The School of Theatre has a long tradition of embracing the value of the professional theatre’s participation in the education of our students. We have now arrived at a landmark number of professional theatre ventures that embrace the possibilities of building strong bridges between the study and practice of the theatre arts.


Each year the onSET (Sharing Experiences in Theatre) program embraces inclusive artists, scholars, poets, and professionals.

We welcome a distinguished group of teaching collaborators to enhance, inspire, and enlighten us. This display of professional mentorship is an important part of the academic and artistic mission of the School of Theatre.

These guests and visitors to BU will be in the classrooms in small intimate settings. They might be in larger public venues for panels and conversations, or in pop-up seminars. As professionals, they share their experience and wisdom bringing a rich dimension to the student’s education at BU that is an invaluable asset.   

Learn More

Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI)

The Boston University Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI) reflects our belief in the necessity of strong artistic relationships with the theatre profession. PTI provides opportunities for stimulating, creative interactions between participating theaters and the BU School of Theatre community. Our hopes for the future are nothing short of creating models or producing relationships that deepen the educational experience, providing a special path for professional experimentation, and creating new possibilities for the creation of new plays for the theatre. Many of our students, faculty and alumni are linked with a variety of professional theaters of many kinds, sizes, and missions to provide experience and interaction that serve both the participant and the theatre company itself.

In recent years, theaters as varied as the Huntington Theatre Company, previously in residence at Boston University, as well as Company One Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, National Players, Potomac Theatre Project, Vineyard Playhouse, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Pendragon Theatre, among others, have joined this initiative. Project-based interactions have been successfully forged with theaters such as the Guthrie Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Primary Stages, and the Arden Theatre.

Often, PTI member theatres provide professional opportunities in acting, directing, and design and/or career development opportunities through internships. In some cases, our interactions with these companies result in new play development and opportunities to conceive new approaches to existent works.

Boston University New Play Initiative (NPI)

The BU New Play Initiative (NPI) expresses our commitment to the School’s participation in the development of new work. This special initiative provides playwrights, directors, designers, and actors with a variety of developmental options to support the collaborative creation of new work for the theatre. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists are given the opportunity to utilize the creativity of the rehearsal room to develop their plays, which are then presented through workshop productions. But the life of these new plays doesn’t end on the BU stages. Many New Play Initiative productions are often later fully produced by member companies of our Professional Theatre Initiative.

Theatre Showcase

Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre invites you to explore our annual Performance Showcase and Design & Production Exhibit. Join us as we celebrate the graduating students’ accomplishments and formally introduce them to the professional theatre industry and alumni community. Showcase is made possible by the Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley Fund for Career Development and the Jonathan M. Scharer Fund for Career Development in Theatre Arts, through the generosity of Seymore and Vivian Scharer.

Learn More