The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) is a true Teaching Theatre – a role in which we take great pride.  For the past three decades, STNJ has provided an exceptional training ground for early career theatre artists by creating an environment that is nurturing, inspiring, and disciplined; challenging students to push themselves and their craft to the next level.


The Acting Apprentice Company


The Shakespeare Theatre is passionately dedicated to developing and nurturing early-career theatre artists for the American stage. A rigorous 7-week program, The Acting Apprenticeship works on a conservatory model and provides invaluable exposure to all aspects of professional theatre, both as an art form and as a business. While a variety of classes are offered, the primary focus is on Shakespeare and other classic works.

  • CLASSES meet six days a week throughout the summer with a focus on Acting/Scene Study, Movement for the Actor, Voice/Speech, Text Analysis, Play Reading, and Stage Combat. Seminars and workshops with industry professionals are also scheduled throughout the summer.

Click here for an example of the Professional Training schedule.

  • REHEARSALS are scheduled throughout the week, and additional time is set aside for independent project work. The final two weeks of the program shift to a full day rehearsal model to prepare for the Final Project.
  • THE SPOTLIGHT SERIES showcases Apprentices in three scene-night presentations (Epic Scene Night, Shakespeare Scene Night, and independent projects with directing interns) and the Final Project, an abridged, fully produced Shakespeare play.
  • CLASS SIZES are limited to allow for more individualized attention.
  • THE FACULTY consists of theatre professionals working at regional theatres and universities across the country.
  • CONNECT WITH THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE! Guest artists, staff, and professional company members are very supportive and attend the Spotlight performances each summer. Many of them also serve as guest artists or participate in artist panels to discuss the business of making art. Apprentices also connect with artists and patrons during weekly front-of-house responsibilities.
  • PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE is carved out a few days each summer, providing Apprentices with minimal though valuable exposure to the technical and administrative aspects of professional theatre.
  • TUITION/HOUSING combined is $7,000 for this intense 7-week experience, averaging just over $20/class and rehearsal hour. If students live within 30 minutes of the Theatre, they can commute. Those needing housing can register for convenient single-occupancy campus accommodations. Those not requiring housing pay only $5,000 for tuition.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS are available on a limited basis, and most provide partial aid only.
  • ROLLING ENROLLMENT: Enrollment is by audition/interview only. Applications are processed on a first-come/first-served basis, and slots fill up quickly each year. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials early.

The Intern Company

 Named one of the "TOP 8 SUMMER INTERNSHIPS IN THE COUNTRY" by Backstage.com! 

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) is deeply dedicated to identifying and nurturing early-career theatre artists for the American stage. As a teaching theatre, we take that responsibility very seriously.  STNJ provides an exceptional training ground for up-and-coming theatre artists not only by offering numerous levels of training and experiential opportunities, but also by virtue of the fact that both the staff and veteran company members embrace the task of providing guidance and mentorship for emerging theatre artists and administrators as an integral part of STNJ’s institutional persona and culture.


  • OBSERVATION: See numerous projects over the summer, including the work of renowned theatre artists in all areas of the theatre.
  • EDUCATION: Weekly classes, master classes, and workshops in targeted areas of study.
  • EXPERIENCE: Under the instruction of and support from STNJ staff members and guest artists, interns gain valuable practical experience working alongside professional veterans in their chosen area of focus.

COVID Protocols

STNJ is a fully vaccinated site.  All staff, volunteers, artists, and students must show proof of vaccination to participate in STNJ programs.

For more information, please contact Training@ShakespeareNJ.org or call 973-845-6742.


Program Sponsors copy.jpg