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

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

  • soozievtsoozievt 31386 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    Isn't it often the case that several students each year from these top 3 or 4 schools leave because they get a great break on Bway? So that would indicate that these students were already Bway ready pretty much and maybe needed a year or two of professional training. Upshot: not the school but the talent already there.

    I don't think that several students each year leave top programs due to being cast on Broadway. It happens, but it is not super common. I imagine it is more like a student here and there leaves early due to Broadway calling.

    However, I do believe that ONE reason that some very well-regarded MT programs may have several graduates on Broadway at any given time is because their graduates are a selected group that already made a very big cut to be accepted. Many are highly talented before entering the BFA program. The program surely hones their skills. But it is not surprising to see graduates from so-called top programs often doing well professionally. It is sorta the chicken/egg analogy....which came first?
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  • mtmcmtmtmcmt 165 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    So would you say that IF a student gets into these top couple of programs, it's nearly a guarantee that they should succeed quite well provided they continue with drive and great work ethic?
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    I would say there are no guarantees. Talent, drive and work ethic are absolutely essential - but there is a sprinkling of luck too.....

    Here is an article about Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford's journey. She went to Marymount Manhattan

    http://playbill.com/news/article/a-walk-in-the-park-with-annaleigh-ashford-talk-of-post-tonys-nachos-and-pounding-the-pavement-for-years-361344
    edited September 2015
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  • soozievtsoozievt 31386 replies371 threadsRegistered User, ! Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    So would you say that IF a student gets into these top couple of programs, it's nearly a guarantee that they should succeed quite well provided they continue with drive and great work ethic?

    Absolutely not. It is very hard to make it in this field no matter how talented one is or what program/college they attended. Talented people attend a myriad of programs, and not just the so-called top programs. Some don't even go to college or don't even major in MT! "Making it" involves so many factors including talent, skills, training, experience, smarts, drive, type, networking, luck, and more.

    Earlier I was simply saying that it is not surprising if there may be a higher number of graduate from X program who are successful than from Y program and that isn't necessarily due to the program itself. After all, a top competitive program may have a larger concentration of talent in the class. The students graduating from that program have already gone through a very competitive selection process to get into it.

    But I am a firm believer that anyone can make it (however you definite "making it" and for me, that definition is not simply "being on Broadway"), no matter where they went to school. Great training can help but it won't necessarily get you the work. Great training can be had at many colleges!

    There are NO guarantees of becoming a working actor if you attend X or Y college. It really is about the person, not the college they went to. And even the most talented people are not always successful in getting work.
    edited September 2015
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  • swimsingswimsing 16 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Be advised: BoCo in talks to merge with Berklee in the near future. Lots of info about it on their websites.
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  • bfahopefulbfahopeful 1092 replies21 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    Alex Sharp's replacement in Curious Incident is from UNCSA. UNCSA, like Juilliard, is not an MT school but they do a lot of voice and dance training and they do have alum on broadway. (had to shout out for what I think will be my child's home next year!) :)
    edited March 2016
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  • limbo2019limbo2019 208 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Congratulations on UNCSA! My D graduated from the HS Drama program, and it was an amazing year for her!
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  • lovetoactlovetoact 457 replies47 threadsRegistered User Member
    @bfahopeful we just saw Curious Incident this weekend and Tyler Lea was excellent!
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  • bfahopefulbfahopeful 1092 replies21 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    So good to hear @limbo2019 and @lovetoact!
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  • addicted2MTaddicted2MT 533 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 2016
    Curious thing....Mary Poppins Musical came on tour via BAA to our town recently. The leads/major roles were from what CC considers 2nd & 3rd tier schools. Michigan was all over the ensemble! The girl playing Mrs. Banks had golden pipes!
    edited March 2016
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  • lojosmolojosmo 697 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    ^ Curious how? Are you speaking of TUTS?
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  • addicted2MTaddicted2MT 533 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    @lojosmo - Yes!!!
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  • lojosmolojosmo 697 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited March 2016
    @addicted2MT ~ I am still curious as to why you are curious?
    edited March 2016
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  • addicted2MTaddicted2MT 533 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    @lojosmo - perhaps "curious" was a wrong choice of word. I just found it interesting. I know several kids who are auditioning for MT programs in our town this year (who saw the same performance) so we looked at where the cast went to school. They were the ones who pointed out that Michigan made up a large part of the cast but also noticed that, with the exception of the Bird Lady (who was older), their roles were in the ensemble. This affirmed for them that while schools have an impact on a student's training, in the end, it is the performer who earns the role for himself/herself regardless of what school was attended.
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    @lojosmo - congrats to your kid! And I agree that most of the roles you list above would not be played by super recent grads of ANY schools .... and if Michigan was all over the ensemble it means their grads are working rather than pounding the pavement. I understand why you were taking comments as negative (though I don't know if they were really meant that way) - but I would flip that around and be proud that he is working! Reminds me of when I was a recent college graduate and "blonde jokes" were all the rage (I am quite fair haired). When a "gentleman" tried them around me - my comeback was "You know why blonde jokes are so short? So guys can remember them". ;)
    edited March 2016
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  • addicted2MTaddicted2MT 533 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    @lojosmo - I did not mean to bash on any school. I am sorry if you took it personally because your child attended Michigan. My D was in a professional production with some of the leads (as well as many in the ensemble) and knows them personally, and reconnected with them at the stage door. Though the other leads did not list their schools, they were not 1st tier schools. They purposely don't list their school in their bio because space is limited and feel their school does not define them as a performer. My point was not to put down any body, but illustrate that any kid, from any school (or no school at all) can achieve success, and even land lead roles. This is something that has been said here and agreed upon by many. However, it is one thing to say something, quite another to see it in practice in a real life application. One of my D's role models growing up (and close friend), is a graduate of Michigan. She went on tour with Wicked and ended up as Galinda's understudy. I have nothing but respect for this child, and the school. However, I believe this young lady would have achieved the same results had she attended any of the other schools to which she was admitted. She was AMAZINGLY talented already before she go to Michigan. Clearly, having kids in the ensemble, rather than having no one make the cast is also a great thing. Kudos to Michigan just for getting kids employed! Goodness knows that is what most of us here want for our own kids upon graduation - who cares what the role!!!! However, many kids, mine included, did not/ cannot even apply to these "tier 1" schools because the cost (even if admitted) is not a fit. It is wonderful for these kids to see that leads don't necesarily go to "tier 1 schools" and that "2nd tier schools" also do nurture/prepare kids well enough to land leads.
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  • MomCaresMomCares 3058 replies90 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2016
    Most MT parents would be thrilled if our grads enjoy the level of success that @lojosmo's talented S is having. We also know, for what it's worth, that one of the early Mary Poppins' on the 1st National tour was a recent UMich grad when she landed the role. ;)
    edited March 2016
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