What is the Conservatory?
The Conservatory is the core of the Chautauqua Theater Company. The 14 actors, 4 design fellows and 1 directing fellow we accept into the program are offered an unparalleled opportunity to bridge the gap between their training and professional careers. Working side by side with nationally recognized professionals on stage and off, the conservatory experience is challenging, supportive and deeply influential. Best of all, it is made up of exceptional theater artists from across the country, giving everyone an opportunity to make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Where and what is the Chautauqua Institution?
Located on beautiful Chautauqua Lake in western New York, the Chautauqua Institution is a renowned summer center for arts, recreation, and learning that welcomes nearly 200,000 people from all over the world to its season of programs, performances, lectures and activities. The theater is just one part of a very rich intellectual and cultural summer festival. In addition to the theater, the Institution is home to professional symphony, opera, and ballet companies, a thriving visual arts center and attendant summer school programs in each discipline.
How much does it cost?
IT'S FREE. All Conservatory members receive full fellowships covering tuition, room, and board**. Unlike many summer theaters where you pay them for the privilege of building scenery or serving concessions, at Chautauqua all you are expected to do is develop and practice your craft. A rarity among summer programs, CTC invites you to join a company of your contemporaries and future peers and pays for you to do it. All you have to do is get there.
**Design and Directing Fellows see additional information on Fellowship page.
What if I'm Equity?
AEA members can obtain waivers if they are enrolled in a conservatory program or have just graduated from one. EMC points are also available.
What about housing & food?
The Chautauqua Institution provides double occupancy residence hall lodging for approximately 280 emerging artists enrolled in the music, dance, visual art, and theater programs. The three meals a day, seven days a week meal plan is included and served cafeteria style in a dining hall adjacent to the residences.
The acting conservatory began 30 years ago alongside Chautauqua’s first resident theater company. Founded by Michael Kahn, grown by Rebecca Guy and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Borba, the acting conservatory has emerged as the premiere summer training ensemble in the country.
Started in 2005, the Directing Fellowship provides a very valuable opportunity for early career directors to work side by side with experienced professionals and with future colleagues (young actors, directors, writers and designers). It also exposes emerging artists to the inner workings of an exceptional seasonal, professional company and conservatory.