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Broadway's Big 10: Top Colleges Currently Represented on Currently Running Shows

soozievtsoozievt ! 31629 replies376 threads Senior Member
As part of Playbill.com's Back to School week (#BwayBacktoSchool), we have combined our past Schools of the Stars features that track where major members of the cast and creative team on each Broadway show went to college, along with a bit of added research, to present the top 10 colleges currently represented on Broadway (plus honorable mentions).

We have also included a few performers from shows that will be opening during the upcoming season.

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Replies to: Broadway's Big 10: Top Colleges Currently Represented on Currently Running Shows

  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31629 replies376 threads Senior Member
    They are:

    Univ. of Michigan
    Florida State

    "Honorable Mentions":

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  • theaterworktheaterwork 1313 replies191 threads Senior Member
    Hate it when these articles come out cause my D sees them and gets right back to where she was about school choice and totally ignores the fact that most of these on the list are crazy talented anyway. Gotta wonder about that long list from NYU though...thinking there are some connections these people are making at that school . Ugh...so wish my D could go there!
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  • amtcamtc 2838 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Right, toowonderful. Maybe you should look more at percentages than pure numbers. MomCares - care to do that?
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  • bisouubisouu 2408 replies145 threads Senior Member
    Question: How did this get that little fire icon? I always wonder about those.
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  • theaterworktheaterwork 1313 replies191 threads Senior Member
    Sorry about starting an NYU thing again! Lol it must be that darn Adam Jacobs...
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  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 3303 replies119 threads Senior Member
    And you have to recognize some of those graduates on Broadway counted on those list might have graduates 10-30+ years ago when those schools had different faculty. It's good to see, but better to know which schools are putting students on Broadway from recent classes now.
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  • lojosmolojosmo 746 replies10 threads Member
    Looking at the list for Michigan at least seven have graduated in the last five years.
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I also know that there are some kids on the list who did not graduate - there is a kid on the Ithaca list who went to my D's HS - he dropped out after a year and a half or so. And bear in mind that it is a snapshot of a given time- 2 other kids from the local area(and went to CMU and Ithaca) have BEEN on bway in the last year (one is coming back in Audra McDonald's new show soon) but are not represented right now....
    edited August 2015
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  • uskoolfishuskoolfish 2908 replies50 threads Senior Member
    NYU also includes Tisch and Steinhardt. Although D's friend from Steinhardt just made his Bdway debut last week (Book of Mormon) and was not included. We saw him in the show on Saturday night and he was awesome!
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31629 replies376 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    Agreed that NYU is a big school and so there are more graduates and so the larger number is, in part, due to that.

    In terms of how recently people graduated who are on the list, I know on the NYU list, there are many from my D's own class on the list and several who were also at NYU at the same time period she was (recently) but not her actual class.

    And yes, this is a list that is just who is currently on Broadway or about to be. I can think of several of D's friends from college who were recently playing roles on Broadway but their shows have closed, for example.
    edited August 2015
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  • MomCaresMomCares 3058 replies90 threads Senior Member
    ... better to know which schools are putting students on Broadway from recent classes now.
    Sometimes that skews toward dancers, though, who tend to peak younger than singers, and also toward ensemble versus leads. It also skews toward schools who admit based on commercial looks versus those who also admit future character actors.
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31629 replies376 threads Senior Member
    Totally agree that success in this field shouldn't be marked by who is on Broadway. In my view, a working actor is success! However, this article is just a collection of data of current Broadway shows, nothing more, nothing less.
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31629 replies376 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    @MomCares re: post #15, that can be true. However, it so happens that of all the NYU kids in my D's class or in classes that were there when she was there that are on that list in the Playbill article.....they have roles on Broadway and are not in the ensemble. Some are even leads.

    Some of my D's NYU cohorts on that list were also in her a cappella group. Also, my D's MT class (Tisch '09) was particularly strong (many have said this and it is not my own opinion). If I were to add to that list currently on Broadway and look at who has been on Broadway, National Tours, Off Broadway, regional theaters of note, movies, and TV from her graduating class, a lot have been pretty successful.
    edited August 2015
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  • spayurpetsspayurpets 870 replies4 threads Member
    The hottest show on Broadway is, of course, Hamilton. Hamilton College is experiencing some sort of resurgence along with its namesake Alexander Hamilton. But Hamilton the Musical really is a Wesleyan University production, where both the creators, including Lin-Manuel Miranda (playing the lead as well) are Wes alums. I understand that several members of the production also went to Wesleyan.
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31629 replies376 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015

    Cast List:

    Lin-Manuel Miranda: Wesleyan University
    Javier Muñoz: New York University/CAP 21
    Phillipa Soo: The Juilliard School
    Leslie Odom, Jr.: Carnegie Mellon University
    Renée Elise Goldsberry: Carnegie Mellon University & University of Southern California
    Christopher Jackson: American Musical and Dramatic Academy
    Daveed Diggs: Brown University
    Okieriete Onaodowan: Rutgers University
    Anthony Ramos: American Musical and Dramatic Academy
    Jasmine Cephas Jones: Berklee College of Music
    Jonathan Groff: Did not attend college
    Carleigh Bettiol: SUNY Oneota
    Ariana DeBose: Western Carolina University
    Sydney James Harcourt: Interlochen Arts Academy and The Maggie Flanigan Studio
    Sasha Hutchings: Oklahoma City University
    Thayne Jasperson: Utah Valley State College
    Emmy Raver-Lampman: Marymount Manhattan College
    Jon Rua: NA
    Austin Smith: The Juilliard School
    Seth Stewart: Fordham University/Alvin Ailey
    Betsy Struxness: The Juilliard School
    Ephraim M. Sykes: Fordham University/Alvin Ailey

    Production Credits:

    Lin-Manuel Miranda (Book, Music, Lyrics): Wesleyan University
    Thomas Kail (Direction): Wesleyan University
    Andy Blankenbuehler (Choreography): Southern Methodist University
    Alex Lacamoire (Music Direction): Berklee College of Music
    David Korins (Scenic Design): University of Massachusetts – Amherst
    Paul Tazewell (Costume Design): North Carolina School of the Arts & New York University
    Howell Binkley (Lighting Design): East Carolina University
    Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design): Harvard University


    The only people who went to Wesleyan are Lin-Manuel Miranda (book, music, lyrics, actor) and Thomas Kail (director).
    edited August 2015
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  • monkey13monkey13 996 replies33 threads Senior Member
    @toowonderful, if you're talking about Sean, I believe he was at Ithaca through his junior year....he was there at least through the end of his sophomore year, b/c he performed in the spring musical the second semester of his sophomore year. Maybe you're confusing him with Aaron Tveit, who spent 1 year as a VP major, then transferred to MT for a short time before being cast on Broadway? He wasn't at Ithaca that long, but I believe they awarded him his BFA in 2012, anyway (do you blame them?). But, if you really think about it, who wouldn't leave school for a Broadway job? For a lot of them, that's the golden ring...the ultimate prize. (BTW, they also forgot Danny Gardner, Ithaca grad, who opens in just a few weeks in Dames at Sea.)

    Regardless, some of these schools have very impressive lists. I find it fascinating how many Juilliard grads are in musicals, when they don't even have a MT department. Such a great school for both acting and voice, and it looks like their grads can be successful in MT without the MT program. I think Phillipa Soo is one of the most phenomenal voices out there.
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