The Next Stage Ensemble



The Next Stage Ensemble was created to foster the work of early career actors and to train them in ensemble-based performance techniques. Classic drama demands that actors are trained in this tradition. In addition to taking classes, participants work with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey resident directors and guest directors on a fully developed production of an abridged classic play (which tours to libraries, community centers, and retirement communities throughout the state) and two additional projects presented in the Late-Nite Series.

In conjunction with The Shakespeare Theatre’s mission as a teaching theatre, members of the NSE take advanced classes in Voice & Speech, Movement for the Actor, and Stage Combat as well as master classes designed to hone and nurture the skills necessary to be a consummate theatre artist. Participants are given advanced seminars throughout the summer with working professionals from around the country to supplement & enhance the work done in the classroom, the rehearsal room and on tour. All projects chosen are suited and tailored to meet the needs of the ensemble process.

In addition to the touring schedule, the NSE presentations are performed for The Shakespeare Theatre’s Summer Professional Training Program and The Theatre’s artistic staff as part of the Late-Nite Series. The Ensemble also presents a free public performance on the lawn outside The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre as part of The Picnic Series after a select Saturday afternoon performance of a Main Stage production.

DATES: May 28–August 7, 2017

UNDERSTUDYING/EMC POINTS:  The Next Stage members understudy Main Stage and Outdoor Stage productions, allowing each actor to earn Equity Membership Candidate (EMC) points.  Students typically earn 6–10 EMC points during the summer depending on their specific understudy assignments.

CREW DUTIES: Next Stagers are assigned to work one opening night reception each summer for the Main Stage, and occasionally will usher shows on the Main Stage or Outdoor Stage.  For the tour, Next Stagers will work together on the load-in, set-up, strike, and load-out of the simple technical elements of the tour.

ENROLLMENT in The Next Stage Ensemble is typically 8–12 students, based on the needs of the company each summer.  Competition is very high for these positions.

TUITION FEE:  $600, which covers all classes and master classes.

HOUSING FEES are $1,500 for the summer, which provides a standard double-occupancy room.  An additional $100 refundable housing deposit is also required.   Single rooms may be requested for an additional fee of $800 based on availability.

HOUSING SCHOLARSHIPS may be available for qualified applicants.  Financial awards are determined based on merit as well as need.  Please note the NEW deadline, APRIL 21 to apply for Scholarship Assistance.