The Apprentice Company- FAQs
I'm already studying acting at college. Why should I pay for additional summer training?
Participating in a professional training program is an investment in your future career, and will reflect favorably on you when you apply to graduate schools or attend professional auditions. Because The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is passionately committed to the advancement of young artists, the Apprentice Company is just the first major stepping stone in forging what we hope will be an ever-evolving relationship with our students. Apprentices that prove their potential are frequently brought back to become members of the Next Stage Ensemble, Shakespeare LIVE!, and the Non-Equity Company. Many of the young Equity leads on the Main Stage are alumni of the SPTP.
As you contemplate the investment of time and money that the SPTP represents, consider that your tuition for the 25+ hours of classes, master classes, and seminars per week average roughly $12.72 per class hour. This does not take into account the invaluable hours of mentorship and observation that the program affords you.
Discuss financial aid opportunities with your university or your personal bank, and remember that you are investing in your future!
Where is The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey located?
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is located on the campus of Drew University in scenic Madison, New Jersey (just 30 miles southwest of Manhattan), close to Morristown. Known as "the University in the Forest," Drew boasts a beautiful campus, and the majority of our company members enjoy escaping from Manhattan for the summer to immerse themselves in the classics in a pastoral setting. Manhattan is, however, easily accessible via the NJ Transit system; approximately 50 minutes by train.
Is The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey a collegiate or a professional theatre?
Though the administrative and principal performance facilities reside on the campus of Drew University, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is a prominent, professional regional theatre working under an AEA LORT contract. It runs in complete autonomy from the university. The relationship with Drew began in 1972 when The Shakespeare Theatre (then known as New Jersey Shakespeare Festival) was invited to be the professional theatre in residence on the Drew University campus. Since that time, many Drew students have become involved in The Shakespeare Theatre's administrative and artistic training programs, and several have forged a long-term professional relationship with the company. Several Shakespeare Theatre staff members have also acted as adjunct faculty and guest instructors in Drew University's Theatre and Graduate English Studies programs.
Where do I stay while at The Shakespeare Theatre?
Members of the Summer Professional Training Program are encouraged to live in the residence halls on the Drew University campus, which have common kitchen and laundry facilities. Standard rooms are double-occupancy. Subject to availability, single rooms can be requested for an additional fee. Please specify on your application form if you would prefer a single room. Other university facilities (the most notable of which is the Simon Athletic Forum, which houses an indoor track, courts for popular sports, a fitness room, a free weight room, and an indoor swimming pool) are available to all Shakespeare Theatre company members at no additional cost.
Training program participants also enjoy the quaint environment of Madison's charming downtown, which includes numerous shops and restaurants. Grocery stores, shopping, restaurants and cinemas are within comfortable walking distance from the campus, though many students choose to bring their cars with them for the summer. The university snack bar, cafeteria and bookstore are also available throughout the summer for quick meals and shopping.
Am I required to live on campus?
No. You may choose to live at home if you are within 30 minutes of The Shakespeare Theatre and would like to avoid housing costs. However, because of the number of company members (training program participants, designers, directors, and Equity actors) who live on campus during the season, we strongly encourage participants to take advantage of an enriched summer experience available by staying in company housing. A variety of important (and, in some cases, mandatory) events (Late-Nite Series performances, rehearsals and meetings) take place after Main Stage shows come down in the evening, and a large number of training program performances take place late at night.
Will I need a car?
We encourage all students to bring a car if they are able. Though food, housing, classrooms and many theatre facilities are within comfortable walking distance, a vehicle does allow for more ease in getting to the Production Center, the Outdoor Stage and to various local establishments-grocery stores, malls, movie theatres, etc. A Drew University parking permit, which is required to park any vehicle on campus, can be obtained upon your arrival for $30.
Can I apprentice for just part of the summer?
Due to the intense, "hit-the-ground-running" nature of the training program, we require students to start their apprenticeship with the rest of the company. Occasionally, however, we will allow apprentices to start up to one week late if there is a conflict with their university classes. All members of the training program are expected to participate for the duration of the program. It is not possible to schedule a shorter apprenticeship during the summer months.
Will I be able to have an outside job during the SPTP?
Due to the heavy workload, classwork, crew calls, rehearsals and independent projects, it is rare that members of the Summer Professional Training Program can arrange outside employment.
Can I earn Equity Membership Candidacy (EMC) points?
Acting apprentices are eligible to earn EMC points if cast in Main Stage or Outdoor Stage productions. Though The Shakespeare Theatre often supplements Main Stage and Outdoor Stage casts with members of the Apprentice Company, this does not guarantee that apprentices will be cast in Main Stage or Outdoor Stage productions.