Applications now available for Queens Theatre’s training program for actors with disabilities

The program is open to Deaf and/or Disabled performers, ages 18 and over. Students accepted into the program will receive inclusive professional instruction free of charge.
(Photo by Dominick Totino Photography)

Queens Theatre is accepting applications through Sept. 9 for its Theatre for All (TFA) Professional Actor Training Program for deaf or disabled performers ages 18 and over. 

The free two-week program will run from Oct. 17 through Oct. 28. The intensive workshops will be taught by disabled and non-disabled industry professionals, who will help students build skills, as well as their networks. The intensive will focus on auditioning, acting, improvisation, musical theater, voice and movement. The program will have three tracks designed for actors of varying experience levels: Entry Level, Early Career and Working Actor. 

The program will culminate with a livestreamed industry showcase performance for the Early Career and Working Actor-level programs. 

“Theatre for All, Queens Theatre’s initiative to advance the inclusion of Deaf and disabled people in the performing arts, furthers our mission to reflect and celebrate the full diversities of our communities,” said Taryn Sacramone, executive director of Queens Theatre. “As the entertainment industry is becoming more intentional about representing the lives of Deaf and disabled people, we are proud to continue to offer this program that provides skill and network building opportunities.”

The TFA Professional Actor Training Program is part of Queens Theatre’s larger Theatre For All initiative, launched in 2018, to advance the inclusion of Deaf/disabled individuals in the performing arts — as performers, audience members, students and cultural workers. 

Six years ago, Queens Theatre formed an advisory board comprised of an integrated group of disabled and non-disabled individuals with backgrounds in theater, activism, academia and arts administration to lead TFA. 

In addition to professional training for early career actors, Queens Theatre has produced short plays by disabled playwrights (as a selection of the TFA plays was recently published by Next Stage Press), in-school performance programs for children and teens with disabilities, expanded accessibility services at the theater, hosted a National Disability in Theatre Convening (2019) and most recently, presented the Forward Festival for the Arts, a multi-week, multi-disciplinary festival of artists and companies that center performers with disabilities.

Vincent D’Onofrio, an early supporter of the program, teaching students. (Photo by Ari Mintz)

This year Queens Theatre announced a fundraising campaign to support the Theatre for All Professional Actor Training Program. Stage and screen star Vincent D’Onofrio, best known for his roles in the drama “Full Metal Jacket,” the hit television series “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and Netflix series “Daredevil” was an early champion of Theatre for All (TFA) and has committed to matching the first $15,000 raised to support the fifth installment of the program.

For more information on QT’s Theatre for All (TFA) Professional Actor Training Program and to apply, visit queenstheatre.org/programs/theatre-for-all.