National Theatre Conservatory

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The National Theatre Conservatory was a three-year graduate acting school that operated in the 10-theatre Denver Performing Arts Complex. It closed in June of 2012. Its 24 students performed alongside the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company[1] in a 10-play season.[2] With a 3:1 student/teacher ratio and guest instructors including Edward Albee, Sir Peter Hall and Bill Pullman,[3] students earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting and an Actor's Equity membership.

Its mission is to provide gifted students from across the nation the opportunity to develop their talents and skills within the challenging environment of a performing arts center and to prepare them for active careers in the American theatre and in the film and television industries. The National Theatre Conservatory's MFA training program is designed to bring all students closer to the realization of their potential while steadily developing insights, attitudes, standards and disciplines that will nourish them for the rest of their creative lives.

Consistently ranked [4] as one of the top ten schools of its kind in the United States, the National Theatre Conservatory admits 8 students per year from nearly 600 applicants. After three years, graduates emerge not only with the skills required for a professional career, but also with the vision, heart and ethical standards needed for full artistic expression. Because the NTC believes in each student's ability and potential, a full three-year tuition scholarship and a weekly stipend is offered.

The Actor Training Program prepares students for full careers in the performing arts, arming them with an understanding of the business of theatre including house management, fundraising, marketing, event planning and press relations. Performances by students in studio productions are scheduled to enable the artists, artisans and staff of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to attend. During the latter half of the second year, students spend a portion of their time apprenticed to the Denver Center Theatre Company.

Entrance into the third and final year begins a full-time apprenticeship with the Theatre Company where students may participate more fully in rehearsals and performances of the company. After completion of the apprenticeship, students are featured in their own fully produced mainstage productions. Known as the NTC Rep,[5] these two plays are performed alternately throughout a three-week period in The Conservatory Theatre. Following the NTC Rep, the students graduate and travel to New York for a Showcase performance in front of agents and casting directors.

Recent graduates are working throughout the country such as January LaVoy, [John Behlman],[6] Sarah Wayne Callies, [Julia Pace Mitchell][1], [Kate Hurster],[7][8] Steven Cole Hughes[9] and many others.

Guest Instructors often round out the curriculum and provide the students with additional insight into their future careers. These visiting artists have included John Barton, Israel Hicks, Hal Holbrook, [Jamie Horton],[10] Terrence McNally, Jeanne Paulsen, Marion Ross, Patrick Stewart and Anthony Zerbe among many others.


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