Conservatory Company 2018

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 April 13 - September 4, 2018 at the HVSF Theater Tent. Applicants who are not available for the full duration of the program will not be eligible to apply. 

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 on HVSF’s main stage 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 Season.

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.

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.
  • 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.

2018 HVSF Season

RICHARD II
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Davis McCallum

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Shana Cooper

THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD
By David Farr
Directed by Tyne Rafaeli

RIP VAN WINKLE; or, CUT THE OLD MOON INTO STARS
Written & Directed by Seth Bockley
A World Premiere Commission
Freely adapted from the story by Washington Irving

Conservatory Company Production:
THE SEA-MAID'S MUSIC
Devised & Directed by Zachary Fine
Featuring the HVSF Conservatory Company

Learn More >


How to Apply

Important Dates

  • Submissions MUST be postmarked by December 31, 2017.
  • Submissions will be reviewed and preliminary auditions scheduled with Associate Artistic Director Sean McNall in New York City for the week of January 22, 2018.
  • Dedicated Callback Appointments will be scheduled in New York City with Casting Director Stephanie Klapper and Artistic Director Davis McCallum on Monday, January 29, 2018; Tuesday, January 30, 2018; and Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Audition Details

  • Auditions are available by invitation only.
  • HVSF will contact you by January 19, 2018 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, at nora@hvshakespeare.org.