our town actors under the 360 panoramic screen

Students at EMPAC

From student work to research and performance opportunities, extracurricular clubs to special events, EMPAC offers a range of ways for Rensselaer students to be involved.

Attending Events

Student Event Admission

Tickets for all EMPAC-curated events are available to Rensselaer students for only $6 (discounted from the public price of $18). Non-Rensselaer student tickets are $13. Lectures and many other events are free.

Class Attendance to Events

Professors may receive free admission for their classes to any event they incorporate into class curricula. Request Tickets.

EMPAC⊕ student Program

We invite all Rensselaer students to delve deeper into the experimental media and performing arts. By signing up for the EMPAC⊕ program at the box office, you'll receive free admission to all EMPAC-curated events during your time in school.

Working at EMPAC

EMPAC is one of the largest employers of students on the Rensselaer campus and uses an “apprenticeship model” to train student workers. We currently have approximately 52 students working in a variety of positions across the box office, front-of-house, production (audio, video, stage, IT), curatorial, design, web, marketing, research, and administrative teams.

Current openings include:

Lights, Staging, Action!

Come work with EMPAC’s Stage Technologies team on a variety of tasks including: setting up chairs and tables; assisting with the construction and assembly of staging, scenery and audience seating configurations; hanging and focusing stage lighting equipment; programming computerized lighting consoles; and much more.

Buckle Up

Do you enjoy driving and are over the age of 21? If so join our Artist Services team to help shuttle guests to/from campus, train stations, airports, and short errands around town! Clean driving record is mandatory.

Interested in working with us? Let us know.

Academic Support

Department of the Arts

Every year, the Rensselaer Department of the Arts programs seven events utilizing the infrastructure and support of the production teams at EMPAC. These productions often include final graduate thesis projects that are developed in the venues themselves.

The Rensselaer Orchestra uses the EMPAC Concert Hall as a rehearsal space and presents a concert here toward the end of each semester.

EMPAC curators often participate in critiquing graduate student work. Additional meetings and workshops connecting artists-in-residence with classes in the arts department are taking place every semester.

In coming semesters, the professional audio production staff and environment will be integrated into specific projects within audio technology classes in the department.


As a part of the Rensselaer initiative to integrate art across the institute’s curriculum, EMPAC hosts interdisciplinary Art_X classes taught by faculty who use the EMPAC-curated program as an artistic and experiential part of the class’s specific topic of inquiry.


Students are often involved with research projects conducted by Rensselaer faculty using EMPAC infrastructure.

Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab

Additionally, the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Laboratory (CISL), a major Rensselaer research initiative with IBM, will soon begin undertaking projects in EMPAC venues, integrating graduate students, faculty, and researchers.

Extracurricular Clubs

Outside of events, productions, and classes, EMPAC is a meeting place for student groups.


The People Using Live Software and Electronics (PULSE) group is a forum for students interested in experimenting with live audio and video technology. The group performs every fall at the freshmen mixer MashUp!, as well as for their spring dance party PULSE Live! To get involved, please contact Eric Ameres.


The Physical Computing for Art and Design (PCAD) group also meets with Eric Ameres on a weekly basis.


Main Image: Our Town, A contemporary, multimedia reimagining of Thornton Wilder’s classic play, this 2017 production was a collaborative effort by the RPI Players, EMPAC, and Arts faculty Rebecca Rouse.