HVSF Conservatory Company

An Educational Program with Professional Expectations

A performance based training program for committed, early career actors who have a passion for Shakespeare and want to develop the skills necessary to create innovative, collaborative theater in extraordinary spaces.

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Conservatory Company is an artistic home to train and take risks. Working alongside our nationally recognized acting company on and off stage, the 6 to 8 actors we invite into the program each season are offered an unmatched opportunity to transition from students to professionals. Our specialty is practical experience that provides our alumnae with a competitive edge.

Program Description

The program runs from:
April 13 - September 4, 2017 | 
with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Fall 2017 (Dates TBA) |
transfer to The Acting Company in New York City for seasonal tour 

Applicants who are not available for the full duration of the program, including the tour with The Acting Company, will not be considered. For more detailed information, please download our Conservatory Company FAQ.

Beginning in April in New York City, this immersive program combines rehearsal with deep physical, vocal, and imaginative exploration of Shakespeare’s text before moving to Garrison in June, where Conservatory Company members understudy and perform supporting roles in HVSF’s main stage productions under the Theater Tent at Boscobel House and Gardens. Conservatory Company members will then rehearse their own production in July, debut it under HVSF’s Tent in August, and tour the production to venues throughout the region before the close of our Summer Season. This year's Conservatory Company production will be co-produced with The Acting Company. Once the Summer Season ends, the production will transfer to The Acting Company in New York City and tour underserved schools in Fall 2017.

HVSF is passionate about training, and believes it should be affordable. There is no fee to apply and, if invited into the program, a small weekly stipend is provided to each Conservatory Company member.

Participants are selected through auditions AND WILL BE REQUIRED TO JOIN ACTOR’S EQUITY ASSOCIATION upon transfer from HVSF to The Acting Company.

The HVSF Conservatory Company is an educational program with professional expectations. It requires young artists who are eager to learn, motivated to work, and dedicated fully to the art.

The Program Provides

  • A rigorous schedule of classes, rehearsals and performance. A lot will be asked of you but you will get a lot out of it.
  • A deeply educational experience through performance-based work. Your focus will be solely on acting. You will stretch and grow your artistic muscles for the duration of the program.
  • A true and rewarding opportunity to learn and grow as an actor and artist. You will be fully integrated with our company of professional actors.

You Will

  • Be cast in supporting roles in two of our four mainstage productions to be performed in repertory during our twelve week season.
  • Rehearse in repertory in New York City while also participating in classes.
  • Understudy major roles in at least one of our mainstage productions. Understudy rehearsals will take place after the Main Stage productions open in the Hudson Valley.
  • Rehearse the Conservatory Company production. Rehearsals may take place during the day as well as late at night.
  • Tour the Conservatory Company production during HVSF’s summer season and then transfer to The Acting Company in New York City to tour underserved schools in Fall 2017.
  • Perform in an industry showcase demonstrating your work and growth over the experience for industry professionals: directors, casting directors, agents, and educational leaders.

We Will

  • Provide a scholarship for each of our Conservatory Company members that includes a small weekly stipend as well as housing and transportation once you arrive in the Hudson Valley.
  • Curate rigorous classes that will support your work and develop your skills as artists.
  • Provide you the opportunity to rehearse and work on stage with professional actors through supporting roles.
  • Provide you the opportunity to perform in your own play where you will be offered challenging roles as you rehearse and perform a classical text.

2017 HVSF Season

By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Davis McCallum
Rolling World Premiere

Adapted by Kate Hamill
Director to be announced
World Premiere

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel

By Richard Nelson
Directed by Penny Metropulos
The first in HVSF's new series, HVStories

Conservatory Company Production:
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ian Belknap
Co-production with The Acting Company

How to Apply

Important Dates

  • Submissions MUST be postmarked by December 31, 2016.
  • Submissions will be reviewed and preliminary auditions scheduled with Associate Artistic Director Sean McNall in New York City for the week of January 23rd, 2017.
  • Dedicated Callback Appointments will be scheduled in New York City with Casting Director Stephanie Klapper and Artistic Director Davis McCallum on Thursday, February 2nd and Friday, February 3rd.

Audition Details

  • Auditions are available by invitation only.
  • HVSF will contact you by January 20th, 2017 if we wish to invite you to audition.
  • Due to the volume of submissions, we will not contact you in the case of regrets.

Application Materials

All interested candidates should mail TWO copies of:

  • Headshot
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

Your cover letter MUST address the following questions and should be no longer than a single page, double spaced:

  • Why have you chosen to become an actor?
  • What are your personal artistic goals?
  • What is your greatest strength as an actor? In what way do you think you have the most room to grow?

Please send all materials to:

Conservatory Company
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
143 Main Street
Cold Spring, NY 10516

For more detailed information, please download our Conservatory Company FAQ.

For more information on any of our Education programs, please email Nora Rosoff, Associate Director of Education: nora@hvshakespeare.org