Colleges For Musical Theater Major --- Part 24

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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Colleges For Musical Theater Major --- Part 24
By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 08:34 am: Edit

Hi. Mtmommy asked me to start a new part for this thread. I can't make 'em look as perty as Shauna, but here ya go ...

Part 23

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.


By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:08 am: Edit


Thanks for the Penn State/CCM clarification. Of course you are absolutely correct. And I would never intentionally place CCM's director in the same category as Penn State's. I thought Penn State had a great program. Cary Libkin, the Penn State Director of MT, was very generous with his time when we went out for a visit and in my past posts I recounted how impressed I was with the support the University gives to the MT program - lots of money and performance opportunities. The President of Penn State LOVES musical theater!! I was actually a little sad when my D cancelled her audition at Penn State after she was accepted by Michigan. They had offered her the opportunity to come up the day before her audition if possible to observe MT classes (as I believe they do ALL auditioners) and told her she could take an advanced ballet class with the MT students in order to check out the dance component. But her acceptance came on a Tuesday and the audition was Saturday and by that time, she was exhausted. In addition, she had an a capella concert for her school that night which would have meant tearing out of State College (the town) after the audition and hoping we made the almost 4 hour drive back to Philadelphia in time for the performance (which we would have gladly done - all part of the crazy process.....). BTW, as you point out, most of the programs we saw that have dance auditions did use current students to HELP in the audition by demo-ing combinations and/or dancing in front a time or two.

By the way, as the wife of University of Pennsylvania professor I feel duty bound to point out that the moniker "Penn" refers only to the University of Pennsylvania (the Ivy League school in Philadelphia), while Penn State (short for Pennsylvania State University) is the only correct short moniker for that school. It may also be important to know that there are many, many branches of Penn State around Pennsylvania. The large, main campus is in State College, PA and is also known as the University Park branch. It is the only one that offers an MT program. Hope this clarifies things. Not trying to be snooty, but in college discussions, calling Penn State, PENN, could confuse people. But don't worry, you're not alone in your confusion. When my husband followed the Penn basketball team around the NCAA tournament (and quite surprisingly all the way to the Final 4) in 1979, the pennant hawkers in North Carolina were offering ONLY Penn State pennants - OOOOOPS! lol

By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:09 am: Edit

Ah, so now we're talking "types." I'm not as familiar with the MT repetoire, but my understanding is that in straight theatre, film, and TV, an ingénue is a just an attractive, young leading lady. You don't have to be a blonde, blue-eyed Aryan posterchild (like me. hehehe). Think Natalie Portman, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Winona Ryder when she was younger. All short brunettes. I can’t think of any Asian ingénues right now, but Halle Berry and Jasmine Guy certainly qualified as African American ingénues when they were younger. It might be a bit tighter definition in MT. Actually, one of the reasons I've not emphasized it is that my understanding is that I'd pretty much be a mellow alto in a soprano's body casting-wise.

Also, one of my lessons for the week is that once you've established your "type," don't change your appearance without checking with the people who'll be casting you first. I got royally chewed out for getting "too cut" from lifting weights over the summer and straightening my hair. "Hon, you look like you could kick Orlando's butt. I need ROSALIND, not a ****** action star!"

By Monkey (Monkey) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:24 am: Edit

I appreciated your clarification between University of Pa. and Penn State. It is an error sometimes made by folks who aren't as familiar with these northeast colleges. Having grown up in Philadelphia and having several family members who are Penn alumni, the mistaken reference always catches my eye as well.
Thesobo and others,
The issue of "type" intrigues and confuses me. My understanding is that an actor hopes to become skilled in order to suspend belief, and allow themselves to create a character other than themselves on stage. Physical attributes and vocal range are a given of course, but much can be done to assist with character creation through costume and make up and training. My daughter
( who is a classic ingenue ) was challenged by her acting teacher to work towards going beyond those physical and emotional limitations, to stretch herself and find her "shadow side." This is the work of acting, and a scary and vulnerable area for a young artist. Doesn't it seem limiting to be "typed" to be Maria, and never attempt to find the resources necessary to create a convincing Anita?

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:46 am: Edit


Can't believe the example you cite for working to move outside the box. My D's highschool did West Side Story this winter and as a petite, legit soprano, she had her heart set on being Maria. When casting time came, the drama teacher/director and the music director both gave her the heads up that they were thinking of casting her as Anita. She was initially devastated. Then the drama teacher told her that her feeling was that she could do Maria with the proverbial one hand tied behind her back. Not that she couldn't learn anything from the role because clearly there is a lot to explore, but the drama teacher wanted her to stretch and work against type on a role that perhaps was not at first glance her VISUAL type but that definitely would help her explore more of the EMOTIONAL type that is definitely part of her real personality but that she is less often asked to perform. In the words of the musical director, "You can't be the ingenue, virgin queen for your entire high school career!!" Nice...... Thesbo, my D is also a brunette ingenue by the way. The other issue was that my D was the strongest dancer in her small Quaker highschool so there was a real world NEED to have her do Anita. Long story short - she grew more from doing this role than any other she's ever done. Lo and behold, she has a very strong lower vocal range which she now trusts, she LOVED being sassy, the drug store "rape" scene was an amazing acting challenge, she was given fabulous, original MT choreography to work on (a nice challenge for a mostly classically trained dancer) AND she got permission from her mother to use a self tanner, lol (I frown on most of that junk, but she has porcelain white skin that was a little suspicious as Anita). These are the kind of opportunities that you only get in academic theater or in theater classes. In the real world, for so many reasons, my D would never be cast as Anita. But given the opportunity, she discovered worlds about herself and grew enormously. Bravo the those teachers who create these opportunities for young artists.

By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:54 am: Edit

Oh, yeah. You definitely want to stretch way beyond your normal casting range in studio. That's how you grow. For the purposes of auditions, though, I think what's being said is that one should be familiar with where she would normally be cast and show that. You do also need to show range within your type. Hence the "contrasting monologues."

By Monkey (Monkey) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 10:37 am: Edit

Your explanation of your daughter's experience with stretching herself uncannily mirrors mine! The reason I gave the Maria/Anita example is because that is exactly the challenge given my daughter senior year. She knew she could handle Maria easily, but the director needed a strong dancer/singer for Anita who would also be able to handle the challenge of the drugstore scene. It was during the audition process that she decided to "go for" the Anita role. Her physical attributes and vocal range belied her ever being cast as Anita but she made the director believe she could do it during the audition. In so many ways that experience was a turning point for her artistically, and she is so grateful for having been given that challenge. She also went the route of self-tanning lotion and dyed her hair as well. She didn't attain the classic Hispanic look of Anita, but her performance was strong and convincing. This is a role she would never be considered for in "real world" theatre, but high school should be all about stretching and growing and attempting new things. This same director cast her as the Witch in Into The Woods when she had her heart set on being the Baker's Wife or Cinderella. Again, a huge and scary challenge for a young performer used to singing and looking pretty. But these are exactly the opportunities that allowed her to test herself and experience the satisfaction that comes from reaching and attaining more than you thought you could. She realizes now that these early experiences were critical to helping her know this was the path she wanted to take.

By 5pants (5pants) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:11 pm: Edit

I just have to chime in here on looks and how that plays a part in colleges casting for their pool.

My twins are identical. Except for a couple inches between the two, they are confused all the time until people get to know them. They have distinctive personality traits which sets them a part from one another. However, when on stage one is a character actor and the other is the leading man type. My character actor son pointed this out at his audition to his auditioners, although I am sure it was pretty obvious as he can make you laugh just by being himself.

We have been debating how this will all work out in the end. There may be times where they are competing for the same role, but most of the time they each realize which role would be better for each other....kind of Gene Kelly vs. Donald O'Connor.

Have you ever offered MT spots to twins before Dr. John...or would you consider it? Obviously Webster wanted both of them...we are curious on your thoughts though.


5pants (Sue)

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 02:05 pm: Edit


By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 08:46 pm: Edit


We've never had twins audition for us, so I hesitate to guess how the committee would react. Given our small numbers, I can imagine some would worry about having look-a-likes occupy two of the four MT slots. But then others might argue that it's really two of eight (because we take 8 men in the class), and that having twins would allow us to do "Comedy of Errors" and "The Boys From Syracuse" and to do some interesting things with other scripts. In any case, it's clear from what you've written before that your boys wanted to be together, and I think Byron Grant was sensitive to that. I was very pleased when you reported that Webster had accepted both of them.

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit

I've been reading the discussion of "type" with interest. I've never really been able to totally figure out my D's type. Her stage combat teacher in fact told her that she couldn't figure it out either. She told her that she thinks that she will be the strong, assertive woman when she's older. She says she doesn't really know what type she can play right now. Roles my D see herself in are things like Shakespeare's Cleopatra, Kate in Cole Porter's "Kiss Me Kate", and Medea (she likes the role of Medea so well that she she uses that name as her IM screen name). D and I, and several of her teachers see her as a young Bebe Neuwirth. She looks very much like Bebe, speaks at the bottom of her vocal range a la Lilith from "Cheers", and of course is a strong dancer. I know that you can't tell me anything about my D since you only met her briefly more than a year ago, but, I'm curious. How would you describe Bebe Neuwirth's type?

P.S. We visited Otterbein during your production of "Kiss Me Kate" and enjoyed it very much. I doubt that you remember me or Emily. We had a nice discussion about Otterbein, Emily's strengths as a performer, and MT programs with strong dance components.

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:43 am: Edit

Some schools say (in describing the audition) that you should prepare a "whole song" but might be asked to only sing a portion of a song. Is it safe to conclude that if one is asked to sing only a portion, that the auditioners did not like what they heard? Or could it also be true that they would cut a person off because they liked what they heard and know that they don't need to hear more?

Just curious.

By Theatrbroad (Theatrbroad) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 08:46 am: Edit

Whole song vs. "cut" - I cannot address college auditions specifically, but for auditions in general, you should always know the entire song, even if directed to do a 16 or 32 bar cut - goes to the dramatic intent of the work :)

NEVER try to read into - got to do the whole thing/got cut off after 7 notes .... Could be a time issue - could be they want to hear your other song more - most likely they know the song well enough to realize it repeats that verse 3 more times, or not.

ALWAYS know the song so well, that if they ask you to cut to the bridge, or pick it up on the last tag, you can do that without being flustered.

By 5pants (5pants) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:57 am: Edit

Thank you for the response Dr. John. Bryon is wonderful...the guys hit it off with him from the start. I will try to keep you posted how this all works out...should be interesting to say the least.


By Doc021 (Doc021) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 02:42 pm: Edit

I have a question:

I am going into my junior year of high school and i am starting to look at colleges again. I realize that I don't have a great resume, and I am looking for some advise.

I have been taking voice lessons for about 2 or 3 years now, and I have been in choir and ensemble since Freshman year. I have also been in vocal ensemble and showchoir since sophmore year. I have been in alot of shows both at my high school and with theater companies in my neighborhood. I have never really taken an acting class and i have never taken a dance class.

I realize at this point in time, my chances of getting into a good college with that resume are very slim. Can anyone give me any advise on things i can do to help my chances. do i need to take acting/dance classes? is alot of experience enough to get into a college? any info would be helpful. thanks :)

By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:15 pm: Edit


Au contraire, madame, I do remember you and Emily. But you're right, except for a brief image of Emily as tall and lithe and sweet, I couldn't really comment on her type. As for Bebe Neuwirth, she's hard to classify. I went looking on the internet and found this interview of Neuwirth and Dee Hoty (an OC alum):

I suspect the interviewer's description of Neuwirth's feline qualities captures her about as well as anyone has. It's hard to put Velma and Lilith together, but one does sense steel sinews underneath both those characters. It's interesting to me that Neuwirth trained in ballet, spent two years at Juilliard studying dance, never formally studied acting, and yet has won two Tonys and two Emmys. Once again, the lesson is that a BFA in MT is not the only road to success.

Jrmom, Theatrbroad is right, it's pointless trying to read meaning into being stopped during an audition. Could be a dozen different reasons. But schools aren't just talking about stopping an audition. They're asking singers to be prepared to start the song at different spots. Theatrbroad's advice is good: know the song so well that you can go anywhere in it without getting flustered.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:21 pm: Edit

Susan--I have a question, if you don't mind. I know your daughter decided at the last minute to finish up h.s. one year ahead of time. You probably never needed to consider what she would do this summer--it was a given she would return to Stagedoor? (BTW, I recommended stagedoor to a local boy we know on your advice. We haven't talked to him yet about how it went). If you had had more time to plan, would D2 have still gone to Stagedoor this summer or would she have gone to one of the university programs? I am asking because my D wants to do it all: Tisch, UM, CMU, OCU, and Stagedoor next summer lol. Since she can only go to one, I am wondering if she ought to just apply to the academic camps or if you feel Stagedoor would offer value to her at that point right before her senior year.

Dear Doc021--My D is going to be a junior this year too. You have plenty of time left to add to your "resume." If you have done all those shows, it doesn't sound like it's experience that you're lacking in so much as training? If that's the case, why not make out a plan for yourself about what you get in terms of training for whatever amount of budget you will have available. By training I mean private voice lessons (classical teacher?), ballet (jazz, too, if possible--and if you're a boy and really don't want to take ballet until college, I know a boy that got into UCLA's MT program for this year that never had a dance class and considered himself fairly klutzy), and for drama either a drama coach or maybe an acting class at the local community college (much cheaper!). Let's see what advice anyone else has for you!

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit

Doc021--Sorry, I just realized you have been taking voice lessons! Forget that part then.

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 03:23 pm: Edit

If I remember correctly, you live in my area. There are so many opportunities out there. My personal bias is that more training gives you an edge in college auditions. You have another year before your auditions begin. Take a look at the courses being offered at CCM Prep this fall. There are two-year Acting Certificate and MT Certificate programs offered for H.S. students. Both classes require an audition. With your background, you sound like a good candidate for either program. There are also less intense acting classes offered. CCM Prep offers beginning ballet for H.S. students who have no dance background. (I've been the accompanist for the class the past 3 years. It's very well taught.) There are also beginning tap and theatre dance classes offered. If you are interested in them be aware that you will be required to take ballet either before enrolling in those dance courses or concurrently. Most of the CCM Prep classes are offered on Saturdays. NKU also offers theatre and dance classes. Cincinnati Ballet offers beginning dance classes for older students also. Xavier and Playhouse in the Park also offer theatre classes. If you are not already doing so, check out the Cincinnati Theatre Web. (It has a funny web address. The easiest way to find it is to type in the name of the site in any major search engine. Or you can e-mail me.) Cincinnati Theatre Web is one stop shopping for all local auditions and also has some information about training available in the area.

I know of other students who have been accepted into MT programs with resumes similar to yours. Don't sell yourself short. On the other hand, it sounds like you would feel better about yourself if you had more training. So... get busy! Talk to your parents about helping you prepare for college. Are they supporting your desire to major in MT? I know some parents object to the additional expense of acting and dance classes. They are not inexpensive. But, where there's a will, there's a way. (There's a reason I became a dance accompanist at CCM Prep.)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 04:54 pm: Edit

Mtmommy, regarding my daughter and your question about summer programs. For one thing, I would not say it was the last minute that we found out she was graduating a year early. The decision was made in Jan. of last year (during tenth grade) and she will be graduating after this year. So, that factor had nothing to do with summer planning cause it was way back in January and so she could have gone anywhere for summer. Also I guess I may have come off as "last minute" but it was more like "Unexpected" in that I was not planning on starting her college process last year as I would have thought we had a year to go with that. On top of it for me, was that I was involved in my other daughter's college process (she was a senior!).

Anyway, had I known or not known she was entering her senior year, it would have made NO difference whatsoever in what she chose to do this past summer. She would have attended Stagedoor Manor no matter what. One reason was that this was her seventh summer and I cannot express in words the passion she has for that place. She lives for it all year. The program has been a major influence in her life. So, she would never have dreamed of going to another program. This was her last summer but she really really wants to go back next summer, though I thought she would work the summer prior to college as my other D is doing, after years of our paying for these summer programs for them and now having to pay for college. But that is another issue, lol.

Anyway, my girls never chose their summer programs or extracurricular pursuits with college prep in mind. They never picked anything to look good for college, etc. etc. They did what they loved to do and were interested in and the rest followed. I do not believe that a college is going to look more favorably at X summer program than Y summer program cause X was associated with a college or whatever. They attended programs they loved. Neither ever attended summer programs that were academic or associated with colleges. Both have gone away every summer to very enriching programs that they picked out.

The experience at a pre-college program would differ from the one at Stagedoor. To me, one is not BETTER than the other but clearly different. I believe the decision in your Ds case should be based on which program appeals more to what she wants. At Stagedoor there are classes (with levels) in all aspects of theater training. As well, there are 39 shows mounted per summer so the child is also getting production experience. In these youth productions, they often get to do roles that they might not get to do in adult productions. Stagedoor also does a wide array of dramas and musicals, including more sophisticated ones, not necessarily meant for kids' theater...example this summer....Sweeney Todd, Nine, Hair, Little Night Music. So, there is a balance of training and productions. At a precollege program there is primarily training, less productions, other than workshops/showcases, etc. So, it depends what your kid wants. Also Stagedoor goes up to age 18 but also has a wide range of ages attending (though there are productions geared to different age groups). A precollege program is meant usually for 16/17 year olds only. There are other differences, I am sure. Again, I don't view one experience as better for a kid or even better for college. We did not pick Stagedoor for college. In fact, my kid started there at age 9 1/2 so who thought of college back then?? LOL...but once she started, there was no turning back, as it has been her heaven on earth. The program and the other kids have been really terrific.

Even though she does not go to Stagedoor to get ready for college or to look good for college admissions, I can say that the more talented kids there who choose to pursue theater degrees, have gotten into all the top programs. That is why my D has someone to visit when she does the college visits at all these schools; they all went to SDM! So, I am only sharing that, not cause I cared about it but if you do care about that sort of thing, as you can did get into the best BFA programs. Some of these kids had gone to Stagedoor for many years. I think the name of the program is recognized. I know at some auditions my daughter has done in NYC, casting people have commented on the Stagedoor training and credits on her resume as they are familiar with it. One casting person got all psyched up cause he went there in his youth and they started talking about various directors, etc!

If you ever want to know more about the program, give a hollar. Have your daughter look over her summer options and pick whichever appeals to her and not what she thinks might be better for college. I don't believe it will come down to that. She will gain experience either way.

Let me know what your friend thought. I wonder if I saw him perform or if my daughter knew him. Ask him if he knew my D (sorry to not post her name on a forum) but she is the girl from Vermont, age 15, was Anita in West Side Story first session and Liliane La Fleur in Nine second session. She was in Acting Master class in case he was in that. She was in the Our Time Cabaret cast both sessions. Let me know. It is always a small world on here!

If I can help you in any way, let me know.


By Dramamama (Dramamama) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:03 pm: Edit


We visited Shenandoah after my daughter had been accepted. (She auditioned in NYC). We were generally impressed with the facilities, people we met and the curriculum. We were somewhat disappointed in the freshman class (acting) that we were allowed to sit in on. It was the first day back following the spring vacation. The professor spent much of the class time lecturing the students on their poor classroom behavior (conduct) and work ethic. It felt like a bad high school class. My daughter was invited by one of the students to sit in on a private voice lesson. She felt much better about that but did let us know that it was pretty classically oriented (that's not what she prefers, but may be fine for others). The school has great summer opportunities for performance if kids choose to stay. The campus is fairly attractive (I guess that's pretty subjective). The way in which we got to view the show films was to go to the library and use the facilities there to view them. We watched "Into the Woods" and were all pretty impressed. I think we may have looked at something else as well but can't recall now. Arrangements were made for us to have lunch with a graduating senior. She was very enthusiastic and it was a great opportunity for us to ask questions and get a better sense of the school. She made a big plug for Shenandoah's strength in music theory and sight reading music. If I can answer any other questions for you, I am certainly happy to try.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:14 pm: Edit

Susan--Thanks for your input on Stagedoor. No, my D isn't looking at the programs for how they will look on a resume, but for what they have to offer in experience/training. She wants to do all those programs because she knows she'll have fun at all of them. So far she's done three ballet summer intensives and UCLA's MT camp and made tons of friends at all of them. This year she stayed home to take a college class (to free up fall schedule) that then got canceled at the last minute! So she was bummed about missing a program, but got to do a dinner theatre show (soloist and ensemble for a Broadway revue) this summer for great experience and do some volunteer work at an animal shelter. Since she only has one summer left before she graduates h.s., she wants to go to the program that is the most fun, as well as offers the most experience and training. If anyone out there has experience at more than one of these summer options, maybe you could give a comparison/contrast lol. In some ways the Stagedoor option seems awfully tempting because it's fun and has all the ages of kids and isn't academic, whereas she'll be in college for four years! (I realize there is a lot of intensive training that goes on, but as a dancer she's really used to that). Susan, if you want to share any more detailed info about Stagedoor than what you put on this thread, feel free to email me. When I talk to the mom of the boy we know who went to Stagedoor, I'll ask her to ask him about your D.

By Mezzomom (Mezzomom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 06:21 pm: Edit

I've been debating whether to post this for more than a week, in part because I fear sounding like a *shudder* stage mom. I also thought that time would give me some perspective, but I finally decided maybe you all could help in that regard. I hope this won't turn into a TOTAl rant, but I'm sure I won't be able to avoid it altogether!

Oh, and I want to make very clear...this is MY problem; my daughter is handling things with a far clearer head than I...

This is what the past year has been like for my daughter:

1. Auditioned for "Grease" at a local community theatre. Called back for Sandy and ended up being offered a chorus role which she accepted. The casting took a bit of a strange turn when they cast a 36-year old (!) as Danny, so the Pink Ladies all ended up being over the age of 22 or so. My daughter was obviously disappointed but took it in stride and enjoyed the chorus role.

2. Auditioned for Martha in "The Secret Garden" and was cast (again at a community theatre). One week before rehearsals were to start, the director called and said they were cancelling the show because they had been unable to cast enough strong singer/actors in some of the other roles. They had more than enough bodies auditioning, but the talent apparently didn't make the grade. Again, disappointing, but what can you do?

3. Auditioned for and cast in a small film (it was to be a 30-minute, PSA-type short) being done by a private production company. Two weeks before shooting was to begin, the production company found out that a grant they were counting on was being withdrawn, and they didn't want to do the shoot without that funding. (The grant was withdrawn because the granting agency had been audited, a discrepancy had been found, and they froze all grants until they could get their books straightened out). At about this point, my daughter started to scan the heavens to see if there was a black cloud over her head at all times!

4. Auditioned (again) for a role in "Grease" at a (different) community theatre. Cast as Sandy, which was actually a bit of a surprise; she has always viewed "Grease" as a bit of a stretch, because even though she is 15 (almost 16), she's only 5'3" and has a young face. She has the curves of a teenager but without make-up, she's generally seen as younger than she is. Anyway, she was thrilled...until three days later, when the director called and said their first choice Danny had decided to do another show instead, so they were casting their original Teen Angel in the role of Danny. The new Danny was 28, and they didn't think her look would work with a 28-year old. Would she accept a chorus role instead? My daughter said "no"; she had no desire to do chorus again in this particular show. She was quite upset about the way this was handled...

5. Attended a week-long show choir workshop put on by a local community college. It's open to 7-12 graders and is quite reasonably priced considering the talent they bring in to teach the music and choreography. On the first day, they held auditions for vocal solos for the show on the last day; my daughter gave what she described as an "uninspired, really not up-to-par" audition performance and so was not the least bit surprised when she wasn't selected. However, when the picks were announced, it was with the aside that "of course, you all know it's policy that if one of the kids from the community college show choir auditions well, they are automatically selected." This sent me scrambling for the information from the college; at no point does any of the information even mention that the community college kids are allowed to participate, much less be given preference. The third day, there were auditions for solo portions of songs. My daughter auditioned and this time described her audition as "major kick-butt performance...I think I nailed it!" The next day, the music director called her name and asked her to meet him in the hallway, where he proceeded to tell her that she clearly gave the best performance but he was giving the part to another girl because she was a senior, she had attended the workshop for years, and this was her last chance. Another detail that is conveniently not mentioned in any of the promotional material, despite the fact that we all pay the same fee...anyway, this last time was the ONLY time my daughter has just lost it. She came out to the car fighting tears that night, asking, "Am I just unlucky? What am I doing wrong?"

In the two weeks since the workshop, I've concluded that some of the "problem" is clearly just wrong time-wrong place, out of our hands, bad luck. However, I also think that in the case of the workshop, the program information/publicity is fundamentally flawed. My suggestion to my daughter was that for next summer, we look for a music program and/or theatre program that has entrance auditions. My assumption would be that if you even make it in, from that point on, everyone would start with a level playing field. My daughter thought this would be a good idea, although she qualified it with the condition that she doesn't miss the band camp that she's been going to for the past six years, which is the third week of July. This effectively eliminates 99% of all the programs I've been able to find; so far the only one we've found that will work is the U-Mich program for MI residents that's held at Interlochen every summer.

So, to (finally!) conclude this lengthy mini-rant of a post, does anyone know of any other programs that are either in late June-early July or in August? My daughter's preference would be for a vocal performance/opera theatre type program, but she's open to suggestions.

I'll also accept words of wisdom to a stressed mom...I'm furious about the way the last Grease audition/casting situation was handled; I thought it was very bush league but didn't say anything to the theatre about it. I do intend to write a letter to the community college about their unpublished policies (although I will also include my observations about what I thought was done well). Or should I just let sleeping dogs lie?

I have to say, I really admire my daughter through all this. The very fact that she's still auditioning for anything at all astounds me...I can't say that I would be able to do the same. In fact, she auditioned last week for a regional show choir. It will be a very tense two weeks (for me) until we find out; my daughter just walked into the auditorium for the audition and said, "Look, Mom, the ceiling didn't cave in on me...maybe there's still hope!"

By Lynnm (Lynnm) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 06:26 pm: Edit

My daughter went to Stagedoor Manor one summer when she was much younger. She had a wonderful time, and I don't mean to make this like it is a bad thing in any way, but it is a camp. This summer my daughter attended CMU. It was definitely a pre-college program, exactly as it is booked. The schedule is rigorous, geared toward auditions for college. My daughter, whose not really too thrilled about academics, absolutely loved CMU and enjoyed all the hard work. She felt sad about leaving it at the end of the six weeks because she enjoyed all that she learned and wanted to keep learning. Also, it made her more comfortable learning about what colleges look for on the auditions. It was an invaluable experience and worth every penny. Except, of course, for the food which everyone seems to complain about! I'm sure if she had continued to go to Stagedoor for years, she would not have wanted to give it up in her final year before auditioning for colleges. It is a family-like atmosphere, where many of the kids come back each year. I'm glad my daughter went to CMU because it affirmed to me that this is what she really wants to do with her life, even after seeing all the other talented young people who are looking towards the same goal. "Mom, everyone here was the lead in their high school musical, just like me!" was one of the first comments she said to me once she settled into CMU. I think it was good for her to see what was out there. Also, she really worked hard on monologues and dancing, which she hasn't done in several years. It got her motivated to start again at a new dance school. I think of CMU as an Introduction to the Art of Audition course, something that she needed, since she has never auditioned in New York, etc.

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 08:11 pm: Edit


I understand how you feel pretty well. My D has not had such a string of bad luck (or whatever you choose to call it!) but there have been times when I have been furious over certain, hmm, what shall I call it - political games that get played out in casting, etc.

I've learned to live with it. My dear D has let me know (in no uncertain terms) that this kind of stuff happens and that you just have to live with it and do your job, and if a parent gets involved it is much, much worse for everyone (even if she did want me involved, which she does NOT!).

I've decided that if you're a parent of a kid in this stuff you just have to pound your pillow in private sometimes and let them handle it. Well, that's what has worked for me anyway.

Use this board for your venting and raving. I think everyone would understand!

By Mezzomom (Mezzomom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 08:55 pm: Edit

Jrmom: Thanks for your words of encouragement. LOL about pounding the pillow in private; I pummelled one into complete submission after she was "un-offered" the role in "Grease." Although most of what she has experienced truly has been just plain uncontrollable, it saddens me to hear that I'm not completely alone. I was on the board of directors of a community theatre for years, and one of our primary missions was to eradicate the legacy of pre-casting that had become standard at that particular theatre. We even went so far as to remove a director from a show right before auditions when we found out she had an "agenda" for casting. (She provided the marketing guru on the board with bios for cast members so we could get a head start on the show program...before auditions had been held!!!) I guess we should have clued in sooner when she refused to have an audition board; it certainly would have saved us a lot of hate and discontent. I was (naively) hoping it was a problem peculiar to this area...

Although I take your point about parental non-interference (and my daughter would fully concur!), I think I may still write a letter to the community ed coordinator at the community college. I was surprised that they didn't have the kids complete any sort of evaluation at the end of the program; to me that is just standard operating procedure. How else do they know what their strengths and weaknesses are? And as I told my daughter, they can have any policy they want to have, but without full disclosure of those policies, their marketing is less-than-honest. I strongly suspect the policies have been implemented unbeknownst to the community ed folks, and if they choose not to change the policies, they should, at the very least, look at rewording their promotional materials.

I'm grateful that my daughter has been able to maintain a sense of humor (albeit a somewhat dark one) about this past year. It helps keep me grounded and away from total stage-mommy-ness. But I think I'll keep the pillows handy just in case...

By Doc021 (Doc021) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 10:02 pm: Edit

Thanks for the advice mtmommy and dancersmom.

Dancersmom- i have a question. i have been searching CCM's site for hours trying to find info about the prep dept. maybe i am just missing it, but if there is any info about it out there can you please let me know. also, i do use cinti. theater web, but none of the shows are in my area, and i have no desire to drive 30 min. for rehearsals and shows and juggle school and work. The only theater around here that I am aware of is the Covedale Center. do you know of any theaters within 15 min of the Covedale center that i am missing? thank you so much :)

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:18 pm: Edit

The prep dept. link is in the menu bar at at the top of the CCM website. It says Preparatory Pre-College. If you don't want to use the link, the address is

I understand your not wanting to drive long distances to rehearsals and performances. My H and I did not allow our D to audition for many Cinti. area theatres because they were simply too far away. She had to pass up some interesting shows because they were on the wrong side of town. We live in N. Ky, so theatres on the north side of Cinti. were always a no during the school year. What about Cincinnati Music Theatre? They do their performances at the Aronoff and rehearse off of Dana Ave. Footlighters in Newport might be accessible depending on where you live. They are located off the 1st exit on I-471 as you come into Ky. Showboat Majestic rehearses at Covedale, but you probably already know that. Clear Stage Cincinnati is a new semi-professional company. The new artistic director chairs the Acting Certificate program at CCM. Last year the company was rehearsing on Central Pkwy. I'm not sure about this year. Are you able to drive a little farther to do shows during the summer? We encouraged our D to do shows with more distant companies during the summer. The past two years she's been performing at Kings Island. It's a bit of a hike from home.

Are there any performing opportunities at your H.S.? In the greater Cinti. area, your own H.S. is still your best bet in getting a substantial role. There just aren't a lot of major parts written for teenagers. Community theatre is very popular among adults in this area. The leads usually go to them unless the part is specifically written for a young person.

Good luck. I'll be happy to help you any way I can. I won't be posting for the next week. My family is off to Tallahassee in the morning. The difficult parting with our last-born child is upon us.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit

Mezzomom...ugh, sounds like quite the year. And please vent anytime! We all have run into stuff with kids in this field. You had a bit more than your share there. The one where she was offered the role in Grease and then "unoffered" it was really not kosher! I agree! Some of the other stuff was a string of bad luck or political junk you see in many theaters or communities. But unoffered a role? yikes, not nice. I read the two Grease vignettes and my mind is jumping ahead because my daughter is going to audition for that musical at a big theater in our state in a couple of weeks and it will be interesting to see if they go with adults or teens for the roles. My daughter is the age yours is/was and about that size as well. It will be interesting. I'll let ya know what happens if I can remember to when the time comes. Anyway, this is a field where it is not easy but it sounds like your daughter has what it takes which is to deal with either rejection or lots of attempts and trying and trying til the next role comes along. One is always kinda "job hunting" with this field and nothing is a keeper and they must keep putting themselves up for this stuff and when it does not go their way, not take it personally and keep on keeping on. If one is real passionate about it, they just keep going. Your daughter sounds that way so no worries. As a mom, you want her to have something go well though, naturally. There will be many "no's" along the way and many odd things like you described. She seems up for it. I hope, however, as one mom to another, something real positive comes her way in the coming months. Her turn is here!

Mtmommy, I will email you and yeah, would love to hear if my daughter knew your friend's child. I don't know which show he was in or anything to ask my daughter. We'll connect. Also, I can share anything you wish about Stagedoor but it might help to know what sort of questions you have.

LynnM, I appreciate your comments and sharing of your daughter's experience. Naturally your D went to Stagedoor when she was much younger so the experience might differ than that of a teen there. My daughter also went when younger, but now as a teen. It is definitely not the same as a pre-college program as I said but it is way more than a camp, in my view. I believe my D's schedule there is intense and rigorous. She is rehearsing two shows at one time. She is in both a musical and a select cabaret troupe (they do about 40 numbers in a revue style show that til this year, was performed at resort hotel venues). On top of the seven hours per day that she is rehearsing two shows, she also takes classes. She takes fewer classes than the typical kid who is normally rehearsing one show. They take 8 classes, she takes four. By audition, she takes Master Acting Class and Master Dance Class. These intense challenging classes are not what a younger child there would be in. It is very hard to compare what you get from a program when a younger kid and what your child gets when age 17 from an intense program, I think.

Much of the response that your D had with her CMU experience, are almost words I could take from my child's lips about her teen years in the program at Stagedoor so it made me smile to read them! The point about it affirming what she wants to do with her life is exactly how she would put the entire Stagedoor experience, as well. In fact, I am not sure it matters which program you go to if you are with a bunch of highly talented kids who all are passionate about theater like you are, some very professional faculty and production staff, you come away with that same sort of excitement to keep reaching for your goals. My daughter thrives on the intensity of it, as well as the bonding with the other talented kids. I also smiled about your daughter's enthusiastic statement about everyone being a lead in their high school musical like herself. That is what I think is also so neat about my D's experience with Stagedoor. Though she likes her home friends and even those who do theater in her school, when she gets to Stagedoor, the entire level of talent and passion is different. All of her closest friends there, including her cast of Cabaret there, all are leads in shows both at the summer program and at home. Some have worked professionally. We know some who have gone onto Broadway even. Numerous friends have gone onto the selective BFA programs. This is one grouping of kids nothing like at home. I have always maintained it is like getting all the most talented kids from all these states and countries and putting them in one group. That fact alone really is a major component of why my D likes it so much, on top of the training and is the other kids who are into it like her and among her friends there, they all are leads at home at school and many work in professional theater as well. That is not true of every kid who attends but it is true of many and of all the kids she happens to be friendly with. That might not be what your D experienced as a younger child where some that age are just trying it out, enjoy theater and so on. A large number of the teens there are experienced. The leads in the shows are excellent. Even some extremely experienced and talented kids are in small parts there. A new boy in my D's cast this summer was from Australia and he said he works in Australia in what is the equivalent of their Broadway. And he only had a small part in the show but was excellent. I have seen some very talented kids there. A girl who my D was in cabaret with just got cast as a lead on Bdway. Another just got a part in Bdway as well. So, the calibur among the older kids is quite high.

I'm just mentioning this though I realize you were not being negative about Stagedoor at all. I also think your D had an amazing experience at CMU's summer program which sounds excellent and I am sure my own kid would have also loved it. Each program is quite different but one thing they share in common is intense work among a group of talented kids who are very passionate about the field. Your typical every day kid would never want to work all day and night in classes and rehearsals, that's for sure. It takes a certain kind of kid who loves it and thinks that experience is heavenly, not work. I am impressed at Stagedoor how the shows are mounted in just 2 1/2 weeks when the kids are also taking classes during that time, and in some cases, also rehearsing a second show. Have you ever seen the cabaret at Stagedoor? They select 40 of the most talented musical kids and put together this revue that is very professional. That is not to say that the other kids there are not talented as they are. The experiential level and talent varies among the entire group. But most leads, supporting actors, and cabaret troupe members are just the sort of kid your D was referring to enjoying being among.

Well, talking about the other kids they spend their summers with, my D is taking off first thing in the AM to go visit her boyfriend from her summer program and it is going to take her 11 hours to get there. He is such a talented actor. I think she dreams of eventually going to college with many of these close friends she has bonded with over the years and ya never know. Many are applying to all the same programs. It is mind boggling when you think of it cause for instance, you commented on the high quality of the group at your D's program, plus I know a large number at my D's program that were very talented who are applying to these colleges and that is just TWO programs out there, yikes! LOTS of talented teens out there! That's the thing! ;-)

Maybe we will all cross paths this winter when we attend these auditions! I wonder how we will know who is who cause of these funny posting names!


By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit

Dancersmom, good luck to your D as she embarks on this great adventure! You guys aren't gonna know what to do with yourselves with no kids at home! Uh, I am sure you will find something. Your D will have a great time. I would love to hear about her experiences as the fall wears on.

My older D will be doing what you are doing in about two weeks! She turns 18 and leaves for college! Tonight she came home from a friend's house and said it has all hit her because tomorrow night she is going to a surprise party for a different friend's 18 birthday and that will be the last time she sees all these kids til Thanksgiving. We are about to go on vacation and the other kids will be leaving for college while we are gone, except friends heading to our state university. When we get back, my daughter has several days to pack up and get ready and then she goes too. She said it is all becoming real that they are leaving! I can't imagine how you feel all packed up! That will be us in two weeks! Exciting time (a little sad too)!


By Mtheatremom (Mtheatremom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

Hi Mezzomom,

I am glad to see you venting on this board. Lets face it - alot of this stuff our kids go through is not fair. You'll find that things may not always seem fair, but, one day, your daughter may be the one benefiting. That's the nature of this business and life really.

I believe casting directors - for the most part - cast the best way they can given what they have to work with: height variations, ages, "types", talents, etc. My daughter has been on both sides of the "fairness" situation and I can understand both.

Hang in there, mom. We're rootong for you too!


By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:48 pm: Edit

I'm another mom whose D has had similar experiences. And like you, I handle the unfair situations worse than my D. It's hard to see your child being treated badly. I take being treated badly myself much better.

One of the experiences that ticked off the whole family happened last year. In August my D auditioned for a professional production of "The Jungle Book". The company auditions for its entire season in August. My D knew the only part she was being considered for was Bageera (spelling?) the Panther. The director, who my D has worked for before, was very complimentary to her after her audition. He actually turned to the other auditors and said,"Here's our Panther." D came out of the audition 99% sure that she had gotten the part. My D and I were not surprised when she didn't get a call from the director right away. That's normal for this particular company. But as the weeks went by and she didn't hear anything, we figured that he had cast someone else. She accepted a job as assistant movement director for a professional production that would be performed about 3 weeks before "Jungle Book". On Nov. 13 I answered the phone. It was the "Jungle Book" director calling to ask if my D could do a promo for the theatre that coming Sunday. I was a little puzzled since we had never heard anything about her being offered a role. Three months had passed and D had never gotten a call. This company usually casts within one month of auditions. I told the director that she couldn't do the promo because D would be out of town doing her 1st college audition that weekend. He asked me to have her call him at home when she got home and told me that her contract was ready. He's kind of a quirky person, so I didn't ask any of the obvious questions. He has a phobia about talking to parents, so I decided to let my D ask the questions. She really wanted to try to do both productions. A well known modern dancer who has his own dance company was going to play Mowgli and was doing the choreography. The other production was going to be my D's 1st chance to direct with a professional company. She spoke with the "Jungle Book" director and explained that since she had never heard from him, she had accepted another job. He said that he'd left a message for her weeks earlier and was miffed that she had never returned his call. Or course, she never got any message. I would think that after working with my D 3 times before, that he would have remembered that she is very professional and would never just ignore an offer of a job from him and ignore a script read-through. D told this director that she thought she could work things out so that she did not have to miss ANY of his rehearsals. She told him that she would call him as soon as she returned from school the next day. She needed time that evening to call the other director and make sure she would be able to accomodate her need to be at 100% of the "Jungle Book" rehearsals. This director was fabulous. She didn't want my D to have to miss either show, so she worked out her rehearsal schedule to accomodate my D. When D called the "Jungle" director the next day he acted very embarassed and confessed that he had panicked and hired someone else! He didn't give my D even 24 hours to be sure she could work things out. I can't say I was surprised that he did this. It's very much in character for him.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 12:29 am: Edit


Look at the homepage for the University of Michigan. There is an article about the UM MT summer program. This past summer, for the first time, the program was held on the UM campus, not at Interlochen. They are revamping the program to make it more "national" in character and it will remain on the Michigan campus. I don't believe it will be a part of the Michigan All States program as it has been in the past. It will remain an entry by audition program. I don't know what the dates or length of the program will be next summer. Perhaps it will suit your needs. It also can't hurt to be seen in advance of college auditions by Brent Wagner, the Director of both the summer program and the UM MT BFA program.

Also, I understand your frustration about your D's experiences and I'm sorry it's been such a hard year. However, one thing you said did catch my eye - It is not at all uncommon, at least on the professional level, for many roles in a production to be cast without auditions. The director often has to book certain actors he or she knows well in advance to assure their availabilty. When auditions take place, there are often only select roles open. I understand that your situation was different in the programs you were paying for, but even in the community theater world, all parts are not always available.

By Denvermom (Denvermom) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit

Hello everyone!
This is my first time posting, but I've been reading your postings for many months. Your information has been invaluable to me and I'm so appreciative for all that you've done!
My D is entering her senior year in HS and plans on applying to MT programs at U of Michigan, NYU Steinhardt, Cal State Fullerton, Elon,U of Miami and Syracuse. I have 2 questions for now: 1) if you apply to MT at these programs and do not get accepted, can you or are you offered admittance to either Drama or Music schools at the university? Or is MT a one-shot choice? and 2) what has been your experience with the Performing and Visual Arts Fairs that are held in different parts of the country? Is it worth going to to get more information about the programs? We're having a hard time paring down the list and finding some fall-back schools when the compeitition is so fierce! I'm glad to know all of you out there in cyber-space. It's great having a support group. My D's been studying voice for the past 10 years, has some minimal dance experience and just had a lead in Footloose show in local teen theatre program- which she chose to do instead of the CMU pre-college program. This was her first lead part and she really wanted to do it and she did great! Her acting's really improved, she tests well and has weighted GPA of 4.0. That's all for now- thanks for any input you can share with me.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit


I can share info about two of the programs in which your D is interested. At Syracuse, they ask you to specify if you are interested in acceptance to another program at Syracuse if you are not offered a place in the MT program. I unfortunately don't remember whether it is just to the straight acting program or to another program at Syracuse. There is not a strong stand-alone vocal performance program at Syracuse. Check with the department of Visual and Performing Arts for more exact info.

At U Mich, you can apply for multiple programs, e.g., Vocal Performance and MT but you must audition separately for both. Goukla's D did just that and was accepted by both programs. Kudo's to her!!! The Music School counseled her to base herself in Vocal Performance but she will be taking several classes with the MT's. One of the things my D likes most about U Mich is how fluid the lines are between MT and Vocal Performance. They don't appear to want to pigeon-hole young artists but rather want them to be able to keep their options open if they have multiple talents/interests. I'm sure Goukla would be happy to tell you more about her D's experiences.

I believe that Doctorjohn also mentioned in a recent post that Otterbein often offers prospective students places in programs other than those they originally apply for if the faculty thinks it would be a better fit.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 01:20 am: Edit

At Fullerton students do not audition for MT as freshmen. In fact, they can't audition until end of sophomore year. If they do not make the cut they can stay in regular theatre. If they make the cut, but lose the spot the following year, again they can stay in regular theatre. For the first two years, whatever else is going to happen, they must pay out of pocket for their own private voice lessons.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 09:18 am: Edit

I have changed my list so many times, and I am now really narrowing it down to schools with a BFA offered in MT, but educational electives or minors possible as well. My list is currently.

U.Miami, U.Michigan, Illinois Wesleyan, NYU, Elon, and Ithaca.

I am not sure how good the vocal performance majors are at Elon and NYU. I am currently looking for good schools where I can grow academically as well as in musical theater, that have a great vocal performance major as well. Anyone know of more, and can tell me of Elon and NYU's status?

By Musicalthtrmom (Musicalthtrmom) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 09:45 am: Edit

Since your daughter has 10 years of voice behind her, I'm assuming you want a strong vocal program, or at least a program where the Vocal Performance major parallels the MT major closely if your daughter doesn't make the cut into MT. Correct me if I'm wrong!

I would echo Theatermom's comment that Syracuse doesn't have a strong stand alone Vocal Performance major. We were looking hard at Syracuse when our search began and because my daughter is a singer first, Syracuse came off the list after we visited there.

I think you're in the ballpark with U Miami, and Michigan, and NYU Steinhardt. I'm unfamiliar with Elon and Fullerton. I might suggest you look into Oklahoma City U., Baldwin-Wallace College and Otterbein. They may fill the bill. And Webster may be worth a look for you too.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 10:24 am: Edit

Court, I do not know the answer to all of your questions, as my D is only looking into musical theater. But at Tisch, you apply and either get musical theater studio (Cap21) or an acting studio. There is not a vocal performance major itself. Cap21 has a lot of voice including private lessons. But you may want to look into NYU Steinhardt and compare the options there. You can't apply to both but perhaps NYU Steinhardt might interest you more. At least read of their offerings.

I thought of you yesterday as the brochure from Ithaca's theater program arrived at our house and I know that program interests you a lot. I was surprised as I opened the envelope (daughter is away) to see that the girl pictured on the front is from OUR rural high school (I knew she went as did one of our other top musical theater girls a few years ago). This one's older sister was my kids' music teacher in elementary school.


By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 11:29 am: Edit

In southern CA, Fullerton has a well-regarded major in "voice." It doesn't have the name for voice that does USC, but it is a solid program. It also attracts a lot of talent. Let's say a student has a wonderful voice, but has less than a 4.0 and less than stellar SAT scores. That student would not even get into USC. Now add onto that the factor that Fullerton costs very little to attend ($1400 per fulltime semester for in-state), whereas SC is very expensive. In a state as huge as CA, that leaves a lot of major talent to go to Fullerton. I'll give you just one example. One of the drama/choir/musical theatre kids from my D's high school is going to Fullerton this year--for voice, not musical theatre. She has the most gorgeous classical voice; any college music program would have been thrilled to get her. But she can go to Fullerton for $2800/year.

By Lookingmt (Lookingmt) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 04:46 pm: Edit

A word about OCU....

The reason OCU is very selective about who they accept into the MT program is due to the fact that they have a very demanding vocal program. In our school visitis, OCU was much more demanding and in depth than most universities, including NYU and CCM.

They are a classically based voice program, even for the MT majors. If you child has no desire to study classical voice, then they should look into another field as classic voice training is the basis for MT singing..yes, even RENT! In fact, OCU had a girl playing one of the leads and she was the only one who wasn't dropping shows left and right cause she knew how to protect her voice and sing correctly.

I know of a girl who went to OUC to audition who spent months working on her MT song and about a week on her classical/art piece. She felt she didn't do well on the classical piece and she was right..rejected.

All the teachers teach in this style. That's why the produce numerous MT and opera performers all in the same graduating class.

OCU offers first rate vocal training that you can see in it's successful graduates (Kristen Chenoweth, Kell O'Hara).

By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 09:48 pm: Edit

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. We've been out of town and just got home again last night. I need to address a few posts.

Lookingmt: I agree with you completely. Doing 8 shows a week requires years of legit training in classical singing.

My D did audition at UMICH for both vocal performance and MT. (Thanks, Theatermom!) She had to audition for both in order to be considered for one or the other or both. She is very happy to be going there come Sept 1!

Shenandoah Conservatory is a wonderful school, as well. They don't seem to enjoy the reputation of UMICH or CMU, but I put them in that same category. In fact, from what I've heard, Shenandoah is much like OCU. They are very selective who they accept into the MT program and classical vocal ability is a big part of that. I graduated from Shenandoah in the late 70's when the MT program was fairly new and it was great then, too. MY D loved her visit and her audition there, but chose UMICH overall for many reasons. We live in MI, for one big reason ($)! I hope I am not forgetting anything. If anyone has anymore questions about Shenandoah, don't hesitate to ask.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 10:38 am: Edit

Gkoukla--Thanks for the information about Shenandoah. I definitely might have more questions later.

Lookingmt's comments about OCU prompted me to start comparing the audition song requirements from various programs. Some programs want two MT songs and some want one MT and one art song. Would it be fair to assume that an up-tempo MT song would best complement an art song--or not? If they don't specify, what language would they be looking for in the art song? English? Italian? Another language?

Does anyone know what type of songs UMichgan wants? I couldn't find it on their website.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit

Mtmommy, my D has looked over the audition requirements for all the MT programs she will be applying to, and none of hers have an "art" song as part of the audition. That may just be where she is applying, of course. All the songs are from the musical theater repertoire. (As an aside, when she has auditioned for things like All States, she must sing from a classical repertoire).

I will type out the answer to your UMich MT audition voice requirement from their most recent brochure:

"Prepare one 32-bar chorus of a musical theater song written before 1960 and a contrasting 16-bar from any era. Both songs must be memorized and an accompanist will be provided. The combined length of both songs should not exceed three minutes. In preparing for the audition, avoid choosing songs from Grease, Les Mis, A Chorus Line, Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph, Big River, Candide, Gilbert and Sullivan or operetta repertoire."

Usually, the schools are looking for one upbeat and one ballad from the musical theater repertoire. In two of my D's schools, including Michigan, one song must be from prior to 1960. But that is a summary of her 8 schools' requirements in a nutshell.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 10:52 am: Edit

Thanks, Susan! So far on my D's list, Shenandoah and OCU both want an art song. Otterbein and apparently UMichigan don't.

By Musicalthtrmom (Musicalthtrmom) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit say...

"Lookingmt's comments about OCU prompted me to start comparing the audition song requirements from various programs. Some programs want two MT songs and some want one MT and one art song. Would it be fair to assume that an up-tempo MT song would best complement an art song--or not? If they don't specify, what language would they be looking for in the art song? English? Italian? Another language?"

Some art songs are pretty up-tempo....depends on the art song. I'm sure your daughter's voice teacher can help choose songs which are contrasting...I believe that's the key. Their (OCU) MT audition information doesn't specify language requirements...tho if your daughter is considering auditioning for Vocal Performance as well as MT at OCU (which they will let you do on the same visit), she would sing 2 classical songs "demonstrating current ability" and one must be in English.

By Musicalthtrmom (Musicalthtrmom) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:01 am: Edit


I meant to suggest you look at Florida State's program too...a strong voice program is available there for MT majors.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:53 am: Edit

Thanks, musicalthtrmom (boy, that's a hard one to spell!). My D is thinking about auditioning for Southern Methodist ('s theatre, music, and dance depts! to end up with a major and two minors), and for music they require two art songs, one in English and one in another language. That's another reason I started wondering what language OCU and Shenandoah and others might be expecting. I guess I was thinking of a more serious art song for my D (but that' just my thinking) b/c she's a comedienne that she'd probably want to show it in an up-tempo Mt #, although she could show it in a monologue, I guess, too). Florida State is one that keeps coming up as good for my D for a # of reasons, but we haven't checked into it as much as the others because she's not sure she wants to be in Florida. But she needs to think about it more.

By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 12:23 pm: Edit

For the schools that require an art song, I think I'd show them a 20th century work or something in Italian or German. Always show your best!

By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit

Denvermom, I can partially answer your question about being offered another program if you are not accepted into MT. At NYU, applicants may apply to only one college (this is ALL applicants, not just MT or drama applicants). If you're not accepted by that college, you do not have the option for another. If you do not get accepted at Steinhardt, you would definitely not be offered a place in drama because it's an entirely different program, in a different college, Tisch. I do not know the answer to your question as it would apply to the school of music but I would doubt it very much, simply because the audition requirements are probably different. You might want to check directly with Steinhardt about this as it may influence your daughter's decision to apply.

By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 08:22 pm: Edit

Since Theatermom mentioned it, I did want to clarify our audition policy. From the MT audition and interview, we can offer applicants a place in any of the following degree programs: BFA MT, BFA Acting, BA Theatre, BA Music, BA Music Education, and Dance Minor. Gifted vocalists may be invited to return and audition for the BM in Voice. Except for that program, no second audition or interview is required.

We do this for several reasons. One is that it saves applicants time and money. But more importantly, we've found that students don't always know which program will best fit their talents. I think of one young woman coming as a freshman this year. She auditioned for MT, and clearly didn't have the vocal or acting skills to make her competitive. But she so impressed us at the interview with the warmth of her personality, her love of all aspects of theatre, and her desire to help people and perhaps teach, that we offered her a place in the BA Theatre program. We think she'll be a terrific student.

By Mtheatremom (Mtheatremom) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 09:32 pm: Edit

For schools that require an art song, like OCU - check with your son or daughter's voice teacher. My daughter's voice teacher helped my daughter choose a piece (for OCU audition) and then we had to order the accompaniment from some random place in NYC (can't remember the name). They sent us 2 copies of the same song in 2 different ranges (thank goodness). She sang it in English after we checked with the school first.

By Mezzomom (Mezzomom) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:58 am: Edit

You guys are the best! Thank you for your kind words and commiseration. After I posted my original rant, I reread it and found myself laughing at the bizarre events in my daughter's year. I'm grateful this thread is here to allow for that sort of release; that so many of you took the time to respond with encouragement, support, and perspective was like receiving a giant group hug. Thank you all so much.

By Jonq (Jonq) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 01:44 am: Edit

Hi everybody. I have a question concerning the somewhat unique situation I am in. I am 17 and will be a senior in high school this year; except that I don't go to high shcool. Since my junior year I've gone to a local community college that has a high school program. I take regular college classes and they count for both high school and college. So, when I graduate, I will have a high school diploma as well as about 60 college credits. Basically what I'm wondering is how do you think colleges would look at my grades? I get mostly A's and B's with a few C's (mostly in math) and my GPA is 3.27. I also got a 1260 on the SAT and will be re-taking it in October. So do you think that when colleges see my grades, even though they aren't amazing, they might cut me some slack since they are college classes?

BTW, the schools I am looking at are:
Boston Conservatory
Hartt School
NYU - Tisch

By Mtheatremom (Mtheatremom) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:06 am: Edit

Hi Jong,
Most of the schools that you audition at for MT don't focus on your grades, but, mainly on your audition. However, for the schools that do focus on grades like NYU - your situation is a bit unique. Talk to your guidance counselor about this.
From what I know about college admissions, colleges compare your classes taken and grades earned from what is offered at your particular high school - and then determine how competitive a courseload you took and how well you fared. They may or may not have the stats and info (for comparisons) on a particular community college. Its worth calling the colleges (admissions offices) and asking them about this.
Your first SAT is good and in your favor. Check with each college you are auditioning for to see if you have taken the prerequisite/minimum number of courses to be considered competitive, i.e 3-4 math classes, 4 english,etc.....
Good Luck,

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

So, as a person interested in pursuing musical theater, but also a person whose main focus has always been vocal, would the schools on my list (Ithaca, IWU, Elon, U.Miami, and U.Mich) be good choices for me? I looked at Steinhardt but it looked like too much of a vocal performance major (which would be great) if they also had more acting and dancing requirements. I am also looking for the full college experience (not in a metropolis). Since I am from Maine, I need to ease into big city life. ;)

Anyway, I am not sure how good the academic opportunities are at Baldwin-Wallace, Otterbein, OCU, Shenandoah, and Webster. I really want to go somewhere where I can take electives in languages, or possibly minor in Spanish like I could at NYU, U.Mich, or IWU. Also, OCU sounds like a great school, but I can't really picture myself in Oklahoma (it would probably be so different from Maine it would make me homesick, just kidding,) but I am not a big fan of the west. I have heard it is a good school, but what are its academic options for MT students, also is the student body mainly from Oklahoma or the west? I have also heard that they are conservative, and I am not ultra liberal, but I am not looking into schools with extremely religious,or extremely conservative people, as I am neither, and would probably not fit in. About IWU, U.Mich, and U.Miami. Since a lot of students are in-state students, is the commuter population large at any of those three schools?

Thanks for all the help guys.


By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit

So, as a person interested in pursuing musical theater, but also a person whose main focus has always been vocal, would the schools on my list (Ithaca, IWU, Elon, U.Miami, and U.Mich) be good choices for me? I looked at Steinhardt but it looked like too much of a vocal performance major (which would be great) if they also had more acting and dancing requirements. I am also looking for the full college experience (not in a metropolis). Since I am from Maine, I need to ease into big city life. ;)

Anyway, I am not sure how good the academic opportunities are at Baldwin-Wallace, Otterbein, OCU, Shenandoah, and Webster. I really want to go somewhere where I can take electives in languages, or possibly minor in Spanish like I could at NYU, U.Mich, or IWU. Also, OCU sounds like a great school, but I can't really picture myself in Oklahoma (it would probably be so different from Maine it would make me homesick, just kidding,) but I am not a big fan of the west. I have heard it is a good school, but what are its academic options for MT students, also is the student body mainly from Oklahoma or the west? I have also heard that they are conservative, and I am not ultra liberal, but I am not looking into schools with extremely religious,or extremely conservative people, as I am neither, and would probably not fit in. About IWU, U.Mich, and U.Miami. Since a lot of students are in-state students, is the commuter population large at any of those three schools?

Thanks for all the help guys.


By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 08:33 pm: Edit

Court, your questions are all excellent. I wish I could be of some help to you, but all I can tell you is that UMichigan is definitely not a commuter school.

On the issue of MT v. classical songs at auditions, so far in my research OCU,Shenandoah, and Arizona State University (a program through their music department which seems extremely light in acting) are the only schools that require 1 classical and 1 MT song (instead of 2 MT). I'll bet Steinhardt also wants classical. In the past did anyone ever mention schools where you ought to have 2 MT songs and 1 or 2 classical songs ready in case you are asked? Maybe I imagined it . . . .

By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 09:51 pm: Edit

Jong, NYU will only allow students to bring in a maximum of 16 advanced standing credits from courses taken at another college. The only way they would accept more than that would be for you to apply as a transfer, which probably isn't a good idea, or what you want to do. I'm not sure how they'll look at your grades or whether they'll allow some slack since it's college classes. Somehow I doubt it at NYU. Your gpa is low for them but your SAT is within the middle 50% range. Raising it in a re-take would benefit you. Good luck in your quest!

By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Courtbroadway17: 80% of the students at UMICH are from out of state. Not many commuters.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 12:27 am: Edit

Sorry Gkoukla - don't know where you got that U-M statistic from (given the discussion, I'm assuming you are talking about the University as a whole) but it's not correct. The following is from the UM website:

FAQ:Undergraduates from all 50 states and over 80 foreign countries; over one-third from outside the state of Michigan.

Don't forget that UM is a state university and with the its low in-state tuition and incredible reputation (UMich and Berkeley are considered by many to be the top state universities in the country), there is no way that 80% of the student body would be out of state. If however you are talking about the MT class then you may be corect, at least about this year's entering freshmen. But I think Court was asking about the larger population she would interact with at UMich.


You are correct in your memory about the mention of at least one school that requests its auditioners to have 2 MT songs and one classical piece. I wrote about that experience after my D auditioned at NYU -Steinhardt. (There may be other schools that do this as well....) At Steinhardt last year the student could choose which song to sing first and then the auditors looked at the student's list and decided which of the other two they wished to hear. They asked my D to do her 2nd MT song but several other kids were asked to one of each.

By Peggy (Peggy) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:18 am: Edit

Two quick general comments about U of M:

#1 I was surprised at the number of kids from Ann Arbor that lived in the dorms. U of M is definitely not a commuter campus.

#2 Just a word of warning. The U of M application is a monster. While most of the college applcations my daughter filled out took between 30 minutes and an hour, U of M took all day. There are several essays (6 sounds right) and a huge "resume" (in their format, much more detailed than a standard resume).

One more comment: if you have a chance to visit U of M, try not to do it on a weekend they have a home football game. You will get a much better idea of the campus, and you won't have to fight the horrible traffic.

who lives 50 miles from Ann Arbor and
whose daughter leaves Tuesday for Millikin U!

By Peggy (Peggy) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:24 am: Edit

Soozievt -- I just realized that last comment sounded like I as aiming it at you from another forum. I wasn't. I understand your situation. The other forum just reminded me of how bad the traffic was ther, and I thought I would pass it on in this group.


By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:28 am: Edit

I am interested in OCU's MT program, but I do not really know much about the school itself. Are most students there from Oklahoma (is it a commuter school? Probably not in the MT program, but is it as a school in general?) Also, how are its academics? It sounds like exactly what I am looking for in an MT program, but I am not sure how well the school would fit me. Also, are the students very religious or conservative?

Theatermom: That is interesting that Steinhardt asks you to prepare 3 songs, and that they will pick your second one. I am pretty sure that when I read the U.Mich website, it said to prepare 2 monolougues and the auditioners will decide which one you will perform for them. Similar audition process then, in a way.

~ Court

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 09:20 am: Edit

I have mentioned being interested in minoring in or taking electives in Spanish while simultaneously receiving a BFA or BM in MT. Unfortunately, some of the schools I am looking at (Ithaca, and IWU) are noted to have weak programs in foreign languages. U.Mich apparently has a great languages program (according to Fiske's guide), and I could double major or minor there, or so I have heard. That sounds like a great choice for me. Another is U.Miami (since around 30% of the student body is Hispanic, and U.Miami is not strictly a conservatory program, I could keep up with my Spanish there as well.) This is why U.Miami, and U.Mich are two of my favorites. (Great academics, great MT, great college experience, great college town, etc.) I am just disappointed that Ithaca and IWU are so weak in languages, and I do not know about Elon.

Are there any other schools (like U.Mich) that are great in MT, great academically, have good language programs, and are not strictly conservatory programs in MT, other than NYU?

(I tried to edit my post above to add this to it, but it didn't work. Probably just my computer. So sorry about the double posting guys.)


By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 11:04 am: Edit

Theatermom: Actually, my statistics came from a very high official from Michigan State University, here in East Lansing. We were at a casual luncheon when we began talking about the differences between Michigan State and UMICH. It is his job to know. But perhaps he was a little off?

By Mtfan (Mtfan) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 12:31 pm: Edit

Do the Unified Auditions typicaly have a dance portion or not? Cause a dance portion would help me out.

By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:42 pm: Edit


It depends on the school. The Unifieds aren't a mass audition (like Thespians). Rather each school rents a hotel meeting room, where it does private auditions. Some schools do an individual dance audition; some others ask all of that day's auditioners to attend a group dance call, typically in the morning. If dance is one of your strengths, you should look at schools which emphasize dance in their MT degrees. There's a section on the FAQ site devoted to this topic:

Hope this helps.

By Lookingmt (Lookingmt) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

Hi Court:

OCU is definately not a commuter school. A school that produces such major Broadway and opera talent would not be able to exist if only people from Oklahoma attended! When my D started, there were students from 49 states, plus such foreign countries as Israel, Singapore, Canada, England, Ireland, and Greece. It was suprising to us and quite a compliment that a school like this has such an international following. However, OCU is not just a vocal school but also a major instrumental school (and a major vocal education school as well!).

In regards to what electives or other non-music classes you can take, you have to take a full academic load of non-music classes. There are two semesters of a foreign language, two semesters of science, requirements in math, history and business. If I recall, there was very little room for taking non required classes since OCU keeps your agenda quite full. If you're looking for a school where you can just mainly take music courses and maybe an elective or two a semester, then OCU would not be for you. In order to obtain your BM, you must take required liberal arts classes.

In regards to scholarships, I know OCU has some fantastic acadcemic scholarships for those who have proven academic achievement. If their requirements have not changed since last year, the lowest scholarships start at ACT 22 or SAT 1020 and a 2.5 GPA and go up from there..all the way up to $10,000. On top of that, the music school awards scholarships. My D ended up with very nice amounts (she has an ACT of 28 and 4.0 GPA).

And I can understand your reluctance about Oklahoma. However, having spent time in Maine myself (Portland, Freeport), Oklahoma City is much more metropolitian than those locations. We were impressed with all the attractions and events that were available in the city.

I would strongly suggest you call them and get all the details. They have always been helpful and gone out of their way to answer my questions. Their toll free number is 1-800-633-7242, press 0 for operator then ask for the music school.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:26 pm: Edit

So taking a fair amount of electives like you could at U.Mich, U.Miami, and NYU would not be possible at OCU then? That is too bad, because the MT program sounds great. I do want an education, but I don't want a BA, so I was hoping to get a BFA in an academic atmosphere (U.Mich, U.Miami...) It sounds like that would not be possible at OCU, though it is wonderful that the school is not a commuter school. (I never thought it was in the MT program, but maybe in the rest of the school.)


~ Court

By Ilmomsk (Ilmomsk) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:10 pm: Edit

Does anyone know if OKCU still has that Triple Threat program in Theater performance? I didn't get a response yet to my e-mail to them.
Someone here said it was being moved to the music school.

LookingMT- Were those OCU academic scholarships strictly merit, or was there a need component?
Would a student with an ACT of a 28 be academically challenged enough in the other courses at OKCU? I have that concern also about a few other smaller schools.

By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:13 pm: Edit

My D also hasn't gotten a response from OCU about a Triple Threat question. What we're wondering is if now that's in the music school, that students who audition for either MT or TT would be placed in the other program if not accepted to the one they audition for. We're also wondering if all theatre is in music school. I can't help but wonder if they don't have the details worked out yet.

By Lookingmt (Lookingmt) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:50 pm: Edit

Hi all:

Sorry to hear that you haven't received a response to your OCU Triple Threat questions. We looked at this program last year and I'll try to remember what I can (but please check with them to make sure it's right!).

It's a program focused more on acting than singing and dancing. Now, you do take singing and dancing (three semesters worth..a year and a half out of four years). We were told that you do not study voice with the same teachers who teach the MT or vocal performance (opera) program...don't know if that's a good or bad. But all the others classes (theory, acting, dance) are the ones that the MT majors take. However, as I said, triple threats take more acting related classes (meaning technical theater, children's theater, ect.) that the MT majors do not take. Also, there are some other music classes that the triples do not take (history of music, music analysis, conducting, MT workshop). seems that there's a trade off in what you take as a triple as opposed to a MT major. use to be you did not have to audition for acceptance to the program. We are told that since the music school has taken over running the theater dept (the Opera/MT head is the theater head), you must audition for the triple program. The fact that the music school runs the dept. now is a really good thing. ANd..if you're intersted in auditioning...the first audition dates are Nov. 19th and 20th (for both MT and triple threat).

So..the bottom line on our end. We decided that if you have a child who has spent years training in dance, voice, and acting, then you should audition for the regular MT degree. We got the feeling that the triple threats were more actors who wanted some dance and singing experience. And, as was said on a previous thread, three semesters of singing and dancing training will not going to turn you into a musical theater performer. I personally think the MT major is the way to go. I do not know if you can audition for triple threat if you are not accepted into the MT program. And again..please contact OCU for all the details. I would try the toll free number above and ask for the music department. You can also find the details on the triple threat major at:

Ilmomsk: I can understand your concern about your daughter being academically challenged. However, OCU has one of the best Honors Programs in the South. Acceptance is limited and based on your high school AP courses, ACT/SAT tests, and national scholarship rankings. As I stated above, OCU does award "merit" or talent based scholarships thru the music school based on a successful audition. However, all academic scholarships are based only on grades and test scores. I understand they are very strict about what is awarded and that students must meet criteria in both GPA and testing (ACT/SAT) in order to be considered. Again, the possibility exists for your child to receive at least two scholarships (music school talent and academic). There are other scholarships besides these that are also awarded. As we found out,since OCU is a very academically based school, it helps if you have the grades and scores.

Court: Please check with the school to make sure I'm right! But OCU is not a conservatory where you can just take music classes and whatever other classes you'd like. But neither is NYU or U of Michigan. Since we looked at those schools, I'm not sure exactly how much free "elective" courses you can take. As I recall, their academic requirements are pretty strict with little room for non required classes. Most top music schools have a jam packed agenda for students.

Good luck!

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 08:49 am: Edit


Actually there is much more flexibility in the courses you can take outside the major at UMich than any other BFA MT program we looked at. We loved the fact that UMich wants their MT's to take advantage of the excellent educational opportunities available to them outside the major, but pretty much allows them to decide what classes will most benefit their individual interests.

Of the 124 hours (minimum) needed for graduation, the only REQUIREMENTS (non-music) outside the major are a semester of American or World History, 2 semesters of English and 2 semesters of a foreign language. NO math or science requirement. And of the 24 incoming MT freshmen, 20 students placed out of the foreign language requirement by taking and passing the proficiencey exam they took during June orientation - quite a smart group!. BFA MT's must take a minimum of 20 Musical Theatre hours, 25 Theatre hours, 16 hours of Voice (not including weekly private voice lessons every semester),12 dance hours (including Ballet, MT Dance Styles AND Tap), 4 hours of Piano, 6 hours of Music Theory and 30 non-music hours. Then, of course there are crew requirements and performance rehearsals. We were told that many students take many more than the minimum 124 hours required for graduation.

It's the required minimum 30 non-music hours which allow the possibility for creating a minor, such as the minor in Spanish in which Court is interested.

BTW, I second the above warning about the time and thoughtfulness needed to complete the UMich application. It was the lengthiest app (and actually the most interesting, "essay-wise") that my daughter completed.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 08:53 am: Edit

I am not sure where to find other MT schools like U.Michigan (other than NYU) that offer so many academic opportunities to MT students without the program being a BA. Can anyone point me in the right direction to finding more? I know CMU is surprisingly not an academic atmopshere for MT students.


~ Court

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 10:04 am: Edit


Have you looked into the MT BFA at Penn State University? They also require their MT's to take classes outside the major. There are several knowledgeable PSU posters on this thread - Monkey? PSUCat? - who perhaps could elaborate on the academic opportunities at PSU.

By Dramatica (Dramatica) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 12:56 pm: Edit


You were concerned that UM (Miami) might be a commuter school. It is not. Bear in mind that with tuition as high as it, since commuter students have excellent lower cost alternatives, the typical commuter student will choose state funded, relatively inexpensive, Florida Internattional University or Florida Atlantic University. Of course, these two Universities do not have MT programs, but I imagine your concen about commuting students referred to the school as a whole.

As far as minoring in Spanish, you should know that Miami has had a well recognixed excellent Spanish program. Its library and special collections in the Spanish language are superb and the region is practically bilingual.

Hope this helps and good luck.

HURRICANE INFO (Weather not the team):

Some of you were concerned about the welfare of students attending Miami after the hurricane hit Florida. Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties were unaffected and we have had incredibly nice weather. Therefore, students at UM's MT should not have been affected. (I doubt that they were even yet at school!)


By Ilmomsk (Ilmomsk) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 04:57 pm: Edit

Regarding applying and auditioning at CMU-
I can't figure out the website. It seems like their supplemental application isn't posted yet, and I cannot find any audition dates, just the e-mail contact. Can any of you help me here?

By Monkey (Monkey) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 05:39 pm: Edit

Concerning Penn State's academic offerings along with a BFA in MT: a third of credits earned do come from the general education curriculum but the areas are prescribed. I'm not sure how likely it would be to have a second major in Spanish as the requirements for the BFA degree in MT are numerous and require a lot of outside of class time as well. Penn State's program is a good one to consider if a student wants a strong liberal arts education along with conservatory-like training in voice, dance and acting.

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

Are electives possible at PSU? And how big is the university, and how big is the MT class? I am looking for big school opps in a fairly small school atmosphere, which seems possible in a large or medium school with a small, conservatory style MT program. Can anyone tell me a bit about PSU's academics, it's student body (where from, conservative or liberal, party school or more low key?) Thanks. Also, how is the vocal school there?

Someone once mentioned a "design your own MT major" at Indiana U, which sounds good to me, but how is the theater school there? (I know music is top notch.)


~ Court

What do you guys think is a safe number of MT schools to audition to?

By 5pants (5pants) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 08:05 pm: Edit

Hello all!

Just got back from dropping my sons off at Webster. Their orientation weekend was superb! It was fun to see the Conservatory kids finally grouped together after sitting through huge freshmen seminars.

Our home here is tremendously quiet and now I need to learn to cope with this empty nest. Luckily we still have another son here, but as you all know the theatrical ones have a tendency to send vibrations through the air and it's so so different. Thanks for listening to me babble...just needed a shoulder to cry on. It's only been 7 hours and I miss them incredibly.

5pants (Sue)

By Monkey (Monkey) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 08:34 pm: Edit

Penn State is a very large university
( approx. 40,000 students at the main campus; there are branch campuses statewide as well ) The Music Theatre program has about 40 students in it so there is a sense of being part of a small, focused and intense program while still being within a major university. The incoming freshman class is about 18 students which is the largest class they've had. The vocal instruction faculty comes from the MT department and is top notch; there are completely different instructors in Penn State's vocal performance program. I don't know a lot about the vocal performance major. It is possible to take a variety of electives from the general curriculum ( one third of required credits. ) Considering the size of the university there will be a wide variety of students attending. It is known to have a good deal of "partying", but what major university setting doesn't?
If you are wanting more info regarding the BFA in MT, I always suggest contacting the director of the program. You will find Cary Libkin to be a great resource for any questions you have. Penn State's MT faculty welcome prospective students and families to sit in on classes and talk to current students, etc.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 09:10 pm: Edit


I so empathize with you!! I have another 10 days at home with my D before we drive out to Ann Arbor. And unlike you, she is my second to go off to college and my youngest so I will be returning to inhabit the dreaded EMPTY NEST!!

So glad that the transition went well for your boys. We'll look forward to hearing about the continuing adventures of the Webster twins! Congrats, Mom!

By Courtbroadway17 (Courtbroadway17) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit

I have been looking into a lot of MT schools, and very few of them have good academic possibilities. My passion is Musical Theater, but I have a few other interests I wouldn't like to give up (languages being one of them), this is why U.Michigan is one of my top choices for a great MT program within an academically stimulating atmosphere. I have found the programs at OCU, Shenandoah, Syracuse, and Otterbein to be wonderful, however none of those schools, it seems, would be able to leave me some room for electives, while I receive a BFA and not a BA in MT. I looked into NYU, but I don't picture myself fitting in well there.

I just don't want U.Michigan to be my top choice school, where I will be unhappy academically at any of my other choices, that happen to also have awesome MT programs.

The problem is I feel almost torn between a BA and a BFA. I do want to specialize in MT, but I also want an education. I want to be trained in my art, but I want to leave college knowing more than just musical theater. The opportunities at U.Michigan sound perfect to me both in MT training, and academics, but I can't seem to find it through any other BFA programs.

I actually just took the BA vs. BFA test on the FAQ site and my odds equalled 19 and my evens equalled 20. Apparently I should get a BFA in an academically stimulating atmosphere, where I can study other subjects that interest me. That is what I thought, and this is why I am so fond of U.Michigan, but I am having trouble finding similar programs.

By Mtfan (Mtfan) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:48 pm: Edit

I just got back from my first All-State Rehersal today (12 hours long!) for Ragtime. And I have rehersal again tomarrow at 9. Even though I'm dead tired right now and my throughht is sore, I still can't wait to go back! Now I'm so excited, I can't wait to start my auditions!


By Wct (Wct) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 12:47 pm: Edit


It is probably too soon to get the info you are looking for at the CMU website. School hasn't started yet and things will be hectic this week and next. You will probably want to wait a few weeks or you can call admissions and they will be able to help you.

If you are planning to audition on campus you will have many dates to chose from. My S auditioned in Los Angeles, (the year before last) and he had to do it in February when they were on the west coast holding auditions.

By Lookingmt (Lookingmt) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 01:17 pm: Edit


I confused by your statement. You said that you want MT training, but also want to leave college with more than a MT education.

What do you think BM/BFA porgrams like OCU, Syracuse and the others you mentioned do? That's what a liberal arts education is. You take other requirements outside of your major. Each one of the schools you have dismissed offer that option. Each one of these schools will, as you stated above, give you education outside of music.

What is seems like is you just want to take whatever non-MT classes you want.

I suggest you look at a conservatory program like CCM where you can opt to take other classes on the campus.

By 5pants (5pants) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 03:19 pm: Edit


Thanks for the kind words. I thought I was totally prepared for this. My excitement for them was overwhelming but I think it masked the reality of the absence my husband and I would feel for them. I spoke to my guys a short time ago and that helped a lot. I would love to hear from some of you other MT parents that feel effects of the empty nest syndrome. It helps to exchange feelings about it. Considering how connected we are with our kids, I think its an even bigger loss.

To any of you who are considering Webster please feel free to email me. Alex and Nathan have picked up quite a bit of new information in the short two days that they have been there. I wasn't sure how their being together was going to pan out, but so far it has been nothing but positive.

Theatermom, hope this last week with your daughter is a memorable one....and have a safe trip to Ann Harbor. I in return will have empathy for you when you return to your nest! :)

5pants (Sue)

By Doc021 (Doc021) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit


Just wondering... I have heard nothing but good things about Webster since i first learned of it. Do you know about how many students they take each year? Can you give any little bits of info about the auditions there? Also, what did your sons' resumes look like? I am wondering what kind of experiences would be good to have if i were to audition for Webster. Thanks so much :)


By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit

My D, too, is headed to Ann Arbor very soon. We're happy she is only a short distance away (one hour), but my husband and I have already started missing her terribly. It's true about the theatrical type kids...they do add a certain spark to the mix. We have a 13 year old son still at home, and we are glad. He'll keep us busy between trips to A2.

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit

Anybody know what a "clearly marked score book" is? I assume they don't want a xerox of the song (with cuts marked).

How many schools won't allow xeroxes of songs? We've always bought the music but then xeroxed the music to the particular song and put the pages in sheet protectors in a 3 ring notebook. Now it seems that is not the right thing to do.

Where does one find a score book, once one learns what the heck it is?

By Psucat (Psucat) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 05:01 pm: Edit

MTfan does have a good point. Any of the liberal arts universities/colleges require you to receive a well-rounded education outside your major. At PSU, I have a number of general education requirements to fill. I am not required to take a language class, but you do have the option of taking language classes if states that if you take up to a certain level in a language, you have the eligibility to be exempt from some math requirements! It's just a matter of fitting classes in when you can in a BFA program that is structured like a conservatory. You will find this at most places you look that offer BFA. I have many other interests besides MT (such as Women Studies, psychology, etc.) and am thrilled that I can pursue them in my GE classes.

So...any school that is liberal arts such as Penn State, Syracuse, etc. you should really consider. You will receive a well-rounded education!

By 5pants (5pants) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:34 pm: Edit


This year Webster has a large number of Freshman students in the Conservatory...approx. 35 combined MT & Regional (which is Acting). It is my understanding that the Senior class has only 19. Many either drop or change majors because they find it too demanding (18 credits Freshman year) plus crew work hours. One of main focuses in the conservatory is research, simply because it is so acting based.

As far as auditions...there isn't a dance audition at Webster, however when Alex & Nathan interviewed with the MT head they did mention that they had several years of tap experience and he asked them to do some soft shoe, which they were more than happy to do. When they returned to auditions they were asked to prepare two songs (16 bars of each)of contrasting nature and two monologues (2 minutes each if I remember correctly). Webster prefers that you don't do Shakespeare...they want to hear your true voice within the audition piece. They also, of course, do a Music Theory test for placement.

If I had any advice for you aspiring MT students out there it would be to do extensive research on your pieces before you perform them. It does show within your performance!

As far as resumes...I have never shared this on this line, but will try to keep brief. They have been performing in community theatre groups & school shows since the age of 8. Last summer, Nathan worked with an equity theatre group.
They have taken voice lessons since the age of 12, five years of tap, two years of jazz, and one year of ballet. Alex plays violin and Nathan plays clarinet and bassoon. Both have taken piano lessons the last 2 years. They have been involved in Jazz Choir and Show Choir. They have also taken private acting classes with emphasis in Shakespeare. Both have won vocal performance awards. But, I think if you would ask them what they take most pride in their accomplishments thus far, it would be their roles as mentors in a children's theatre group in our city.

I don't believe that their resumes are any different than many of the others that have been
posted here. I truly believe that if you present yourself as a hard working and sincere actor with a passion for the arts, radiate sincerity, and show yourself as a down-to-earth soul that you will shine above the rest. Many of these schools steer away from the kids with attitudes...they need team players.

Hope that answers your questions. I am here if you have any others.


By Idontknow (Idontknow) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit


Clearly marked score with cuts basically means a piece of music with the cuts clearly marked in pencil. I have always used xeroxed copies of music at my auditions so you don't need to worry about getting originals. Schools just want the copies to be marked very well as to where to skip to and what to repeat so the accompanist has an easier time. Also make sure your student explains to the accompanist when they come to an audition what the tempos of their songs are as well as explain to them what the cuts are exactly. Hope this helps! If you have any more questions just post!

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 05:48 am: Edit

Thanks Idontknow. The question actually came from looking at Point Park's audition instructions:

"Perform a 32 bar cutting from a musical selection suitable for your age and voice. (Provide a clearly marked score book.)"

It sounds like a "score book" is more than just a xerox of the music. ???

By 5pants (5pants) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 07:25 am: Edit

For auditions my sons placed their marked sheets of music in clear sheet protecters and then placed them in a thin black three ring binder. The music is then easy to turn and stands erect in the looks nicer this way also.


By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 12:28 pm: Edit

To all you moms with ones gone off to school, I just have to tell you that I am crying reading all this and my D is just a freshman in HS!!! I think I am in trouble. I even told D that maybe living at home and going to community college would be better for her, either that or her dad & I move to her college town, she can pick. Of course I was only kidding [a little] :o)

My thoughts [and tears] are with you. Please let us know how you end up coping with missing them.

By 5pants (5pants) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit


Instant Messenger helps a lot.


By Believersmom (Believersmom) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 05:03 pm: Edit

5pants- I wondered if that was the case. Altho my D will probably go hidden and pretend she is never on once she realizes I intend to keep in "close" touch LOL!!!

By Ilmomsk (Ilmomsk) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 06:27 pm: Edit


Please give us an update on what you are doing this fall! Hope all is well.

I did hear from OKCU about the Triple Threat program, confirming it moved to school of Music as a Theatre performance BA. The letter was very nice.

By Idontknow (Idontknow) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:05 pm: Edit

Jrmom -
Yeah "score book" does sound a bit intimidating and larger than a xerox, but it's pretty much just that except with a fancy name to make it sound important... haha. For everyone else who may be curious about what I am doing this fall, I will be returning to CCM to study stage management. I did audition and was accepted at another school last year as well as being accepted to a course where I could spend the fall semester in London at LAMDA. After all this though I felt as though the tech department at CCM was very much the apppropriate place for me right now and I am so excited about what new adventures I have to undergo behind the scenes. If anyone would like me to answer any questions you may have about CCM or musical theatre programs in general just post them and I'd be glad to give you all my opinions 20/20 hindsight following a year of studying musical theatre and what I took from the experience as well as anything else you may have questions about (score books... etc...). Good luck to all of you who are auditioning this year and please just let me know if you have questions!

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit

Welcome. I know some others have put in their two cents worth regarding whether students who audition for MT have to audition separately to gain admission into a school's theatre or music program. I thought I would too. Florida State University is one of the schools where you can kill two birds with one stone. Students auditioning for MT at FSU have to choose one of two tracks - a BM in music or a BFA in theatre. All of the core courses are the same in the 2 tracks, but they diverge a bit in that BM students take more theory and music history courses and do a recital whereas BFA students take more theatre courses. I've been told by the dept. co-chairs that some overlap is possible. My D, who chose the BFA track, has been told that if she wishes to do a senior recital she will be encouraged to do so. But..., I'm digressing a bit. When students audition, if they have indicated they wish to pursue a BM they are automatically considered for a spot as voice majors in the School of Music. If they have indicated they wish to pursue a BFA, they are automatically considered for the BA drama program. Two auditions are unnecessary.

Re: Schools that require Art Songs

Students who audition for the BM in musical theatre at FSU are asked to sing 2 MT songs and 2 art songs. The art song requirement is so that they can be considered for admittance as voice majors if they are not accepted into the MT program. Students who audition for the BFA in musical theatre only have to sing 2 MT songs.

It's good to hear from you. I glad to hear you are feeling excited about pursuing stage management. Good luck to you this year!


I'm glad/sad to be back from Tallahassee. It sure is quiet around my house. Leaving my D at college was a lot harder than the 1st day of kindergarten! I keep telling myself that I will get used to the empty nest and may even learn to like it. I wonder how long it takes?

By 5pants (5pants) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 09:08 am: Edit


Welcome back from does get better. The first couple of days around the house without my two guys singing and whatnot really floored me. I was not expecting "it" actual grieving process happened. Just going to the darn grocery store stirred my emotions...thinking to myself, "I don't need to buy yogurt, I don't need to buy hot dogs that my one S ate everything stinkin' was heart wrentching to say the least.

BUT, talking to them on the phone helps so much, along with email and IM. I even sent a care package yesterday. This forum also helps in a big way...our theatre kids *are* different than the regular kids....and its comforting to know that there are other parents out there that can relate.

I have a friend who can hardly wait until her son moves out. I can not even phathom those kind of feelings.

Take care Dancersmom....


By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:18 am: Edit

Welcome back Dancersmom. Glad your trip went well. It will be fun sharing the experiences of our kids. I'm sure it will tell this year's group a lot about the programs in which they are interested. Nothing like a first hand report. And we have a pretty good sampling of schools to report on. In retrospect, it's quite amazing how well our kids did given the nature of the competition. I hope that encourages you all!


I had the exact same experience when my oldest went off to college two years ago. I was walking down the aisle in the supermarket and suddenly realized that it didn't matter that they were all out of frozen White Castle cheeseburgers, his favorite "please have them in the freezer so I can eat them late at night with the guys, food." (Believe me, I TRIED to raise him right and fed him VERY well but you can't control EVERYTHING!!) And there I was, sobbing uncontrollably in the frozen food aisle at the of my finer moments.

We leave for Ann Arbor a week from tomorrow..Sigh.

By Catherdingmom (Catherdingmom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:58 am: Edit

Ilmomsk, you were asking about CMU applications. My s just received one in the mail today so you should receiving one soon. I looked on the website and didn't see the supplement available yet, but of course it is included with the paper application. If you haven't received one yet and want the audition dates, email me and I'll send them to you.

By Baymom (Baymom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit

It is comforting - and frightening! - to hear all of your stories about your children leaving for school. I'm having a really hard time with him just being a senior in high school and going through all of those "lasts" (Last fall musical, last state theatre festival, last first day of school!) He is our youngest so I know it will be doubly hard. As I bet a lot of you have, too, I've been really involved with the theatre and music program at the high school and now with both my kids graduated, I'll be at loose ends around the house and in my free time. I guess I'll just have try to enjoy all of these "lasts" without dwelling on them that way!

By Ilmomsk (Ilmomsk) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

Is anyone else out there trying to convince their offspring to throw in a few small liberal arts schools in the mix of schools they are applying to? I am having no luck whatsoever.

Oh, I did get an e-mail from CMU and they said they would send us the packet!:)

Also, Dr. John, speaking candidly, is it really a disadvantage right off the bat to do the Chicago Unifieds/regionals instead of coming on Campus?
Does it show a lack of interest? Hope not!

By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit


No, it's not a disadvantage. We want people to audition for us in Chicago or we wouldn't be there. Two years ago, three of the four women and two of the four men we admitted in MT were seen at unified auditions. This year the percentage was lower in MT (one woman, one man), but it was higher for Acting majors--five of the eight we offered admission to came from the unified auditions.

Others may have a sense of the attitudes of the other schools to the unifieds. But if most of us didn't see a significant payoff, we wouldn't be making the considerable investment.

By Wct (Wct) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 04:35 pm: Edit

To all of you who are going through the "empty nest thing".......

This will be my second fall as an "empty nester". This time around I have a married son, (my oldest) and it is odd to think he won't be home on school breaks anymore.

I actually talk to my S that goes away to college more when he is away than at home. Maybe it is a boy thing. Text messaging and cell phones have been great!

Stay busy if you can. Volunteer at your child's alma matter, get a new hobby, (or go back to the one you had before your kids were born). When you stay busy the time goes by real fast. I can't believe how fast this last school year went!

By Catsmom (Catsmom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 06:25 pm: Edit



By Mtmommy (Mtmommy) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:59 pm: Edit

Wct said, "I actually talk to my S that goes away to college more when he is away than at home. Maybe it is a boy thing. Text messaging and cell phones have been great!"

I agree about the boy thing. My non-MT son started his 2nd year of college this week. Today alone I got three or four calls. Two of the calls were questions about where his classes are located!! He forgot to take his schedule with him when he moved in, and he doesn't have service for his computer yet. When he lives at home all I hear is "hi Mom" and "bye Mom." Now I'm his personal assistant.

By Gkoukla (Gkoukla) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 08:46 pm: Edit

Baymom: I, too, have been very involved in my D's HS music and theatre program. Now that she graduated, I will continue to do all the things I did while she was a student. I can't imagine doing anything else. Of course, when she is in something at college, we'll all be there with bells on!

By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit


Thanks for the encouragement. I know I will get used to my empty nest. Some of my friends tell me I'll even grow to like it. I have found that being able to e-mail and phone helps. The best thing is that D seems happy. She was nervous about moving so far away from home. She mentioned a couple of times last week that except for staying with her cousin for a couple of weeks in the summer during elementary school, going to college would be her 1st time away from home. Of course, a few months ago she couldn't wait to leave! D had callbacks for FSU's production of "Oklahoma" yesterday and said things went well. She said they were considering her for a part as one of the featured dancers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully, H and I will be trekking to Florida in Oct. to see the show. Meantime, I've got plenty to keep me busy. Maybe I can finally do all those projects that never got started because I was too busy playing chauffeur. First project is cleaning the mess left behind by darling D in her room.

By Mtheatremom (Mtheatremom) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit

Hi everyone,
I am about to join in the empty-nest syndrome... My husband and I take our D to NYU/Tisch this Sat. We are flying in from NC instead of driving due to the hassle of the Repub. Nat'l Convention, not to mention the millions of other people/drivers in the city. We are sending by way of UPS - 7 boxes up there tomorrow and taking the rest in suitcases on the plane.

One of my D's roomates was her roomate that she met for the first time at CMU pre college MT/Drama program - summer of '03. Funny how things work out!! They have another roomate - an undecided Arts and Science major.

She has a week of orientation before classes start on Sept. 7th. Part of it includes learning to use the subway!!!

Anyway, when I get back next week, I am sure I'll need a shoulder to cry on. But, what has helped this past week was this... One of her best friends is going through the MT college audition routine this year and I compiled a notebook for her and her mother. I made different "chapters" based on the FAQs outline that Shauna compiled. In addition I had a "chapter" from our own personal experiances as well as a chapter on "how to get started"... I feel like I could work now in the college guidance office at my daughter's high school!!!

Anyway, I'll check in next week for moral support...

By 5pants (5pants) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:09 am: Edit

Margaret (Mtheatremom),

Good luck with the move to NY....never crossed my mind regarding the traffic/crowds with the Republican Convention around the same...yikes! Let us all know how you are doing when you return....

Looking for some advice for future moves-

Our move to St. Louis went somewhat smooth....I guess we learn as we go, don't we? The big lesson we learned was that just because you reserve a U-Haul trailer or truck doesn't mean you're going to get one. They accept reservations but *honoring* the reservation is whole different story.

Lucky for us we got the last U-Haul truck in the lot. Although bigger than we actually needed we were beggars and couldn't be choosers. The truck sucked $100 of gas over the 6 hour drive. Each time we gased up we held our breath that the hunk of junk's engine would turn over. The breaks seemed hard to work....I nearly backended my husband in our Jeep twice on the way down. The thought of having to do all this over 7 more times makes my skin crawl.

I would imagine that storing everything (non-pershible items) in a storage unit for the summer in a safe part of St. Louis would be the best bet. We have been told that some college students pool together for a shared space. Anyone out there do that in the past? This sounds so much more logical than hauling everything back and forth.



By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:49 am: Edit

Sue, many kids do store stuff at their college location. Also if you have to do the drive again, consider a one way and flying back the other way. We did this a lot as we had two kids at schools 7-9 hours away. We would rent a van to take them and their junk to school, drop it off at the airport and sleep during the flight home. For pick up one of us would fly out there, get the van and drive back home with the junk and kids. If you book the tickets in advance, you can do very well on the rates and drive kids and self one way, fly back the other for the same cost as a round trip ticket for yourself. And if you can do it in a day, which is what H always did, there is a time benefit along with a cost savings. Also less wear and tear as you are only driving one way and have company for the drive.

By Theatermom (Theatermom) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 08:35 am: Edit

Margaret (Mtheatremom)

Good luck on the trip to NYC. What an incredibly exciting time!! I'm sure C is more relaxed already knowing at least one of her roommates. Is it the same girl who was going to go to UMich and changed her mind at the last minute? (If it IS her, she was going to room with my D at UMich until she decided to go to CAP 21 - the allure of NYC was just too strong) If it is someone else, that means at least 3 CMU girls are in this year's CAP 21 freshman class. Not bad!

No such roommate luck here - don't you know that with 6000 kids in the UMich freshman class (university wide, of course) my daughter and her roommate have the SAME first name!! Should make for some interesting message confusion on their room phone......But she and my D have already communicated several times and first impressions have been reassuring. The roommate, a soccer playing, probable science or math major, lives 20 minutes away from their dorm!

With regard to the transportation issues, we've decided that my H will fly out to Ann Arbor (NO ROOM for him in the car!!) and my D and I will drive. I wanted every last minute with her and this way my husband can drive most of the way back while I sit huddled in the corner, crying my eyes out (just kidding........sort of.......)

By Dramatica (Dramatica) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 11:20 am: Edit



When our son started college 3 years ago, my H and I flew with S to school with H and I using our baggage allowance to carry S things. We did the math and found it cost about the same to fly with great “Southwest Internet Fares” from FL to RI than to drive and pay for Motels, gas food etc. I used the “space saver” bags to pack some of the larger items in large army type duffel bags. We waited to purchase “bulk” fragile items once we were in Providence. That way we would have a better idea of what S would need. H flew back after 2 days and I stayed for a few more. It worked really well and since I had a rental car I was able to take other kids shopping too.

Before we got to Providence I checked on the Internet to see if there were any Costco, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond and similar type stores within a reasonable distance of Brown. I printed maps and this helped save time once we were there. We had no trouble getting the things he needed and we got to know the area.

Since we were getting S a new computer for college, we ordered from Dell a few weeks before he was scheduled to arrive at school and had it delivered to the school’s bookstore. We made prior arrangements and for a nominal fee they stored it until we arrived.

At the end of freshman year, he stored what he could at school and we used “” to store some other things. He wanted to have his computer at home for the summer and although I tried to discourage him, I did not succeed. He removed the hard drive and carried the drive with him on his back pack and shipped the CPU case via ground Fed Ex in the original carton that he has kept. He did store the monitor at school. It worked so well that this past year when he came home for winter break, he carried the hard drive on his back pack again and packed the CPU in a suitcase with lots of dirty laundry.

This summer the school stopped their practice of letting students store things at school. The school contracted with either collegeboxes or some similar outfit and supposedly negotiated better rates for students to do summer storage. My son figured that if he went in with some friends they could split a large storage unit at a local storage place and spend less than with the box storage deal. They were very pleased with the deal they got. He did, however, bring the computer again on the plane, on its original carton not in the suitcase, minus the monitor. He almost had to pay for excess weight but the curbside attendant took pity of a college student and let it go through. With added security, he had to leave the box open for them to inspect it at the airport but he was prepared with tape and string to seal it right there.

Next week he leaves again and the computer will fly back once again. There has been no damage, but I did check last year with our homeowners’ insurance company and was assured that our policy would cover any damage.

Hope this helps some of you.


By Mtpop (Mtpop) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:22 pm: Edit

Dr. John - Have not been able to get any info about Collin County auditions from high school drama teacher, but am sure I will in time. So, here's the question: Is it strictly drama, or do students perform songs?

By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 12:55 pm: Edit

Awwww. Now y'all are making me want to cry. My mom lost both my brother and I to college and boarding school all in the same week last year. I think she turned it into party time for awhile and got her fill of us both over the summer, though. Now I feel bad for teasing her so much when I found her ad this time last year.

One thing I've found that saves space when packing if you have what seems like a cool roommate who'll agree to it is to take minimal bedding and decorating stuff and buy new, matching stuff at Target or K-Mart when you get there. A mismatched room will eventually get on your last nerve and decorating = bonding if you're compatible. Laptops save lots of space in the car and make up for tiny dorm room desks, too. This year, I got all the stuff I needed in the trunk of Mom's car.

Wow ... One-hundred twenty posts in eleven days! Such garrulity! Lemme know if you want me to start a new part to the thread.

By 5pants (5pants) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:43 pm: Edit

Ohhhh Thesbo....can I give you a great big hug? I just love it when you post, as you are so fun and so articulate.

SUE (5pants)

By Doctorjohn (Doctorjohn) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 02:38 pm: Edit


Some students do sing, to either a CD or taped accompaniment. I'm not totally surprised that CCCC hasn't responded directly to you, since they deal exclusively with high school teachers. Did you talk to your S(D?)'s drama teacher about getting him/her signed up?


We'd all be grateful if you started a new thread. Thanks!

By Newmtmom (Newmtmom) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 03:02 pm: Edit

Does anyone know anything about schools that are not the top tier? Has anyone heard anything about American Univ in DC? Drake? Milliken? Montclair State in NJ? or any of the SUNY programs? Also, does anyone know about Muhlenburg? I understand that theydon't have a musical theatre major but that you can double theatre with music.

By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 04:14 pm: Edit

There are messages all through this conversation (Parts 1-24) about the schools you mention. You need to copy and paste all parts into one document and then you can easily do a search on any one school you are interested in. It takes a few minutes to do this but it's worth it!!! I've used this many times to collect information about different programs.

By Shauna (Shauna) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 05:36 pm: Edit

Howdy y'all!

As you can tell I am in Texas. It is very very hot here! Unfortunately I still do not have a computer so I will have to make this short. I've got my classes - Ballet, Stagecraft, Stage Production, Honors Seminar, Honors Human Development, Music Theory, and hopefully private lessons. If I get into the voice lessons I will be taking about 19 units! I will be very busy! I'm trying out for the fall musical - Once Upon a Mattress - on Thursday so hope I break a leg or two! I will let you all know how it goes!


By Thesbohemian (Thesbohemian) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit

A'ight. Hugs for Sue, a new thread for Doctorjohn, and a big “break a leg” for sweet Shauna!

Part 25

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