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Carnegie Mellon BFA MT Questions, PLEASE READ!!!

musictheatre00musictheatre00 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
For current MT students, it seems like a lot of the threads out there are about auditions.
So I just wanted to put my questions out there about your college's BFA MT program. Please give me as full of an answer
as you can, the more detailed, the better...

-What is the relationship between the theatre students like?
-What is the relationship between the theatre students and faculty like?
-How much of the required currculum is Theatre/Music/Dance related? How much of other academics?
-Please discuss your favorite professor in the theatre program and how he or she teaches, what you like and don't like about him or her, and what makes him or her unique?
-What is the average format of the courses in the program?(class size, one-on-one student attention, performance, written work, home work, etc.)
-What is the most important thing you learned about Acting in your time here?
-What is the most important thing you learned about SInging in your time here?\
-What is the most important thing you learned about Dancing in your time here?
-What are your school's theatre productions like?
-What are the three most encouraged characteristics of a Musical Theatre Actor in your school?
-What are the three most encouraged characteristics of a Human Being in your school?
-What is the one thing about your school's MT program that makes it unique from any other?
-How many and what performing oppurtunities do you have at your school?
-Are there oppurtunities for studying abroad? If so, please give a recent example.
-Talk about your most recent Master class
-Any things you wish your program had?
-Any things you wish it didn't have?
-Are you having fun?
-And lastly, describe how your time at your University affected yourself.


You can answer one or all of the questions if you'd like, I'm really just looking for answers in general.
I must thank you all in advance for all of your help and time taken to answer these questions, it really means a lot
to me.
Post edited by musictheatre00 on

Replies to: Carnegie Mellon BFA MT Questions, PLEASE READ!!!

  • kaysmomkaysmom Registered User Posts: 507 Member
    Musictheatre, first let me say I am NOT a student but a parent of a current junior MT at CMU. When I saw that no one answered your reply yet, I thought I would chime in for at least what I know from my daughter.

    Regarding the relationship between theater students I think they have a special bond together. They work together all day, every day and their class is tiny. They really get to know each other and I have seen them have a great amount of respect for each other.

    I can tell you with regard to faculty that my daughter loves her professors! She feels they are extremely nurturing, talented and always approachable. There are professors that invite the kids to dinner, or cook for those who don't go home for Thanksgiving and there are those that go out of their way to make a difference. My daughter left her lunch box (yes she uses a lunchbox) in the dance room and not only did her teacher bring it back to her, but returned it filled with brownies she made. Just little things like that show how wonderful this faculty is!

    CMU is a conservatory...It is about 95% MT/Acting focused with just a handful of classes outside the department. The actors actually have more of an opportunity to have some electives but the MT's have their schedule done for them with little time for electives.

    Regarding format of the classes, the class sizes are very small. You stay with your grade because each grade has its own specific requirements. But the classes are divided as to dance placement and acting groups as well. So in my daughter's dance classes, I believe there are 4 in her tap class (including her), and 5 in her jazz and ballet classes. In her acting class there are about 8/9 students. In all MT classes, it is her whole class which this year is 11 students (5 girls and 6 guys). There is definitely one on one work with other students and staff if rehearsing a scene or things like that. There is definitely written work in classes like drama literature and much of the homework is looking up material, reading and rehearsing, I believe. Every week the entire MT program comes together for voice lab and a different grade each week is required to perform a song in front of their peers. My d loves this class! Everyone is soooo supportive of each other and it's a great way to try out different material and get feedback.

    The school productions I have seen are tremendously packed with talent, beautiful costumes and well thought out staging and sets. There is a tremendous variety in their shows from small student directed shows to the mainstage musical and straight theater pieces. You can not audition for productions here until your junior year but there are plenty of performing opportunities before that in a smaller classroom setting and during playground which is a student written, directed, acted, sung, event that stops classes for a week to be able to put on performances for an entire weekend. It is truly such an incredible outlet for these students to bring whatever their passion is to the stage! The CMU productions, though, are mostly straight plays with their being only one mainstage musical each year.

    I would say something that makes CMU unique is the very small class they choose each year and the fact that the courses are set for the students to advance through the program. The amount of courses these students take is also quite unique. The setting is not traditional - they aren't the average 15-20 credit hour students that you find in most colleges. Freshman year first semester my daughter had 14 classes! She was busy all day every day with barely a break for lunch. This semester she has 10 classes including a 3 hour - twice a week acting class.

    The do have opportunities to study abroad but all I really know about that is most MT students do this fall semester of their senior year.

    I am not sure which Master's class she had most recently but the ones I remember her talking about are Stephen Schwartz (who comes every year to CMU), Bebe Neuwirth, Patrick Wilson, and Billy Porter.

    Is she having fun?....absolutely! Does she love CMU?....most definitely. I have asked her quite a few times if she felt she made the right decision and she has always said yes without hesitation. For my daughter, this is the right place! If you have any other questions, please let me know as I have been long winded enough!
This discussion has been closed.