Tepper Semester

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ACU Theatre majors in performance and design tracks have the opportunity to spend their final semester studying with Broadway and award-winning instructors in New York City.

The Tepper Semester - a unique residency program from Syracuse University's Department of Drama - takes full advantage of New York City's rich cultural community and offers undergraduate students in advanced levels of acting, musical theatre, design, and stage management the opportunity to immerse themselves in a rigorous artistic training program. The ACU Theatre has an affiliation agreement with Syracuse University allowing ACU Theatre majors to attend the Tepper Semester.

As a student in the Tepper Semester, you work closely with an accomplished faculty of professional artists who nurture your creative, intellectual, and personal growth. Musical theatre students take dance classes at Broadway Dance Center. The program also guides you in understanding the business of the industry, which is essential for a rewarding and successful career in the performing arts. As an immersion experience, the professional preparatory semester creates the base of a national arts network for emerging young artists. Residency in New York City is an integral part of the Tepper Semester. Students live and study in the heart of New York's theater district and attend studio classes in Syracuse University’s Fisher Center located at Madison Avenue and 31st Street in the heart of Manhattan. The program also takes advantage of the vast cultural and educational resources the city has to offer. Students learn from exposure to a broad spectrum of world-class theatres, museums, libraries, and numerous entertainment venues so vital to artistic training. Students attend Broadway or Off-Broadway theatre productions each week. 

“I’m really excited about who we’re going to be working with, both the professors and also the other students and getting to be around people who love to create…Every year when the seniors come back from Tepper, they always seem to have an elevated sense of permission about pursuing their craft. They feel more confident about going forward, and they feel like they can really do this, so I’m excited to embrace that.”

–  Andrew Gilliland

“I am so excited to be sharing this experience with all of my really close friends. I am so thankful that this opportunity allows me to experience what it would be like to live in New York as well…. Being able to have the opportunity to perform for some casting agents is so exciting … while auditioning whenever we can is super helpful too.”

– Payton Reeves


Recent Tepper Faculty:

Michelle Bossy
Artistic Director
(Associate Artistic Director of Primary Stages)

James Calleri
Casting Director
(Calleri Casting, Lipstick Jungle, Hope & Faith, TV and Broadway Raisin in the Sun)

David Caparelliotis
Casting Director
(MelCap Casting, Manhattan Theatre Club)

Louis Colaianni
Designated Linklater Voice Teacher
(Author of the book The Joy of Phonetics & Accents)

Rebecca Guy
Director
(Project Director and Faculty Member, Juilliard School of Drama, Faculty, Barnard)

Rachel Hamilton
Improv Teacher and Performer
(The Second City, 30 Rock)

Tom Kitt
Composer/Musical Director
(Next to Normal, High Fidelity)

Andrew Leynse
Artistic Director
(Primary Stages)

Elena McGhee
Designated Linklater Voice Teacher
(Fordham University, Sarah Lawrence College, Barnard)

Mike Mitchell
N.A.T.S, NYSTA

Lisa Nicholas
Director, Tepper Semester

Daisy Prince
Director
(The Last 5 Years, Songs for a New World)

Darryl Quinton
Movement Teacher/Choreographer
(Juilliard, Dance Theatre of Harlem) 

Andra Reeve
Independent Casting Director
(Former Head of Primetime Casting/CBS)

Charles Tuthill
Acting Teacher
(New York University/Atlantic Theatre Studio, SUNY Purchase, Pace University)

Recent Guest Artists:

Artists who participated in the program

  • Findley Davidson
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson
  • Alexa Fogel
  • Adam Guettel
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Marc Hirschfeld
  • Gayle Keller
  • Tom Kitt
  • Jefferson Mays
  • Marci Philips