Performing Arts in New York City

Winter/Summer Institute in Theatre for Development, Lesotho, Africa (photo by Ric Walton)

“Through the patient and attentive guidance of its remarkable educators, the college allowed me to reinvent myself. After 25 years in theater, I am now an artist/scholar pursuing my doctorate in Shakespeare studies.”–Simon Fortin ’03, Chancellor’s Fellow, English department\CUNY Graduate Center

SUNY Empire offers professional artists and those new to the performing arts the academic resources necessary to earn an undergraduate degree in the arts, with opportunities to engage directly with the vast cultural resources of New York City. This dynamic urban arts environment is an integral part of our classroom, and becomes your studio.

Arts NYC students can attend classes at professional studios, develop professionally through internships at arts or community-based organizations and take advantage of our partnership institutions including:


A degree concentration in the performing arts at SUNY Empire State College includes faculty-led group study, internships and residency programs. When on tour, students can continue their studies independently and/or online. Study a range of disciplines including:

  • theatre
  • dance
  • music
  • performance studies
  • performing arts in social change
  • performing arts in education

Focus areas:

  • applied theatre 
  • performance art
  • playwriting
  • musical theatre
  • theatre or dance in education

Special projects in the performing arts through our Metropolitan location include Winter Summer Institute in Applied Theatre and Playwriting Lab publication. Students who study playwriting have the opportunity to have their work showcased by Indie Theatre Now in the SUNY/Empire State College Play Collections.


  • Lisa Parkins, mentor
  • Lucy Winner, mentor
  • Lynda Crawford, adjunct faculty

Learn more about a degree in the arts: