Williams/Williamstown Theatre Festival Joint Summer Intensive Theatre Program

Williams College/Williamstown Theatre Festival Joint Summer Intensive Theatre Program

Summer Intensive Participants

For the summer of 2022, Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) and Williams College will collaborate on a new Summer Intensive Training Program.  The goal of this program is to combine academic rigor and artistic training in a professional theater environment, based on experiential learning and hands-on theatre-making.  The Summer Intensive will serve a cohort of approximately 20 students. Half will be current William College students; half will be recruited by Williamstown Theatre Festival from around the country, and must identify as either current undergraduates or learners at an analogous moment in their training. The cohort will live and learn together for seven weeks on the Williams campus, fully embedded in the life of WTF.

The students may identify as actors, but should also express a strong interest in both learning about professional theatre holistically and also in making work in an interdisciplinary fashion. This program is designed for those who are seeking to expand their learning across disciplines and interests, and students who are open to that will benefit the most from this program.

Program overview (7 weeks) – approximately June 27-August 14: 

The Summer Intensive will embed within Williamstown Theatre Festival. Students will receive hands-on learning within Festival departments, seminar time with professionals, and a performance laboratory to explore and apply their own creative ideas through workshops and studio time. The program will aim to offer the following within its curriculum:

  • Weekly seminar time with professional artists and staff from the festival will serve to teach the students how an organization works and functions in the American Theatre tradition or opportunities with artist scholars to explore how we apply theory to our practice.
  • “Theatre Makers Laboratory”
    • Weekly workshops to explore playwriting, performance techniques, design, text analysis, etc., taught by professionals in the field.
    • This company of learners will come together as performers, devisers, writers, directors, designers and administrators, to create culminating projects, mentored by guest artists.
  • Hands On Learning: each student will have the opportunity to work with two WTF departments (~3.5 weeks with each assignment), for no more than 15 hours a week, as an opportunity to focus on learning about a department they specifically care to pursue in their exploration of being a theater maker. Possible departments include Artistic, Audience Engagement, Business, Company Management, Costumes, Development, Lighting/Electrics, Marketing, Producing, Production Management, Properties, Scenic, Sound, and Stage Management
  • Structured mentorship with a professional artist or staff member, an opportunity to meet over the course of the summer and gain insights on the industry.
  • Active participation and observation visits to rehearsal rooms with possible sidebars with professional members of the production’s team, structured opportunities to run lines with AEA actors, and panels with participation from design staff, actors, and directors
  • Learning how to be an active audience member: Participants will attend Festival productions, readings, and special events.

Seminar and Theatre Makers Laboratory will be led by guest artists from across disciplines whose focus is teaching within the field. Recent teachers from previous WC and WTF summer programs include Erika Bailey, Rashida Braggs, Ryan J. Haddad, Jessica Hecht, Mikaela Izquierdo, E. Patrick Johnson, Chris Kauffman, Anne Kennedy, Rhon Manigault-Bryant, and Natalie Robin.

Mentors will be a combination of professionals and artists participating in the WTF ‘22 Season.