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Current MT Students?

birdie15birdie15 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited October 2011 in American University MT
My D was accepted for MT major and we were wondering if a current student could let us know their experiences at American. We would like to know specifics about the training. Do you have voice once a week for your entire time at AU? How many hours do you dance each week? Do MT majors have requirement to work on shows when they aren't in them? What is a typical daily/weekly schedule? How are your classes outside of the major? How do you like living in DC?
Post edited by birdie15 on

Replies to: Current MT Students?

  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    I'm not sure there are any current AU MT students on CC. But my D is currently a freshman so I can give you a little insight into her experience.

    I don't think there is anything such as a typical schedule for MT at AU as the curriculum is pretty flexible and, unlike a BFA, all freshman do not take the same classes. My D has taken (each semester) 2 gen ed classes, 2 theatre classes (an intro to theatre class, stagecraft, physical theater and theater history II), voice lesson and 1 dance class (jazz I and jazz II.) But again, it is fairly easy to customize any schedule you choose with consultation with your advisor. D was able to take an upper level theatre history class this semester that is mostly jrs and srs without any prerequisite. But that means that next semester she will be taking Acting I with mostly incoming freshmen.

    D plans on taking voice every semester, but because of scholarship limitations (cannot take over 17 hours) she can only fit in one dance class each semester which meets twice a week. I believe that some of the other kids take additional dance at an off campus studio in Friendship Heights.

    D was cast in two shows last semester and has teched one show this semester, but none of this is required. I know that rehearsals take up most of her evenings from about 7-11pm. According to D, the BA program is what you choose to make of it. If you want to be constantly involved in theatre - you can be. If you want to take a semester to intern or work on non-theatre stuff - you can. D will be taking a semester abroad to study history her junior year and will still be able to graduate on time. Very different from a BFA in terms of flexibility.
  • birdie15birdie15 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    megpmom - thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
  • scardeedadscardeedad Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    hi..i am very new to this forum...my S is also at AU just finished freshman year..dbl major math(teaching)/MT..for now....relative newcomer to MT but has been very successful..is your D in Tommy?? my S got the role of Tommy's father...He was Angelo in measure to measure...and yes..rehearsals at night were killers
    My S wants to audition at other schools "noted" for MT...I have lots of questions for you..but not all at once..haha
    Where else did your D apply (was she always going to be a theater mjr?)...
    then why AU? Does she feel she made the right choice..was her experience what she thought it would be
    My S feels he will have a better "shot" at a more specific school...
    I am trying to be the proud papa on the outside..with reality kicking me on in the inside(hence the name)
    I hope you see this and we can have a dialogue...
    we are actually going to see Shenendoah U tomorrow and already went to Boston Conservatory...thanks for your time
  • bookshawbookshaw Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Did you visit Shenandoah? If so, what were your impressions?

    My S is considering AU also because he got to know one of the theater professors during a college audition camp that US performing arts held at GW. He really liked her.

    But Shenandoah is another of our options. We are tentatively planning a visit on 7/30/11.
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,145 Senior Member
    Not to hijack the AU thread... but quickly... bookshaw... if you are looking at the BA at AU and plan on visiting Shenandoah, you might want to take the 50 minute drive south from Shenandoah to visit James Madison. There, are no official department visits until August... but one of the general admissions office tour guides working on campus this summer is a current MT student and I could put you in touch with him.

    I teach at JMU, but am not on campus during the summer because I am the artistic director of a theatre in NH, but feel free to PM me with any questions. In the small world category... one of the directors (faculty) and a few of the performers I hired to work at the summer theatre this summer are from Shenandoah. A few years ago one of the directors here at the summer theatre teaches at AU. :)
  • scardeedadscardeedad Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Hi bookshaw
    Yes..we went to Shenendoah...GREAT program..very impressive..we got to talk with one of the profs and he was very cogenial and forthright..For my S biggest drawback was location
    literrally in the middle of no where..school is very small..only 1800 students..my S would go nuts (we live outside of Phila., PA)..he wants to go to a BFA program so we are looking around to transfer in 9/12..if he doesnt get in he will stay at AU
    I agree - the profs my S has had and I have met in theater are very dedicated at AU
    They say one of the best ways to judge a program is by seeing one of their performances
    If you live near DC...they are doing Tommy -the rock opera by the Who-around 10/23(weekend)...my S plays the father
    good luck!
  • bookshawbookshaw Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    thanks KATMT and scaredad.

    It is too bad SU is not taken by aliens and plunked down in the theatre district of Philly. We also visited U of Arts in Philly and I loved the area there. My son not so much. However, U of Arts put the minimum effort into their campus tour. But the idea of going to a school in that sort of envirement is , I think, hugely important for a student's professional future. With the schools such as Elon and Shenandoah, a student may receive the same level of training or better, or worse, but after graduation, they must relocate for a job. At Philly, they just roll out of bed and it's all there. I view it as the next best thing to a school such as NYU and its proximity to professional opportunities.
  • bookshawbookshaw Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Open the floodgates.

    Along with Shenandoah, and probably many other schools we are not aware of, now U of Michigan is doing it.

    UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance - Department of Musical Theatre - Auditions & Interviews

    Soon all the musical theatre schools will wise up and have prescreening video requirements.
  • KellyLJ1KellyLJ1 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Scareedad, why is your son wanting to audition elsewhere, if he is already involved and getting cast at AU? Is there a specific issue he has with the program/ training he is receiving at American? My daughter is planning to audition for the acting program there (not MT) but I would love to hear any insight that your S has gotten about the program at AU. Since you wrote your post in June, I am wondering if he did indeed transfer or if he decided to stay at AU.
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    Scareedad's S did transfer (he is a friend of my D's). He was not a MT major when he began at AU (I believe he was a math major) and, according to my D, once he decided to be an MT major, he wanted a BFA. I don't believe that he had taken many (if any) MT or Acting classes at AU - just participated in productions. However, he has been the only theatre kid to transfer out from my D's class. Everyone else seems very happy. Probably because they chose the BA option for a reason.
  • KellyLJ1KellyLJ1 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Thanks, megpmom! We did a tour of AU last week and are hoping to get back to tour the theatre dept. soon. We live in the area, so she wasn't interested at first but really liked it once we spent some time on the campus. We are also hoping to get in to see Tommy this weekend or next. I'm glad to hear that your daughter enjoys the program. Do you have any idea how many kids are in the acting program vs. the MT program?
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    I only know the stats for my D's class (current sophomores). There were 20 applicants for MT, 5 are attending. They had something like 230 applicants for straight theatre/theatre arts/theatre mgmt and about 20 are attending. It is a smaller program than most BA programs which makes for a very tightly knit group.

    One of the great programs at AU is the University College for freshmen. UC is basically "themed housing" where freshmen choose to live with kids w similar interests and take a gen ed class together. There is a theatre UC that most of the majors choose to live in. They get to be very close friends, attend class together, explore the city, etc.
  • KellyLJ1KellyLJ1 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Megpmom, I just went to the AU website and read all about University College. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing the information. One thing my daughter liked at JMU was the performing arts dorm. This sounds like an interesting alternative as well! Do you know which dorm the theatre UC is generally in? I didn't see that on the website.

    From what you said, it sounds like each year has about 25 students, so approximately 100 or so kids in the theatre program total sounds like. That seems like a size where the professors would really get to know all the kids. Thanks for all the info!
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    The UCs move around to different dorms over the years. This year, I believe all of the UCs are in Roper Hall or Letts Hall. The theatre UC is in Roper, which is a tiny newly renovated dorm. But next year, it may be back to Letts, which is mostly for freshman.
This discussion has been closed.