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Student funding of senior showcases

PohsmomPohsmom 329 replies45 threads Member
I hope this thread doesn't get me a trouble. I am really just curious about all of this and would be really interested in hearing other opinions. I don't even really have a strong opinion, more just puzzled.
As an MT college coach and voice teacher I have quite a number of students graduating MT programs every year. It seems this year, more than ever, several of them have started fundraising campaigns for their senior showcase. I struggle with how I feel about all of this and what is the "right thing to do" for my kids. I can't donate to one vs. the other so it is kind of an all or nothing : (
I just wonder, has this been happening for years and I have somehow missed out? Is this a new thing that will become common place for more and more schools? When a school promotes a "senior showcase" would you expect it is covered by tuition and school expenses or does it seem logical that the kids need to raise the money to make it happen? Is it something that has always occurred but with platforms like GoFundMe it is now just easier to make your request public?
Again, this is more just a conversation than anything else. Feel free to pipe in...
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Replies to: Student funding of senior showcases

  • mamaboyzmamaboyz 110 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Thats disappointing to hear.
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 1908 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @Pohsmom - just my uneducated opinion but I think this may be a by-product of "the market" demanding a senior showcase from MT programs not located in major metropolitan areas. I have definitely seen prospective parents list this as a "must have" even though I've never heard any professional say that the showcase makes a huge difference in graduating seniors' chances of finding work. Once a school says "Yes, we take the seniors to NY for a showcase" they have to deliver - and they do that by dumping a lot of the expense back on the students. It's either that or raise tuition, which isn't a big sell for anyone. I would hope that the school would fund at least part of the expense - like hall rental, accompanist, advertising - but especially for smaller schools it is a pretty big add on and they probably can't / won't fund the whole thing plus plane flights, hotels for everyone.
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  • EmsDadEmsDad 1510 replies14 threads Senior Member
    At my d's school the seniors raised money for their travel expenses for Senior Showcase in NYC. The school paid for the showcase (theatre rental, faculty travel, event promotion in NYC, workshop and master class fees, etc.) and contributed some money per student for expenses, but that didn't cover all individual airfare, hotel, meals, transportation, etc. in NYC for an event that covered several days including the rehearsals for the showcase, the showcase, workshops (with agents), master classes, and agent meetings.

    Their solicitations for fundraising were limited to passing the hat at cabarets held after each theatre production performance and performances at various restaurants and bars around town.

    Fundraising for Senior Showcase has been a tradition for many years at her school, perhaps from its inception.
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  • MTmom2017MTmom2017 525 replies2 threads Member
    I've been around for many years, just don't comment that often & my D graduated 2 years ago. Fundraisers for Showcase are also a tradition for her school. It is costly to travel to NYC (or other cities/depending on the school). The school covered most expenses, but there are many students who can't afford travel/meals/lodging. I have seen students who use online fundraising for help with personal expenses, although I don't know how successful they are.
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  • stagedoormamastagedoormama 820 replies9 threads Member
    At D's school the school pays a portion and the students are required to pay a portion if they want to attend. They have never done fundraisers to raise the money though. It's just a known that they pay xx amount. I have seen many other schools students do fundraisers though, and it has been going on for quite a few years.
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  • Notmath1Notmath1 575 replies36 threads Member
    Some of the colleges are producing their own digital showcase. It is cheaper and reaches more industry professionals. Does anyone here know about schools doing this?
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  • HAHCx4HAHCx4 54 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I am the parent of two MT graduates. I am not sure how many a schools do this but my personal experience was for a
    senior showcase they had to pay for their own travel and lodging. I also know of some schools that don’t offer a NYC showcase at all and seniors have raised money on their own as a class for those who wish to participate in one.
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  • BogeywBogeyw 137 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Notmath1, BoCo did digital auditions exclusively two or three years ago and did NOT go well. They pretty quickly reversed course on that decision and luckily, my D was in the Class of '19 and went back to having showcases in NYC and Boston. A very good number of kids got representation and/or casting offers through showcase. I would have been so disappointed if they'd have stuck with just the digital showcase.
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  • BogeywBogeyw 137 replies3 threads Junior Member
    While I am a firm believer that showcase expenses should be the responsibility of the school, I'm also not a fan of the "fundraising for showcase" concept. If the student can't afford to get to NYC for a showcase, how will they be able to afford to live there while auditioning? In today's gig economy there are opportunities to make extra cash, even as a busy BFA student. Go out and earn it. It will be good practice for the survival jobs they'll need to live in NYC.
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  • singoutlouisesingoutlouise 147 replies3 threads Junior Member
    The truth is, not all senior showcases are created equally. I would be very wary of a showcase where student's have to fundraise. I agree with the comment above, that the "market" demands school's have a showcase. Students and their parents want a showcase. But who attends the showcase matters, otherwise it's just a expensive celebration of student's hard work. A lovely thing to have but pricey.
    Make sure to ask questions regarding showcase when looking at prospective programs. There was a good thread on this a few years back. https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/musical-theater-major/1991705-the-truth-about-senior-showcases-in-nyc-or-at-least-my-perspective.html
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  • MTDadandProudMTDadandProud 455 replies14 threads Member
    At my son's school the students are responsible for transportation to and from NYC and their meals during the 3-4 day showcase period which ends the day after showcase. The school pays for lodging, master classes, professional panels, venue and rehearsal space rental, etc. However, if the student stays past showcase (which they usually do to interview agents, audition, and see the City) they are on their own for all expenses.
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  • Notmath1Notmath1 575 replies36 threads Member
    @Bogeyw Well maybe the Boston experience is why more colleges don't use digital! I think Carnegie Mellon uses both digital and live, and goes to NYC and also LA. And I thought someone told me that Michigan and Baldwin Wallace also have a digital presentation of their seniors, but I could be wrong.
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  • lojosmolojosmo 703 replies10 threads Member
    Michigan's showcase is live.
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  • Notmath1Notmath1 575 replies36 threads Member
    @lojosmo Yes of course, Michigan are live in their showcase. But don't they also have a digital presentation of their seniors? And Pace does a digital showcase for their acting track seniors.
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