The Department of Drama takes a holistic approach to training students for successful employment in the performing arts, allied professions, and beyond. Students prepare for careers in theatre, television, and film through a range of technical training combined with a solid base in creative work and broad exposure to the liberal arts. This not only readies students to be leaders in the arts and entertainment industries, but enables them to be motivated, organized, and deeply engaged creative participants in any of their professional endeavors.
The critical and creative training offered by the Department of Drama develops a multitude of skills, including acting, voice, audition technique, dance, movement, directing, producing, writing, research, collaboration, critical thinking, creative problem solving, design, stage management, and production management. Students may also opt to take courses focusing on practical skills, including “Business of the Business,” which provides a launching pad from the world of studio training and academic coursework by addressing the practicalities of a life in the arts. All classes are conducted under the supervision of gifted teachers, who blend academic knowledge with practical experience as seasoned industry professionals.
Through a variety of department-wide programs, industry professionals are invited to connect with students and to see their work in production and audition settings. Casting directors, agents, and managers have attended and offered feedback at such events as the Showcase Productions in the department’s StageWorks season, as well as Advanced Training Studio performances. Students may also participate in the Tisch Drama Internship Program, which is designed both to give students a taste of professional work and help develop industry relationships and networking opportunities in New York City's diverse artistic community. Students have interned in virtually every area of the industry, including casting/talent agencies, arts administration, drama therapy and educational theatre, and production assistant roles in theater, film, and television. Drama interns have been sought out and welcomed by Saturday Night Live; Law & Order; Wicked; Columbia Pictures; the Public Theater; The New York City Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; Clear Channel Radio; Time Out NY; and CBS's casting office, among other productions and organizations.
The Tisch Office of Career Development strives to provide students and alumni with lifelong professional skills that help establish and sustain successful careers in the arts. TOCD’s services include: Tisch College Central, a searchable internship/job database; individualized career counseling (by appointment and weekly walk-ins); resume and cover letter reviews; industry mentorship programs; access to electronic industry research tools; and a resource library stocked with trade publications and numerous career-related handouts.
Tisch Drama frequently collaborates with TOCD to offer workshops with casting directors, talent agents, managers, and other industry professionals to develop students’ knowledge of the industry and hone their career development skills. Many guest speakers are Tisch alumni who are successfully working in the performing arts industry and enthusiastically share their knowledge and support with the next generation of young artists. TOCD is located within Tisch’s Office of Student Affairs.
In conjunction with TOCD, the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development provides career guidance and development services to NYU students and alumni. The Center hosts seminars, job fairs, and expos; schedules career counseling appointments; connects students with mentors and alumni; trains students in job interview skills and resume/cover letter writing; and compiles employer databases. The Center also maintains NYU CareerNet, an online database of both on- and off-campus job and internship listings for students. Tisch Drama students may use Wasserman’s resources to identify sustainable employment opportunities or explore career interests. outside of the arts.
Drama alumni maintain a lifelong affiliation with the Tisch School of the Arts and have gone on to a wide variety of fulfilling careers in the arts and beyond. Many have become successful actors, directors, agents, producers, designers, stage managers, playwrights, and screenwriters. Others have parlayed their Tisch training into careers spanning a range of fields including fitness, media, psychology, government, law, and education. All are part of a vibrant network of mentors, artists, and entrepreneurs supported by the Tisch Office of Alumni Relations and the Tisch Office of Career Development. By creating interdisciplinary and cross-generational collaborations, these two offices help alumni maintain a connection to the past while growing into their future. Of particular note are two main alumni councils, Tisch East and Tisch West, whose activity is centered on metropolitan NYC and LA respectively. These Councils advance alumni collaborations like the 10x10 Alumni Industry Showcase, Web Series Lab and Showcase, and numerous Q&As with SAG-AFTRA, casting directors, and other industry professionals.