Hotel and Transportation Tips for NUAI Candidates

So, you’re registered for the URTA National Unified Auditions and Interviews, but now you’ve got to arrange your hotel and transportation.

You should have received details on URTA’s special hotel rate–but some cities/dates are already full. Never fear–there are some great deals to be had by checking around the web. Check sites like Groupon or LivingSocial–they often have great rates for hotels in New York City, as January is a rare “down-time” in the tourist trade there.

For getting to and from the auditions, you might look up Mega Bus, Bolt Bus, or other affordable coach lines. Their rates on direct routes to cities like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco can be extremely competitive!

"Good Kids" University of Michigan p: Peter Smith

“Good Kids” Launches New Play Initiative

Naomi Iizuka’s new play “Good Kids”, the inaugural effort of the Big Ten Theatre Consortium’s New Play Initiative, has concluded its run at the University of Michigan and will now continue its “rolling premiere”, being produced by theatre departments at several other Big Ten schools, including Indiana University, Purdue University, Michigan State, the University of Maryland and University of Iowa.

The Consortium plans to commission a new play for the Initiative every year for the next three years. Each commission will include a $10,000 payment to the artist, and the caveat that any Big Ten school will be able to produce the play, royalty-free.

Originally proposed by Alan MacVey, Director of the Performing Arts Division at the University of Iowa, the Initiative is meant to support female playwrights and to provide rich, interesting roles for young, female actors at both the university and professional levels; two things MacVey currently sees in short supply. In describing the Initiative, MacVey says:

“As educators and directors of theater training programs, we are uniquely positioned to address the problem from the ground level. With the commissions, we’re doing three things at once: developing challenging scripts for our female students, scripts that will make them stronger actors; supporting outstanding female playwrights; and encouraging the production of more plays by women, which we hope will be widely produced by colleges and professional theaters.”

Iizuka’s play, inspired by the events of the Steubenville rape case, explores a casual sexual encounter gone wrong, and its very public aftermath. Reviews from the Michigan production were effusively positive, with the Ann Arbor News writing:

“Iizuka’s play invites us to rethink our assumptions about gender and sexuality and have an honest discussion – a noble attempt to produce positive change from an ugly tragedy.”

URTA is proud to count 11 of its member schools among the Big Ten Consortium (in actuality, a group of 14 schools) including: Michigan State University, University of Maryland, University of Iowa, Indiana University, the Ohio State University, Northwestern University, Penn State, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Minnesota, and Purdue University.

URTA intern

Meet Kyle Mencel, URTA’s Newest Intern

This fall marks the launch of URTA’s new internship program and we are delighted to introduce our very first intern: Kyle Mencel!

Kyle comes to us from The New School for Drama. He has been acting for about 7 years and has performed in productions ranging from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Charles Mee’s Under Construction. Kyle is also a producer and director who is currently creating a variety of web series and invisible theatre work with his production ensemble, End of The Line Productions. Along with scripted work, the production company is very involved with developing scripts and theatrical performance through improvisation. Always encouraging new artists to join their group allows the ensemble to keep ideas and energy fresh.

The URTA internship will bring theatre students from all disciplines into our national office to gain firsthand experience in theatre arts administration by working in each of our URTA’s programs. We are excited to welcome Kyle to the team and to provide both he and our future interns an invaluable opportunity for their personal and professional enrichment.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be an intern at URTA, contact our Director of Operations, Christy Ming-Trent at cmingtrent (at)

URTA NUAI Auditions

Satellite Auditions – 2015


Last year URTA introduced the Satellite Auditions, where NUAI acting candidates have the opportunity to be seen by non-member universities and conservatories, in addition to the member programs attending the URTA Auditions. The initiative proved to be very popular with both candidates and recruiters, and this year we have even more schools taking part!

Satellite attendees this year are scheduled to include:

  • Academy of Art University
  • University of Arkansas
  • Birmingham School of Acting
  • Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Playhouse
  • Catholic University of America
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Houston
  • Long Island University
  • University of Louisville
  • The New School for Drama
  • Portland Actors Conservatory
  • Regent University
  • Rose Bruford College
  • SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design)

Don’t forget to check the option for Satellite Auditions on your URTA NUAI application and remember: The application deadline for Acting and Design candidates is Friday, November 21st–So get your application in now to make sure you receive an audition slot!

You can find more information about these schools and our other Guest Participants on!

URTA NUAI Auditions


URTA’s National Showcase Calendar Returns!

Ok, it never really went away–but spring is right around the corner, and it’s the Calendar’s time to shine again.

URTA’s National Showcase Calendar is a one-stop shop where you’ll find showcase listings from dozens of training programs all in one place, including BFAs, MFAs, and other conservatory and university programs.

Each listing shows the date, time, and location of the event, the RSVP contact, as well as additional information about the program, and links to the school and/or actor websites. You can set up email reminders and forward listings to colleagues, friends, or other interested parties.

If you haven’t listed your school’s showcase yet, contact the URTA national office to do so at 212-221-1130.

CLICK HERE to visit the National Showcase Calendar.

2-SBSH Faculty - Photo(c)2012 by Star Black

Satellite Auditions – Stony Brook Southampton

We continue our profiles of Guest Participants attending the Satellite Auditions with Stony Brook University – Southampton.11-Historic Campus Windmill-Literary Landmark

Stony Brook is located in the beautiful seaside town of Southampton on the East End of Long Island, a bus or train ride away from Manhattan. Students study throughout the year in Southampton, including during the summer Southampton International Theatre Workshops & Festival. There is also a facility in Manhattan where students take classes and have access to everything one of the most vibrant cities in the world has to offer.

Stony Brook recently took the time to answer a few questions about their program for us and our candidates.

Please tell us a little more about the training program at Stony Brook.

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The URTA Auditions in San Francisco: Spotlight on UCLA

Today we’re following up on our recent post about the URTA Auditions in San Francisco by taking a closer look at the MFA Acting program at UCLA. An URTA Member School, UCLA will be recruiting design candidates at the NUAIs in Chicago and interviewing directors in New York and Chicago, but they will only be attending the URTA Auditions for actors in San Francisco.

Most of us know UCLA as a PAC-12, national university with a robust film studies program. As you may imagine, their theater training is also first rate. Here’s a little more information on their program.

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College Credit through LDI


LDI announced last fall their new partnership with the University of Florida that allows students to earn college credit from training courses at the LDI conference. In the video linked below, Professor Stan Kaye explains how those credits can be transferred to most students’ home institutions.

In related news, Professor Kaye will be part of the panel at the URTA seminar “Discovering Lighting Design Opportunities Off Stage” in Chicago on Sunday February 2nd. The seminar is available to all registered NUAI Candidates. More information on URTA’s Continuing Education program can be found here.

kaye vid


Satellite Auditions – Florida Atlantic University

We continue our profiles of Guest Participants attending the Satellite Auditions with Florida Atlantic University. FAU is one of 13 programs that will be attending the Satellite Auditions at our NUAIs. Just $15 to be seen by an additional 13 programs–what’s not to like?

Located in Boca Raton, the heart of south Florida’s theatre district, Florida Atlantic’s MFA theatre training programs were established in 1974. With a faculty of working professionals, and a summer repertory where students can earn Equity Candidate points, FAU offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs in acting as well as design and technology.

Here’s a little more you might want to know about FAU.

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