O'Neill Center Names Jonathan Bernstein as Head of National Music Theater Institute

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O'Neill Center Names Jonathan Bernstein as Head of National Music Theater Institute

Rachel Jett, Artistic Director of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center has named director, playwright, and book writer Jonathan Bernstein as the artistic head of the Institute's new program, the National Music Theater Institute (NMTI).

NMTI is for high school graduates, undergraduates, and post-graduates seeking a launchpad into the music theater profession. A 14-week program offered in the fall and spring, NMTI offers conservatory-like schedule with broad-based ensemble training in acting, dance, movement, directing, singing, voice, writing, and composition complemented by two weeks of training in New York City through NMTI's singular series of workshops and master classes.

Bernstein has taught for the National Theater Institute since 2012 and also serves as adjunct professor of Playwriting and Script Analysis in the MFA Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU and as the Artistic Director of The Performing Arts Project. His directing credits include work at the Atlantic Theater Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage & Film, Signature Theater, Joe's Pub, Ensemble Studio Theater, and many others. Broadway/London supervising director credits include Private Lives, The Iceman Cometh,Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, and Chicago, for which he oversaw the (still running) 1996 Broadway revival and its many national/international companies. His plays and musicals have been produced across the country, and he most recently wrote and directed the world premiere of The Shape She Makes (in collaboration with Susan Misner) for the A.R.T., a show which had its developmental residency with NTI at the O'Neill in 2013.

Rachel Jett remarks, "I am beyond delighted to welcome Jonathan Bernstein as Artistic Associate for NMTI during this important moment of expansion and growth. He is a total theater artist and a great educator. His previous contributions to NTI have furthered our artistic and educational mission to not only prepare young artists to work in the theatrical landscape, but to also invigorate and electrify that landscape."

Led by Bernstein, a faculty of professional artists will instruct NMTI students in Acting for Music Theater, Writing the Musical, Dance/Movement, Directing for Music Theater, and Singing/Voice, as well as Cabaret, Greek Chorus, Business of the Business, Producing for Theater, Breakout Break Through Musicals, and Design, among many others. Current faculty members include Jeff Bowen, Susan Blackwell, Gavin Creel, Steven Pasquale, Alex Gemignani, Donna Di Novelli, G.W. "Skip" Mercier, David Dorfman, Susan Misner, Ted Chapin, Paulette Haupt, Scott Richards, Thomas Viertel, Jack Viertel, Ryan Scott Oliver, Erin Ortman, Scott Murphy, Mike Errico, John Doyle, and Nick Blaemire.

Bernstein says "I'm thrilled to help create this new component of the National Theater Institute. The O'Neill has been a beacon of light in this industry for the last half-century. I have every confidence that our new musical theater program (NMTI), with its world-class faculty, will become an innovative breeding ground for the next generation of curious, courageous, risk-inclined artists. I look forward to teaching them and learning from them."

The two-time Tony Award-winning Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, known as "America's theater laboratory" with its rich theater history and reputation for artistic development and excellence, is a dynamic place to study musical theater. Dozens of musicals including the award-winning Violet, Avenue Q, [title of show], and In the Heights had their beginnings at the storied Waterford, CT, campus.

Applications are currently being accepted. To learn more and apply please, please visit www.theoneill.org/nti or follow the National Theater Institute on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@NTIRiskFailRisk). Deadline to apply for the spring 2015 semester is October 20. Early applications are encouraged.

About the O'Neill: Founded in 1964, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014. It is the country's preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for American theater. In the bold tradition of its namesake Eugene O'Neill - four-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and America's only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature - the O'Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and to more than 2,500 emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O'Neill have gone on to full production at other theaters around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, and major regional theaters.

Recipient of a 2010 Tony Award for Regional Theatre and 1979 Tony Award for Theatrical Excellence, O'Neill programs include the National Playwrights Conference, National Music Theater Conference, National Critics Institute, National Puppetry Conference, Cabaret & Performance Conference,Young Playwrights Festival, and the National Theater Institute (NTI). NTI offers six intensive theater training programs for academic credit, including the Moscow Art Theatre Semester (MATS), and the six-week Theatermakers Summer Intensive.

The O'Neill owns and operates the Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. The childhood summer home of Eugene O'Neill, the Cottage is a National Historic Landmark.

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