Jimmie “JJ” Jeter and Chelsea Lee Williams (Group 45) in August Wilson's "Seven Guitars"

Performance Opportunities

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Juilliard Drama offers a wide variety of performance opportunities designed to allow actors to practice skills they’ve acquired in the classroom and to integrate them into a way of working that is reliable and collaborative. Directed by accomplished faculty and exciting visiting professionals, these productions are selected with the aim of serving the actors’ growth and challenging them in a variety of increasingly demanding ways.

Students do not audition for roles; all casting is done by the faculty. In the first two years, roles are assigned primarily to serve the needs of an individual student’s training rather than the demands of the play. In the third and fourth years, we seek to serve both the play and the needs of the ensemble.

In addition to formal productions, actors originate roles in new work by Juilliard playwrights in twice-monthly Playwrights Labs and in more informal PlayTime readings.

First and Second Years

In the first and second years, students work on a different play each quarter. Rehearsal projects – performed with basic rehearsal clothes, props, and furniture and shared with an invited audience from the Juilliard community – include a diverse selection of contemporary plays and the works of Shakespeare and Chekhov.

stage from Juilliard drama production of Pericles
The 2013 production of Shakespeare's 'Pericles'

Third Year

In the fall of the third year, projects shift from the rehearsal hall to a small studio theater with professionally-designed costumes, scenery, lighting, music, and sound done on a modest budget. Each student has two performance opportunities (usually contemporary or 20th century material) in the first semester. In the spring, actors perform in a musical cabaret and in one of two heightened-language plays produced in the Stephanie P. McClelland Drama Theater. All third-year productions are open to an invited public audience.

Juilliard drama production of "As 5 Years Pass"
Juilliard Drama production of Federico García Lorca's 'As Five Years Pass'

Fourth Year

The fourth year begins with a Playwrights Festival featuring workshops of three new plays written by current and alumni Juilliard playwrights. Following the festival, three plays from a broad range of periods and styles are given full-scale productions for the general public. In February, students perform a combination of three classical and contemporary works in repertory.

The year culminates with an evening of scenes presented to members of the industry in New York and Los Angeles.

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