BWW Exclusive: National Theater Institute - Year in Review
Today, Risk Again! Notes from the National Theater Institute reflects on 12 defining moments of 2104. With a singular schedule and an unmatched breadth of training, NTI's six semester-long programs offer students a springboard to the professional world at the two-time Tony Award-winning Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. NTI's credit-earning theater intensives, taught by industry professionals and master teachers, train actors, singers, directors, dancers, designers, playwrights, and composers unlike any other undergraduate training in the world.
JANUARY -- The year began as each semester does with a mask-making and monologue workshop with Mystic Paper Beasts. Here the Spring 2014 ensemble displays their original character creations.
FEBRUARY -- NTI Advanced Directors had an observership at Boston's American Repertory Theater (the A.R.T.). The students took class and were welcomed into the rehearsal process for THE SHAPE SHE MAKES by creators Jonathan Bernstein and Susan Minser.
MARCH -- NTI Spring 2014 reunited director Wendy C. Goldberg and actor John McGinty for a Theater Lab. The duo who had last worked together on the Guthrie Theatre's production of TRIBES, spent three days working with NTI students to present scenes from Nina Raine's play.
APRIL -- To welcome CBS SUNDAY MORNING to campus, NTI Spring 2014 students created a "sun" in Droznin class. The national news segment aired in July and featured footage of NTI's classes, a look at 50 years of the O'Neill, as well as an interview with actor/alum Michael Douglas.
MAY -- THE O'NEILL: THE TRANSFORMATION OF MODERN AMERICAN THEATER by Jeffrey Sweet is published by Yale University Press. With forwards by alums Meryl Streep and Michael Douglas, it shares through first hand accounts and photographs the way that the O'Neill transformed American theater, film, and television. In a book review, the WALL STREET JOURNAL aptly noted "The O'Neill is about learning, not opening night. 'Risk,' urged one [National Theater Institute] poster. 'Fail. Risk Again.'"
JUNE -- Theatermakers 2014 met with Josh Radnor (DISGRACED, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, LIBERAL ARTS) after "Thanks to the O'Neill" at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The event, part of the NYPL-PA's exhibition "Launchpad of the American Theater: The O'Neill Since 1964", reunited NTI Playwriting Instructor Donna Di Novelli, NTI Artistic Director Rachel Jett and Spring 1995 alum Josh Radnor in conversation about the National Theater Institute.
JULY -- Following a reading of Halley Feiffer's play I'M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD during the O'Neill's National Playwrights Conference, Theatermakers 2014 chatted with award-winning actor Reed Birney about making a life in the theater. The students had an observership during the development process of the play which makes its off-Broadway debut next week at the Atlantic Theater Company.
AUGUST -- The O'Neill's historic campus expansion continued. The multimillion dollar project made room for the launch of the National Music Theater Institute, adding seven new residences and The Jim and Jane Henson Hall, which features a dance studio and state-of-the-art composition studio.
SEPTEMBER -- NTI Fall 2014 spent two weeks studying abroad in London, England. As an ensemble, the students trained daily in Lecoq techniques, mask work, improvisation, and clowning with the internationally renowned theater company Complicite. A highlight of the trip included a special tour of the Royal Opera House (including exclusive access to the iconic building's roof) from Royal Ballet soloist Thomas Whitehead.
OCTOBER -- The National Theater Institute's Moscow Art Theatre Semester enabled 22 young artists to study in the birthplace of modern theater. Every fall, NTI offers the only program for U.S. undergraduates to train at the famed Moscow Art Theatre School.
NOVEMBER -- Fall 2014's Playwrights and Librettist Week introduced 24 new works (13 of them musicals). The collaborative week supported and amplified the voices of the next generation of American theater writers under the mentorship of professional writers Donna Di Novelli, Adam Bock (NTI Fall '84), and Heidi Rodewald.
DECEMBER -- Fall 2014's "American Myth" was the first Company Project to feature students of the National Music Theater Institute in collaboration with the NTI and NTI-Advanced Directing Semesters.
Next week: The National Theater Institute's New Year's Resolutions. A look at NTI's plans and wishes for 2015.
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!