Department FAQs

Learn about the Drama Department.

Department FAQs

What are the distinctive strengths of Tisch Drama?

Tisch Drama combines rigorous conservatory training with a challenging and enriching academic education. Using the incomparable theatrical resources of New York City as well as the superb intellectual assets of New York University, the department has created a B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) program that aims to establish the artistic and intellectual foundations for a successful and sustained life in the professional theatre and allied disciplines.

Who makes up your faculty?

Internationally recognized theatre studies scholars and accomplished, working teaching artists provide a rich, vibrant and diverse curriculum for our students.

I have heard about “the studios” in the Drama department. Can you please explain the studio system?

Upon acceptance into the Department, students are placed into one of eight different primary studios where they begin intensive conservatory training towards a strong foundation in technique. Students remain in their primary studios for two full years (four consecutive semesters). Once primary training is completed, students have many options for advanced training (see question below).

  • It is important to understand that you are applying to Tisch Drama and not to a particular studio.
  • The studio placement decision lies with the Department. 
  • Studio placement notifications are sent after a student deposits.

The eight primary studios are listed below. Six are acting studios, one is a musical theatre program and one is dedicated to production and design.​ Our directing program is housed at the Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Our concentrated musical theatre training program lives at the New Studio on Broadway.


Do the primary studios only offer classes in acting?

No. All performance-based primary studios offer foundations in areas such as acting technique, vocal technique, dance and movement, script analysis, scene study, improvisation and often singing. In addition, we have studios for directing, musical theatre, and design, production and stage management.

Do I choose my primary studio?

No. The studio placement decision lies with the department. 

  • It is important to remember that you are applying to Tisch Drama and not to a particular studio. 
  • Studio placement notifications are sent after a student deposits.

Do I stay in one primary studio for four years?

No. You are required to remain in your primary studio for the first two years of the program. Once primary training is completed, you will have many options for advanced training, including continuing on in your primary studio. See question below for more details.

What are my advanced professional training options after primary studio?

Once primary training is completed, you will have many options for advanced training during your remaining semesters.

You may stay in your primary studio to delve deeper into the technique or you might try advanced training at another primary studio to learn a different approach to creating performance.

Some studios are only available at the advanced level, as they are more specialized in training, like our Classical Studio or Stonestreet Studios Conservatory of Screen Acting and Production, for example.

You may also choose to do an internship or study abroad to continue your professional training. 

What kind of performance opportunities does the department offer?

Each year, the department provides over 150 performance opportunities, including departmental productions, studio workshops, independent directing projects and student-generated work.

The department offers a comprehensive production season, with projects ranging from full-scale, fully-realized productions to smaller workshops and even more intimate cabaret and avant-garde performances. The season is an extension of the curriculum, providing learning opportunities for students as both participants and audience members.

Please note the restrictions on performing for first-year and transfer students below.

May I audition for shows as soon as I begin at Tisch?

No. Freshpeople must wait one year before they are eligible to audition for departmental or studio productions. Transfers must wait one semester to audition. 

We think it is important for you to take time to embrace the new techniques of your primary training and to adjust to college life and living in New York City. You must be in good academic standing in order to audition.