BWW Exclusive: Behind the Scenes at NTI - Company Project
Company Project is a signature of the National Theater Institute's acclaimed theater intensive. As the capstone to 14 weeks of rigorous training at the two-time Tony Award-winning Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, students are prompted with thematic material and collaborate to write, compose, produce, score, direct, design, choreograph, and perform an original production in two weeks. Company Project provides students the opportunity to practice what they've learned at NTI; to work collaboratively as an ensemble; gain confidence in their skills; and astonish us with their talent, breadth of vision, and artistic bravery.
Guided by project mentors, NTI Artistic Director Rachel Jett and actor Alejandro Rodriguez, students of the fall 2014 National Theater Institute, NTI-Advanced Directing, and National Music Theater Institute are devising new work inspired by two recent NEW YORK TIMES articles: "Is Our Art Equal to the Challenges of Our Times" by A. O. Scott and "Evolution and the American Myth of the Individual" by John Edward Terrell. These prompts have encouraged a discussion about personal, cultural, and mythic expectations as well as inspired the students engage in conversation with our times. Students are exploring the myths of equality, happiness, prodigy, and falling in love as well as examining the stories we tell to justify behavior.
Over the past week, songs have been written, scenes have taken shape, dances have been developed, and the creation of a new theatrical work is underway. The O'Neill's campus, aptly called "America's theater laboratory," is alive with young artists collaborating, creating, and building a production from the ground up. At the end of the week, the ensemble will present an original theatrical work exploring modern American myths through song, dance, and documentary theater. This production, unique to the ensemble, will become the fingerprint of the fall 2014 class.
A semester-long, credit-earning, study-away semester, the fall 2014 ensemble features students from schools across the country including Connecticut College, Sarah Lawrence College, Oberlin College, Vassar College, Drake University, Kenyon College, University of Tampa, Bowdoin College, University of Missourri, Hampshire College, Skidmore College, University of Kansas, Shenandoah University, Portland State University, and Furman University, among others.
Next week: In class with NTI: Droznin. An introduction to the cornerstone of NTI's movement training with NTI Artistic Director Rachel Jett, the first American aspirant to Andrei Droznin, Master Teacher of Movement at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, Russia.
To learn more and apply, visit www.NationalTheaterInstitute.org and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@NTIRiskFailRisk). The application deadline for summer and fall programs is March 20. Early applications are encouraged!