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The Conservatory

What is the Conservatory?

The Conservatory is the core of the Chautauqua Theater Company. The 14 actors, 4 design fellows and 1 directing fellow we accept into the program are offered an unparalleled opportunity to bridge the gap between their training and professional careers. Working side by side with nationally recognized professionals on stage and off, the conservatory experience is challenging, supportive and deeply influential. Best of all, it is made up of exceptional theater artists from across the country, giving everyone an opportunity to make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Where and what is the Chautauqua Institution?

Located on beautiful Chautauqua Lake in western New York, the Chautauqua Institution is a renowned summer center for arts, recreation, and learning that welcomes nearly 200,000 people from all over the world to its season of programs, performances, lectures and activities. The theater is just one part of a very rich intellectual and cultural summer festival. In addition to the theater, the Institution is home to professional symphony, opera, and ballet companies, a thriving visual arts center and attendant summer school programs in each discipline.

How much does it cost?

IT'S FREE. All Conservatory members receive full fellowships covering tuition, room, and board**. Unlike many summer theaters where you pay them for the privilege of building scenery or serving concessions, at Chautauqua all you are expected to do is develop and practice your craft. A rarity among summer programs, CTC invites you to join a company of your contemporaries and future peers and pays for you to do it. All you have to do is get there.

**Design and Directing Fellows see additional information on Fellowship page.

What if I'm Equity?

AEA members can obtain waivers if they are enrolled in a conservatory program or have just graduated from one. EMC points are also available.

What about housing & food?

The Chautauqua Institution provides double occupancy residence hall lodging for approximately 280 emerging artists enrolled in the music, dance, visual art, and theater programs. The three meals a day, seven days a week meal plan is included and served cafeteria style in a dining hall adjacent to the residences.




P.O. Box 28
One Ames Ave.
Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
Institution website

Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit organization, dependent upon your gifts to fulfill its mission. Gate tickets and other revenue cover only a portion of the cost of your Chautauqua experience. A community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state, Chautauqua Institution comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Visit our website for more information.