a woman in a white draped sheet points into the venue, a single spotlight behind her illuminating her like an angel in the darkness

Production still: Laurie Anderson in residence in 2022 working on her new project, ARK in the EMPAC Theater.

Photo: Alvis Mosley/EMPAC

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

All EMPAC-curated events are open to Rensselaer students at the price of $6 (discounted from the public price of $20) and free admission is available to classes that integrate the programming into their curricula, and to members of the EMPAC + program. Tickets for non-Rensselaer students are available at the discounted rate of $15. Talks 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.


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

A large number of student workers support EMPAC’s operation in the box office, as ushers, and with the various production (video, audio, IT, stage, lighting), administrative (artist services, design/marketing), and curatorial teams. EMPAC is one of the largest employers of students on the Rensselaer campus and uses an “apprenticeship model” to train student workers.

Current openings:

Front of House

EMPAC’s Front of House Team is hiring friendly and dedicated students to fill event support roles for the summer and fall 2024 terms. Customer service experience is a plus but not required. A willingness to help in a variety of tasks as part of a fun team IS required!

Stage Technologies

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.

Interested in working with us? Let us know.

Academic Support

Department of the Arts

Each year, the Rensselaer Department of the Arts programs seven productions 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.