, we are not a conservatory training program. If you are sure you want to dedicate your life to theatre, you may also want to consider one of the larger, professional programs offered by universities that offer conservatory training options. That being said, what you will develop at the University of Rochester is a broad intellectual base and curiosity that enriches creativity, and you will also have the opportunity to work closely and network with distinguished artists right from the first moment you enter the door.
If your passion for theatre is matched by passions for other intellectual pursuits, or if you want a solid education with a vibrant and rigorous introduction into the practical world of theatre and performance, the International Theatre Program may be ideal for your needs.
Is there a theatre major?
Do I have to audition to get into the theatre program?
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?
Do you offer internships?
We help finance two students to be part of the Williamstown Theatre Festival Intern Company, and do our best to help interested students get internships outside of the UR. In the past we’ve helped students intern at places like 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.
Do you produce any musical theatre?
Our first musical was in the 2007-2008 season, and we've been producing musicals ever since. That being said, we do not produce a musical every year, but, like the major Shakespeare productions we do, do one approximately every four years. We have also commissioned new musicals.
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 productions. You might also want to contact the Music Department, which offers a Musical Theatre Workshop (though not every year), or student activities groups like Off Broadway On Campus and the ROC Players.
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 with the help of professional directors, designers and technical directors.
Drama House, an academic living center across the road from Todd Union, is a great place for students who are interested in 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 most spring semesters. 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) ands the ROC Players.
What is the Drama House?
The Drama House is a Special Interest Residence for students interested in 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 20 students and is situated on the Fraternity Quadrangle. Apart from living quarters and a kitchen, it has a lounge area which the residents transform 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 or Residential Life at 275-3166.
What theatre facilities do you have?
The International Theatre Program uses Todd Theatre, a large black-box theatre located in Todd Union. The theatre space 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, and in an 'alley' configuration, just to name a few. We have also used the lobby of the theatre for performances.
A new acting, voice, movement and multi-purpose performance studio, the Linda E. Sloan Studio opened in 2014.
A brand new facility, the Sloan Performing Arts Center which includes a new state-of-the-art studio theatre is slated for completion in 2020.
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 Russia and New York. The name stuck, as it fits with the international group of artists who are a part of our program. 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.