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Vassar College and New York Stage and Film Present Powerhouse Theater


Powerhouse Theater Training Program now accepting 2013 applications through March 22, 2013

Now in its twenty-ninth season, the Powerhouse Theater Program is a unique collaboration between a prestigious liberal arts college (Vassar) and an established professional theater company (New York Stage and Film). Powerhouse is nationally renowned for its dedication to new theater works, through support for both emerging and established artists. Many of Powerhouse’s professional productions have gone on to appear on Broadway and off, and to win theater’s top honors -- including several Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.

Students in the six-week Powerhouse training program choose a discipline: acting, playwriting, or directing and form an Apprentice Company. All acting apprentices are cast in one of three outdoor productions of adapted and abridged texts, which are attended by the public. Recent performances have included the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Euripides, all presented under the direction of professional directors and writers at Vassar’s majestic outdoor amphitheater. In addition, acting apprentices work alongside innovative theater artists to create performances in unconventional campus spaces such as Vassar’s museum, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Directors and writers are part of the rehearsal process of the different professional projects taking place on campus. They also write and direct new work that is performed by members of the apprentice company.

Complementing their apprentice company training, the apprentices also gain invaluable experience within the framework of the larger Powerhouse theater summer community on campus. Through Vassar’s collaboration with New York Stage and Film, apprentices have the opportunity to work in various capacities alongside some of the country’s leading theater talents.  In past years this has included such well-known and emerging theater artists as John Patrick Shanley, Duncan Sheik, Sarah Ruhl, Tomi Tsunoda, Erik Ehn, Deborah Asiimwe, Davis McCallum, and Emily Mendelsohn.

Application Process

The Powerhouse Theater Training Program will run from June 14 through July 28, 2013 on the historic Vassar campus in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley region. The program is available to rising high school seniors through college-age students. Program fee, room, and board (including daily breakfast and dinner) costs $5000, and an $85 application fee must be submitted with the completed online form (http://powerhouse.vassar.edu/apprentices/). Completed applications are due by March 22, 2013, including required recommendations and a personal statement submitted online.

Depending upon their special interest in acting, playwriting, or directing, an applicant will also need to submit supplementary materials by March 22 through the U.S. mail or e-mail. For example, aspiring playwrights need to submit a writing sample, directors need to submit a play analysis, and actors must submit a DVD where they perform two contrasting monologues. Interested applicants should call the Powerhouse administrative office at (845) 437-5902 for more information about the details of their application.

Very limited financial aid is available to Powerhouse apprentices, strictly to meet an applicant’s demonstrated financial need. Further details on this and all of the program’s other background information should be reviewed online at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu/apprentices/. Applicants may also call Producing Director Edward Cheetham for more information at (845) 437-5902, or email him at edcheetham@vassar.edu.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, March 13, 2013