As a current freshmen who is very involved in theatre at Whitman I just wanted to say how great the theatre program is here. Challenging, but not overwhelming, the professors and staff are fantastic and very devoted, and the other students are motivated and talented. Theatre here will keep you very busy, but anyone who has done a show knows that. I chose Whitman because of the schools I applied to I felt like this program would challenge me the most (the "real world" is after all very competitive), and that has been the case, I am growing and getting opportunities to grow too. It is not a department where it is impossible to get roles if you are not a theatre major and I have really enjoyed getting to work with so many very different people. Whitties as a whole seem very willing to try theatre and especially in the lower level acting classes you find a variety of people. Liberal arts colleges, and theatre for that matter, are sometimes rumored to be female dominated, but I really haven't noticed this. In one of my acting classes there were more fellas than girls; that was a first after high school! People here work very hard and are often very focused, but there is no mean spirit of competitiveness. I have found other cast members to be very mature and supportive and happy to show me the ropes.
My advice for choosing a school if you think you're going to be spending a lot of time in the theatre department is to visit. Many liberal arts colleges and performance arts schools offer audition based scholarships (including Whitman....coming up this spring). This is a really good opportunity to meet the faculty, see the facility (ours is newly remodeled and very comfortable to work in), and get an overall feel for the school. Not to mention that most of us don't want to pay as much tuition as we are asked to do- even with merit and need based aid- and every scholarship helps. Anyways, best of luck to you! If you have anymore questions feel free to ask!
Thanks, NorthwestLAC! it is terrific to get this information. We came to Whitman last February, did the tour, and sat in on the beginning acting class. One of the students was very friendly and showed us around the stage afterwards. If I remember correctly, the remodel wasn't complete. We are coming again so he can interview/audition for the scholarship. We were impressed when we were there last year, but it is great to hear what actual students involved think. I appreciate it, immensely. Are you a theatre major?
Just spent the last couple of days doing a tour of colleges with DS - a HS junior. We were all surprised to find out he liked Occidental and Pomona - instead of the larger research institutions. He's interested in physics and possibly other engineering areas. He'd prefer to be in a cooler climate with better air.
He's especially interested in the Occidental 3/2 program....I understand Whitman offers a similar program. Any insights on this program.
And of course in general...how do you like the town, how are the research/intern opportunities. How far to the nearest ski slope?
I can answer the ski slope question. Whitman students ski at a great regional ski resort in the Blue Mountains (Ski Bluewood Home), it's an hour away from Walla Walla. My son has a car and so do several of his skier buddies, so they give friends rides and split the cost of gas. The college offers skiing as a recreational sports class and provide transportation to the students, I think they also occasionally run a bus from school up to the slopes on weekends, and public buses take skiers from the Walla Walla area up the mountain, details are on the Bluewood website. Skiing is great right now, son said the powder was fabulous on Sunday. There are also many other skiing options at larger resorts within a 4 to 5 hour drive in all directions.
Opps, I was wrong about the public ski bus going through Walla Walla, it looks like it goes directly from Pasco to Bluewood. From what I can tell skiers without cars get to know skiers with cars and hitch rides. Son said there are quite a few Whitties he sees on the slopes. Now I hope someone can answer the 3/2 program question.
Dietz199: I don't know too much about the program, but my understanding is that after three years, students can transfer to Duke, Columbia, WashU, Caltech, or UW to study engineering. ( Combined Plans ) Sounds pretty cool to me, though I don't personally know anyone doing that just yet. Perhaps it'll be more clear to me when I become an upperclassman. In any case, I feel like the Science classes are all good here. Like everything, they are -much- smaller and more close-knit than you would find in a larger school. Teacher-student communication is also much more casual and all professors are approachable. Although it seems the student body has more focus on Bio/Chem/BBMB (Biochem, Biophys, and Molecular Bio) there is still a good amount of Physics majors. It sounds like a good program to me! I could have gone the more "Straight-forward" route with the sciences at a bigger university, but I feel like the liberal arts education I'm getting here makes my college feel a lot more fulfilling. Not to mention the wonderful people I live around that are so interesting individually! I (obviously) support him in his liberal arts interest, whether or not he ends up at Whitman.
As for the climate, it's definitely still cool here, now in February. But from May-September it does get really hot. Luckily most people do not stay here over the summer. Praise air-conditioning! I hear Walla Walla doesn't actually have the best air, but it feels clean and crisp to me. I like that it's dry here - I do not like humidity, which is what makes the air feel dirty to me. Running through the parks and neighborhoods are very nice.
Yes, bopambo is right about the ski trips. I see people going up to the mountains every weekend. There are tons of skiers here, and people really enjoy the courses they offer. It's not to get credits for recreational activities. I've probably said this earlier in my topic, but I love Walla Walla. It's a great little city and I think it's perfect for college. There are things to do, places to go, but not as distracting as a big city. Everyone here is so nice - Walla Walla was voted the friendliest city in America by USAToday! I see research/internship opportunities all over the place. The best way to find information about this, however, would be to contact specific people in areas you're interested in. I can't guarantee anything, but I do know that many students are involved with these things. Obviously, opportunities and openings fluctuate.
Boo. I'm seeing a trend that I don't know all that much about Whitman anymore. I gotta find out more about these specific areas. I've been to a few big concerts, and I enjoyed them. We also have really fun intimate recitals - every Friday at four. There are some really fantastic musicians here. I do not believe I have met any of the directors, sadly. One person I saw might have been a director.. but I'm not sure. She was lively and fun! I'm sure you could sit in on a class if you visited. Not until I choose to take music classes in later semesters will I know more, which I will for sure. But yes, there are chamber groups. We probably don't have a large music program, which makes it close-knit, like every other thing I've mentioned about Whitman.
Lots and lots of people play music here - at least piano on their own time or with lessons. For now, I just play piano very casually. There are pianos all over campus! And there are so many practice rooms. Walking through that hall hearing all the music being practiced is just great.
In reply to momsings: As I said, I'm a freshman, so I haven't declared....but I'm definitely considering majoring in theatre or double majoring in English and theatre. Hope the audition for the President's Scholarship went well!
Hello! I applied to Whitman and am eagerly awaiting a response. I was wondering if someone could tell me how religious students are responded to on campus. I am a liberal Catholic and looking to continue my faith in college. Is it awkward to be religious on campus? And how are the spiritual support groups? Thank you!
When I told my friend I was planning to go back to church at the beginning of the year, she gave me a skeptical look. We then began talking about God and religion, and the discussion was just so open, rich, free. There was no judgement, no attempts on "conversion," or any belittlement of any kind. It was a beautiful night. In my opinion, religious students are very accepted on campus. There is a fair amount of Catholics here at Whitman; when I do go to church, there is usually two to three students who would walk with me. There are also students of other religions. Whitman offers a spirituality room. And I think the one of the really cool, and eye-opening experiences in Encounters (a mandatory freshman class), is reading a few passages from the Qur'an, the Tanakh, the Bible, and other texts.