National Theater Institute
305 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385
860-443-5378 ext. 284
The O'Neill's Main Line:
MEET THE STAFF
Rachel Jett, is honored to serve as the Artistic Director of NTI, and has been a faculty member of the National Theater Institute since 1998. She is an alum of NTI, MATS and the Advanced Directing Semester. She holds an MFA from TISCH in Music Theater Writing and attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Ok.
She was the first American aspirant to the innovative and esteemed Russian movement coach and teacher Andrei Droznin. She was an original company member of Synetic Theater in Washington DC and teaches workshops at various universities and colleges Connecticut College, Juilliard, Bryn Mawr, Wheaton, Wellesley, Smith, Wesleyan and New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA).
Rachel was honored at the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018 for her service as an educator. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Writer’s Block Inc in New London.
Her performances include The Body Artist by Don Delillo and NOT ONE DAY by Anne Garrete, directed and adapted by Jody McAuliffe. She was the choreographer for Songs For a New World by Jason Robert Brown directed by Nicole Brewer.
She has directed The Wolves By Sarah DeLappe and Love and Information by Carol Churchill, and She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen for Connecticut College. She is the proud mama of Jett and Phoenix
Admissions & Recruitment Manager
Ciara (She/Her/Hers) is a New London, CT native. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2018. In her free time Ciara loves to learn about astrology. Ciara loves to travel, and is passionate about experiencing new cultures. She has worked in higher education for over seven years.
Olivia Bishop Penn
Olivia is a writer, director, and theater arts educator. A Pennsylvania native, she graduated in December 2018 from Wagner College on Staten Island with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Theatre and Literary Criticism. She is an NTI Advanced Directing Alumna (Spring 2018). Since undergrad, she has worked with major branches of the YMCA to develop arts and theater curriculum for afterschool programs and summer camps and has been a teaching artist with the Children's museum of Pittsburgh and Treasure Trunk Theater in New York City. In addition to managing and exploring her own independent creative projects and collaborations that range from knitwear design to podcasting, she is also pursuing an M.A. in Educational Theater in Colleges and Communities with NYU Steinhardt.
Laura Elena Padilla works as an Administrative Assistant for the National Theatre Institute. She identifies as an actor, director, playwright with an emphasis in BIPOC theatre, specifically Latinx Theatre Arts. Originally from Salinas, California, Laura received her Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts from The California State University of Sacramento in 2019. Laura is a recent National Theater Institute alumna from Spring ‘21 in the Acting program.
PROGRAM REPRESENTATIVES & TEACHING ARTISTS
PLAN A VISIT
Want to see what NTI is really like in person? Come visit campus!
Reach out to email@example.com to schedule a visit to our beautiful campus in Waterford, CT. You’ll take a tour of campus, sit in on classes and rehearsals, and join students, NTI staff, and faculty for a meal. Because NTI students have class seven days a week, there is always something fun to see. Please note, NTI is not able to provide housing for visiting students.
Not able to visit? No problem! Check out what campus looks like and call us with any questions.
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