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TCU BFA MT

loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
Page 1 of 2

There is not a lot of discussion about Texas Christian University’s BFA MT in this forum even though it's on the big list, so I thought that I would contribute now that my daughter is a freshman. Most information will be factual; however, we did interview close to 8-10 current students and alumni in the program before making a decision, so I will include some of their input if there was a strong consensus. My hope is to paint a picture of the program and university for you to decide if it is a match for your student.

LOCATION: TCU sits about 5 miles south from downtown Fort Worth. FW is a charming, historic city with a strong economy, lively nightlife and vibrant theatre scene. It is 30 minutes to Dallas and there are two accessible airports (DFW 30 minutes, Dallas Love, 45 minutes), giving a student a lot of options for flights. It is also a relatively milder climate than some other MT school options. Restaurants, Uber, upscale and mall shopping, as well as culture are nearby. There are a few restaurants and other basic needs within campus walking distance.

CAMPUS SETTING & ENVIRONMENT: It is a stunning 290-acre, park-like campus in a residential neighborhood. The campus makes a lot of the top rankings for its beautiful facilities and reflects a well-funded private university. The maintenance and amenities are exceptional and their top-rated dorms are continually being renovated as well as their state-of-the-art Rec Center. Additionally, their outstanding football stadium, sports facilities and academic buildings are continually being upgraded.

MT PROGRAM SIZE & ENVIRONMENT: There are 43 total students enrolled as BFA MT majors within the entire 4-year conservatory-style program and 33 total students in BFA Acting. My D’s Freshman MT class is 12 students, with a balanced male/female ratio. The smaller program was enticing to her because of the personal attention by faculty and more performance opportunities.

ACTING: The MT program is under the School of Theatre and my D and I have been very impressed with the 4 performances we have seen combined. The faculty has experience in the local professional theatre scene as well as Broadway experience; every summer they run a Shakespeare Festival on campus with professionals and students in the cast. OnStage Blog rated TCU #6 in the country this year for BFA MT programs.

DANCE: There is leveled dance class offerings that rotates each semester in the MT department. My D took advanced tap this semester and will take advanced jazz next semester. There is also opportunity to take classes in their top-ranked dance department, but you do have to audition into some. My D’s schedule is full with 18 units, so she has chosen to take dance in an outside studio for her first year because it works and the price was reasonable. The professional studio is close to campus so she is perfectly happy with this arrangement. I have been told by upperclassmen and alumni that the BFA schedule opens up more after the first year to fit more dance from the dance department.

SINGING: My D currently takes ½ hour private voice lessons through the School of Music each week, which is offered for MT majors all four years. She had extensive voice training prior to college, so the ½ hour is sufficient for her. It is possible to take one hour lessons as you progress into the upperclassmen curriculum. They also have MT Performance Lab twice a week, which incorporates singing and acting.

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES: First, there are eight on-campus performance opportunities each year, two of which are musicals. Every other year they perform their musical at a larger, regional theatre in town. Additionally, they do the same thing for one of their plays. Freshman are often cast their first year and the smaller program size allows a reasonable opportunity to be cast every semester of their four year program. Students report fair casting in the program and honest feedback during this process,

CAREER DEVELOPMENT/PROFESSIONAL EXPOSURE/ALUMNI. TCU has great accessibility to professional experience for your resume by the time you graduate in order to build a network of references. According to rankings, DFW is the 4th largest theatre market in the country. While on-campus performances take precedence, there are at least 5 equity theatres in the DFW area that are well respected and known in the industry. Dallas Theatre Center won the 2017 Tony Award for best Regional Professional Theatre. The department emails the students with multiple opportunities to audition in-between their on-campus commitments. Additionally, their teachers provide the resources to apply and audition for out of area summer stock professional theater and encourages the students to work with them on their audition material.

Almost every semester there is an on-campus master class or a professional who comes in to give industry advice. While there are alumni on Broadway, students also easily end up in national tours and professional regional theatre. The department is supportive of students who have school schedule conflicts for professional auditions or work on national tours that may overlap. Students and professors come and support their fellow students in the regional professional theatre scene. Many motivated students have graduated with enough EMC points to go equity, if they desire.
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Replies to: TCU BFA MT

  • loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
    Page 2 of 2

    FINANCIAL AID: The cost of attendance right now is $60k inclusive, but generous merit/financial aid and talent scholarship is available for those qualified. Their information session at Unifieds explains that if you are accepted and are serious about TCU, they will go to bat for you in the financial aid department--they held true to their word. My D (as well as her parents!) fell in love with the campus, the friendly students and the mid-size university atmosphere. Once it was in her top two choices, the theatre department painlessly came through for us. Based on my experience and observations, TCU wants a smart, talented and diverse population in their theatre department and on their campus.

    CAMPUS LIFE: TCU was just named No. 2 in the nation for student engagement by the Wall Street Journal/Times for the second year. Frog Camps are for entering students, which offer a variety of summer-camp experiences in addition to your typical freshman orientation. Campus tradition and school spirit is off-the-chart for this relatively mid-size school. There are 21 Varsity Sports and the Horned Frog teams are members of the NCAA Division I Big XII Conference. ESPN College Football Game Day selected TCU two years in a row for their featured school, and the students really rallied around the honor. There is always programming going on somewhere on campus, including free concerts, activities in the squad, sports events, etc and the alumni loyally funds a lot of this supportive environment. Freshman and sophomores must live on campus, so this helps with creating a community. 40% of the students participate in one of the national fraternities and sororities, contributing to a strong Greek community. If you are interested in Greek life, you can do it while in MT, yet it is demanding. If you don’t care for Greek life, you can be choose to be part of the 200+ student clubs as well as just hang out with your theater or dorm buddies.

    UNIVERSITY ADMISSION & DEMOGRAPHICS: 40% acceptance rate, incoming class score averages were 28 ACT and 1250 SAT; there are ~9,000 undergrads, 13:1 faculty ratio in classrooms, 92% Fresh-to-Soph retention rate; notable demographics are 45% Texans, 18% Californians; yet students represent every state and 87 countries; 68% Caucasian.

    THE “C” IN TCU: The school is affiliated with Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Most professors would describe it as a loose affiliation with only one required religion class, similar to most universities. The student demographics show that students identified as 45% Protestant, 22% Catholic, and 33% other. There are 23 recognized student religious organizations on campus, including groups for Christian, Jewish and Muslim students, among others.

    Summary:
    -The TCU Theatre department knows that Broadways is cutthroat, but you don’t have to be that way to be successful. Almost every student we spoke to either showed us that or told us that was the environment there.

    -We spoke with several students who were offered fabulous choices and chose TCU. Of the ones I remember, one girl had 13 acceptances, another guy had 16, while my D had 9. Their acceptances included schools like Texas State, Penn State, OCU, Syracuse and Ithaca. They felt like TCU really wanted to get to know the student and fit the right type of student with their school, asking challenging and engaging questions. The department discussed the importance of the students being a part of the campus community: football games, clubs, student employment, etc. Their impressive campus visit and down-to-earth meetings with faculty have prospective students drinking the TCU purple kool-aid and sealing the deal.

    In summary, TCU may be a “just right” school for you if 1)you are interested in strong academics, but don’t want to drown in core curriculum; 2) Enjoy big-time sports, school spirit and tradition as well as stellar facilities, while the same time prefer smaller class sizes and a mid-size campus; 3) Desire a challenging theatre program with professional opportunities, yet want a supportive cohort, and 4)Seek a school where you can have a theatre family as well as a diverse group of friends and activities outside of theatre.
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  • Notmath1Notmath1 577 replies36 threads Member
    Thank you for this detailed information. I would be interested to know more about the difference between a BFA Theatre with an "emphasis" in MT as opposed to the standard BFA MT. Is this similar to the BFA emphasis in MT at Boston University? Thanks to anyone who can give more details. Maybe @soozievt ?
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  • loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
    edited December 2018
    Curriculum wise it is one in the same for TCU; they just call it something different. Their 4-year coursework looks similar to just about every other BFA MT we put it against.
    edited December 2018
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  • TwelfthmanTwelfthman 135 replies40 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2018
    @loribelle This profile / synopsis of TCU is very helpful and well done; I don't always look at each college folder but this definitely caught my eye as a general discussion thread. Thanks for doing it and I am happy that this program looks like a great fit for your D! Performance opportunities as well as career development / professional exposure look extremely encouraging. Glad you enjoyed the four performances too. MT majors can audition for all plays right?

    Any specific encouraging or disappointing insights about faculty and instruction from your D related to acting, dance and singing / voice? I gather that the focus of the MT Performance Lab is ensemble singing right? How does acting factor into the Lab? Does the theatre program teach primarily a single acting method (e.g., Stanislavski, Meisner, etc.) or is training offered in a full compliment of methods / techniques for students to choose from? Any big pluses or minuses from her courses so far? I realize you may not have anything further to add at this point, but hopefully you can do an update shortly after your D has finished her sophomore year -- in 1 and 1/2 years.

    I will definitely encourage my D to check out the TCU MT curriculum. Thanks again.
    edited December 2018
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  • loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
    edited December 2018
    Yes, you audition for all performances at the beginning of each semester and they cast you for the semester.

    MT lab is combo ensemble, duets and solos. It’s acting through singing but primarily fundamentals their freshman year, more audition technique their sophomore year, etc.

    They learn all acting methods. They started with Meisner this first semester. Not sure about next, but the focus is on movement and speech.
    edited December 2018
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  • soozievtsoozievt 31431 replies373 threads! Senior Member
    @Notmath1 While I'm not super familiar with TCU's programs, I would not get concerned over the name of the degree program. What matters is the curriculum. Schools may call a MT program different things. For example, Wagner's program, a BA, is really a MT program, but is called Theater. At NYU/Tisch, there is a MT studio program, but the degree is actually called BFA Drama.
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  • GloriaVaughnGloriaVaughn 530 replies1 threads Member
    I'll ask the question that can get overlooked. Are all the classes taught by profs or do grad students teach some of the classes?
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  • loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
    No grad students that I know of. 👍🏻
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  • tmygirltmygirl 373 replies8 threads Member
    Great job @loribelle TCU was a walk in for my son, so we didn’t have a clue. You have described TCU very well! My son is equity eligible bc of all of the professional opportunities DFW has to offer. I can’t believe he is graduating!!
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  • loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
    @tmygirl so excited for your son’s future. My daughter was just cast in a supporting role for the spring musical as a freshman (that will be held off campus in a theatre in the cultural arts district of Fort Worth). Most of the freshman have been cast in one of the two musicals this year, helping them build their resume and giving them that much needed performance experience. Go Frogs! 🐸💜
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  • tmygirltmygirl 373 replies8 threads Member
    Awesome!!! Congrats! I love that TCU casts freshmen! The Scott is an awesome theatre. We already have our plane tix for that show😂 my son’s last collegiate show. Hard to believe. Hope to meet you! We are going 4/27 night and seeing 4/28 matinee. So excited for your daughter! Awesome!
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 176 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My S (HS Senior) is currently rehearsing for a production with some of the TCU kids. Quality program and they love it. As mentioned above, there are ample opportunities in DFW for the students to get equity work... although Dallas has a bad reputation for not paying well.

    TCU campus is beautiful. Definitely on my S's list, although I'm guessing he wants to get out of town for college.
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  • tmygirltmygirl 373 replies8 threads Member
    Spring Awakening? My son is in that show!
    Just got our tix!! Flying in from Michigan :-) Can’t wait!
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 176 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Yes. It's looking like it's going to be a good one. They are performing in a very good theater. I have tickets to the Sunday Matinee, then we are getting on a plane to head to Chicago for Unifieds. We come home on Thursday, then he leaves with his mom on Friday for LA unifieds. Oh, and rehearsals for Spring Awakening started the day after his Dallas Junior Players show.
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  • tmygirltmygirl 373 replies8 threads Member
    Awesome! My son is playing Melchior. He is loving it! We will be @ the Saturday night show and the matinee. Busy time for you guys!! Best wishes to your son! Enjoy the process! I can’t believe my son is already graduating! If you have any TCU questions or other schools, I’d love to help if I can. Definitely have him do walk ins @ Unifieds is one piece of advice. He will end up exactly where he is supposed to. Best wishes! Exciting time!
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  • MTMama23MTMama23 32 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for this information. It's so helpful! @loribelle
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  • onetteonette 34 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I looked on TCU's page and don't see they are doing Spring Awakening? Can you post a link to the production? We live a short drive away and would love to go check it out...
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  • loribelleloribelle 388 replies9 threads Member
    @onette It’s an Uptown Players production. Just several TCU Theatre students in the production.
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 176 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @tmygirl my Son is Ernst. I think he has done some other shows locally with TCU students, too. Like I said, there is a lot of work in the area and TCU seems to not only be willing, but encourages their students to participate off campus.
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  • TexasMTDadTexasMTDad 176 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @onette local Dallas Theater Company. I was just pointing out that a lot of TCU students are going to come out with equity points... and potentially a card.
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