Frequently Asked Questions
How many applicants do you accept?
For the 2023 season, we will be accepting 7 conservatory actors, 1 directing fellow, and 4 design fellows (one each for scenic, costumes, lighting, and sound).
Does CTC accept applicants from both graduate and undergraduate programs?
Yes, although the majority of those accepted each year are graduate-level candidates.
Is there flexibility regarding monologue choices for contemporary submission (eg, somewhere besides a traditional stage play?)
Yes, but they must be from theatrical texts.
How do Directing and Design Fellows get assigned to productions?
Design Fellows will assist mainstage designers, and depending upon the needs of each new play, may have additional design opportunities for readings and workshops. Directing Fellows will assistant direct on both mainstage productions and new play readings.
Do Directing and Design Fellow applicants go through an interview process after submitting their materials?
Yes, once your materials have been reviewed, an interview will be requested.
Should applicants provide an academic and acting/design resume, or just an acting/design resume?
It’s helpful to know where you are in your course studies, so the submission of both academic and artistic resumes is useful.
What if applicants are interested in both the acting conservatory and the directing or design fellowships?
Applicants are encouraged to apply to both programs if desired.
Are actors accepted into the conservatory for the summer first with individual auditions for the productions to follow, or are roles cast immediately upon acceptance?
Upon acceptance, conservatory roles are cast for the mainstage productions. New Play Readings are cast on a rolling basis.
What will callbacks look like?
For the 2023 Season, callbacks will be held virtually with the Producing Artistic Director.
Conservatory Life at Chautauqua
This section covers questions about daily life at Chautauqua as a member of the conservatory. It covers culture, amenities, housing, what to pack, and more.
Important Dates for the 2023 Season
June 26 | Fellows Arrive
June 30 | Acting Conservatory Arrives
July 31 | Rehearsals for Main Stage #1 and NPW #1
July 8–9 | New Play Workshop #1 Presents
July 23 | Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill #1 Opens
July 28–29 | New Play Workshop #2 Presents
August 8 | tiny father by Mike Lew #2 Opens
August 9 | Acting Conservatory Departs
August 19–20 | New Play Workshop #3 Presents
August 21 | Fellows Depart
For the conservatory and fellows, what does a typical day look like?
Acting Conservatory: Mornings will often be filled with master classes and workshops with CTC Faculty. Rehearsals will take place mostly in the afternoons and evenings.
Directing and Design Fellows: Fellows will work alongside CTC production department heads as well as guest designers and directors depending upon the stage of process for each show.
Will the Acting Conservatory be involved with new play development?
Casting opportunities may be available in the new play readings and workshops.
How will the acting conservatory interact with faculty members? Is there a curriculum outside of the productions?
There will be master classes and workshops led by faculty outside of rehearsals.
Aside from clothes and toiletries, what do I pack?
Because we are located on a lake and at a slightly higher elevation, the evenings can be cool; warm clothing is a must. (Daytime temps during the summer typically range from 70–90 degrees Fahrenheit. Night temps are 50–70 degrees.) Rain is not uncommon, so a rain jacket and/or umbrella are also advised. Definitely pack a bathing suit as well.
You do not need to bring any linens. We provide pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels.
What are the details regarding housing facilities?
The Acting Conservatory will live in Jewett House, just steps away from the Bratton Theater. Jewett is a three-story house with private rooms, three shared bathrooms, and a shared common area and kitchen.
Design and Directing Fellows will live at Connelly Residence Hall, close to the Brawdy Theater Offices. Connelly is a two-story dormitory with private rooms and shared bathrooms, common areas, and two kitchens.
A $100 housing deposit is required by the Institution. The housing deposit will be refunded as quickly as possible after the completion of the program, provided that damage charges (if any) have been paid in full.
Is there access to a gym?
Yes, membership to the Chautauqua Health & Fitness Center is included in your scholarship.
What is food access like on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution? What about off-grounds?
There are a limited number of cafes and restaurants on the grounds, but no grocery stores. Company Management will sponsor weekly grocery store runs to nearby towns or can pick up mobile orders if scheduled in advance.
What do opportunities for making connections in the various US artistic markets look like?
From the audition process through the close of production, the Acting Conservatory will be exposed to nationally recognized casting directors, agents, directors, and playwrights.
Directing and Design Fellows will serve as primary assistants to professional directors and designers, whose credits range from regional theatre to Broadway.
Conservatory and fellows will learn from their peers from other top training programs across the country, as well as build lasting personal and professional relationships.
There will also be less curated opportunities to have cross-disciplinary interactions with students from other Chautauqua programs such as dance, voice, opera, and visual arts.
I’ve heard that Chautauqua is a ‘gated community’ — how do I get onto the grounds?
For the duration of the program, all students receive a Traditional Gate Pass to enter and leave the grounds. Gate passes also allow you to attend Chautauqua Institution’s lectures and other performances and activities.
How do I get to Chautauqua?
All conservatory and fellows are provided with a travel stipend of $250, which will be included in the first paycheck upon arrival.
Coming to Chautauqua Institution by plane:
– Erie International Airport: 45 minutes from the grounds
– Buffalo/Niagra International Airport: 80 minutes from the grounds
Coming to Chautauqua Institution by Train:
The closest train stations to Chautauqua are either the Buffalo/Depew station or theBuffalo/Exchange station. The Buffalo/Exchange station is within walking distance of the Greyhound bus station. From Buffalo you will need to take a limo, taxi or bus. The Amtrak also goes into Erie, Pennsylvania, but from this point you will have to take a limo or taxi.
Coming to Chautauqua Institution by Bus:
Coach USA runs five buses per day to Jamestown, New York out of the Greyhound Terminal Metro Transportation Center (800-231-2222) in downtown Buffalo, New York (181 Ellicott Street). This location is walkable from the Buffalo/Exchange street Amtrak station. The trip is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. There is no bus service out of Erie, Pennsylvania.
Is a vehicle needed to get around the grounds or to get off-grounds? Is parking provided?
Chautauqua is a self-contained, walking community with shopping, a bookstore, post office and other services conveniently located within the grounds. The use of cars within the grounds is tightly restricted. There is a courtesy bus and tram service within the Chautauqua grounds.
Bicycles are a popular form of transportation. Company Management has a limited number of bikes available to check out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Should you drive your own vehicle to Chautauqua, parking will be available in protected lots adjacent to the grounds.