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Issues with musical theatre programs that won't cast students with an atypical body type?

SMKMsDadSMKMsDad Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
My daughter is currently attending the two year musical theatre program at Casper College in Wyoming,(Great program, wonderful faculty & facilities. It's not CMU, Michigan or NYU. However, they don't market themselves as such. My daughter is O.K. with that & is extremely happy with the program.)
To get back on track, upon graduation my daughter plans on transferring to a musical theatre program at a four year college/university for her Bachelor's Degree in Musical Theatre. My daughter is six feet tall & her weight is roughly proportional to her height,(she could probably afford to lose 20 lbs.) My wife & I have had angoing dialogue about which four year MT Programs my daughter should consider applying to for transfer. One school we mentioned he had discouraged because he felt that our daughter wouldn't get cast in productions there because of her atypical body type,(based on an experience with a previous student that had a similar body type to my daughter that he had transfer to said institution & wasn't cast in any of that schools productions.)

Have any of your kids felt discriminated against regarding casting decisions at the program they are attending. Are there any programs that you feel are good at being accepting of all body types & any schools that you folks would recommend avoiding?

Replies to: Issues with musical theatre programs that won't cast students with an atypical body type?

  • lithpoollithpool Registered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    @SMKMsDad Welcome to the board! I'm glad your D is in a school that she's happy with. Unfortunately, I can't answer any of your questions, however, I would suggest looking at school videos of productions and perhaps the past graduating MT classes that may help to see how diversified the school is. (Not saying doing this is definitive, but it may help weed some schools in or out, or perhaps give you a 'feel'.)
  • actorparent1actorparent1 Registered User Posts: 618 Member
    edited December 2018
    Also, if she's looking to transfer into a four-year BFA MT program, make sure to ask them if her MT credits will transfer and if she'll be allowed to graduate from that program in only two years. Many BFA programs require transfers to start as freshmen or sophomores, even if they've completed years in another program. So check with each individual program you apply to about that.
  • TS0104TS0104 Registered User Posts: 553 Member
    I think that diversity in terms of race and ethnicity is a big factor in admissions in the last several years. Now, as to whether that push for diversity applies to body type, I am not so sure. It could work in her favor as another factor of diversity, it could work against her because I do think it is still true that body type diversity isn't making its way into show casting as much, yet. Her height just might work against her in terms of casting overall...matching up with partners, or being a head taller than the rest of the ensemble...

    I don't know that any of this helps you with school selection, in general, I think that anyone applying to MT programs needs to apply to a wide range of schools with varying selectivity. They are ALL hard to get into. And I think that "feeling discriminated against" is almost ubiquitous in theater, whether for school admission or show casting, because it is so subjective.
  • SMKMsDadSMKMsDad Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Actorparent1: We are aware that MT credits from Casper College may not transfer across the board & hopeful that she can transfer to a school that accepts her into their program at least as a Sophomore.
  • fancytheatrekidfancytheatrekid Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    Having a 5 foot tall daughter in college for MT, I can tell you that she loses roles all the time to six foot tall girls. I would not worry about it. Just do your thing.
  • afterp89afterp89 Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    My D has a unique look and is in a PVA high school where they bring in guest directors. She's often passed over for roles because they are casting for type, often for kids who look the part even if they aren't as good a singer or actor (it's an acting program and some of them hardly sing at all). She did a show last night where she finally had a part with a couple of solos. One of the parents of another senior told me she had no idea my D had such a beautiful and powerful voice - had to hold back from saying that was because she's never gotten the chance to show it.

    Anyway, she knows her lot and no longer is frustrated by casting decisions. When the part is right for her, she'll get her chance to shine.
  • MTDadandProudMTDadandProud Registered User Posts: 421 Member
    Its just part of the business. Body type makes a difference. My S is 6'3" so: (1) he will never be a Newsie; and, (2} if he is considered for a role that is part of a couple and the partner has already been cast and is 5'1", he is probably not going to get the part.
  • artskidsartskids Registered User Posts: 1,427 Senior Member
    Truth @MTDadandProud! My S is 6' if he's auditioning for a lead; 5'10" if it's a feature/ensemble :))
  • librarygirl8librarygirl8 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    @MTDadandProud - Agree! My son is just past 6'. He is a dancer, and he was a Newsie in a regional production. At 17, he was the youngest AND the tallest of the Newsies!
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