right arrow
Make sure to check out our August Checklist for HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: 10s4life just graduated from UCLA with a degree in electrical engineering. He'll answer questions about his experience at UCLA or the college admissions process. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

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


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

  • eb23282eb23282 874 replies25 threads Member
    edited September 2018
    Highlights (for those not wishing to click):
    1. New York University
    2. University of Michigan
    3. University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music
    4. American Musical and Dramatic Academy
    5. Carnegie Mellon University
    6. Boston Conservatory
    7. (tie) Yale University
    7. (tie) Oklahoma City University
    8. Point Park University
    9. (tie) University of North Carolina School of the Arts
    9. (tie) The Juilliard School
    9. (tie) Northwestern University
    9. (tie) Pace University
    10. (tie) Elon University
    10. (tie) Pennsylvania State University
    10. (tie) Fordham University

    Honorable Mentions:
    1. Syracuse University
    2. (tie) Baldwin-Wallace University
    2. (tie) University of Hartford (Hartt School of Music)
    2. (tie) University of the Arts
    3. Ithaca College
    edited September 2018
    · Reply · Share
  • Notmath1Notmath1 583 replies37 threads Member
    @soozievt I wrote the list! LOL
    · Reply · Share
  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31628 replies376 threads Senior Member
    ^^^Alas, that is the meaning behind your name, @Notmath1 LOL
    · Reply · Share
  • luisenluisen 28 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Seriously looking at this list the school that drives my attention is American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I just don´t understand how people call it SCAMDA! It has the 4th place for god sake!
    People should just stop calling this school in a very pejorative way.
    · Reply · Share
  • carriemc95carriemc95 170 replies15 threads Junior Member
    I understand your frustration. I think it's the accreditation issue. I have had many discussions about the school with my daughter, but she is adamant that she doesn't want to even consider it because she has only heard of the negatives.
    · Reply · Share
  • vvnstarvvnstar 1731 replies22 threads Senior Member
    @luisen I think AMDA has always provided decent skills training. Where many people get conflicted is that until very recently, they were really a 2 year conservatory training program, not a college. They did not used to offer the chance to get a college degree. Now they do have a 4 year BFA program. But I think compared to more traditional colleges, there are still issues with the ability to get things like academic scholarships or whether credits will transfer should you leave. And questions about the strength of academics. But AMDA has consistently produced working performers, no question. They are also one of those schools that has a relatively high acceptance rate compared to some other schools mentioned frequently here. So I've heard concerns voiced that they accept large numbers of applicants just to get their tuition $ whether they truly feel the students will succeed in this realm or not. I think that is where the "SCAMDA" part comes in. I have no knowledge or opinion about that. Just relaying concerns I've heard in the past about AMDA. But kudos to them for their alumni success. It is impressive!
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 24942 replies20 threads Senior Member
    The number not given is the percentage of Broadway actors who didn't go to college at all, or if these 20+ schools represent a good number of the actors on Broadway.

    NYU may be #1, but if only 1% of Broadway actors attended, that might not be a statistic that's worth much.
    · Reply · Share
  • lovetoactlovetoact 535 replies66 threads Member
    The other thing for us to keep in mind is that we’re here because our kids want to go to an undergrad theatre program. Some of these schools represent grad programs alone (Yale) or a combo of undergrad and grad.
    · Reply · Share
  • vvnstarvvnstar 1731 replies22 threads Senior Member
    I would not try to dissect any of these rankings too much. In any given year, this list will fluctuate in terms of what schools are on it and what number they are ranked.. Lists like these are just one more thing you can use in your research and analysis about different programs in which you are interested. One thing it does show you is that alumni at these schools are currently working on Broadway and alumni success is something I think both parents and students wish to see.. You may want to pull up lists from previous years to see which schools are on it consistently, which schools' alums seem to be on the rise and which ones may not be having as much recent success. These particular rankings are based on quantitative data -# of working alums. However, even Playbill admits, it is not necessarily comprehensive. But at least it is based on numbers. Some other lists are based on subjective opinion. Opinions are also good to have. But its important to understand when a ranking list is based on someone's personal opinion. Really, all of these lists need to be just a small piece of your puzzle in figuring out the schools in which you are most interested. They are interesting. But not necessarily the end all, be all.
    · Reply · Share
  • CaMom13CaMom13 2392 replies15 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2018
    I am a data geek and TBH I think people "protest too much" that these lists are meaningless. They aren't the final word on a good MT program but they're about the only hard data we have about who is getting work in live Theater. The Hollywood Reporter does something similar for Film and TV Actors and again - you shouldn't choose your school based on these lists but it's about the only hard data there is on training for work in film, so it's important to consider them as data. Many of the same schools do appear year after year so they aren't exactly random. If you go way back to the brilliant analytical CC postings of MTPragmatist in 2013 and subsequent similar lists you will see certain patterns. I found the lists interesting and helpful.

    In terms of the "top 10 theatre cities in the US" - well, the problem is there is no such thing. Acting jobs are heavily concentrated in New York and L.A. The rest are relatively small markets. Here's the Bureau of Labor Statistics site on Acting work (includes MT) for 2017.


    The regional market numbers look like this:
    Metropolitan area Employment (1) Pct of National Employment
    Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 10,020 23%
    New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 5,960 14%
    Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 1,860 4%
    Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 720 2%
    Salt Lake City, UT 680 2%
    Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 630 1%
    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 630 1%
    Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 630 1%
    San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 550 1%
    Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 490 1%

    As you can see there's LA, New York... and everyone else. Chicago would be the 3rd biggest market and it's less than 1/3 of NY. Pretty much all other markets are small. That doesn't mean there aren't jobs in those markets - 60% of all acting work is done OUTSIDE of LA and New York - but trying to do statistics on live entertainment in those areas by school would be impossible, the sample sizes are too small for the resulting numbers to be meaningful. The NY and LA "best of" lists will be regionally biased and that's something to consider strongly when looking at them. If a school in Texas / Florida / NC / CA gets on the top 10 on Broadway, to me that is pretty impressive... just as a strong showing by a NY school in the L.A. list is impressive. It still doesn't mean all graduates from that school magically get jobs!

    In terms of the original list and the question of what percentage of Broadway goes to which school - the closest estimate I have found in terms of numbers of actors on Broadway in any given year is about 600-700. The "top 10" (there were 18, lol!) list from last year showed over 300 total actors. So approx half the actors showing up on Playbills for Broadway shows went to one of the schools highlighted in the "top schools" article. And I would assume the other half went elsewhere... or didn't go to school at all! Lots of roads, all of them requiring hard work, talent and a bunch of good luck.
    edited September 2018
    · Reply · Share
  • lovetoactlovetoact 535 replies66 threads Member
    Also, @CaMom13 regarding your last paragraph (and since you're also a data geek)--the playbill list lumps all students of a school together, while we're on this discussion forum to talk about our kids' undergrad journeys. So, if a school like Yale School of Drama shows up on a list, that's a MFA program, and wouldn't apply to our kids who are looking for undergrad drama programs. Also, when the list mentions NYU (definitely impressive and a lot of kids), it doesn't delineate whether the kids went to undergrad Tisch vs. Steinhardt vs. MFA vs.PhD. For example, Gelsey Bell from Great Comet, has been listed as an NYU grad, but she went to Lehigh for a BA, then got an MA and PhD in performance studies from NYU. All very impressive and great to have in a network of alumni, but not representative of what many of the college confidential readers think of when they want their kids to reap the successes of Tisch's undergrad program.

    Just food for thought when considering 'the list.'
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity