Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program accepting applications for 2009 season, 6/19-8/2, 2009

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Intense. Amazing. Life-changing. These are just some of the words Powerhouse Theater apprentices use to describe their experience at Vassar.

Vassar College and New York Stage & Film are now accepting applications for the 2009 Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program - one of the country's leading theater immersion programs (June 19 - August 2, 2009).

"The Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program will challenge you to look at the art of theater in new and meaningful ways. During the summer you can explore the boundaries of theater from the traditional to the new, from campus to town, from amphitheater to art center," explained Edward Cheetham, producing director of Powerhouse Theater. "By living, breathing, and creating theater with peers and professionals alike you will come away with an experience that will inform the rest of your life."

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Powerhouse season is the result of a unique partnership between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College. The summer program consists of an eight-week residency on the Vassar campus during which more than 200 professional artists and some 40 apprentices live and work together to create new theater works.

Josh Radnor, a star of the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother and the 2008 Powerhouse Mainstage production of Finks, was also a member of the 1994 Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program company. He noted in an interview for Passport magazine: "I think that is the best thing about Vassar, it does unhook that velvet rope .  . . I remember feeling very free performing Shakespeare outside - the trees, the fake blood. I am very grateful for that summer."

Powerhouse steadfastly supports both emerging and established artists.  Since its inception in 1985, Powerhouse has played a significant role in the development of hundreds of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for the Hudson Valley, the New York metropolitan area, and the surrounding region.

Over the years at Powerhouse, New York Stage & Film has developed and/or premiered such plays as Honour, Snakebit, Current Events, and the Tony Award-winning Tru, Sideman, as well as John Patrick Shanley's Tony and Pulitzer winning Doubt.

Our 2008 professional season featured the work of the Tony Award - winning team of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater; playwrights and actors Eric Bogosian and Dael Orlandersmith; playwright Joe Gilford whose Finks featured actors Jennifer Westfeldt and Josh Radnor. This summer Powerhouse Theater's 25th anniversary season, a silver celebration, is scheduled from June 26 - August 2.

Apprentices in the six-week Powerhouse program choose a discipline: acting, playwriting, directing, technical theater, or stage management. Then, an apprentice company is formed - including actors, directors and playwrights, stage managers, and technicians - that works within the larger framework of the professional company (New York Stage & Film). That means apprentices have the opportunity to work alongside some of the country's leading and emerging theater artists such as John Patrick Shanley, Henry Krieger, Sarah Ruhl, Tomi Tsunoda, and Davis McCallum.

Throughout the summer, apprentices also work in their own theater company. They write, perform, and direct two-minute plays and site-specific work - and each week host table readings of works in progress by the apprentice writers. All acting apprentices are cast in one of the outdoor productions of adapted and abridged classical texts, which are attended by the public. Recent performances have included the works of Shakespeare, Brecht, Chekhov, and Aeschylus, all presented under the direction of professional directors and writers. In 2007, these performances were named the "Best Way to Introduce Kids to the Classics," by Hudson Valley Magazine, in the annual "Best of the Hudson Valley."


The Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Training Program will run from June 19 through August 2, 2009 on Vassar's Hudson Valley campus. The program is available to rising high school seniors through college-age students. Applications must include faculty and professional recommendations, as well as personal statements. Aspiring playwrights need to submit a writing sample, directors need to submit a play analysis, and actors are asked to submit a DVD featuring two contrasting monologues. Applicants interested in stage management or technical theater are asked to call the Powerhouse administrative office at (845) 437-5902.

Applications are due by April 17, 2009. For more information and how to apply, please visit our website, Prospective applicants may also call Producing Director Edward Cheetham for more information at (845) 437-5902. Fee, room, and board (including daily breakfast and dinner) is $3500.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Cathy Jennings, Campus Activities Office, (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, February 13, 2009