URTA Sponsors KC-ACTF Allied Design and Technology Award at USITT

Once again, URTA is proud to be a sponsor of the Kennedy Center – American College Theater Festival’s Allied Design & Technology Award. The program provides outstanding student designers from the various ACTF regional festivals the opportunity to attend the annual USITT Conference. USITT is the premier event in the theatrical design and technology industry. Attending the conference gives students the chance to take part in specialized workshops, professional seminars, and industry panels that develop their skills and craft, as well as network and build contacts with professionals in the field.

URTA is happy to show our dedication to the quality training of future theatre artists by helping to make this award possible.

This year’s USITT Conference runs from March 18-21 in Cincinnati.

URTA at USITT March 19th


Are you heading to Cincinnati for the USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) Conference next week? So is URTA–and we’d love to see you there!

Be sure to check out the URTA panel discussion:

Undergraduate Teachers: Frontline Educators/Mentors/Guides

Thursday, March 19th, 1:00 PM – Room 232

URTA and USITT present a panel discussion on teaching theatre design and technology at the undergraduate level. The panel will be led by distinguished faculty, and attendees will be fully involved in the conversation on topics including: what type of education and skills students should seek to acquire on-campus and off (and how faculty can help them acquire it); the significant challenges in undergraduate instruction; mentoring for graduate training, internships and career transition; time off—if any—between undergraduate and graduate enrollment; and most importantly, an open forum for Q&As. This session continues a process of networking undergraduate and graduate education and training—an important discussion now and into the future. Faculty and students are welcome to join the conversation.

In addition to URTA’s Scott Steele, participants to include:

Holly Poe Durbin  Professor and Head of Costume Design – University of California, Irvine

Sarah Nash Gates Professor EmeritusUniversity of Washington

Mary Heilman Head of Applied Design for Performance, and Recruitment Manager – California Institute of the Arts

Sean Savoie Sr. Lecturer and Coordinator of Design/Technical Theatre Program – Washington University in St. Louis

Kenton Yeager Associate Professor, Head of MFA in Entertainment Lighting Design & TechnologyUniversity of Tennessee/Clarence Brown Theatre

Mark your calendars now, and we’ll see you at USITT!


URTA Events at SETC 2015

setc_logoSETC 2015 opens this week in Chattanooga, and URTA is there! Be sure to check out these two great events:

The Art and Craft of the Graduate School Audition – Thursday, March 5  7:00pm-8:15pm

How can you present yourself to faculty recruiters in only two minutes? David Haugen (Ohio University) will explore the particular needs of the grad school audition. He’ll work hands-on with actors who bring memorized audition material. There will also be a discussion of what you should expect in a graduate school audition and some new perspective on how to prepare. Actors and coaches are invited.

Is Graduate School the Next Step? – Saturday, March 7 – 9:00am-10:15am

Aimed at students in design and technology, this panel explores the question of when is the right time to pursue graduate-level training. Are you ready for that next step? Does it make sense for you at this point in your career? Panel leaders are Brackley Frayer (UNLV) and Marianne Custer (University of Tennessee, Knoxville).

URTA’s Sara Falconer will also be on hand at both sessions to discuss the URTA audition & interview process.

Bring your questions and concerns about graduate school–we look forward to seeing you there!



URTA at KC American College Theater Festival!

KCACTF Region III attendees–Don’t miss URTA’s workshops at the Festival today and tomorrow!

URTA will conduct an audition workshop today at 3PM (Room MIT361). Lori Adams, Head of Acting at Illinois State University, will observe monologues and offer feedback and perspective. Come with your prepared audition piece, or simply watch and learn!

Tomorrow (1/9) at 11AM (Room MIT 195) URTA presents a session for design/tech students: “Is Graduate School Next? Straight Talk for Designers and Technologists“. Faculty designers including John Stark (Illinois State University), Michael McNamara (Purdue University) and Karen Kangas-Preston (Michigan State University) will offer discussion on graduate training, followed by one-on-one critique and review of your portfolios.

To keep up with all the events this week, download the Guidebook App and the load the KCACTF Region III guide!

URTA also plans to attend the KCACTF Region VII event in Ellensburg, WA in February, and SETC in March in Chattanooga, TN. Like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest news.


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!

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.com.

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.com!

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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