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Services & Programs


“The URTAs” are an annual recruiting event held each year in multiple cities, bringing together prospective MFA candidates and faculty recruiters from dozens of top theatre programs.


URTA offers the only nonprofit paymaster service of its kind.
We set the stage for contracting union and non-union guest artists and crew at universities and for other producing clients.


URTA Awards support prospective students, promising graduates, and recognize achievement in training by instructors and institutions.


URTA puts advertising within reach for theatre training programs, by securing significant discounts on print and digital ads with leading theatre journals.


Led by distinguished faculty and professionals, URTA conducts workshops and
panels covering all areas of theatre throughout the year, at events nationwide.


Academic job postings from URTA member and non-member universities.


An all-in-one place listing of graduate showcases in acting and design. List dates and information for your training program’s showcase, free of charge.


Founded in 1969, the University Resident Theatre Association works to ensure the continued renewal of the American theatre by supporting excellence in the professional training of new artists.

URTA continues to develop programs and services that answer the needs of university theatres, training programs, and individual artists. Whether it’s articulating the highest standards for professional training, helping to match potential students with the MFA program best suited to their needs, facilitating engagement of professional artists at universities, or expanding the scope of our education and career outreach programs, URTA is setting the stage for emerging theatre artists, and professional advancement.


As educators and artists focused on the discovery and fostering of new talent, and the creation of socially relevant art and new information in our respective areas and disciplines, we acknowledge and value the absolute necessity of applied efforts in equity, diversity, and inclusion in our classrooms, studios, theaters, and work spaces. We assert that these values are essential as an active practice on every level of recruitment, hiring, teaching, and production. As an organization focused on the stability, welfare and continuing development of its membership community, URTA seeks to serve as a hub for the sharing of experiences, actions, and best practices in these efforts amongst our constituency. If theatre serves as a mirror for humanity, an agent for social change, an inspiration towards greater good, it is clear that we as theatre makers and educators owe it to ourselves, our colleagues, our greater communities, and our current and future students to focus on these issues in an active and thoughtful way.


Holly Poe Durbin, President
University of California, Irvine
Robert Ramirez, Vice President
University of Texas at Austin
Kristin Sosnowsky, Treasurer
Louisiana State University
Brant Pope, Immediate Past President
University of Texas at Austin
Michael Bradford, Director
University of Connecticut
Marissa Chibas, Director
Cal Arts
Mary Beth Easley, Director
University of Iowa
Deanna Fitzgerald, Director
University of Arizona
Brackley Frayer, Director
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Colleen Kelly, Director
University of Virginia
Kip Marsh, Director
Brooklyn College


Tony Hagopian
Executive Director

Sara Ross
Director – Education Programs

Terry LaCasse
Accounts Manager

Abel Marquez
Project Manager

Samantha Omari-Cendejas
Program Associate – Education


“The URTAs” have been our flagship program for more than 50 years. Every year, 1,200 MFA candidates from all theatre disciplines–acting, arts leadership, design and technology, directing, and stage management–take part in this recruiting event where they have the opportunity to meet with faculty recruiters from among our 46 member universities and other top theatre programs, all in one place. The URTAs are the most accessible way to pursue professional theatre training, for all potential candidates.

Training programs find the URTAs to be an unparalleled resource for recruiting the most promising graduate students to their schools, and candidates avoid the expense and anxiety of arranging dozens of separate interviews, travelling to numerous campuses, and navigating applications for countless institutions. It can also be a unique way for candidates to discover programs they may have not otherwise been familiar with, but which may be their perfect fit.

The URTA Auditions & Interviews include a wealth of other programming, including the Guest Auditions (with non-member institutions), Undergrad Preview, and a full slate of continuing education sessions.

Candidate Awards provide free registration to certain eligible candidates, including those in the areas of sound design and arts leadership.


Our members are the backbone that allow us to pursue our mission in an impactful way, and elevate the professional field. URTA members are committed to professional standards in theatrical production and training, a fair and honest recruiting process, and the principles of integrity and respect.

URTA members retain accomplished faculty who continue to work professionally, and provide quality facilities and the other essential resources and technology needed to allow graduate students the ability to reach the full potential of their training. Their students are provided exposure to professional practice, either through a partnership with a resident theatre, regular engagement of guest artists, or other means.

Most of our members offer financial assistance in the form of paid assistantships, tuition remission, scholarships, stipends, or a combination thereof.


URTA Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Training announced for 2021

URTA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Training. The awards recognize outstanding work of undergraduate instructors, coaches, mentors, as well as institutions, for excellence in the training and preparation of undergraduate theatre artists. This year’s award recipients are: Individuals Acting – Assistant Professor Amelia McClain, University of

2020 Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Training

URTA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Training. The awards recognize outstanding work of undergraduate instructors, coaches, and mentors, as well as institutions, for excellence in the training and preparation of undergraduate theatre artists. This year’s award recipients are: Individuals Acting – Dr. Eve Graves, Clark Atlanta

URTA Auditions & Interviews move online for 2021

“Live-Virtual” URTAs will take place in January 2021 URTA is excited to announce that the annual URTA Auditions & Interviews will be going online in 2021 for a “live-virtual” URTAs. The event will take place from January 9-31, including 10 days of acting auditions, 4 days of design & technology interviews, and 3 days of

Theater Companies Town Hall hosted by URTA

URTA hosted a Town Hall for theater companies across the nation, to gather and discuss the challenges of Covid-19. Many theaters associated with universities, as well as other nonprofit and independent companies had much to share about their experiences, plans for the fall and working into 2021, as well as some interesting and innovative approaches

University Town Halls for July

Last week, we followed up with member schools and training programs who took part in our series of Town Halls in May. We wanted to discuss how the landscape had changed for us all in the intervening months, and what various universities’ and theaters’ plans were for the fall and beyond. Many interesting updates on

URTA Town Halls

On May 27-29, URTA hosted three virtual Town Hall events for university training programs to discuss where they find themselves during the Covid-19 crisis, how they’re approaching classes, performances, and recruiting, and to share challenges and solutions with colleagues and peers. As part of the discussion, we polled participants on a number of topics related