Broaden your perspective and enhance your resume with a study abroad or immersion experience. Benefit from the expertise of the many guest artists and industry professionals who visit the department and Syracuse Stage each year. And if you like to share your passion for drama with others, check out All Star C.A.S.T. (Community Actors and Students’ Theater) workshops.
Study Abroad and Away
Drama students have a number of study abroad options to choose from, both across the globe and the United States. These academic programs, combined with instruction from industry professionals, offer students priceless experiences in the field. There are semester-long programs abroad as well as condensed summer programs in New York City and Los Angeles tailored to the Department of Drama’s curriculum.
New York City
Founded by drama alumna and Tony Award-winning producer Arielle Tepper ’94, the Tepper Semester provides the opportunity for students to work closely with an accomplished faculty of professional artists in New York City. In addition to participating in a full semester of specialized programming in acting, casting, design, directing, dramaturgy, musical theater, playwriting, producing, stage management, or theater management, you’ll attend workshops and master classes conducted by industry professionals, see as many as 30 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, visit a wide variety of cultural institutions, and gain an understanding of the business skills essential for a successful career in the industry.
Supported by drama alumnus and Academy-, Emmy-, and Golden Globe Award-winning writer and producer Aaron Sorkin ’83, H’12, the Sorkin in LA Learning Practicum (also known as Sorkin Week) provides a select group seniors with a weeklong, “hit-the-studios-running” immersion into the heart of America’s film and television industries. Students meet and learn from alumni and industry insiders through a series of seminars workshops, master classes, and more.
If you are interested in a longer-term introduction to Los Angeles, you may choose to take advantage of the VPA Los Angeles Semester program’s spring semester. This immersive professional development program provides students with a unique opportunity to work as interns in Los Angeles while taking academic courses taught by LA professionals with expertise in their given discipline.
London, England, and Florence, Italy
Each fall, 18 performance majors in the Department of Drama have the opportunity to spend a semester living and studying in London, England, through Syracuse Abroad. While there, you’ll take classes in acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe, and attend performances at major venues. Your weekly schedule will allow ample time for weekend visits all over Europe. Additionally, students in stage management or theater design and technology can take advantage of the exchange program with Rose Bruford College. While there, you’ll pursue study in special interest areas that include costume construction, sound design, and lighting control.
As a theater design and technology student, you may choose to spend a semester in Florence, Italy, through Syracuse Abroad. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in internships through theater or opera venues in addition to being exposed to the city’s rich cultural resources. Students have interned at the Teatro Maggio as well as the Florence International Theatre Company.
Wednesday Lab is the “living room” of the artistic home that is the Department of Drama.
Each Wednesday at 4 p.m. during the academic year, the drama department comes together in a forum that presents a variety of events and guest lectures. Through “Wed Lab,” drama students informally learn about creating theater.
Lab programs may include presentations from directors and designers for both Syracuse Stage and Department of Drama that explore the approach to current productions and provide the opportunity for students to understand and contextualize the productions they see in the complex. Guests often include successful alumni as well as theater artists who are performing or working at Syracuse cultural venues, including Syracuse Stage. Alumni who share their stories include recent graduates who successfully entered the business as well as those who found a different path for their lives.
Lab events have also included material from various classes, workshops, and productions.
Each year, the Department of Drama brings a distinguished roster of nationally and internationally renowned industry professionals—many of whom are drama alumni—to Syracuse.
Often, these guest artists are in residence for one to four weeks, and many of them return to Syracuse annually.
Additionally, many of the artists who are here performing at Syracuse Stage or in other Syracuse cultural venues are invited to work with drama students. The workshops, master classes, and discussions that these artists lead provide experiences that both broaden and deepen the classroom and experiential learning provided by department faculty.
All Star C.A.S.T. (Community Actors & Students’ Theater) is a program for Department of Drama students and people from the community who have special needs, all of whom have a love of acting and the wish to come together to create theater.
Our mission is to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for community actors and drama students to explore their creativity; to encourage communication, group awareness, sensitivity, sharing, confidence, and personal affirmation; and to re-awaken a sense of “play” and joy in acting, when out of the competitive arena.
The group—originally called the Young Actors Workshop—was formed in 1991. Today, All Star C.A.S.T. includes four groups: a young group with actors aged 8-12 years, a middle group with actors aged 18-30 years, and two senior groups. The groups meet for workshops once a week to explore theater games that go toward creating a script, rehearsals, and a production at the end of the semester. The drama students, or facilitators, design the program for the term, guiding the exercises and producing and acting in the show with the community actors.
The workshops have a faculty adviser who meets with the facilitators each week and who oversees the classes and the productions. Drama faculty members also offer important input to guide the students in exercises, and in the first three weeks of the semester, there are workshops for the students to explore different approaches and techniques.