National Theater Institute

National Theatre Institute - Waterford, Connecticut

Program Overview
George Fox University's Theatre students may apply to study at the O'Neill Center in Waterford, Connecticut, for one semester through a cooperative agreement with the National Theatre InstituteThis 14-week study away program is offered twice a year, in the fall and spring. Classes are held seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a 7:30 a.m. warm-up six days a week.

This rigorous, conservatory-based approach to theater training exposes students to a broad range of theater styles and techniques. Coursework is rooted in five primary disciplines: acting, directing, labyrinthine, design and movement & voice. Admission to NTI is competitive; applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadlines (please note that it is only offered in the fall).


  • Acting - Students are trained in a wide range of acting techniques and styles by core instructors and visiting artists. Classes concentrate on improving your craft as an actor and on strengthening your intelligence and imagination as an artist. In-depth scene study covers a variety of plays and periods: from Shakespeare to Sam Shepard; Moliere to Arthur Miller; and Chekhov to Charles L. Mee. Guest artists teach specific workshops in improvisation, ensemble-generated theater, auditioning, and acting for the camera. 
  • DirectingAll students direct scenes and short performance pieces during the semester. You not only learn the basic skills of directing through table-work and practical exercises, you also practice being a confident artistic leader that is adaptable to the needs of the script, the space and the actors in the room. Although the emphasis is on directing scenes from classic and contemporary plays, students also direct found texts, group-generated plays and choreographic scores.
  • LabyrinthineThrough a variety of projects reflecting the range of contemporary theater, you develop skills as a playwright and a play-listener. The work of the class is active listening as each week’s assignment is read aloud and discussed by the group. Assignments range from kitchen-sink American realism, to abstract themes, to radio plays and musicals. The course culminates in Playwrights Week, dedicated to readings and staged readings of student plays.
  • Design - In this course celebrating the power of visual theater through exploration of a classical and a contemporary play, students are encouraged to explore the individual perceptions and interpretations of text in physical form and are challenged to find clear ways to communicate visually. A practical lab is provided in conjunction with the class to develop visual presentation skills.
  • Movement & VoiceThis course covers both vocal technique and production, along with dance and movement techniques. Movement classes include Tai Chi, Droznin Russian movement, Biomechanics, Yoga, Improvisation, Dance and Stage Combat. Voice classes include Linklater method, Dialect Work and Singing. 

Two Weeks Abroad
Two weeks of the semester are spent abroad: In the fall, NTI travels to England; in the spring we travel to Russia. The fall ensemble trains with Complicite, one of Europe’s most important theater companies, whose award-winning productions of classics and group-devised pieces tour around the world. The spring ensemble trains at one of Russia’s most elite theater schools, the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. In each of these cities, students study intensively with master teachers and also see a wide range of theater and visit museums and cultural sites.

The student will fill out two applications:
George Fox off-campus application

The NTI application should only be completed after being informed from the director of study abroad that you are accepted for an off-campus study semester. 

NTI application

Six dormitory cottages are each home to approximately a dozen students in double or single rooms. All rooms include beds, desks, dressers and closets and are fully accessible. Each floor has private bathrooms and shower rooms. Every cottage has a common living space to study, socialize or even stage a scene. Three meals a day are served on-site by our resident chefs.

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