Colleges For Musical Theater Major --- Part 22





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Colleges For Musical Theater Major --- Part 22
By Shauna (Shauna) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 12:50 pm: Edit

CONTINUED FROM PART 21.

Before posting, please take a look at the FAQ, as it gives a brief summary of some of the topics that come up a lot on this thread, the big list of schools, and help for searching for a particular topic within the thread. The FAQ has also been recently updated, with additions concerning the cut policy and programs' dance component.

By Shauna (Shauna) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 12:59 pm: Edit

Dancersmom--

All I can say is WOW. You guys are crazy. Getting certified in stage combat sounds like a lot of fun; how did your daughter go about doing that?

Shauna

By Dramamama (Dramamama) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 03:06 pm: Edit

Mtfan-

This is Dramamama's daughter. I auditioned for SUNY Fredonia. When we arrived they gave us schedules for the events that day. Specific audition times were given out when you signed in… on a first come first serve basis. The first thing they had us do (us being all those who were auditioning for the music school that day) was take a pretty lengthy theory test on a computer. I haven’t taken theory in years and don’t think I did very well. However the students told us that for musical theater, it didn’t really have much of an impact on whether we would get in or not. Then we had a quick meeting with the head of the program, and went off to two areas where we were auditioning. There were very few MT students auditioning that day, so it felt much less crazy and intimidating. For the audition I went into a room with three people… a voice teacher, an acting teacher, and an accompanist. I sang the two songs, and performed my two monologues. This school also requires you to perform a solo dance piece as opposed to a group audition. At first I thought this meant they had a stronger dance program… but I spoke to many of the students who said there was extremely little dance emphasis and a pretty weak dance program in general. I didn’t get much feedback from the judges, and wasn’t feeling as if they liked me. I’m pretty sure the main reason is that I performed two belty songs and the voice teacher obviously preferred classical. (You had the choice to perform two songs from musicals, or one from a musical and one from the classical repertoire. I obviously made the wrong choice.) Then I had to do a fair amount of sight singing, which was actually pretty complicated, and again… did not do very well. As I left I honestly got a pretty bad feeling from the experience. I don’t know why exactly, I just feel it wasn’t the place for me. Probably because it was based around the classical music school, and I didn’t really like the faculty.

In the end I didn’t get in anyway… which was not upsetting in the least. Again this just proves the randomness of this process. I got into schools such as Emerson and Uarts… but not Fredonia which has a much higher acceptance rate. All these schools are looking for different things in their students, and obviously Fredonia wasn’t looking for me. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not the right place for your son or daughter… or you. (I don’t read this too much so I don’t know whether you’re a student or a parent… hahahaha)


If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

Marcy

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit

I am looking for monolougues to perform at auditions. Most of the schools I am looking at require two contemporary monolougues (one dramatic and one comic.) For one school I think it would be better to do a classical piece as well. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some contemporary comic monolougues, that I could look at, so I could read the plays.

I am currently looking at Phebe's monolougue in Act III Scene v of "As You Like It" beginning with - Think not I love him, though I ask for him; 'Tis but a peevish boy:—yet he talks well;—or Helena's monolougue in Act III Scene ii of "Midsummer Night's Dream" beginning with - O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent To set against me for your merriment. If you were civil, and knew courtesy, - for a comic monolougue.

For a dramatic monolougue I was looking at Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." My favorite character is Mary Warren, and I would like to do a monolougue of hers, perhaps from the trial scene. (I haven't read the play in a while, but I think it would be a good candidate.)

I was wondering if my choices are too well known to do. I don't want to perform pieces that the audition committee will see several times.

Thank you.

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit

Shauna,

My D became certified by taking 30 hours of instruction in each of the 5 weapons areas and then taking and passing a test administered by a Society of American Fight Drectors (SAFD)fight master. She became certified in rapier and dagger at the end of her junior year of H.S. The rapier and dagger class was offered to students at CCM Prep who had graduated from their two year Cetificate Acting Program. The Certificate program had included some basic stage combat instruction. The rapier and dagger class was considered to be an advanced class by CCM. The instructor is a nationally known fight choreographer. She's a tiny 33 year old who calls herself the "sword lady". She's on faculty with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, CCM, CCM Prep, and Northern KY University. She had to get special permission from the SAFD to allow her teenage students to take the exam. A few, like my D, were under 18 at the time. CCM dropped the combat class this past year. My D was very disappointed, but she discovered that the teacher was offering combat workshops this spring through a local theatre company that she co-founded. She took classes in broadsword, quarterstaff, knife, and unarmed combat (120 hours worth) and passed all her exams at the end of June. Emily is very "into" stage combat. She looks up to her teacher, who is a former dancer. The teacher has told her that she has a lot of aptitude for stage combat and that she sees a lot of herself in her. Apparently to Emily and her teacher, stage combat is a lot like dance. You learn your choreography and execute it. Emily's hoping to add certification in short sword soon.

Many college theatre programs offer classes in stage combat that lead to certification. The University of the Arts probably offers more courses (8, if I remember correctly) in stage combat than any other school. The SAFD offers workshops nationwide every year that lead to certification. Actor/combatants have to renew their certification every 3 years. FSU, where my D will be attending in the fall, has an instructor in the School of Theatre whose specialty is stage combat and movement. We observed one of his movement classes in March. He told us that he's good friends with Emily's teacher in Cincinnati. It seems that most the SAFD teachers and fight masters know each other. He told us that the stage combat classes offered at FSU lead to certification.

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

Prima Donna,

Singers who choose to major in music as undergraduates are majoring in either vocal performance (BM), music education with an emphasis in voice (BME), or music with a voice emphasis (BA).

Students pursuing a BM in voice generally take private voice lessons for 3 hours credit each semester. They are the students looking toward careers as professional performers or as college level performance instructors.

Most students working toward a BME intend to teach general music or chorus at the elementary or secondary school level. Some may want to be performers or college instructors, but are getting teacher certification as insurance. BME students usually take private voice lessons for 2 hours credit each semester.

Students who pursue a BA in music generally are not looking toward careers as performers. They are usually looking at eventually pursuing a graduate degree in music and teaching college theory or history courses. These students usually take private voice lessons for 2 hours credit each semester.

I do not know of any schools in the United States that offer a degree in opera. The major at all levels of study- bachelors, masters, and doctoral, is in voice. At most schools voice majors will be studying classical literature. Undergraduate students usually begin with art songs and only study operatic literature when the teacher decides that the voice is mature enough to handle it. A few schools, Berklee comes to mind, allow the students to choose to major in vocal jazz. Most voice students do not begin serious study of opera until graduate school. Students who are interested in careers on the operatic stage will look for young artist training programs with opera companies in this country or in Europe after completing graduate school. Most serious young opera singers will enter competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions.

I hope this helps.

By Cama (Cama) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 06:08 pm: Edit

Dancersmom,
Though I haven't been reading all the info on this post I am confused when you state that schools do not offer opera as a major. My sister got a Bachelor's degree from Mannes school of Music and she majored in opera. Mannes is part of The New School in NYC. I am sure that other conservatories offer such a program as well.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 06:42 pm: Edit

I am not knowledgeable on opera studies. But out of curiousity in reading that you cannot major in this area, I began a brief search and it appears that there are music/voice college programs with an opera studies major or focus/option. Just in a few minutes I came across Mannes, New England Conservatory, SUNY Purchase, and Northwestern. Not sure if I am correct and certainly don't know much about it.

Susan

By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 06:57 pm: Edit

MY D also had her wisdom teeth out in the middle of June and she seemed fine the first three days. Then the pain set in. It was nothing Motrin couldn't handle, but it did take a few days to happen. She wasn't swollen at all, and had only slight jaw tension.

Now we are considering tonsil removal. That is a very sticky surgery for a teen, we aren't sure if it will happen or not. Doctor has let it up to us. Any thoughts?

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 07:00 pm: Edit

Hello everyone! My D is entering HS next year and just got home from 4 weeks of performing arts school/camp in Colorado. We decided that we needed to start gearing her HS education toward getting into a MT/Dance program in College so surfing I was last night and I found all of you!!! Yipeee!!!

I am blown away by how helpful and informative this message board is and look forward to reading all the FAQ, all the past and future messages from you. [At midnight-after two solid hours of reading this thread I had to go to bed].

Am wondering if any of you parents who have ever been where I am now[a parent with a student entering HS who is interested in pursuing a performing arts degree in theatre, dance and/or MT] would care to weigh-in with the one or two "if I had known then what I know now..." type things.

A little background about my D:
Dances-Tap 11 years, Jazz 8 years, and some ballet & modern[surprisingly she was cast in the camp's ballet production which she thought was her weakest dance skill], was just selected for the junior varsity dance team.
Sings-Has taken voice lessons for five years, made show choir both of her jr high years
Acts & does public speaking-Took 3rd place at the State Middle School Forensics competition this year with an acting dialogue; was selected by audition to be her class' commencement speaker at 8th grade graduation and performed in both of her jr high's musicals [Daughter's chorus in Fiddler on the Roof Jr & Cinderella in Into the Woods Jr]

I believe her best trait is her belief & determination, combined with a terrific sense of humor. More than anything I want to help her achieve all her dreams, any and all advice is welcome.

Also, anyone ever heard of the college prep degree International Baccalureate? Our school district is phasing it in as an optional degree and am wondering if it has merit.

Oh we live in Wisconsin about 45 minutes from Milwaukee or Madison and 2 hrs door-to-loop from Chicago.

Thanks for letting me yack, I feel like I've been alone in the desert and just found water!!!

By Emilyp114 (Emilyp114) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 07:06 pm: Edit

Just to add to the opera discussion, Juilliard's music department offers a Vocal Arts/Opera program. A friend of my grandmother's taught there for years, and one of her students was Audra McDonald. :)

By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 07:19 pm: Edit

Prima Donna,
I’m just a lowly student myself and may be speaking out of turn since I’m in straight theatre and not MT, but I’ll say what I know about the question about people with other degrees or degrees from "lesser" schools doing well professionally and competing with those from the top schools. Basically, there are a lot of very, very talented people around who come from places where there are not good arts programs. Some may have been involved in whatever kind of high school drama program their schools offered; but, they really didn’t have any significant training and never considered it as a career until later. Many never even had that and were involved in sports, etc. as their main focus when they were younger. They certainly wouldn’t have had the background to get accepted into most of the top schools even if they tried. You hear about the occasional person with little training who gets accepted into a top program, but they’re pretty much the exception from what I understand. Most of the people you’ll encounter in those places were involved in some kind of advanced high school conservatory program. The ones without the prestigious degrees may have been in their church choir or taken an acting class in college where they got “the bug” and started taking studio classes outside their schools when they discovered they had a real talent for it. Others may have actually gotten good training when they were younger, but decided to major in something “practical” in college while doing EC theatre projects or, again, taking the non-scholastic studio classes. In the long run, it doesn’t matter which school you went to or what degree you get. It’s whether or not you can perform. Looks and connections help, too.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 07:29 pm: Edit

Would anyone mind responding to my post at 3:22 pm today about audition repertoire? I know that I need to find my own pieces in the end, but I want to know people's opinions about them. (Too popular?) I would love it if someone who has auditioned before for MT could help me out a bit, and get me more on track if I am off track.

Thanks,
Court

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 08:16 pm: Edit

Cama and Soozievt,

Mea Culpa. As they say, one learns something new everyday. I was unaware that there were any music schools offering opera as an undergraduate major. If I were a young singer I would want to have a heart to heart with my private voice teacher to get his/her opinion on whether or not this would be a good option at the undergrad level. In the midwest region where I live the competitors in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions have all come from music schools like Indiana University, CCM, and the U. of Michigan where the major offered is voice performance. All of the contenders at the last audition I attended were graduate students to boot.

Prima donna,
I apologize. Maybe Cama can give you some more info on Mannes' program.

By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 08:38 pm: Edit

I can't say that there are no undergraduate opera major anywhere, but my understanding is tha opera is a master's specialty. At Mannes and Juilliard, an undergraduate can TAKE opera courses, workshops, perhaps even audition for opera, but I believe that the degree and major is Voice, as Dancermom pointed out. Juilliard has a major opera program but it is NOT for undergrads.

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 08:55 pm: Edit

Cama and Prima Donna,
I just visited the Mannes website. According to their info., their major for both undergrads and grad students is called voice, not opera. They list the curriculum as follows for both the bachelors and master levels:

Curriculum Overview:

Private Lessons

Chorus

Opera

Chamber Music

Contemporary Music Ensemble

Song Interpretation

Italian, French, and German Diction

Acting for Singers

Voice Performance Class

Analysis for Graduate Students

Vocal Seminars

Opera is described as follows:

The Mannes Opera

Schedule: Varied hours weekly
Credits: 6 credits

Fundamentals of opera training for those students concentrating in Voice. The class is divided into small sections led by various coaches and stage directors, each section preparing a brief performance either in concert or of staged scenes from selected operas. A number of students in the class are also chosen to prepare a fully staged production of one or more complete operas for public performance. In addition to their performance obligation, students in the class also assist in the technical preparation of staged productions. Entrance to The Mannes Opera is by audition at the beginning of the school year.


I apologize again if I've caused anyone confusion. There are many schools that do offer courses in opera, as does Mannes. I think that part of our disagreement is over semantics. Most of the schools I am familiar with call their major voice, not opera. This is not to say that the students are not being familiarized with opera literature or that at some schools they do not have the availability of opera scene study classes.

Soozie,I checked out Northwestern's website also. They term the degree voice, not opera. In my mind, I would expect a degree in opera to have students ignoring choral literature, chamber music literature, and art songs. I still have not seen any undergraduate programs where this is the case. CCM, which I am pretty familiar with, has a department called OMDA which includes Opera and Musical Theatre. Neither undergrad nor grad students receive degrees in opera. Their degrees are in voice. However, CCM produces fully staged operas. Most of the performers are grad students, though sometimes a very talented undergrad student is cast in a substantial role. Usually the undergrads only get chorus parts.

Again, I think we are having a semantics problem. Saying that an undergrad voice student is receiving a degree in opera would be like saying that an undergrad piano major is getting a degree in piano concertos. No pianist only studies piano concertos and ignores solo or chamber music literature.

I would suggest that a H.S. student who is interested in possibly pursuing a career as an opera singer take a careful look at several top music schools and look for those that offer some coursework in acting. Carnegie-Mellon requires that voice majors take acting classes and I believe they require dance classes for 6 semesters(?). I would also look for a school that has voice faculty members that have had opera stage experience themselves. Of course you want a school that has a course(s) in opera literature. Opera scene study is certainly valuable. My primary consideration would be the private voice teacher. You need a teacher that you have some rapport with and that has a good track record of student success, i.e. undergrads are being accepted into top graduate programs and graduate students are getting into young artist programs.

Prima donna, there have been several discussions here at CC regarding classical voice programs. They have probably been archived, but if you do a message search, you should be able to find them.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 09:39 pm: Edit

Dancersmom, as I said, I know barely a thing about opera or college programs that deal with it. I just got curious after the post and my search was not extensive. It does seem that the schools that mentioned opera studies, had this as a connection to vocal studies as you say. In some cases, the major was called "vocal and opera studies". So, like you say, some music programs in voice offered quite a bit to do with opera but of course someone would not exclusively study opera as an undergraduate. But there seems to be some vocal programs that offer coursework in that specialty and faculty with opera experience and then student opera productions. So, like you say, a student interested in this field might want to look into music departments with degrees in vocal performance that also offer some of this opera training. That is what a few of these programs I got on the search seemed to do. In other words, not all vocal programs might address opera, just like not all theater programs address musical theater.

Funny that you mention Carnegie Mellon when it comes to going on to be an opera singer. My daughter had the great fortune to be cast in a two person "opera" where the other person was an adult. This adult actress is amazing in both acting and voice. She got her training at CMU, but in acting. She has the most amazing voice. She has been in several Broadway shows but she also is very involved in opera which I think is her first love. I believe her next gig is an opera, though she just did a show with Rita Moreno. So, she is doing lots of opera work now, having first gone to CMU for acting!! My daughter is NOT an opera singer AT ALL. The production she did with this actress for three years around the country was an "opera" in the sense of that it was a musical score where the entire story was sung as in an opera. The adult actress utilized her operatic soprano voice but my child sang more in line with musical theater or let's just say her vocal parts were not operatic. The entire story was sung AND acted and actually my daughter danced some in her role as well. It was done with symphony orhestras on stage.

Anyway, I agree with you that people go into opera coming out of various degree programs. It becomes a specialty. And of course, vocal training in the classical repertoire, as well as the study of music is the backbone of that initial degree. However, I profess to know close to zilch when it comes to opera. Close to zilch even when it comes to classical voice. I even find it hard to believe my daughter won the State Scholarship for Voice which was for classical and she normally does not sing classical but that is what you have to audition with for state wide things when it comes to voice. I really think of her mostly in terms of musical theater, though she also won the state award for jazz vocals too. There simply is no state wide vocal award for musical theater in my neck of the woods! But musical theater is the one area I feel I know a bit about. That is why I hesitated to even discuss opera cause I really don't know much!

Susan

By Efilsiertaeht (Efilsiertaeht) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit

Court- i'll respond! not being apart of the search for programs... I honestly think The Crucible is too well known. It has been EXCRUCIATINGLY popular over the past two years because 1953 marked its 50th anniversary... and that is in spite of it being a popular show to begin with. Mary Warren is also a favorite monologue character of mine... and a friend of mine's... and it's not that you couldn't get in with a popular monologue, but do know that it, despite not being a scripted monologue(i.e. you're picking the parts you want in it, cutting it where you want, pasting the lines together in a way that is advantageous to you), there are only so many ways in which the girl can be played... and many do her one of two ways: really extremely held back, with her moment of power being a really big struggle, or having a core of power, with her subservience a learned thing, rather than innate, and therefore having more of an explosion in her moment of superiority... more power hungry, I guess would be the idea.

When they ask for classical monologues, they are going to be overdone. There's no way around that. THerefore pick the one you do best. Not that that shouldn't be true anyways... but an interesting lesser-known classic monologue is nearly an oximoron... and the point of asking for a classical monologue is to see how you can make those well known pieces your own.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 10:06 pm: Edit

Believers mom, hi and welcome. I think you did land on a gold mine by coming to this forum. I know it will take you a long time to read back on the 21 parts of this topic but if you ever do, you will learn a great deal that you would be hard pressed to learn anywhere else. That is cause there are lots of students and parents on here who have related personal experiences that you just don't get in a catalogue! So much has been covered over time. There are parents and students on here who have gone all through this process and are nicely sharing for the rest of us and then there are those of us in the middle of it now (like me).

I definitely do not have as much to offer you as the parents on here of kids who have already gone through the college process for musical theater. I do have a kid who just went through the college process and is entering college this fall and is involved in performing arts but is not pursuing that for a major or career (more as an extracurricular). So, the college admissions process, I know very well. The BFA process of course is a different ballgame.

However, I do have a daughter a little bit older than yours. She is 15 1/2. She recently finished tenth grade. However, she has opted to graduate high school in three years, a year earlier than expected. She is going to high school one more year and graduating next June! So, I am going through the college process once again with her. She is pursuing BFA college programs in musical theater.

You asked if anyone could impart advice as to what we may have done differently had we known any better what we know now. Of course, she is not yet in college, so others at that point should answer you. I can't say however for even the point we are at, that there is that much we would have done differently (though I wish I had known she was going to graduate early and therefore would have done all the college visits already, but I have only known for six months). That last point is an entirely different issue.

Anyway, even though I would not have done that much differently, I just have some general thoughts for you. First, your daughter sounds very talented and she has accomplished quite a lot so far. She has done all the "right" stuff from what I can tell to explore her interests and to expand her skills and experience. She clearly seems to have a love for this field. My daughter, as well, has been into this field since preschool and has never wavered in her passion, only grown deeper.

I think your daughter should keep on doing what she is doing. I believe that it is good to do both training (voice, dance, acting) AND production experience. I think both have value. It is a busy life. The training is clearly important. But so much is learned and enjoyed in the production work as well. When you play a character and are part of all the aspects of a production, so much is also gained. I think having a balance of both is ideal. Your daughter will gain skills, plus gain experience. Her resume will show both. Another thought I have is that I think it is valuable to be in both youth and adult productions. In youth productions, a solid actress can often get significant roles that would be close to impossible to get in an adult show (unless we are talking Annie!). The chance to do those roles is really great. I think adult productions are also great to be a part of cause often the level of professionalism rises and so being a part of a show at a higher level is also a great experience. I cannot say that all adult shows are more challenging or higher level than youth productions, however, but am making a general point. Honestly some youth productions my child has been in have been better than some adult ones. However, some adult shows she has done have been at a high standard and that has been great to be a part of. If your daughter can do some of each, that might be good. Handling all the classes and also doing shows, and then the much heavier load of high school homework (more than middle school!) is very tricky but if kid loves this more than anything, they get good at time management.

You asked about the IB program. I have heard of it from others but we do not have that where we live. You also might want to post about that on the Parent Forum on CC here. My daughters have taken the most challenging level courses that our high school offers, however. And I do believe, if your daughter is that kind of student, she ought to continue challenging herself in academics. A solid academic background, no matter what you go into, is something that bodes well for her future. If your daughter does pursue BFA programs in musical theater, SOME schools do not weigh academics that heavily in admissions (in the sense that the student just needs to be above a certain minimum threshold and academics accounts for a small percentage of the admissions process and the audition counts for most of it). However, SOME do weigh academic qualifications. For instance, two well regarded programs, NYU/Tisch and UMichigan, weight academic qualifications 50% and the audition 50% basically. And these are challenging colleges to get into academically. Therefore, since you don't know just what your daughter will do down the line, she should go after academic challenge in high school.

If you have a specific question, I can try to help you, even though I am only a few steps ahead of you in this process with kids.

Most of all, welcome. And congrats to your daughter for all she has achieved thus far. She is doing well!

Susan

By Emilyp114 (Emilyp114) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 10:27 pm: Edit

Jamimom,

Juilliard's Music Department does indeed offer a Vocal Arts/Opera program for undergrads. The degree will always be a Bachelor of Music but this is a true Opera program for undergrads. The curriculum is quite different in course selection from, for example, the Steinhardt Vocal Performance Program in Classical Voice and Opera Studies.

I agree that the problem may be one of semantics here, in that it is a Bachelor of Music. Similarly, the MT majors at Tisch are awarded a BFA in drama not in MT. If anyone's interested, I can try to get some further info on Juilliard's program from my grandma's friend. :)

By Shauna (Shauna) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 10:32 pm: Edit

Believersmom--

Hey! I'm going to be a freshman at the University of North Texas come fall, getting my BFA in MT. I just got finished doing this whole thing, and if you ever want to pick my brain, I'm an open book.

However, a couple things about your post caught my eye.

First, what would I have done differently? I would have applied to more safety schools. It's great to audition for a few ultra-selective musical theatre schools (we have affectionately dubbed them Ivies) like CCM, CMU, UMich, etc., but some less selective ones are necessary as well. I know that this is a long time off for you, but that is just what popped into my mind. It sounds like your daughter has had a lot of training, which is fantastic. I would say keep that up, and try to attend CMU's summer program if you can help it. LOL

Second, IB! We don't have it at my school, we have AP, but I've heard wonderful things about IB. Plus, a lot of schools give AP/IB credit, and this can be incredibly helpful. I actually got an exorbitant amount of credit from UNT, which freed up a lot of elective time.

Good luck as you embark on this process! Your D will be auditioning before you know it. :-)

Shauna

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

Thanks! You all are terrific!!!

Went over to a discussion on getting into the I.L. to get info about Northwestern and they are NOT nice over there. I'm sticking to my peeps here :o)

BTW, haven't found much here/archives on NW, any opinions?

Congrats Shauna! I sent you some info on a summer program to add to the list thru your e-mail. CMU? I'm heading back to the archives now...

By Dramamama (Dramamama) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 10:50 pm: Edit

Courtbroadway,

My suggestion regarding audition pieces (both song and monologues) is to get someone who knows you and can listen to what you are best at doing. This person would preferably be someone who is a professional. Maybe a drama teacher that you know and respect. My daughter worked with both vocal and acting coaches and they were very helpful in assisting her in selection of material based on what she sounded best doing. Although of course the material has to always be age appropriate.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 10:55 pm: Edit

I have some more audition questions. Are monolougues from musicals all right? If I found one could I use it? Since "Crucible" is too popular I am also interested in Tennessee Williams' works. I like "The Glass Menagerie". I think Laura would be a good character for me. I haven't read the play in a while, so I don't know if she has any good monolougues. I don't know a lot of great contemporary plays because I generally do musicals. Really the only opportunities for me to perform in non-musicals and non-classicals have been the one acts at my school the past three years, and for all three I was too busy in musicals to participate. Do you guys know good contemporary (non-classical plays) to chose monolougues from?

Thank you for your advice Efilsiertaeht.
-Court

By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Court,
Picking monologues is such a personal thing that it's really hard to give somebody advice on them whose strengths you don't know. Not only do they need to be age specific, they should work well for someone of your physical type. It really would probably be best to do what Dramamama said and get a teacher who knows your strengths really well to suggest some. I'd say "The Glass Menagerie" is probably way overdone. Here is a friend of mine's "package" from last year who got accepted at a bunch of places and will attending NCSA this fall:

Children's Hour-Martha
Collected Stories-Lisa
Savage in Limbo-Linda
Twelfth Night-Viola

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 11:40 pm: Edit

Believersmom,
Welcome to the group. I think all of the parents posting on this thread have been where you are. I remember asking myself constantly if I was doing the right thing by my child. I don't really have any big regrets, except for allowing her to audition for and attend our local performing arts H.S. I think that some performing arts high schools can be fabulous. Hers wasn't. Otherwise, D's training progressed nicely as the years passed.

The one thing I might have done differently was to start the college visits a little sooner. We did a couple of visits during my D's sophomore year and did 4 her junior year. She ended up applying to 3 schools that she saw for the 1st time at her auditions. Two of those schools ended up being on her final contenders list. There is limited time during each school year to make college visits. Parents have to miss work; kids have to miss classes and lessons; teachers and administrators get testy if too much school is missed during any one year; sometimes theatre rehearsals and performances get in the way. We thought it was important to try to see a musical at the schools we were considering, so we had to schedule visits around the college production schedules too. Freshman year is not too soon to start visiting in my opinion. Have you visited the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point? They have a pretty decent MT program.

My only tiny suggestion for your D would maybe be to get her a little more ballet training. Ballet is the foundation for theatre dance studies. Every dance teacher my D has studied with and choreographer she's worked for has congratulated her for keeping up with her ballet training. It's always given her an edge in auditions. Some of the CCM college MT students have talked to the H.S. kids who take MT classes through CCM Prep several times over the past few years. When asked what kind of training they should be doing, the college students have told them that they should get as much dance training as possible, particularly ballet. One girl, who graduated in 2003, was very succinct. She said, "Ballet, ballet, ballet."

It sounds like your D is doing wonderfully and has the passion that's so necessary to succeed in MT. She's lucky to have you. A supportive parent can make all the difference to a child.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

I agree with the ballet suggestion and glad you made it Dancersmom. While my daughter has always done jazz, lyrical, tap and also hip hop, she has always also done ballet (pointe too). While she does not aspire to be a ballerina, though enjoys it, she has always felt the need to take ballet because she has felt that the ballet technique is the backbone to many other dance styles. Anyone doing dance in musical theater would benefit from ballet training. That kind of dance technique really is used in jazz and in musical theater styles of dance. I know it is one (or in the case of pointe, more than one) more class to take! The time to do all this is a LOT. And there are often schedule conflicts with dance and shows she is in. I have had to explain to the studio that while I realize kids must make choices about their activities (ie, should I be on the soccer team or dance classes which conflict), I feel that my daughter needs her dance training to do the theater and that the two are interdependent. The theater needs those who have dance background. She needs both the dance training and the theater production experiences. Unlike some who attend the dance studio where it is either simply a big interest or else they may even go on to study dance in college, she is going into musical theater and though while she goes to six dance classes and is in two dance rep troupes, dance is not her only thing....and not her long term sole goal...musical theater is (not so of any others at the dance studio). So when she runs into show rehearsal conflicts with dance, I have had to say she cannot give up dance for an entire year cause of a brief schedule overlap cause she needs dance for her future college plans and career, yet she has to (and wants to) be involved in theater productions as well. The two need each other and she needs both. So, I can tell you that schedule issues arise alot. And of course ballet teachers never want you to miss class and then of course the teacher of whatever the other related thing is never wants you to miss rehearsal either and it can get crazy. We don't have performing arts high schools here so scheduling all this in can be crazy but we have! So, if you can get her some ballet, it is a good idea.

Susan

By Mtfan (Mtfan) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 03:04 am: Edit

Thanks Dramamamas D. That info was very helpful I was trying to decide on my final school, and that perspective finaly pushed me over the edge. BTW I'm a student

Tim

By 5pants (5pants) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 10:35 am: Edit

Believersmom,

Welcome to the thread! Your location in Wisconsin sounds very close to same area where we live. I have twin sons who will be attending Webster University in St. Louis in 4 1/2 weeks...yikes!

There is great advice to be gathered from this group!

5PANTS

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 01:08 pm: Edit

Dancersmom & Soozie-Thanks, more specificly:
PA HS- there is one in Milwaukee but thankfully my D would rather die than leave her fairly large group of friends. I want her to get a more well-rounded HS education just in case she changes her mind about career path later.

UW-Stevens Point- Have not investigated yet; am reluctant for two reasons 1, am not impressed with UW system's reputation overall[maybe I take it too for granted living here] and 2, my D wants to be closer to a major city. However, my in-laws live near UWSP and we will probably visit campus when we visit them one of these times.

Ballet-I hear you and I agree, have been gently trying to get her to see our point of view.

5pants-we are in Oconomowoc, where are you? I lived in Kirkwood, MO part of my childhood. Are your sons going to be in MT?

Soozie-my daughter's name is Susan, we call her Susie [she likes to spell it Suze]

Thanks again everyone!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 01:18 pm: Edit

Believersmom,
We don't have any performing arts high schools in our state, so that is not an option. But performing arts is strong in our regular high school, plus we supplement school with performing arts lessons/classes and experiences outside of school so in the end, it is like getting what you might in a performing arts high school but with more time on the side! And of course more schlepping for the parents.

If your daughter can see ballet as not an end in itself (need not desire to be a ballerina type) but merely as "technique" that is the backbone even of jazz dance, she might see the value in it. It is a part of most musical theater college programs as well.

While my name is Susan as well, where I grew up family and friends called me Susie. When I got to college and also where I lived afterwards (neither in the state I grew up in), I introduced myself as Susan (which I was never really ever called back home) and so go by that now. My hubby calls me Suzy and writes it that way and he was the one who came up with my screenname when we first got online about seven years ago....thus the Soozie part (the VT is for my state).

Susan

By Prima_Donna (Prima_Donna) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit

I just wanted to say thank you thank you THANK YOU for the responses to my question. I think I've made my decision as far as college. I will major in voice at a small liberal arts college, then attempt to go on to a great graduate school with a good opera program such as julliard. It seems that you don't have to get into opera right away. Actually, your voice must mature before you attempt opera, so I don't have to worry about getting right out there into the business. My only worry now is about getting into a good graduate school. Thanx again for all the advice. I think it helped me with my moment of clarity. I will still look at MT programs tho, just in case.
Does anyone know anything about the difficulty of getting into good graduate programs?

By 5pants (5pants) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Believersmom,

We are located in Janesville. Small world isn't it? Yes, my guys are going to venture into MT. I agree with you on the UW System (at least for theatre). We were advised not to go that route. When we researched schools, we kept in mind our need & desire to be in driving distance to the school, but still wanted to be in a bigger metro area. Webster was ideal for us as it houses the Rep. and Opera House of St. Louis and we could still hop in the car and drive. Twins in college will lighten our pocketbooks tremendously and we have another entering college in two more years.

Kirkwood, of course, is right next door to Webster Groves....so I probably don't need to go into my speel about how lovely it is down there...you already know.

5PANTS

By Cluelessmc2 (Cluelessmc2) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 03:54 pm: Edit

Question about audition pieces. My S can look older. It truly depends on his hair and how he carries himself. People often think he is his 21 year old sister's big brother. Many of the pieces he is finding he likes are for men up to late 20's. He is often cast as older. Just because he will be 17 doesn't mean he has to play a teenager does it?

Thanks- Jenifer

By Alldressedup (Alldressedup) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

Gkoukla,

My daughter began having trouble with her tonsils near the end of college and has been plagued by infections off and on ever since, something apparently not uncommon in young people in their twenties. Had we been aware that this could happen, I believe we would have encouraged her to have her tonsils removed before she graduated, while she was still covered by our insurance and before she had to try to make a living in musical theater. Since she has been fortunate enough to have worked fairly steadily since graduation, she has never felt the time was right to have the operation, and she's now concerned about the admittedly slight risk that the surgery might damage her vocal chords. She muddles through by taking massive quantities of antibiotics while we all hope she outgrows her susceptibility to tonsillitis.

Just one perspective on tonsil removal. I wish my daughter had had it done when she was younger!

By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

Cluelessmc2:

Theatre is a visual business. If he looks like he's in his 20's (and I agree that he does, having met him), then he can certainly do characters in that age range. It's preferable to having him do anything which seems too young (or too old, for that matter) for the way he looks.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 06:54 pm: Edit

Hey thank you guys for the help. My voice teacher has told me not to worry, she will help me find pieces (she is essentially my acting coach as well, and she knows me well.) I was kind of panicking before because I don't know a lot of straight theater, but I do have some ideas, and she will help me find more. Thank you for listening to my kind of panicked questions. I realize that you really couldn't help me, as you don't know me.

~Court

By Baymom (Baymom) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

Believersmom - Welcome to another Wisconsinite (we're in Whitefish Bay). It's great to see all the midwesterners coming on board! We've been visiting the Illinois/Wisconsin MT options and I've reported on them all here. Our next ventures are to NY in two weeks and Ohio/Pittsburgh in August. I have to say, I was impressed with the program at UWSP. We spent a good deal of time with the MT director and he was engaging and knowledgeable and their track record in placement of students after graduation is outstanding. The program is demanding and it is NOT easy to get in. Plus they have a new $30 million facility going up next year. I was much more impressed with it than some of the others that have been touted here. That being said, Stevens Point is in the middle of nowhere and it's not convenient to a big city. That is a turnoff for my S. Also, I am NOT a UW system fan (too much bureacracy and not high enough standards) but this program within the system should be looked at.

In any case - good luck and keep reading. We never would be as far as we are with our S if not for this board. It is literally heaven-sent!

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 09:01 pm: Edit

Baymom-
This is great to have the Wisconsin PA contigency so well-repped.
How old/what yr is your S?
Can you direct me to your postings about Northwestern? Or would you care to re-post? What about Lawrence?
I'm jealous you are heading to NY, wish we were...

Hey everyone, another question for the group:
Other parts/threads of this board have some discussions about admissions processes and applying, etc. Something that I keep seeing there is talk of having a "hook" [I read gimmick]
when applying. Do our kids need one too?

Whew, while this is a tiny bit nerve wracking, it still is exciting and fun and I feel blessed to have found this resource so early in the process...

Heidi

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit

Oh I can't believe I didn't think to share this with you all. A school I haven't seen on "The List", Savannah College of Art & Design [SCAD] in Georgia.

While their website has a severe lack of information indicating it, they do have a great MT program. The only reason I know this is because this summer, the PA camp my D attended had numerous college students from SCAD and two of the instructors were from the MT dept. at SCAD. She had them as instructors and what they produced in four weeks with a wide range of talent was pretty impressive. Their website is www.scad.edu if you want to check it out.

For those of you who have never been to Savannah, please take my word for it, it is a beautiful & fantastic artistic environment. Also, it is very popular for film makers as a shooting location and although that rarely calls for musical or dance talent, if acting is your thing, great opportunities exist as extras [and SCAD is plugged-in to that network].

Plus the ocean is 20 minutes away at Tybee Island.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 08:16 am: Edit

Believersmom,

I've been reading your posts and saw your post on the Theatre and Drama thread as well. I don't know how much of this thread you've had a chance to read so as background I'll simply say that my D and I (and the rest of our family) have come through this process in the last year, thankfully with a happy ending, and it was honestly one of the most stressful periods of my life. Here is my response to your "if I knew then what I know now" question.

I understand that your daughter will be starting her freshman year in September and it sounds as though she has all the passion and drive necessary to travel this path and she is also lucky to have a Mom who supports her dreams. With that understanding and all due respect, I think you may be getting a little ahead of yourself in the search process. I say that only because I don't want to see you "fried" by this time three years from now when the real work will need to be done. By all means, help your daughter get all the proper training and guidance she'll need to be prepared for the college application/audition process. Maybe she can start thinking about what she wants in a college program in another year or so. But as far as anything more intense than that, I'm afraid YOU are going to be burned out by the Fall of 2007. Lots of things change in a teenager's life in four years. Lots of things will change in the programs you are looking at now.

For now, my hope is that you will make time to relax and enjoy the present, not get too far ahead of yourself. It is so easy to get frantic about this process, I'm hoping to spare you some of that. My guess is that you are thinking that starting early may lessen the tension later on, and while that is true to an extent, maybe the beginning of her junior year is soon enough to really get the ball rolling and think about the sorts of decisions you seem to want to be making now. You really do have loads of time left for this. And when the time is closer, let your D take Doctor John's BFA/BA test that you have already taken for her. As you have time to read the thread you'll see how many parents who THOUGHT they knew what their kids answers would be, were quite surprised at what they ACTUALLY were. We all think we know them so well and then they never cease to amaze us.

Lastly, I hope that you can hear this in the spirit it is intended - not as criticism but with care from one Mom to another.

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 05:01 pm: Edit

Theatremom-
Yes I do take it in the proper spirit, thank you.
Please see my other post for more details :o)

By Baymom (Baymom) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 05:11 pm: Edit

Believersmom -

My S is a rising senior, just turned 17 in June. We started in earnest last fall looking at/for schools and programs and you're right that CC is a godsend. It has saved us so much time. I will email you about our impressions of Northwestern. We've pretty much ruled it out because of the way the program is structured (MT not really a major)

By Shauna (Shauna) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Here's a question for all you ballerinas out there (and mothers of ballerinas, of course)...

Pointe or no pointe?

As some of you know, I started taking ballet lessons this summer (about six weeks or so ago). I'm very happy with how I've been doing, but was pretty surprised when about two weeks ago the director of the program said out of the blue that I should go on pointe. (I have been taking pre-pointe and pointe classes on flat.) I decided against it, (a) because of the expense and (b) the fear that my lack of experience would lead to me falling over and breaking some vital limb in about five places. She assured me it would be fine; she said that the magic age of 11 had passed, I had the strength to do it as well as the placement. But I thought it would be best to wait and see what kind of dance UNT will place me in; no reason to have expensive shoes I won't use lying arond.

However, this got me to thinking: how much pointe work do you all think a performer should get? At UNT, they offer classes in pointe work and pointe/partnering in addition to the regular Ballet I, II, III, and IV, and both classes sound like a lot of fun. But do you all think this would be a waste of time? I have already found out/decided that modern is going to be a waste of time (thanks Mtmommy! :)), but pointe? It is something I would love to do, but I know it is a lot of work and if it is not going to be very useful to me then I would be better off spending my time focusing on other things.

Thanks all!

Shauna

By Monkey (Monkey) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit

Shauna,
I would not think it would be essential for a Musical Theatre dancer to be doing pointe work. You are absolutlely correct about how difficult it is to be working on pointe and it requires a very unique set of skills. The value of strong ballet technique has been mentioned many times on this thread. However, pointe work does not go "hand in glove" with having strong ballet training. My understanding is that working on pointe would only be necessary for a dancer who hopes to perform the classical repetory, not musical theatre styles. This is coming from a mom of an MT student who entered her freshman year with an extensive ballet backgroung, including 5 years of pointe. She was more than happy to say goodbye to those pointe shoes ( and the accompanying pain!) Her program includes lots of intensive dance training, but NO pointe work.

By Nickdad (Nickdad) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit

Prima Donna:

Did you look into Oklahoma City University? OCU offers a BM and Masters in vocal performance (opera). One of the oldest opera training schools in American. Legendary opera performers like Leona Mitchell and Chris Merrill have come from there. Plus recent grads have won national Met auditions (Sarah Colburn..just seen as Johanna in the NY Opera's "Sweeny Todd"). They also produce two full scale operas each year and a small, black box. This year it's "The Magic Flute" (in German) and another.

We saw the "Merry Widow" last year and it was fabulous. They are a true vocal arts and MT school. The best of both worlds!

By Mtfan (Mtfan) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 11:31 pm: Edit

Upcoming Seniors...

Has anyone finished their final list for the schools that they're auditioning for? If so, could you guys post them, I think it would be cool to see where everyone is going to audition.

Here are mine...

1. UMich
2. Penn State
3. Hartt
4. Baldwin-Wallace
5. Wichita State
6. SUNY Buffalo
7. Otterbein
8. UW: Steven's Point
9. Millikin
10. Viterbo

and then I'll apply to Columbia College, since the program has no entrance audition.

-Tim

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 11:55 pm: Edit

You are auditioning at 10 schools? Wow. I will probably audition at 5 tops.

My favorites are.

1) Ithaca College
2) Emerson College
3) Shenandoah University
4) University of Miami
5) Elon University
6) Illinois Wesleyan University

I have also been looking at a few other MT schools recommended on this site. I liked Otterbein, Wagner, Millikin, and Webster. Can anyone tell me more about those schools: MT program and the college (campus, life, students...etc.) Thanks.

Oh and I just saw a professional (equity) show in Maine and an actor in it got a BFA in MT at Shorter College in Georgia. Anyone have any info. on that?

I was looking at the playbill at this equity theater, and IMHO the better performers were the opera or vocal performance majors. I bet they probably minored in or took electives in acting and dance, but I was wondering how successful non-MT majors are in the business. I am not sure if I want to do a direct MT major, or leave my options a little more open and do a vocal performance major, minor in acting, and take dance electives. I know I am kind of rambling, but my main point is it doesn't seem like to make it bigtime (Broadway) you have to be a direct MT major. Have you guys noticed, and what are your thoughts about that?

I have one more question. I need some safety MT schools. Not necessarily academically, but in terms of audition. (Preferably places where an audition is required, but there is a pretty high acceptance rate.) For example, my top school is Ithaca and they accept 8%...the odds are pretty low, not the lowest, but I do need a few safeties on my list if I don't get in the more selective MT programs. Okay...this is my last question...promise.

~Court

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 11:56 pm: Edit

Mtfan, I have a daughter who will be applying this fall to BFA programs for MT. She is away now for six weeks at her theater program. She has had a list of schools for some time now. I don't know if it will change but I have a feeling she won't be adding others in any case. She has most of the visits still to do, however. Here is her list in no particular order:

NYU/Tisch/Cap 21
UMichigan
CCM
Carnegie Mellon
Penn State
Emerson
Boston Conservatory
Syracuse
Ithaca

good luck to you!
Susan

By Caitie531 (Caitie531) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 12:58 am: Edit

Susan-
Tell your daughter to check out Miami as well! The faculty there is incredible!
~Cait

By Mtfan (Mtfan) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 01:11 am: Edit

Court,
I know 10 is alot, and I'm hoping all the audition dates work out. It does seem kind of crazy when I think about it, but most of the schools are all in the Midwest (and hopefully most of the schools will be at Unified Auditions), and I wanted to have the same amout of Safety/Match schools as Reaches (5:5). And the more schools I audition at, the better chances I have :).

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 02:14 am: Edit

Caitie, so I have heard. She has said she does not want to go to college in Florida though! Her best friend from theater camp has a similar list I think but has Miami on hers, her mom told me. My D does have a lot of Florida friends though!

She seemed to keep with upper Eastern seaboard and Eastern half of northern part of country.
Susan

By Caitie531 (Caitie531) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 11:25 am: Edit

Susan,
I understand... Florida was the last place I expected to be heading to this fall. But I'm looking forward to it and I know that I'll be glad I'm there when it's January and I'm going to the beach while my friends from high school are snowed in. Heh... best of luck with your daughter!
~Caitie

By Cluelessmc2 (Cluelessmc2) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 04:03 pm: Edit

Shauna,
I was reviewing your wonderful FAQ site and thought about another item that was covered awhile back. What to bring/do to/at auditions -for both parents and kids.


I know it is only July but for us when school starts life will go to fast forward. I am already having anxiety attacks!

Thanks - Jenifer

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 04:12 pm: Edit

CMU SUMMER PROGRAM WEEK #4: SHE TRULY LOVES IT AND IS SADLY COUNTING DOWN THE WEEKS - ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT. SHE SAID IT HAS GONE SO FAST AND SHE WILL BE VERY SAD TO LEAVE. SHE SAYS IT WOULD BE A PRIVILEDGE TO ATTEND COLLEGE THERE, BUT KNOWS THOSE CHANCES ARE SLIM. SHE HAS HEARD A LOT FROM HER FRIENDS THERE ABOUT THE COLLEGES IN THE EAST (WE ARE FROM THE WEST COAST) AND NOW KNOWS SHE DEFINITELY WANTS A CONSERVATORY. THE WORK HAS BEEN QUITE INTENSE, AND SHE SEEMS TO BE PULLING IT OFF SUCCESSFULLY AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY. KEEP IN MIND SHE WAS NOT A "READER". SHE SAID SHE WAS GOING TO A SHAKESPEARE CLASS VOLUNTARILY TONIGHT (NOT MANDATORY) AND I COULDN'T BE MORE SURPISED. LAST NIGHT THEY STARTED A TAP CLASS (WHICH SHE SAID WAS ONLY FOR EXPERIENCED TAPPERS) AND SHE SAID IT WAS GREAT. SOME PEOPLE DID LEAVE BECAUSE IT MOVED PRETTY FAST.

SHE SAYS THE TEACHERS ARE INCREDIBLE. HER ACTING TEACHER HAS TOLD HER TO COME TO CLASS WITH CURLERS IN HER HAIR EVERY DAY, NO MAKE UP AND SHE IS GOING TO BE WEARING A FAT SUIT STARTING TOMORROW. THIS IS TO GET INTO THE ROLE OF A FAT COOK - I TOLD HER TO PLEASE TAKE PICTURES. SHE THINKS THAT THIS IS HYSTERICAL AND THE TEACHER BRINGS HER DONUTS AND COOKIES TO FATTEN UP HER FACE TO MATCH THE FAT SUIT. THIS WILL DEFINITELY BE A SUMMER TO REMEMBER!

By Henrob (Henrob) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 05:38 pm: Edit

Courtbroadway17,

I think I know who you saw in Maine who graduated from Shorter. Very talented young man who can really sell a song.
You may want to consider Shorter. There is a very fine, locally famous vocal coach at Shorter whose students have won competitions everywhere. I don't think Shorter is highly competitive for admissions. And Rome, GA is a friendly college town not too far from Atlanta.

By Georgiamom (Georgiamom) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Shauna, just to follow up a little on the pointe question - it sounds like you are taking a full load of dance already this summer - it is never a good idea to do too much and risk injury, especially with something that you're not used to doing.

On a side note, there is some point work to be found on Broadway here and there(not a lot, and usually mixed in with other dance forms) - currently there is pointe work in 42nd Street; Radio City's Christmas Show, "dream ballet" sequences in a few musicals may be choreographed in pointe (Oklahoma, Carousel, etc.),

This is not said to infer that everyone needs pointe, but if you have it, sometimes it can be the little extra to get you the part over someone else.

My D just made her big move to the City - without a place to live, the sublet she thought was hers having fallen through. So she's lived on people's couches this week, and has found a place to move into starting next week.

But I think she's ready - graduated magna cum laude (which made this mom very proud) in MT from Univ of Oklahoma, got her Equity card doing the 42nd Street tour, and is now ready to sink or swim . . .

By Gluemom (Gluemom) on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 09:20 pm: Edit

Hi Shauna, re modern dance being a waste of time, just to let you know the Boston Globe had an audition notice last month calling for singers and dancers for Lion King (national tour and Broadway) Dancers were requested to be strong modern dancers. Might not happen too often, but it happens. Hope you're enjoying those dance classes! Take care.

By Georgiamom (Georgiamom) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 11:07 am: Edit

Shauna, another note about modern - D just did the Wicked auditions, and the dance call was all modern - "very odd counts, and really interesting floor work" according to D.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:07 pm: Edit

Shauna--

I just got back from out of town and read your question about pointe work. First, let me clear up something about what I said about modern (for others' sakes). For a career in MT, it is preferable to know (very well) ballet, jazz, tap, modern, swing, hiphop, Flamenco, Russian folk, Swedish folk, gymnastics, martial arts of all forms, piano, voice (classical, MT, jazz, pop, gospel, etc.), another
instrument (perhaps one from each category of instrument), blah blah blah. I say this both facetiously and seriously. Nevertheless, it's impossible to do all that and to do it well. You can be scattered in a million places or do one or two things extremely well--or you can be somewhere in the middle. Ultimately, it will depend on your luck whether you have what is required; how can you predict? Modern is much less important than ballet, tap, or jazz for musical theatre, but a basic knowledge of it can't hurt. A thorough knowledge of it would be great. How much time does one person have to do everything? The same thing goes for pointe, but more true here even. My daughter has been on pointe for six years. It's been a tremendous amount of work. It's also not related to why ballet is important for musical theatre performers. If you really want to dance pointe, Shauna, it takes a huge amount of time and effort--and it's not something you can stop for a few years and go right back to it easily and without injury, particularly when you're basically starting it as an adult. If you try it and enjoy it a lot, then it might be something to go after--for you. But you've got to have the desire for it or you'll rue the pain and the time away from all the classes you have ahead of you. I hope this helps somewhat.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Shauna--One more thing, every teacher loves a great student. You are a good ballet student, so consider your teacher's request for you to consider pointe a huge compliment. But boy do those ballet teachers like to get you where you have more and more classes to take and more and more work to do. :) Keep that in mind!

By Shauna (Shauna) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:26 pm: Edit

Mtmommy, I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. I didn't mean "waste of time" as in "it's a stupid type of dance and no one should learn it" (which of course isn't what I think at all) but as in "I have only so many hours with which to work in college and I really need to examine what the bare necessities are." You probably realized this, but I should have explained myself better before posting publicly. I'm very sorry about that.

Shauna

By Shauna (Shauna) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit

Ah, where did the second half of my post go?! Ah well, try again...

About pointe and modern...this is all very confusing for me, as I have always been first and foremost a singer, yet I am finding that dance is something I really have a knack for and enjoy. I would love to be able to take modern and pointe and Swedish folk (!), but as a singing concentration, I just don't think I'm going to have the time. The only reason I'm going to be able to take as much dance as I will is because I have extra electives due to AP credit.

My ultimate goal (dancewise) is to be the absolute best and most well-rounded dancer I can be without cutting into my singing training. Singing is what I'm best at and what I'd like to pursue the most, but I want to have top-notch dance skills as well. I just need to find a balance between getting enough dance training and not neglecting my singing...so I'm trying to narrow down exactly what would be the best use of my time in college.

Thanks for the advice, all!

Shauna

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 08:03 pm: Edit

Georgiamom--Congratulations to your daughter! What a great list of accomplishments to go to NY with. I wish you both well.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 10:21 pm: Edit

Georgiamom,

Let me add my congrats on your daughter's success. I'm so pleased to welcome you to this forum and look forward to hearing about your D's adventures in the Big Apple. How exciting for her and for you. And how lucky we are here in this discussion to be attracting people with such a wide range of experiences to share: highschool students preparing for their upcoming college auditions, students already in the thick of their MT education, young performers just out of college beginning their professional careers and students like my D, just getting ready to start her college MT experience. I can't help but project forward and hope she finds the successes your D seems to have garnered right "out of the box." Brava!!

Catsmom,

Thanks for the updates on your D's CMU summer experience. I read them all with fond memories of last summer and am so excited for you and your D - it really can be a critical moment in their development, helping them decide if this choice is really the one they want to make. Sounds like it has been that for your daughter. The fact that she is throwing herself head first into every opportunity comes as no surprise to me. They make everything so exciting and it's a wonderful way to get a taste of what's out there. Best of luck to her on the upcoming mock auditions. As scarey as they may seem, tell her that the faculty strive very hard to help the kids relax and show themselves to their best advantage. It's a very special opportunity and will help her so much in the college auditions to come. The evaluations they will send her after the program will also tell her alot and help her as she moves forward. I'm so glad this has worked out so well for you all. I know it was not an easy decision to send her. Congrats!

By Lookingmt (Lookingmt) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 04:06 am: Edit

Susan and Court:

I'm surprised not to see Oklahoma City University on your lists! :)

Since you're looking at some very expensive schools, do you know you can attend such a respected MT program for less than some of those schools? In the industry, you want business professionals to see your talent and see that you've studied at a place of good reputation. Plus, you can get some really good scholarships in you have the talent. My friend got a great music scholarship plus an academic scholarship..over $6,000!

I suggest to you check it out!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 09:56 am: Edit

Lookingmt....I am aware of Oklahoma City University and it is a very fine program. All kids doing college selection have their own personal list of criteria. In my daughter's case, she wants to stay in the east, not including the south. She is not even that psyched to go to Michigan or Cincinatti in terms of location (but likes the schools) but realizes in this field you have to go where the programs are and cannot be as choosy about location as her sister was able to be when searching fat college directories. Even so, she has limitted it to the eastern/upper portion of the country. Since there are enough programs in that quarter of the country, it still works for her. But obviously there are great programs such as OCU or Miami or FSU that are ruled out. If she could totally choose location itself, she would likely say NYC first, Boston second. But she is very aware that she cannot do that totally cause she must find the best MT program that fits her needs as well as get admitted to. Thus she has opened up regarding specific location (if in eastern half) and actually is very interested in UMich but has to go visit soon.

Susan

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 10:55 am: Edit

Hey everyone,
I just discovered http://www.studentsreview.com, where I've been reading about the schools we discuss here. It provides a good contrast from the viewbooks, and I think the student reviews give a fair picture of student life on campus in general (not just inside the performing arts colleges/majors). In many cases the student opinions mirror what I"ve heard elsewhere about these campuses. I also like the site because it gives a campus safety rating!

Note: there was no information on Otterbein here.

By Shauna (Shauna) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Hi Jenifer, just wanted to let you know that I updated the FAQ with two parts about what do bring and what to do.

If anyone has any comments or additions, let me know! (I wasn't too sure about the men's attire part, in particular.)

Shauna

By Dramatica (Dramatica) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:30 am: Edit

IB == New Poster responding to question about IB.

Hello everyone. I stumbled upon this site several weeks ago and voraciously read all postings starting with Part I. I have found the site to be extremely informative and the "posters" to be most helpful. Shauna in particular deserves a standing ovation.

Several postings ago someone asked about IB, short for International Baccalaureate. Since we live in an area where our public school system offers the IB program at 2 of its high schools and my son graduated with an IB diploma, I should be able to answer almost any questions that you may have about the program.


The IB program is probably the most rigorous high school academic curriculum offered in the United States and possibly the world. It is patterned after the European Baccalaureate degrees and it is subject to external review. Schools have to be authorized to offer the program and must follow the “approved” IB curriculum which is the same worldwide. The organization is headquartered in Geneva , Switzerland.

Because the program is so academically demanding, students completing the program are sought out by the best schools all over the world and have no trouble gaining admission to them. My son, who is now a junior at Brown University, was so well prepared that he had no trouble adapting to college. -- The one drawback about the IB program is that because they carry essentially a college load while in high school, there is very little time left to pursue activities outside of the school requirements. In his senior year of high school, my son, who is an artist, was taking organic chemistry and advanced calculus, courses normally taken in college by premed students in their sophmore year. This should give you an idea of the intensity of the program. Depending on the school, theater may be offered as a "higher level" choice. In the case of our son, he was able to pursue his art as part of the IB curriculum because visual arts was offered as an IB higher level option at his school. My daughter who will be startint high school in the Fall, will not be going into the program because our school disctrict does not offer IB theater. Given the demands of the IB program she would not be able to devote any time to her acting or dancing or singing. She will be going instead to a high school of the arts.

Therefore, if your child is serious about theater and theater is not offered as part of the IB curriculum at your school, I would not encourage him or her to enroll in it. I would suggest to them, instead, to take as many AP courses as may be available to them. I hope this helps. If you want to know more I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:14 am: Edit

Dramatica...welcome to this forum! We don't have IB where we live. But I noticed in your post that your son is attending Brown and my oldest daughter will be a freshman there this fall. Your son is majoring in visual arts? My daughter is intending to focus on Architectural Studies. In fact, today she is submitting the form for the lottery for the Studio Foundation course in your son's department, lol. I wish I could hook her up with your son in terms of hearing his feedback. Has he taken any courses at RISD while at Brown? She is hoping to during her time at Brown, in her major.

My second child, like yours, is pursuing musical theater. We don't have performing arts high schools in our state, so lucky you! I think we sorta create that same idea but by augmenting the school offerings with outside offerings. It would be easier if it was all at school though.

Hope you keep participating.
Susan

By Lynnm (Lynnm) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:37 am: Edit

I have a question which was addressed a LONG time ago, and I just can't go through all 20-something parts again to recall the answer....Regional auditions. Feasibly how many can you attend in one day? I know that in NY the auditions are not held in the same building, therefore only about two per day? But, say, in Chicago, where they're all in the same hotel? How many should my daughter try to register for?

By Kedstuff (Kedstuff) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 11:35 am: Edit

I'm new but already appreciate discovering a peer group! I have a S whose passion for MT can no longer be downplayed. He starts this fall as a 10th grade theater major at Walnut Hill School, MA's private performing arts HS (affiliated with the New England Conservatroy for its music students) this fall. He's currently in week 4 of their summer theater program and I think readers of this discussion would find this summer program comparable to others recommended for talented MT kids (there is also a summer dance program). http://www.walnuthillarts.org/summer/theater.html
Since students at Walnut Hill are no longer eligible for the summer program once enrolled in the HS, I'll be seeking your advice for next summer: CMU, Interlochen??? He's a very talented singer/actor but needs LOTS of work on dance (some of which he'll get this coming sophomore year at WHS)

By Dramatica (Dramatica) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 11:52 am: Edit

Comment for Soozievt first and reflections at the end for everyone else...

Soozievt,
Congratulations to your daughter for choosing Brown. It is a wonderful school. I will gladly have my son talk to your daughter. How should we do this? I dont want to take up space on this site taking about Brown, but briefly, I will tell you that initially he was a Modern Culture and Media concentrator and upon the recommendation of some of his professors he switched to Art Semiotics so that he could have priority for the art studio courses. Registration for courses at Brown is crazy. He wants to write and direct films and his program of studies will be essentially the same. MCM and Art Semiotics are joint concentrations, or something like that. As you will learn, students at Brown have tremendous flexibility and control over what courses to take.

Incidentally, I noticed a few messages ago that your older daughter has an interest in theater, too. If my memory serves me right, Brown encourages non theater concentrators to become involved in their productions and there is a very strong relationship at the graduate level with the Trinity Players.

TO EVERYONE:

My daughter is only starting high school this year, but I have begun to check into MT programs because I know how difficult the competition is. (That is how I stumbled unto this site.) I want to make sure that she is prepared and that we give her all the opportunities that we can, if that is the road that she wants to pursue. However, sometimes I wonder if we are doing right in encouraging them to be pigeonholed from such an early age? (She attended a Middle School of the Arts, too). Are kids better off getting a solid liberal arts education or going the conservatory route? I realize that there are no right or wrong answers and when I see how happy and great she is when she is performing on stage, I get back into the "yeah encourage her to concentrate on her chosen art area." I only wish that there were empirical studies that we could review comparing the success rate of conservatory vs liberal arts with concentration in theater vs liberal arts with theater as an extracurricular activity? Then again, in the arts there is no right or wrong and such studies would probably be flawed or meaningless....

Nobody ever said that being a parent was supposed to be easy, but thanks to sites like this one where people genuinely try to help each other, it makes us realize that we are not alone in this task.

Thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences, the road ahead is not so scary for those of us coming up....

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit

Dramatica...hmmm, I am not absolutely sure how to connect my D to emailing with your son, the one who goes to Brown. I don't want to give her Brown email address here as that has her name in it. Her AOL one I guess I could give but normally do not post it, plus I think that is against forum rules. Not sure how to solve this. Yes, the Brown curriculum allows for so many choices. This is an exciting adventure, being able to take charge of her own learning plans! She is submitting her course requests this week. I am aware of the theater opportunities on campus for non-majors. Yes, this daughter has also done a bunch of musical theater, but not in the last couple of years, though attended a theater camp for four summers. She plays two instruments and is ensembles for that, but also takes dance. She is planning to join the What's On Tap tap dance troupe at Brown and has spoken to them. She is aware of the musical theater club that puts on productions. At the the open house for admitted students in April, she approached the theater table and saw that an older theater friend of her younger sister (who went to her sister's theater camp and is now at Brown) was manning the table. Before she even asked if that was him, he asked her if she was so and so's sister (I guess people think they look alike!) and so they connected about theater. It would be great if she could do a musical there. She is not committing at this point because she is unsure how her extracurriculars and everything else will all fit in at Brown as it is a whole new thing there from here. At home, she is heavily involved in both performing arts and varsity sports. At Brown, she is going to be on the varsity ski team (which also has fall dryland training) and the club tennis team (which plays other colleges) and the tap troupe and so she is not sure how playing music will work there, as well as theate, or how soccer will fit in either. Once she hears the schedules and so forth, she can decide. It is hard to know how it will work in college when she has not yet gone or knows when these groups practice or anything. She also loves watching theater so there will be plenty of that at Brown and in Providence or even Boston.

As to your question about your younger daughter....it is very early yet. As she approaches the college admissions process, that is when she will have to visit and research programs and discern if she prefers a conservatory approach or a more liberal arts one or something in combination. I know that those issues have come to the forefront for my younger D who is now in this process. I just want to point out for you, that it may not have to be either/or. There are some programs that are conservatories (with BFA degrees) in a liberal arts setting, where the student gets the conservatory training but also a decent amount of liberal education courses. Two examples are NYU/Tisch and UMichigan. Right now, my child is leaning in that direction.

Susan

By Kedstuff (Kedstuff) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

Dear Dramatica,

Your concerns about over-specialization have certainly been ours about our S, hence my "can no longer be downplayed" reaction to our enrolling him in an arts high school in earlier my posting. However, the enthusiasm a young person brings to studying something can often transfer to other aspects of learning, if the whole experience is meaningful.
Others with high schoolers might appreciate reading a very thoughtful piece that helped my husband and me (both college administrators) decide to let our S study in a context that feeds his true passion. The article is by a respected arts educator, Stephanie Perrin, and was published last winter in the National Association of Independent Schools magazine, an issue devoted to creativity and learning: http://www.nais.org/pubs/ismag.cfm?file_id=3140&ismag_id=32

By Lynnm (Lynnm) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit

Kedstuff-Excellent article. Thanks for passing it along.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:37 pm: Edit

Kedstuff, good luck to your child at Walnut Hill. My daughter has two friends she knows through theater here in Vermont, who are attending WH and like it very much.

Susan

By Dramatica (Dramatica) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 04:06 pm: Edit

Kedstuff,

Thank you for sharing the article.

It confirmed or validated what our experience has been with the art schools. The middle school of the arts that my daughter attended has consitently been the top scorer in the standarized tests mandated in our state. Academically, kids at the middle school of the arts in our district outscored, statewide, schools that are "academically" oriented. Interestingly, the kids also often won at the state's History, Science fairs and the like.

We were fortunate that at the school of the arts they have had a gifted program so our daughter has been academically challenged and among peers that are very much like her. From the information I have gathered about the high school, the experience there should be similar. My only fear at times is whether her love for theater blinds her to other paths that she might otherwise explore, and thus my comment about pigeonholing her so early. However, my husband and I feel very comfortable, as parents, with letting her concentrate on theater. We also know that she will continue to excel academically, because she has the thirst for it. With both kids, our philosophy has been that if a "D" or an "F" was the best that they could get, after trying of course, then that would be fine by us. Oddly enough, both have been straight A students because they wanted it for themselves, not because it was demanded. The one thing that we always have insisted on doing is in making resources available to them, and they have taken advantage of it.

Soozievt,

My son is away during the week, working at a university an hour away. When he returns I will ask him if he can think of a way that they can hook up so that he can answer any questions that she may have. Kids are more in tune about how to connect.

As for our daughter, I can tell you that she already is in love with NYU. In June we flew to NYC to see several broadway shows and I took her over to the Village to tour the campus. I wanted her to experience that it is an urban campus with no green areas other than a public park, shared at times with some curious characters. She fell in love with the Village and "can't wait to go to Tisch." Who knows what will happen, but if she ends up applying, and getting in, NYU will be an excellent choice, regardless of what she ends up studying.

To Everyone:

This brings me to an observation for all those who are getting close to the application process.

If there is any way that your child, or your child and you, can visit campuses, I would strongly encourage you to not only take advantage of such an opportunity but also try to arrange for your child to stay in the dorms with a current student. Most schools will accomodate such a request for juniors and seniors. Students, even those hand picked by the administration to serve as hosts, tend to be honest and candid about their experiences. My son walked away from some of the overnight visits with a totally different view about the school than what he had going in. Some were more positive, some more negative. It also confirmed that his number 1 choice, would remain his first choice, if accepted, and luckily he was.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 04:17 pm: Edit

For those of you new to this thread and pondering the conservatory vs. liberal arts question, I want you to know that you may not have to choose. My daughter will be entering the University of Michigan this fall as a BFA candidate in Musical Theater. I want to second what Soozievt said about the MT program at UMich. From the time we completed our early research, this program was always her, and our, first choice because it provides conservatory training within a wonderfully intimate Music School, housed in an amazing, large University with all the opportunities that such a school can provide. On top of that, the MT program is very vocal about and supportive of their majors seeking out and exploring other interests that will inform their work as young artists. While the conservatory training there is viewed as among the top programs in the country, 25% of my D's courses must be in liberal arts. As her education continues, we will be reporting back here about her experiences. We think UMich provides the best of both worlds.

Other schools that come to mind that take a similar approach are NYU Tisch, as Susan pointed out, NYU Steinhardt (although a BM in vocal music with an MT concentration rather than a BFA in MT) and Penn State University. I'm sure there are more.

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

THEATERMOM - THANKS FOR YOUR POST. YOU MAKE A VERY GOOD POINT IN THAT THIS EXPERIENCE AT CMU SUMMER PROGRAM HAS DEFINITELY HELPED THESE KIDS DECIDE IF THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT. WHILE MY DAUGHTER DEFINITELY WANTS A CONSERVATORY AFTER THIS PROGRAM, HER ROOMMATE HAS DEFINITELY DECIDED THAT SHE DOES NOT. MY D HAS TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF EVERYTHING OFFERED THERE AND I COULDN'T BE MORE PROUD. YES, THESE TEACHERS MAKE EVERYTHING SO EXCITING. I AM SO IMPRESSED. SHE ALSO KNOWS SHE WOULD BE HAPPY GOING TO SCHOOL IN THE EAST (ALTHOUGH SHE HASN'T EXPERIENCED WINTER).

THANK YOU FOR YOUR REASSURANCES ABOUT THE MOCK AUDITIONS - I DO RECALL READING ABOUT THEM FROM LAST YEAR AND I THINK I WILL GO LOOK UP THOSE OLD POSTS. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THE TEACHERS' EVALUATIONS AS WELL.

I MENTIONED THAT SHE IS TAKING AN ELECTIVE CALLED AUGUSTO BALL WITH ONE OF HER ACTING TEACHERS WHO RECOMMENDS THE KIDS TAKE IT HOME AND DO IT AT THEIR SCHOOLS AND IN THEIR HOME TOWNS. I'VE ASKED HER ABOUT THE CLASS AND SHE JUST TELLS ME THAT IT IS ABOUT OPPRESSION AND THAT SHE'LL SHOW ME WHEN SHE GETS HOME. SHE HAS DECIDED TO TAKE WHAT SHE HAS LEARNED IN THAT CLASS AND DO IT FOR HER SENIOR PROJECT. DID YOUR D TAKE THIS CLASS LAST YEAR? IF SO, MAYBE YOU CAN EXPLAIN IT BETTER.

SHE JUST TOLD ME THAT THE PLAY SHE WROTE IN PLAYWRITING WAS PERFORMED AND SHE SAID IT WAS VERY FUNNY. SHE SOUNDED VERY PROUD. THEN SHE TOLD ME THAT AFTER BALLET TODAY IT STARTED POURING AND THEY ENDED UP IN A MUD FIGHT. OH TO BE IN COLLEGE AGAIN! SO YES, THEY DO STILL MAKE TIME FOR FUN.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 12:18 am: Edit

Dramatica,
I agree on the advice that while visiting colleges, to try to do overnights in the dorms and/or at the very least, have your child meet many kids on campus for informal chats, not the ones designated for this purpose only. My daughter did all those things and it really did help to see the colleges more closely.

Also, I smiled when I read your daughter's comment about NYU while just age 14. My younger D for one thing, has had NYU on the brain for many years from older friends' influence at theater camp....kids she admired have gone on to Tisch, at least a dozen she knows. Some have gone to other top programs as well but this one was on her brain at a young age. I recall being in NYC with her when she was about 13. She was there for an audition but was on a break between callback rounds. We arranged to meet her best friend from theater camp who lives in CT so came in for the afternoon with her mom. So, we were walking around the village and past the NYU dorms, and the girls both looked up and said, "we both are going here one day and rooming together!" Now, both are ready to apply. The other girl is older but now my D is graduating a year early. So, I really relate to the anecdote you just shared with your daughter walking along the campus fairly young. We have now done an official visit this past spring and my D did stay in the dorms with a friend who is a current student, who she used to room with in summer.

Well, my daughter just called late at night from her theater program. She said it has been the most perfect summer. I will never be able to pull her away on Sunday, her final day there after seven years. She did thank me for the opportunity. She mentioned that she has been talking about college programs alot all summer with her friends who are all older and also applying. So, I wonder where she is at now with it having been gone for six weeks. Cause when she gets back, the process gets under way!

Susan

By Musicalthtrmom (Musicalthtrmom) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 08:49 am: Edit

While we seem to be on the summer camp train of thought, I thought I'd do a last report on summer camp at OCU. We travelled to Oklahoma City as did most, if not all, the parents of the summer campers to see their final performances (a dinner Cabaret and a performance of Cinderella). Both were quite entertaining! The head of the MT department even performed with the kids. It was obvious their affection and respect for Dr Herendeen after only 2 and a half weeks. Cinderella was a contemporary look at the classic...very clever! The kids had even constructed/painted their own sets for the show.

From master classes in voice, diction, acting, and dance to rehearsals and information about auditions, OCU's summer camp was an excellent learning experience from our point of view!

All in all it was a great experience for my daughter. She, along with many of the campers left in tears...hating to leave one another! But they have been talking to each other online ever since so it seems they will keep in touch! The seniors all hope to audition on the same day so they can get together for a reunion.

By Noccadad (Noccadad) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit

D also attending CMU pre-college with Catsmom's D and Catsmom has eloquently stated what an amazing "growth spurt" this program has provided for these young ladies as performers and even more as people. I can hear it in my D's voice and at the beginning of week 5 am convinced it was the right choice even though it was such a major financial committment.

I agree that the students' knowledge of a conservatory model versus a LAC is a major factor in determining a good college fit, which is also a significant benefit from one of the larger/longer college based programs. Not better than other summer programs, just some college student role-playing that will assist with a critical decision that is stressful for the entire family, both financial and emotional.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 08:52 am: Edit

Catsmom,

The elective you mentioned is actually about the work of Augusto Boal and yes I believe it is also known as the Theatre of the Oppressed. My D also took this elective last summer; but unlike your D, who apparently totally got into this work, my D said that while it was "interesting" to learn of it's existence, she thought it was more like the Theater of the DE-pressed and couldn't wait until it was over. Another reminder of why we are lucky there is both chocolate AND vanilla......

Noccadad,
Glad to hear you're feeling good about the decision to send your D to CMU as well and that she's enjoying it. Phew! I'm sure those parents of the few kids that left the program or who haven't found it useful, if only to decide that conservatory style training is NOT for them, are having a difficult time about now. Buyer's remorse is not an easy or pleasant feeling.

What have both of your kids settled on doing for their mock auditions?

Also, I think I remember that someone in this discussion was sending a child to the Syracuse pre-college program. Sorry I can't remember who it is. Now that we've heard about OCU and CMU, I'm sure folks would like to know about any first hand experiences at the Syracuse program. Thanks!

By Leverite (Leverite) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 09:51 am: Edit

Jrmom,

Thanks for recommending studentsreview.com. It has been helpful in our search. By the way there are two very positive posts by OCU students.

Lookingmt, do you know anything about OCU's straight theatre program?
Thanks,
Leverite

By Leverite (Leverite) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 10:26 am: Edit

Lookingmt,

What I mean is that I've heard many positive comments about OCU's mt program, but what their acting/theatre program? Can you or anyone comment?
Thanks

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 10:59 am: Edit

Re: Syracuse summer program

It was Amanda (Dramaqueen22) who was attending this program this summer, I believe.

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit

THEATERMOM - THANKS FOR YOUR EXPLANATION ON AUGUSTO BOAL, JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU HOW CLUELESS I AM ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. IT ALSO EXPLAINS WHY MY D LOVES IT SO MUCH AS SHE IS QUITE "DRAMATIC". SHE INVENTED THE TERM "DRAMA QUEEN".

AS FAR AS HER CHOICES FOR THE AUDITIONS GO HER VOICE TEACHER (STEPHEN NEELY) SP? WHO SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVES, SURPRISINGLY SUGGESTED "MUCH MORE" FROM THE FANTASTIKS. MY DAUGHTER SAID BUT IT'S BEEN SO OVERDONE, BUT HE SAID SHE DOES IT SO WELL, IT WON'T MATTER. HE ALSO SAID THAT IT WAS TOTALLY UP TO HER AND THAT SHE SHOULD CHOOSE. I THINK HER 2ND SONG IS GOING TO BE 42ND STREET TO SHOW HER BELTING VOICE (ALTHO SHE IS REALLY A SOPRANO). AS FAR AS MONOLOGUES GO, HER CLASSICAL IS NOT SHAKESPEARE AND SHE WAS STILL UNDECIDED AS TO HER OTHER ONE. THIS WAS LAST NIGHT AND SHE NEEDED TO DECIDE BY TODAY (WEDNESDAY) FOR HER AUDITION CLASS.

YESTERDAY, THE COUNSELORS STARTED "ASSASINS" BY GIVING EVERYONE A NAME AND A WATER BALLOON TO HIT WITH BEFORE SOMEONE HIT THEM. MY D DIDN'T KNOW WHO HER PERSON WAS, AND SAID SHE WAS CAREFULLY LOOKING OVER HER SHOULDER ALL DAY AS SHE WENT TO CLASS.

SHE SAID THAT ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT ALL OF THE PLAYS WRITTEN IN THE PLAYWRITING CLASS WILL BE PERFORMED AS WELL AS WHAT THEY ARE DOING IN AUGUSTO BOAL.

I HAVE ONE QUESTION, THEATERMOM. I AM GOING TO PICK HER UP NEXT WEEK AND SHE IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE THERE ON A 5:30 PM FLIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT. WHILE I HAVE ASKED THAT SHE BE DONE WITH HER AUDITION BY 1:00 PM (WHICH THEY SAID WON'T BE A PROBLEM) I WAS WONDERING IF I MIGHT HAVE SCHEDULED THIS TIME TOO EARLY. WAS THERE ANYTHING GOING ON FRIDAY NIGHT THAT YOU REMEMBER? THEY ALL NEED TO BE OUT BY NOON ON SATURDAY.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 03:24 pm: Edit

Catsmom,

Thanks for all the info about your D's auditions. It is a very exciting time. If you decide you want to look at the posts from last year's CMU "summer Mom's," I think most of them can be found on Part 3 of this thread.

My D also had Stephen Neely and liked him very much. With regard to song selection, however, it is important to know that he is based in the Music School (I think he teaches eurythmics - whatever that is - maybe Dancersmom knows?) and to my knowledge is not a regular teacher in the MT program at CMU, just for pre-college. He tried to interest my D in applying to the vocal performance program in the Music School at CMU as well as MT (she's also a soprano). And while she thought he was a good voice teacher (not anywhere close to her classical teacher at home whom she ADORES!) I'm not sure he's the best judge of material for MT auditions. While it makes absolutely no difference for the CMU mock auditions, your D's instincts are totally correct: "Much More" is one of those songs in the MT Top 10 "Please Don't Ever Use This Song for an Audition" list of most programs.

With regard to the flight time issue, I think you are fine. I don't think the program plans anything for Friday night. A lot of kids do leave on Friday after the auditions and those who hang around may get together informally to blow off steam and compare notes about their auditions. I picked my D up on Saturday morning only because it's a five hour drive from our home in Philadelphia and I didn't want to drive both ways in one day - I drove out on Friday, stayed in hotel (didn't even see my D) and then picked her up Saturday morning and drove home. I think she slept the whole way.

You might also like to know that there are three possible "results" from the auditions as far as the evaluation letters go. Very rarely, a student is offered admission directly into the program without a further audition. This happened once two summers ago to a female acting student and once last summer to a male MT student. In both cases, the other students reported that it was clear this was highly likely from what they observed of these students during the program. They can also get a letter that tells them that the faculty was impressed enough with their work over the summer that they are "open to see their work again" and this is a de facto "invitation" to audition for the undergraduate program, although they must still complete all the application materials and prepare and show all new songs and monologues. Lastly they can get the "thanks for coming, hope you enjoyed the experience" letter. However, neither of these last two outcomes is a guarantee of anything with regard to admissions, positive or negative. I don't know how many of the 160 kids who were in the program last summer actually got the "invitation" letter. My D got one and knows only 3-4 of her friends who also did, but obviously didn't know the majority of kids well enough to hear this information. I'm sure there were many more. I'm also sure that lots of kids who were not "invited," auditioned as well. The results? -- My D was not accepted to CMU and neither were any of her friends from the program, "invite" letters or not. As far as I know, they accepted 4 girls and 6 boys into MT for this coming year, none of them from pre-college with the exception of the boy who was admitted right after the program (and I'm not 100% sure he had made up his mind the last time my D spoke to him - he had lots of offers). So there you go! Just wanted to give you a heads up on what to expect. Hope it's helpful.

By Sasha1 (Sasha1) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit

tried to post before but it didn't seem to get through.

For those in the know re Point Park. The BA and BFA curriculum posted on the web seems very lacking in voice, music theory and dance (especially interesting since this is a noted dance school) are these areas elective rather than required? Am I missing something?

Thanks for any info

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 07:44 pm: Edit

THEATERMOM - THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION REGARDING STEPHEN NEELY NOT BEING PART OF THE MT PROGRAM. THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY HE SAID THAT "MUCH MORE" WOULD BE OK TO DO. AS IT TURNS OUT SHE IS NOT DOING ANY OF THE SONGS THAT I MENTIONED, SHE IS STILL UNDECIDED. TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY SHE REALLY SOUNDED STRESSED OUT. SHE SAID SHE WAS UP UNTIL 3:00 AM READING, AND I TOLD HER ALL SHE NEEDS IS A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP. SHE IS NOT ONE TO GET NERVOUS AT AUDITIONS OR PERFORMANCES, BUT THIS SEEMS TO BE A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALL GAME. I WILL RELAY TO HER WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT HOW COMFORTABLE THEY TRY TO MAKE YOU. FOR SOME REASON TODAY SHE THINKS THIS IS THE ONLY SCHOOL TO GO TO FOR MT AND IF SHE DOESN'T GET IN HERE SHE JUST ISN'T TALENTED ENOUGH. I AM SURE THIS IS FATIGUE SPEAKING, BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN HIGH AS A KITE OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS AND VERY CONFIDENT. I'M SURE TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT.

I APPRECIATE YOUR INFORMATION REGARDING THE LETTERS THAT COME IN THE MAIL. I WAS TALKING TO A STUDENT THAT WAS CHECKING US IN ON DAY ONE FROM THE MUSIC DEPT. AND HE SAID THAT THOSE LETTERS ARE IMPORTANT. IF YOU ARE NOT "INVITED" BACK, THEN YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T BOTHER. I DIDN'T KNOW HOW THEY PHRASED THAT BUT I ASSUME YOUR INFO ON THE LETTER "THANKS FOR COMING" IS HOW THEY DO THAT.

I DID GO BACK AND READ PARTS 3 & 4 AND WILL PROBABLY CONTINUE TO READ ON AGAIN NOW THAT WE ARE AT THIS STAGE. I DON'T KNOW HOW I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS WITHOUT ALL OF THE INFO ON THESE PAGES.

By Shauna (Shauna) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 10:19 pm: Edit

This is a note for all the parents of students going off to college in the fall:

It is VERY important that if your child will be living in a dorm they get their meningococcal vaccine. Meningococcus can cause bacterial meningitis, a potentially fatal disease.

I just got mine yesterday! Be forewarned, though, that the vaccine may give you a low-grade fever and some lethargy for a day or so afterward. I've been feeling extremely tired and slightly queasy all day long; so much so that I couldn't go to dance class.

More information about meningococcus can be found here.

In fact, I think I'm going to go post this in the Parents' Forum as well.

Catsmom, hope all goes well for your daughter during her mocks!

Shauna

By Ilmomsk (Ilmomsk) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 10:27 pm: Edit

I am so excited. I FOUND my cc password that I had lost. So I am back! I saw my D's Cherubs play last night at Northwestern- "Our Country's Good." Unbelievable quality. My D is working so hard in this program! Any other parents out there attending this week's theatre arts plays?

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 10:37 pm: Edit

Sasha1,
Here are the MT BA and BFA requirements that my D was given last year at Point Park.

BA
Foundations of MT Technique - 2 semesters
(This course integrates music, listening, and performing skills and includes keyboard, music theory, and sightsinging)
Voice - 4 semesters
History of drama - 2 semesters
Foundations of modern drama - 2 semesters
MT techniques - 2 semesters
Voice and speech - 4 semesters
Dance - 2 semesters (6 hours)
Acting - 4 semesters
Makeup - 1 semester
Elements of stagecraft - 1 semester
Beginning rehearsal and performance - 1 semester (0 credit)
Production/rehearsal/performance - 5 semesters
Production (crew) - 2 semesters


BFA
Foundations of MT technique - 2 semesters
Voice - 8 semesters
History of drama - 2 semesters
Foundations of modern drama - 2 semesters
MT technique - 4 semesters
Voice and speech - 4 semesters
Movement - 1 semester
Dance - 7 semesters (19 hours) + 4 hours of dance electives
Acting - 6 semesters
Makeup - 1 semester
Elements of stagecraft - 1 semester
Production/rehearsal/performance - 6 semesters
Production (crew) - 2 semesters

When I was researching Point Park for my D last year I had trouble finding the BFA MT curriculum on the website. I don't think that it is on the website. I was given the BFA requirements only when we paid a visit to the school and specifically asked for them. I had tried e-mailing Point Park about the BFA curriculum and got no response. In fairness, Point Park was not the only school that did not respond to questions that were e-mailed. I also e-mailed Ithaca, Roosevelt, the University of the Arts, and Hartt with specific questions and never got any response. (I bet that the administrators of these programs would love to know that we share this kind of information!)

On paper the only weakness that the BFA MT curriculum has to my point of view is in the piano/music theory area. The acting, dance, and voice requirements are pretty typical of a conservatory style MT program.

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Theatermom,
Eurhythmics is the coordination of simple, improvised bodily movements with musical rhythms as a means of self-expression. Most notable in the development of the theory and practice of eurythmics in music education was Emile Jacques-Dalcroze. I believe that the majority of American and European universities offering degrees in music education teach Dalcroze techniques. I don't have a degree in music ed. I was a performance major and got my MM in music theory, so I have never studied Eurythmics. My H took a Dalcroze workshop in grad school and was quite impressed with the methods benefits to young general music students. I can't tell you much beyond this bare bones description.

By Shauna (Shauna) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Hi all, I have updated the FAQ to include doctorjohn's BA/BFA test as well as his thoughts on the subject.

Shauna (whoo dizzy)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 12:14 am: Edit

Ilmomsk, welcome back. Actually, this weekend, we will be traveling back to our daughter's summer theater program to see her productions as well. She also had a performance weekend three weeks ago and we saw her as Anita in West Side Story. This weekend, she will be playing Liliane La Fleur in Nine. She is also a featured performer in a cabaret production this weekend. We will be seeing many other productions this weekend there too. And then she has to come home!
Susan

By Mtfan (Mtfan) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 02:07 am: Edit

Ilmomsk, I'm assuming that you live in Illinois. Is your D going to be an upcoming senior? If so did she happen to audition for All-State?

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 08:38 am: Edit

Dancersmom,

I knew you'd know! Thanks so much.
You can learn something new every day......

By Judy (Judy) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit

Jamimom -

I wonder if it would be ok to email you directly? I believe you live in Pittsburgh and my son will be going to CMU. I have something not college related, but having to do with Pittsburgh and I thought you would be a great resource.

Thanks,
Judy

By Sasha1 (Sasha1) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 11:39 am: Edit

catsmom,

Thanks so much for the info. I agree the progrm seems much more balanced than I thought initially.

Thanks again

By Cathc (Cathc) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 12:24 pm: Edit

Hi everyone!

I just thought I'd put a message on the board as I am really interested in the US take on Musical Theatre Education.

I work for the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. LIPA opened in 1996. It is dedicated to people who want to enter - and survive - the tough world of arts and entertainment, whether as performers or those who make performance possible.

One of the many programmes that we run here is a BA (Hons) Performing Arts - Acting three year degree programme. BFAs don't exist in the UK so that is why it is a BA. It's also only three years as many UK degrees are. That means one year's less expense and no initial first year where you have to study subjects you had no intention of coming to school to study. You come straight in and enter a vocational training programme.

When we get enquiries from students asking about degrees in musical theatre we have a very clear response. Musical theatre is only one form of Acting. At LIPA our Acting programme has very strong elements of musical theatre, the result of which is that many of our students end up in leading roles in London's 'West End' theatres.

This raises a point that I'm sure all parents and prospective students will be interested to hear. Many schools offer excellent programmes in Musical Theatre. However, in certain cases, such programmes can limit a student's repertoire. Often the result of this is training really good chorus members. To get a lead role in musical theatre, you must first and foremost have a strong background in Acting.

Also, as many of you will be just 18 years old when entering into university level education, it is difficult to know what your furture career holds. Limiting yourself to just musical theatre may not be the best option for you.

Anyway, I thought I should post a message and give you taste of our ethos. If any of you are interested in coming to talk to us in person check out where we will be visiting in the US this fall at: http://www.nacac.com/exhibit/fair2.cfm

If you want to check out our website you can find us at: www.lipa.ac.uk

Also, if any of you have a genuine enquiry about applying for one of our programmes (we do lots!)you can contact me personally on c.cullen@lipa.ac.uk

Good luck with your college search, I hope you find the place that suits you best.

Cath

By Shauna (Shauna) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 11:47 pm: Edit

Wow thanks Cath. Gosh, I guess this means it's time to start a section on the list for non-US schools...

Shauna

By Lookingmt (Lookingmt) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 03:48 am: Edit

Hi Leverit:

I really don't know about the straight theater program at OCU. Alll I know is that the Music School took over the daily operations of the program this past spring. Dr. Henedeen (OCU MT director mentioned above) is over seeing the theater dept.

The biggest change that we heard about was that audtions are now required for acceptance into the theater program. That also includes their "triple threat" program. Dr. Henedeen is also responsible for picking the theater season as well and apparently has made more contemporary choices.

Feel free to check out their web site: www.youatocu.com..they're under the school of Arts and Sciences.

By Leverite (Leverite) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 08:56 am: Edit

Lookingmt,

Thanks so much for the info. People on this thread seem to feel pretty positive about the MT Director at OCU. Is this a positive direction for the Theatre Dept.?
What do you think of Oklahoma City? Can anyone else share their impressions? I'm originally from Texas, but we moved up here years ago (Leverett) and I can't remember anything about it. Is it in "Tornado Alley"?
Thanks again,
Pam

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:12 pm: Edit

Now that I'm actually on vacation, I've had a chance to listen to some of my favorite CD's and it has given me an idea I'd like to share with those struggling to find audition pieces that are NOT on the MT Top 10 "NEVER DO THESE SONGS FOR YOUR AUDITION" list. Here it is:

Research and listen to CD's by top cabaret singers. People like Andrea Marcovicci (one of my all time fav's - not the most remarkable voice but incomparable live and with an unparralled understanding of and sensitivity for her material) and Barbara Cook, or singers like Dawn Upshaw and Audra McDonald who successfully work in opera, cabaret and MT. Folks like these seem to have a knack for finding that undiscovered song from the great musicals written before 1960. And if you haven't found this out yet, most programs prefer that one of your audition songs come from a pre-1960 musical, when they really knew how to write that forgotten thing - a MELODY! It gives the auditors a chance to hear you really sing, hear if you know how to support the legato line of a song.

Maybe start by doing an internet search on "cabaret singers" and follow the links from there! There's great material there folks. Go get it and make an auditor smile this year!

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 07:30 am: Edit

D had good question last night - "how do you find out how many graduates from a particular program are working in the theater business today?". Anybody know? Can you just email the theater department and ask for a list of alum's?

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 09:36 am: Edit

Jrmom,

When my D and H first went to visit UMich last October, included in the packet of materials they were given was a four page, typed, single-spaced list of UM MT alumni and where/what they were working on. At the top it said that it was by no means inclusive because the program has to depend on the alums to update them. We were blown away by the successes of these kids, in so many fields - acting, singing, dancing, theater, film, production, songwriting, casting, etc. You name it, UM grads work! (Did you know that Avenue Q was written and produced by UM grads?)

I think most schools will be, or should be, happy to provide that type of information if asked.

UM also gave us a great list of questions to ask of any/all the MT programs you are considering. It was very helpful to us in our search. I believe that Dancersmom actually typed out the whole list and posted it in a previous part of this thread. If I can locate it, I'll copy it and repost it for this years's group.

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 11:06 am: Edit

Theatermom,
Thanks. Yes, I have that list somewhere. Having somewhat of a statistical mind, I would be less interested in the subsample of "featured alumni" that a program puts on a list, or mentions in an interview, and MUCH more interested in a complete report on ALL alums, but I suppose that would be impossible to obtain.

By Newmtmom (Newmtmom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

Hi again. I've been following the discussions here since I stumbled upon this thread this past winter. And again, I have to say I'm in awe of the combined knowledge and the willingness to share. My D will be a senior, is currently at CMU--having the time of her life from what I can tell. Unlike some of your children, she only discovered her love of mt about two years ago. I imagine that this summer has been a real eye-opener for her. So I have learned an enormous amount reading your entries, but still have many questions, some of which I know have been answered on this, but I haven't been able to find them when I've gone looking. So here are my questions:

1. Any suggestions on "safer" schools? I've seen references to including them on where you apply, but I'm not sure how to find them. Any suggestions?

2. There was some discussion about a competition that gives out scholarship money. What is it?

3. I heard from a friend that Muhlenburg (?) has a top program but haven't seen anything about it here. Any thoughts?

I'm sure I have other questions, but that's it for now.

Thanks.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Newmtmom,

Glad your D is enjoying CMU. As you said, it can be a revelation. My D, as yours, only really began to think seriously about pursuing MT at college at the very end of her sophomore year and was both blown away by her CMU experience and reasuured that it really was the direction she wanted to go in.

I can't help with "safer" schools, but I can tell you the competition that I think you mean is run by NFAA - the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Check it out at http://www.nfaa.org I believe the deadline for submitting materials is Nov 1 but you'll need to fill out their application which is available for download online. There are many categories of performing/visual/writing arts, including Acting, Musical Theatre, Classical, Popular and Jazz vocal performance. It usually attracts over 6000 entires a year and is considered quite prestigious. It is from the finalists in this competition that the Presidential Scholars in the Arts are selected.

On a smaller scale, there is some money available from the Donna Reed Foundation scholarship competition. They pretty much expect kids to submit similar materials to those required by NFAA so it does not require a lot more work to enter this competition if you enter NFAA. There are just far fewer "winners," i.e., much less money available.

I live in Philadelphia, not all that far from Muhlenberg, and my understanding is that they have a very well regarded Theatre/Acting program but I haven't heard much about an MT program. I believe they have a beautiful performing arts complex as well. Certainly worth a look see.

Hope this helps.

Jrmom (won't you have to change your screen name soon? ;) )

I would think you're correct - statistical info will be hard to come by. However the sheer volume of "featured alumni" as you call them, that a school has available to highlight should tell you something. It would also be instructive to see the graduation dates of the highlighted alumni - is a school's reputation resting on the laurels of older grads, or are they able to demonstrate a fairly consistent and current stream of working graduates? Those lists are still worth a look see I think.

By Monkey (Monkey) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 05:54 pm: Edit

Newmtmom,
Theatremom was on the mark suggesting your daughter look into applying for the NFAA scholarship program. Not only does this organization offer serious scholarship money,they remain committed to all of the young artists that receive any recognition at all. My daughter received an Honorable Mention in spoken and musical theatre in 2002, and continues to receive information from NFAA regarding other opportunities. This past fall they auditioned nationally to select two previous NFAA ARTS recipients to work as acting interns at the acclaimed Utah Shakespearean Festival ( recipient of the Tony award for best regional theatre in 2000!). My daughter was chosen to be one of the interns and is having an amazing experience this summer working for four months with this professional theatre company. It has truly been a life changing experience for her. So even if a student doesn't receive the "big time" awards, having any connection with this outstanding arts organization can really pay off.

By Monkey (Monkey) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:21 am: Edit

Ooops! Actually, the NFAA award mentioned above was given to my daughter in 2003. The years are going too fast!

By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Kedstuff-I think it was you, asked about summer programs, and dance for your son [I skimmed quick to catch up after being gone for a week]. Anyway, my D just finished a 4 week program at PerryMansfield Performing Arts School & Camp [HS & college program goes 6 weeks] www.perry-mansfield.org and I cannot speak highly enough about it. When it was founded in 1906 or something, it was a dance & equestrian school. Now it has evolved into so much more. If you want to discuss it further or in more detail just e-mail me direct. But building up his dance would be a snap there. My D is a Tapping/Jazz-dancing/Singing/Actor and at P-M she took MT, Acting, Creative Writing, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Ballet, guitar & private voice; and she ended up cast in the ballet production. All she keeps saying is "I learned so much!!!"

Check it out.

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:00 pm: Edit

BEGINNING WEEK #6 OF MUSICAL THEATER BOOTCAMP (AKA CMU) JUST KIDDING! HOWEVER, "IF YOU CAN MAKE IT HERE YOU CAN MAKE IT ANYWHERE" WAS PROBABLY WRITTEN AFTER THIS PROGRAM. I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT MY D FOUND OUT THAT THEY ARE MUCH BUSIER IN MT IN THE SUMMER PROGRAM THAN THEY ARE DURING THE NORMAL SCHOOL YEAR. THINK OF IT LIKE CONDENSING A SEMESTER OF SCHOOLWORK INTO SUMMER SCHOOL IN 6 WEEKS. IF MY D CAN HANDLE IT WITH ALL OF THE READING, THEN ANY OF YOU CAN.

LAST NIGHT THEY HAD A DANCE ON A RIVERBOAT FOR THEIR FINAL FAREWELL AND MY D HAD A BLAST! THIS WAS THE ONE CHANCE THEY HAD TO DRESS UP. SHE SAID SHE TOOK 2 ROLLS OF FILM AND THEY GAVE GIFTS TO SOME OF THEIR COUNSCELORS. THEY ACTUALLY HAVE GOTTEN QUITE CLOSE WITH THEIR COUNSELORS WHO ARE CURRENT CMU KIDS. BUT WHEN SHE GOT HOME AT 10:00 PM SHE HAD LOTS OF DIALOGUE TO MEMORIZE. OF COURSE, THIS SHE LOVES DOING, SO IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE WORK. SEEING AS HOW SHE NEEDED THE MOST WORK IN ACTING AND FINDING MONOLOGUES, I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. I AGREE WITH PREVIOUS POSTS THAT THE ACTING IS THE STRENGTH AT CMU.

THE MOCK AUDITIONS ARE ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. I THINK I READ LAST YEAR THAT THEY SPREAD THEM OUT OVER THREE DAYS, BUT NOT THIS YEAR. ALL OF HER TEACHERS HAVE BEEN VERY GENEROUS WITH THEIR "SPARE" TIME TO GIVE ADDITIONAL HELP WITH MONOLOGUES AND SCENES THAT THEY ARE DOING IN SMALLER GROUPS. THIS TIME IS GIVEN OUT BY SIGNING UP WITH INDIVIDUAL TEACHERS AND I'M GLAD SHE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THIS.

EVEN WITH ALL OF THE SUMMERS SHE SPENT DOING THEATER, SCHOOL, LESSONS, ETC. I WOULD SAY THAT THIS WAS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE SUMMER SO FAR.

I LEAVE TO GO PICK HER UP IN A FEW DAYS AND I WILL TRY TO POST MY "POST" CMU MOCK AUDITION INFO.

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:05 pm: Edit

BEGINNING WEEK #6 OF MUSICAL THEATER BOOTCAMP (AKA CMU) JUST KIDDING! HOWEVER, "IF YOU CAN MAKE IT HERE YOU CAN MAKE IT ANYWHERE" WAS PROBABLY WRITTEN AFTER THIS PROGRAM. I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT MY D FOUND OUT THAT THEY ARE MUCH BUSIER IN MT IN THE SUMMER PROGRAM THAN THEY ARE DURING THE NORMAL SCHOOL YEAR. THINK OF IT LIKE CONDENSING A SEMESTER OF SCHOOLWORK INTO SUMMER SCHOOL IN 6 WEEKS. IF MY D CAN HANDLE IT WITH ALL OF THE READING, THEN ANY OF YOU CAN.

LAST NIGHT THEY HAD A DANCE ON A RIVERBOAT FOR THEIR FINAL FAREWELL AND MY D HAD A BLAST! THIS WAS THE ONE CHANCE THEY HAD TO DRESS UP. SHE SAID SHE TOOK 2 ROLLS OF FILM AND THEY GAVE GIFTS TO SOME OF THEIR COUNSCELORS. THEY ACTUALLY HAVE GOTTEN QUITE CLOSE WITH THEIR COUNSELORS WHO ARE CURRENT CMU KIDS. BUT WHEN SHE GOT HOME AT 10:00 PM SHE HAD LOTS OF DIALOGUE TO MEMORIZE. OF COURSE, THIS SHE LOVES DOING, SO IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE WORK. SEEING AS HOW SHE NEEDED THE MOST WORK IN ACTING AND FINDING MONOLOGUES, I WOULD DEFINITELY SAY MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. I AGREE WITH PREVIOUS POSTS THAT THE ACTING IS THE STRENGTH AT CMU.

THE MOCK AUDITIONS ARE ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. I THINK I READ LAST YEAR THAT THEY SPREAD THEM OUT OVER THREE DAYS, BUT NOT THIS YEAR. ALL OF HER TEACHERS HAVE BEEN VERY GENEROUS WITH THEIR "SPARE" TIME TO GIVE ADDITIONAL HELP WITH MONOLOGUES AND SCENES THAT THEY ARE DOING IN SMALLER GROUPS. THIS TIME IS GIVEN OUT BY SIGNING UP WITH INDIVIDUAL TEACHERS AND I'M GLAD SHE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THIS.

EVEN WITH ALL OF THE SUMMERS SHE SPENT DOING THEATER, SCHOOL, LESSONS, ETC. I WOULD SAY THAT THIS WAS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE SUMMER SO FAR.

I LEAVE TO GO PICK HER UP IN A FEW DAYS AND I WILL TRY TO POST MY "POST" CMU MOCK AUDITION INFO.

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

OOPS!

By Sasha1 (Sasha1) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:19 pm: Edit

Did anyone go to U Michigan MT summer program this year? Any feedback on their summer program appreciated. We are considering applying next year.

Thanks!

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 08:31 pm: Edit

Yes, please pass on your experiences at U Michigan's summer program, as well as Tisch's, if anyone went there. Thanks!

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

FOLKS, PLEASE, I HOPE I DIDN'T SCARE YOU INTO CONSIDERING OTHER PROGRAMS - THIS WAS OUTSTANDING IN EVERY WAY!

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:10 pm: Edit

Catsmom--That wasn't my point--sorry! My daughter just wants to know about the UM and Tisch programs because now she knows about CMU and OCU programs.

By Mtmomtok (Mtmomtok) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Oh Shauunaaa,

I believe we are ready for part 23!

By Sasha1 (Sasha1) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

I ditto mtmommy. Just want to know what other programs were like for those that participated

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 04:39 pm: Edit

I'M GLAD I DIDN'T SCARE YOU - SOMETIMES MY WARPED SENSE OF HUMOR GETS ME INTO TROUBLE.

By Shauna (Shauna) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 09:41 pm: Edit

I think you're right, Mtmomtok! I should start keeping an eye on that... :-)

CONTINUED AT PART 23.

Shauna


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