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Resident Ensemble Players (REP)


The REP consists of 10 Equity actors and an Equity Stage Manager all of whom are contracted for a four year period of residency that commences with the beginning of each PTTP training cycle.  The company is composed of some of America's most experienced and respected stage actors and actresses as well as two members directly from the most recent PTTP graduating class.


During the four semesters of the MFA training cycle (while MFA actors rehearse and perform full-length classic plays in which all the leading and major supporting roles are played exclusively by MFA students), the REP acting company performs in two seasons of professional productions cast exclusively from the professional company and directed and designed by some of America's leading professional directors and designers. During this two year period, REP professionals also play minor and supernumerary roles in the MFA productions, thereby providing strong mentoring and support to the MFA actors in this crucial period of training.


This unique utilization of a resident professional company in conjunction with a conservatory is designed to:


  • Provide audiences with a steady diet of outstanding professional productions of a wide variety of classic, modern, and contemporary plays;
  • Provide exceptional mentoring and support to MFA actors from remarkably talented and trained professionals;
  • Provide MFA actors with Equity Membership Candidacy that enables them to compete favorably for professional roles after graduation;
  • Provide long-term employment and respectable compensation to outstanding professional stage actors, affording them both regular acting opportunities in outstanding professional productions and opportunities to meaningfully contribute to actors entering the profession.

Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP)

Once every four years, a small group of exceptionally talented students is selected for admission to the University of Delaware's Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) for three years of conservatory training leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree.  This group is carefully selected through an extensive search conducted throughout the United States in the year between the graduation of one class and the beginning of the next class.


Students are trained in one of two areas: Acting or Technical Production. Because there is only one class enrolled at any one time, the faculty is able to focus its full energies – as well as the program's entire time, space and budget – toward fulfilling the potential of each member of this select group.  This unique structure allows extraordinary flexibility and affords the opportunity to respond quickly to individual needs. Small class sections and an emphasis on tutorial work further ensure that each student's development is fully and powerfully addressed.


While PTTP graduates have distinguished themselves in many styles and mediums, the PTTP is specifically designed to train for the stage, where human, rather than electronic, energy is the medium of communication.


Training is focused on plays from the classic repertoire and the PTTP seeks students with a particular commitment to, and appetite for, the classics. Each season's productions are chosen primarily from the great plays of our dramatic heritage, including masterpieces by such playwrights as Shakespeare, Shaw, Moliere, Ibsen, Chekhov, Williams, and Wilde, among many others. During the first four semesters of each six semester training cycle, PTTP students perform the leading roles in, stage manage, and serve as technical directors and other principal technical production heads in MFA productions in which members of the professional REP company play supporting and minor roles so as to provide valuable mentoring to students.


In the fifth and sixth semesters of the training cycle, the PTTP students join the REP for the duration of PTTP training.   During this final year of training each student in the Acting Area is always rehearsing and/or performing a principal role opposite REP professionals in productions directed and designed by outstanding guest professionals.  These productions are stage managed by PTTP Stage Management students and technically directed and technically supervised by PTTP Technical Production students.  Acting and Stage Management students are enabled to complete their Equity Membership Candidacy during this final year and a half of training.


Laurie Birmingham and Stephen Pelinski in the REP production of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Photo: Paul Cerro.











Cameron Knight in the REP production of OF MICE AND MEN.  Photo: Paul Cerro.