Gig&Tell: Cortland Repertory Theatre

  • PROFESSIONALISM AT IT'S PEAK, THEATRE AT IT'S BEST!    
    01/05/2015  1:53pm

    I have had the honor of working at The Cortland Repertory Theatre several times over the past 13 years. During my first show there, I was immediately blown away by the brilliant combination of talent, high standard of professionalism and cleanliness. Most importantly, though, Cortland Repertory Theatre has always committed to hiring not just talented professionals, but genuinely nice people...people who are considerate, giving and passionate about their craft...real team players!

    Many theatres put on great shows across the country; Many theatres also possess some of the qualities listed above, but VERY few put them all together in a fun supportive and educational environment. Their intern program is one of the best in the country and has helped many young actors hone their craft while learning about all aspects of the industry.

    I have also seen Cortland Rep consistently make considerable improvements to their theatre and housing facilities. They are always adapting to whatever changes are necessary to allow them to continually provide high quality entertainment to an incredibly supportive local and surrounding community. Their seasons are always an attractive balance of traditional, diverse and challenging material.

    Simply put, CRT does it all.

    I would strongly recommend that anyone take advantage of an opportunity to work at Cortland Repertory Theatre!

  • Loved working here    
    12/07/2014  10:19am

    I've worked at CRT for several summers and always found it a lovely place to work. It's pretty low stress, which I felt really gave me the ability to do great work. The entire staff that was hired was capable and fun to be with. The housing is among the best I've experienced. The community of Cortland is small, but supportive and friendly. We always played to full houses. I'm proud of all the shows I did there, and the quality of them was pretty high. I have recommended it to several people--it's a wonderful place to work.

  • 11/14/2014  3:42am

    I have worked with CRT over the last few years.

    Cortland Repertory Theatre has experienced yearly growth and development for over a decade under the current Artistic Director, and has managed to build a brand-new year-round performance and events space in a financially depressed town. Their new space is centrally-located between other Finger Lakes area theatrical organizations in Ithaca, Auburn, and Syracuse.

    My CRT experience was hard work and good fun and a lot of good art was enjoyed by about 18,000 audience members in a season. It is an organization that enjoys a friendly fast-paced creative working environment and has a very supportive audience and fan base.

    CRT is not a LORT theatre and Equity Actors should expect LOA conditions and have to take care of themselves somewhat, though work hours and breaks are standard.

    CRT is not large and not wealthy. They do a great job providing housing and, when needed, transportation. Their volunteer Theatre Guild also provides a welcome picnic, midnight meals at all of the changeover nights, and all of the goodwill, excitement, and love one could ever desire from a community.

    Talent is generally good, sometimes lacking here and there, as is often the case with small theatres casting a full season. Interns work very hard and are expected to produce. In all cases and departments, those who strive to do their best will get the most out of the experience.

    Technicians do a decent job, often understaffed and with meager budgets.

    While some theatres are struggling or their art is stagnant, CRT is growing strong. That should say something to all actors and techs.

    I've done three shows at CRT always really enjoyed my time there. Housing is great. Pay is comparable with other nonequity companies. I second all the other positive things that have been said in other reviews here. If you're prepared to put in the hard work that's required of any show, you'll have a great summer.

    11/15/2014  3:16am

    I loved my summer as an intern at Cortland. The shows were very high quality, production value was amazing, and the people were beyond kind. I worked like crazy but I loved every minute of it. Housing was awesome and the technical crew was superb. The actors were good, and the intern talent was amazing. I was very impressed with my fellow interns and made lifelong friends with many of them. An amazing gig, especially for young performers looking for one of their first professional gigs.

    11/21/2014  12:20pm
  • ... But Most Importantly, Good People.    
    03/27/2012  12:57am

    In my recent experience at CRT, I found the shows to be great quality for short rehearsal periods, the people in charge to be demanding of good work, yet still understanding and excellent to work with, and most importantly, the cast and crew for each show to be professional and fun. I cannot say enough about the type of people you will work with at CRT... I've never experienced a non-equity theatre without drama off-stage. This one keeps it on-stage with ease. Ultimately, a very enjoyable place to work.

    Great place to work! The artistic staff is unmatched, the housing is excellent, the productions are top notch. Wonderful experience all around!

    04/09/2012  9:39am

    I loved working for CRT! This was my first professional gig, and it was amazing. The rehearsal process is quick, but they have an amazing team leading the always talented cast, so it's a smooth ride. The performances sell wonderfully, and the city of Cortland is incredibly welcoming. The housing is phenomenal (fully furnished apartments with your own bedroom) and the pay was reasonable. I would love to work for Cortland Rep again and urge anyone to get out here. A fun summer and great work!

    07/08/2012  1:14pm

    This theatre does not have the facilities to meet the requirements for equity actors. They should never be hiring guest equity actors. Period. The talent of the leads was very good, while the ensemble/interns varied. Most of the ensemble lacked professionalism and seemed to see their first professional jobs as a chance to continue their college parties and not focus on the shows. In fact I felt bad as they did not get a strong first experience of what its like to be a professional in this business. This is the perfect summerstock if you want to play onstage games like 'pass the penny' LOL.

    01/14/2014  12:59pm

    Huh. I didn't get an unprofessional vibe AT ALL. I'm gonna go ahead and be super thorough with my report of what I experienced. Come to your own conclusions, I guess, but these were mine. :)

    I REALLY enjoyed myself at Cortland Rep! Everyone's super friendly and professional, the town is lovely, and the audiences are incredibly enthusiastic and receptive.
    I did my contract at the tail end of one of their summer seasons, so I was able to experience both cast housing, and local housing with one of the guild members. The cast housing is spacious, comfortable, and pretty well stocked with everything you'll need while you're there (except for bedsheets-- I brought a sleeping bag because I'm a weirdo, but it worked out just fine). And if you're missing anything, usually the ASM can find it for you. :) Rehearsals are within walking distance, and if you don't have a car with you, there is a company car. Actor housing is actually in one of the college dorms (feels more like apartments, which is nice), and is in reasonable walking distance to Cortland's downtown area, which has a great bar/pizza place that's open late, a music store, a cupcake place (!), little shops and pubs, that sort of thing. It's a college town, so some things stay open late, if small town night life is your thing (pro tip: maybe don't stay out too late if you have to get up early for rehearsal… yeeeeaa…). Anyway, it's really lovely in the dorms/apartments, actually. And the internet is pretty darn good. ;)

    If your show is situated at the end of the summer season, you might have to move to a guild member's place (or the Quagmire, a local B&B type place) for the end of your contract, because the students come back, and need to get settled in their apartments again. The guild members are all really, really friendly, and the house I stayed in was beautiful, quiet, and frequently unoccupied (the guild is really active in the community, so my host was out a lot). It was a bit of a trek to the theatre from there, but we had a car, so it was fine. Getting cellphone service in that mountainous area can also be a bit hiccupy, but for the most part, it's fine. :) Also, the countryside of Cortland is GORGEOUS. I think my phone might still be full of pictures of all of those hills and fields and trees and clouds and… yea. It's one of those "God's Country" type places. Bring a good camera. Or a photographic memory.

    Kerby and Cortland Rep will take good care of you. The theatre itself used to be a barn, so it's a little drafty in the chilly evenings (occasionally, if the breeze comes through just so, and you're standing outside, you'll catch a whiff of the local dairy's lowing occupants), and the whole cast shares one changing room and bathroom backstage--my cast was small, so it wasn't remotely an issue, though I'd imagine for a larger cast, it'd get a little cramped. All the better to make friends with everyone, though! Onstage, it's a gorgeous space that is somehow simultaneously spacious, and intimate. I have not yet seen a set there that wasn't impeccably built, and the tech team is seamless. Lighting is amazing, sound is also amazing, everyone there works their butts off to get everything perfect. And it pretty much always is. Also… everyone is SO. FRIENDLY. I feel like I have said that word a lot, but it's true. Cortland seems to hire super talented, friendly people. Divas and Grumpy Gusses need not apply. Or maybe they've just been lucky. :)

    If you get cast there, other than working hard and enjoying the heck out of yourself performing, make sure you go to Super Cream, Bob's BBQ, and Brix Pizza. Thank me later. ;) Oh, and there's a hysterical mini-golf place that's pirate themed outside, and black light inside. Worth your time. It's really funny. Go to it!

    You'll work really hard during the short rehearsal process, and will be expected to pull your weight and stay on top of everything, and then you'll enjoy the absolute heck out of yourself during performances (again, the audience is REALLY excited about theatre). Basically, just… have fun. I'd go back in a heartbeat. :)

    11/13/2014  1:06pm

    My CRT gig was my first time to work with a true summer-stock company, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience: Great roommates in a very nice furnished apartment, free use of a company car, professional treatment throughout the full-time rehearsal and performance process, terrific talent and fun personalities without a diva in sight, a great show with top-notch musicians and crew and direction in a comfortably charming facility. I'd work for Cortland Rep again in a heartbeat!

    11/13/2014  1:08pm

    I have worked at Cortland Repertory Theatre many times over the last ten years, and there is a reason I am always happy to go back. Kerby has built a company with great artistic integrity, sometimes working against difficult odds. He has an excellent eye for talent, and does everything he can to create an environment where company members can do good work. Based on my experiences at many theatres over 25 years, I consider Cortland Repertory Theatre an excellent place to create theatre.

    11/13/2014  1:39pm

    CRT was awesome, the cast the crew all so much fun to work with, and Courtland is a grate little town to spend your summer in. good food fun little bars. and calzoooons ,like everywhere!

    11/13/2014  2:00pm

    My experience at CRT far exceeded my expectations. The housing was great. It was across the street from the rehearsal space. The producers, director, and theatre board/guild were all absolutely delightful. It's very much a family atmosphere, but still completely professional. The summer theatre is on a lake a little ways out of town, and they're currently building a new theatre downtown for year-round productions. Although it's a smaller theatre, I was surprised by the production quality. The set, lighting, sound, costumes, etc. were all really, really good. They brought in some very talented designers and technicians. I loved my director and my cast. Kerby, the boss, is a good guy and doesn't like bullshit. So don't give him any. I would recommend CRT to anyone.

    11/13/2014  2:15pm

    I have worked @ Cortland Rep. 5 times, and each time was better than the last. The productions are high quality, rehearsals are run professionally, The housing is nice, and rehearsals are within walking distance. Kerby has a great eye for talent, the performers, production staff, designers, and technicians are all wonderful, creative, kind people. (No divas, no jerks). I really felt like part of a family, and part of the community very early on, and they work HARD to make you feel that way. Cortland is my favorite place to work, and I hope to return soon. My highest recommendation!

    11/13/2014  3:54pm

    I worked for Cortland Rep for 3 seasons, and was there for the full summer each time. I love CRT! High standards for performance and tech quality, while maintaining an inclusive and fun atmosphere!

    The town is cute- multiple bars and restaurants to choose from, but three blocks of a downtown pretty much wraps it up:) It's a college town, so lots of food and entertainment options, all walkable from cast/crew housing.

    Housing is beautiful- apartments with 3 bedrooms/3 roommates (average, some have 4 rooms, some 2) big kitchens, nice furniture. Housing is across the street from the rehearsal space if you're an actor, and 1.5 blocks from the shop if you're a technician. The theatre itself is a drive away through farmland (provided for your if you don't have a car), landing you at a beautiful historic playhouse on a lake. You can't beat the escape from NYC heat in the summer! The venue is small and intimate, seating around 200.

    The community is very involved and supportive of the theatre. CRT has a volunteer guild that hosts dinners, parties, meetings at famous ice cream parlors- all to support the theatre and make the visiting professionals feel welcome.

    Much of CRT's work is nominated for the Syracuse area theatre awards yearly, which is a testament to the work that they continue to do, and the town(s) that support them.

    I can't say enough about CRT. Professional- the work comes first. But friendly, warm, and fun place to spend a summer! You won't regret going!

    11/13/2014  4:48pm

    I was fortunate enough to work with CRT in their production of Les Miserables, and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had working in theatre. The cast was stellar, the living facilities were excellent, and the artist staff was top notch. Artistic Director Kerby Thompson has done wonderful things with this company.

    11/13/2014  5:56pm

    I had a GREAT time at Cortland Rep. I would go back in a second!! I will however list a pro’s and con’s list (my opinion only) to try and give you a clear understanding of my summer experience and the environment at Cortland Rep.

    Pro’s
    - Great People – Kerby is one of a kind and works HARD for his theatre, community and actors he hires. If he could, he would give his actors, crew, and creatives everything they desired but that is just not reality in a summer-stock theatre.
    - Talent – the cast and creative teams I worked with were top notched. I could not have asked for better. Everyone worked hard and gave great performances.
    - The “actual” theatre playing space. It is awesome. Intimate thrust stage that really allows you to bring the audience into the world you are creating.
    - Sets and costumes where great.
    - Housing – Nice apartments that are roomy and comfortable. Provided with a nice flat screen tv, comfy furniture, and great location. Plus your own room!!!
    - Very good Internet
    - Dishes provided (although very limited in what is provided)
    - Across the street from rehearsal space
    - Just up the street from downtown area with great pubs and restaurants.
    - Coffemania, Hairy Tony’s, Cortland Beer Company and Footy Freeze(Trust me!!)
    - Surrounding area is BEAUTIFUL!! Plus have Ithaca Farmers Market not to far away.
    - Company car
    - Almost forgot, LIVE ORCHESTRA!! (And they were very good!!)

    Con’s
    - Only one company car and it was a small car so could only hold four comfortably (But what summer stock companies generally offer a company car)
    - Theatre is far from housing.
    - Housing could do a better job of stocking cookware and providing coffee pots. (cheap pots and pans, utensils and coffee pot would run forty bucks. Although some apartments apparently had these things – mine did not)
    - Dressing Rooms – very small space. Fine for a 5-8 person show, but very cramped for anything larger.
    - No bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets) Not a big deal just annoying for those that may be coming from NYC and do not have a car. Difficult to travel with bedding.

    Again, those are just my opinion, but just know that NONE of those cons would keep me from GOING BACK to Cortland Rep. I had such a good time working for this theatre and I am VERY PROUD of the work we created for our audiences. I would reccomend this theatre to anyone.

    11/13/2014  5:58pm

    The Cortland Repertory Theater is a fantastic place to work as an actor. Their consist runs of high quality shows are due to the fact that the production company is filled with supportive, reliable, and hard-working professionals. As an actor who appreciates the perfect balance of professionalism and a friendly comradely spirit, I cannot recommend this company enough as a place for any actor, union or non-union, to grow, work, and make new friends.

    11/13/2014  8:11pm

    As a new actor on the summer stock scene, I had no idea what to expect from the Cortland Rep prior to arriving for rehearsals. What I discovered was a company that was devoted telling meaningful stories and supporting their cast and crew. The rehearsal process was rigorous and rewarding, and the professionals with whom I had the opportunity to work with were respectful, trustworthy, and committed. It was a privilege to work there.

    11/13/2014  11:53pm

    I had the great opportunity to work at CRT this summer in its production of Les Mis. And not only was the cast Broadway worthy. The community treated us as if we were Broadway stars. Its a small theater with big heart. We also won Best Musical of The Year for the production. One con is the dressing room size. Everyone principal and ensemble share one room. But its not too bad. I would certainly recommend working here. And the surroundings of the theater are GORGEOUS!!!!! Hills and hills of beautiful trees and its on a beautiful lake. The housing is good. There is no air conditioning but they supply fans and make it as comfortable as possible. I would certainly return. And yes I am an equity actor!

    11/15/2014  11:42pm

    I have worked at CRT two different seasons and a total of 4 productions with 4 different directors. And I had nothing but positive experiences. The productions were solid and the staff was both professional and fun to be around--just plain good people.I'd go back anytime I had a chance.

    11/17/2014  2:57pm