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Applying to the Professional Director Training Program

Applications for 2020 admission are now closed, we will be admitting again in 2022.

This program admits students every other year, we accepted applications for 2020 admission. While there is always room for the exceptional applicant, it is extremely difficult to gain admission directly out of a BA program with no other credentials. The program tends to choose candidates who show evidence of enterprising energy and accomplishment "out in the world," who may have successfully assisted seasoned directors, who have at least the beginning of a professional and artistic record.


Please mail the following to: Graduate Programs, School of Drama, Box 353950, Seattle WA 98195-3950 or email them to, or you can submit some of them as part of your on-line application to the Graduate School. You do not need to submit these materials more than one way. The deadline is January 3, 2020.Application materials received after that date cannot be guaranteed full consideration for admission. 

  1. Directing application form (PDF) for 2020 and $60 fee - You may pay with check or money order, payable to UW School of Drama, or with credit card. This fee is separate from that due to the Office of Graduate Admissions (see B below).
  2. A current résumé of training and experience in your field.
  3. A statement of purpose including educational and professional goals.
  4. Three letters of recommendation. Each recommendation must state whether the letter is or is not available for review by the applicant. Forms for this purpose are available here (PDF). These may be sent directly to the School of Drama or included in your application.
  5. One set of unofficial transcripts.
  6. A directorial analysis of a play or opera chosen from the following list:
    • Twelfth Night (Shakespeare)
    • Fen (Churchill)
    • Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Wilson)
    • Cherry Orchard (Chekhov)
    • Spinning into Butter (Gilman)
    • Eurydice (Ruhl)
    • 36 Views (Iizuka)

What is this play about, and how would you translate your response into dynamic production ideas ? Can you articulate a main action or spine for the piece? Who is the main character and how does his/her action relate to the overall meaning? Why is this play important in this particular time? Are there social and/or political issues that resonate for you? Are there problems with the script that you would have to overcome? What is the organizing image or metaphor you would articulate to your design team?

You must include at least SIX visual images with annotation to support your design ideas. What stylistic and staging challenges do you face? How does music (where applicable) influence dramatic action?

Use these questions as catalysts, not as a blueprint: we're interested in your gut response as well as your analysis. Be concise: 4-5 pages maximum, exclusive of visuals.

Your résumé of theater activity, your statement of purpose and your letters of recommendation are all important. The three letters of recommendation should not come from the same source (e.g. your BA program's faculty). You may include a video (not required), if you want the video returned please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for that purpose.

All applicants for graduate study at the UW also apply online to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Graduate Admissions charges an application fee of $85 which is separate from the School of Drama fee noted above.

The GRE is not required for any applicant. International applicants must meet minimum TOEFL and TSE scores and other Graduate School requirements.

SECOND STEP - For selected applicants

A short list of candidates will be invited to continue the application process and interview with the head of the program. Interviews will occur from late January to mid-February.

  1. Candidates will interview for 30 minutes with the head of the program.
  2. Candidates will present a 2-minute monologue as a way of revealing, not acting talent but the candidate's knowledge of what it is to speak dialogue, transmit thoughts and physically relate to space.
  3. Candidates will be asked to respond to a 2-page questionnaire provided by the School of Drama.

THIRD STEP - For final short listed applicants

A small group (4-8) of candidates will be invited to Seattle in late February 2020, where they will be interviewed in person by a group of faculty. As part of this interview each candidate will conduct a rehearsal of one of three pre-selected scenes with actors provided by the School of Drama. These actors will be familiar with the material and ready to be on their feet. Candidates will receive the scene options and any additional information when they are notified of their selection to this short list.

For questions about the application process, contact our graduate program assistant at (206) 543-0714 or email For questions about the program, contact Valerie Curtis-Newton at (206)616-7148 or via e-mail at