Students invited to apply to Vassar’s Powerhouse program

When they were still aspiring young artists Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, TV star Josh Radnor and Tony Award–nominated actress Melissa Erico each spent a transformative summer in the Powerhouse Theater Training Program. Now in its 31st year, the renowned annual program at Vassar College will run from June 19 to July 26 and is currently accepting applications.

Participants choose a curriculum focused on acting, playwriting or directing, and together form a company that performs works for the public. The program is available to rising high school seniors through college-age students as part of the prestigious Powerhouse Theater collaboration between Vassar College and New York Stage and Film.

Completed applications are due by March 31, including required recommendations and a personal statement submitted online. Applicants seeking financial aid must submit their entire application by March 2. Program fee, room and board (including daily breakfast and dinner) costs $5,000. Applications are hosted by (under “The Powerhouse Theater Training Program”).

All acting program participants are cast in one of three outdoor productions of adapted and abridged texts, which are open, free of charge, to the public. Recent performances have included the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov and Euripides, all presented under the direction of professional directors and writers. Directors and writers are part of the rehearsal process of the different professional projects taking place on campus. They also write and direct new work that is performed by members of the acting company.

Depending upon his or her special interest in acting, playwriting or directing, an applicant will also need to submit supplementary materials online by March 31. Aspiring playwrights need to submit a writing sample, directors need to submit a play analysis and actors must submit a video online in which they perform two contrasting monologues.

Interested applicants should visit or call the administrative office at 845-437-5907 for information about application and financial aid.

Photo courtesy of Vassar & New York Stage and Film / Buck Lewis

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