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CAP21 Ending? A Message from Dean Campbell to CAP21 Admitted Students

MTDad71MTDad71 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited September 2009 in NYU/Tisch MT
My D (incoming Freshman) received the following e-mail letter today from Dean Campbell @ Tisch. Needless to day she's confused and concerned as to what this means. Does anyone have any additional information?

June 2, 2009

Congratulations again on your admission to the Tisch School of the Arts and CAP21. Bravo to you! Entry into CAP21 is very competitive, and I congratulate you on what must be your stellar accomplishments to date.

Tisch and CAP21 have had a long association. I am writing you now because you will have a special and somewhat bittersweet role in that fellowship: your class, the class of 2013, will be the last class to enter CAP21 with the opportunity to complete your musical theater studies there. I wanted to let you know about this change now, both so that you would not be taken by surprise when you arrive on campus in the fall and so that you understand that your class’ studies with CAP21 will mark the lowering of the curtain on a powerful partnership in the performing arts.

As celebrated a program as CAP21 has been all these years, a combination of considerations - not the least of which is financial -- have led us to conclude that it would be more advantageous to the Tisch School to build a musical theater program internally. The Tisch School of the Arts New Studio on Broadway: Music Theater and Acting will accept its first freshman class in fall 2010.

This decision will not affect your freshman and sophomore experience at CAP21. Be assured, you will be able to take full advantage of their terrific faculty for a full two years. CAP21 takes great pride in the well being and professional development of each and every student placed in their charge and I know that they are looking forward to your arrival in the fall as much as we are.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Patricia Decker, Director of Recruitment for Tisch at [email protected] or 212-998-1910.
Have a great summer!

Mary Schmidt Campbell
Tisch School of the Arts
Post edited by MTDad71 on

Replies to: CAP21 Ending? A Message from Dean Campbell to CAP21 Admitted Students

  • MTgrlsmomMTgrlsmom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    MTDad71 - thanks for posting the email your daughter received. It pretty much implies that your D will be in the last class of what has become known as one of the nation's finest offerings of academic excellence (NYU) & conservatory type musical theatre training (CAP21).

    I have a D, who will be a sophomore in the fall, and she received a similar email this morning.

    All in all, there are many questions that remain to be answered, as the agreement as it is on the table between NYU/Tisch and CAP21 right now implies that students will only be able to receive CAP21 training as a primary studio option (two years), while it appears that Tisch will no longer offer CAP21 for advanced studio/professional training. This may not sit so well with those second year & incoming freshmen, who chose NYU/Tisch for its association with CAP21, and who had every intention of continuing their training with CAP21 throughout all four years.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,495 Senior Member
    I don't feel compelled or able to answer questions as I have no affiliation with NYU/Tisch other than my own child just graduated from there. I already responded to you in an email but I will post some thoughts here. It would be far better to contact Patricia Decker as suggested in the email or Liz Bradley, head of Tisch Drama, directly to have your questions answered as nobody else can really know enough to tell you, and that includes me.

    I was unaware of this development at Tisch until today when a friend who has a current CAP21 student shared with me an email that student got from Dean Campbell (a different version than the letter that the incoming CAP students got that you posted above) and also a letter that CAP21 sent out to the CAP students.

    I truly do not know the situation and the reason for this change. I do recall this past fall that there were some issues between CAP21 and Tisch regarding funding of CAP21 studio productions and that was resolved. I have no idea if that led to some further reevaluation of the relationship between Tisch and CAP21 or whatever reasons that Tisch has chosen to run its MT program internally rather than contracting out to the CAP21 studio for the training. Tisch has two studios of their own....Experimental Theater Wing and Meisner Studios and the other six have been external training studios, such as CAP21.

    My interpretation which is merely speculative.....is this could be positive (I like to look at the plus side of things). CAP21 is a wonderful studio and my D loved her training there. Tisch has high standards and I believe that their own new MT studio will also be top rate and I have read the bio of the person who will head that studio, Ken Gash, and it is impressive. I also think this could mean that the admissions auditions will finally have Tisch faculty who are MT faculty auditing the auditions (whereas in the past, Tisch faculty audited the auditions but were not MT faculty). I am sure the new studio will put on musicals as CAP did. I hope they will have some performance space as CAP's performance space was very small. But I don't know the situation. CAP is a 3.5 year training program. There are six semesters of MT training classes and one semester of showcase/audition prep which is not the same as training classes. In the 8th semester, a student opts to do either an academic semester or another studio. I would assume that in the new MT studio, the students can do MT training all eight semesters if they wish. And of course, even before this new development, MANY CAP21 students opted to do a different advanced studio after two or three years in CAP (my own child did five semesters of CAP and three of ETW and loved both).

    It seems to me that the incoming CAP21 class (as well as the rising sophomores) will have the option of four years of MT training.....the first two in CAP21 and the second two in the new MT studio and so all sounds good to me. It's a change but can be quite a positive one in the long run. My D's most recent studio, ETW, is a Tisch studio (not an external studio) and it is fantastic and I have every confidence in that Tisch will make its new internal MT studio into an extraordinary one as well, every bit as good as the CAP training it contracted for in the past.
  • MTgrlsmomMTgrlsmom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    soozievt - I would like to clarify that the funding of CAP21 studio productions was actually never really fully resolved; CAP21 wound up raising funds from parents and outside sources to put on last year's productions.

    I do agree that these developments are not necessarily a negative thing, as hopefully Tisch's brand new internal MT Studio will turn out to be as good or better than what is in place right now. However, I do find the timing unfortunate in that some people make their decision to attend a certain school based on elements such as collaborations, course offerings, faculty, and the general "workings" of a program. Drastic changes to those dynamics may lead to significant differences in what one can expect, especially when there are very few details available.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,495 Senior Member
    MTgrlsmom, thanks for clarifying about the CAP productions. I guess I meant that the productions still took place as they were in question due to funding issues between Tisch and CAP21. I do not know if that is in any way related to this new development but perhaps the financial issues could not be fully resolved. I know that Tisch cares about having studio level productions as their other studios have these, including their internal studios such as ETW.

    I realize change invites many questions and so I hope these can be answered by those in charge. The good news is that there will be MT training for all students. Incoming freshmen and rising second year students, it appears, will have some years in CAP and some in the new MT studio. The following classes, will have only the new MT studio. That's my interpretation and so at least there will be MT training all four years. Change midstream in a program can be hard to accept and many questions remain but hopefully the answers will be positive. The unknown is harder to swallow.
  • drexel6337drexel6337 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Could it also be that NYU, is searching for a way to make more money by expanding in the area of musical theatre....... because that is the school so many students originally hope to get in?

    Most auditioners put CAP21 as their first choice but CAP21 had to keep it small for quality control and space.

    This may give the school a chance to offer more MT spots right in the beginning and hence more $$. Just a speculation.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,495 Senior Member
    drexel, I do not believe that to be the case. First of all, a majority are NOT applying for MT. Further, a majority of students in the BFA program at Tisch are studying acting, not MT. I very much doubt that the new MT studio will have more students in it than the CAP21 studio has for the MT training. None of the 7 Acting studios are larger than CAP either. CAP itself is a pretty large studio already.
  • MTgrlsmomMTgrlsmom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    drexel - these type of "big" changes always lead to speculation :D. At the end of the day, as soozievt also points out, NYU will no doubt continue the tradition of providing exceptional training, whether it is in straight acting or drama.
  • callihopeful09callihopeful09 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I am out of state and got accepted to usc for 2009-10. I am very excited and worked very hard. I am a transfer student from Pa. I am crossing my fingers that I get enought financial aid to attend. I am from a family of 4, and one parents is on disability. My younger sibiling is 12. My mom only makes 19,000 a year and it is a struggle for them every week making the bills.

    I am praying I get a good financial package and not be in debt too much, because my parents know it is my dream to attend. Just was wondering if USC gives out a generous amount of aid.??? I have loans for 3,500 from my state school, and extra classes I took in the summer. How much need base financial help will they give out. Just trying to get an idea. I know it's a longshot!
  • MTgrlsmomMTgrlsmom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    calli - you are on the wrong thread as this is all about NYU. You should post this on the USC thread ;). Keeping fingers crossed for you that things will work out.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,495 Senior Member
    Just to be clear, from all the letters I have read today, there will be a new internal MT studio that Tisch runs so new applicants will enter that program and current rising freshmen and sophomores may eventually go into that program after two years in CAP (though I honestly do not know the specifics of that!) and so in any case, Tisch will be offering a MT program of their own and so students don't have to switch from MT to Acting (though many students do that for advanced studio anyway).
  • MTgrlsmomMTgrlsmom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    Also, for the record, and per Frank Ventura directly, all negotiations regarding CAP's exit agreement have not yet been finalized. What this means is that it is actually not clear when/if CAP21's Advanced Studio training will cease to be offered to those currently attending the program.

    And Soozie - although it is nice that Tisch will offer an MT program, this may not necessarily be a "spin off" of CAP21's philosophy, which is why for example my D chose to matriculate at NYU. We are definitely looking forward to learn more details about the curriculum and actual facts.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,495 Senior Member
    Right...it is not clear! The letter to the incoming freshmen is worded a bit different than the one to the rising sophs and so the letter for incoming freshmen comes across as primary studio in CAP (first two years) but nothing is truly that clear.

    Anyway, my point is that no matter whether it is in CAP or Tisch's new internal MT studio, all students will be able to study/train in a MT studio who are admitted or attending for MT during their years in college and do not have to switch to an acting studio. That much seems clear.
  • MTgrlsmomMTgrlsmom Registered User Posts: 1,034 Senior Member
    True, but quite frankly it was my D's intention to study MT through CAP21. That is what made her choose NYU, not just "any MT program". I realize that there are other Advanced Studio options that many choose after two years, but, with all due respect, what if you did not plan on doing that, and you were not made aware that there would be a chance that the studio of your choice would be eliminated. Who would have expected that after all these years?

    Even if Tisch rolls out an MT program, renovates, hires faculty and formulates a curriculum as fast as they intend to do, depending on all the details, this may not necessarily be a program my D would have considered as she looked at the "4 year picture with great training, and a relatively small showcase", obviously not anticipating the dramatic changes that are on the table now. Who knows what all this means? This program is not exactly "cheap", and I think it is safe to say that more communication would have been appropriate, rather than a "haphazard announcement with no details". Of course NYU can do whatever they want as they are a private institution. In the meantime, those with kids starting and those with kids "in the process", are more or less stuck, and have no choice but to wait things out.

    I tend to be an optimistic person by nature, and look at the glass half full, but I am not really liking how all this is being played out.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,495 Senior Member
    One way to look at it (but is pure speculation) but since the letter to incoming freshmen says that they will spend their first two years in CAP, one might think that the rising sophomores can spend three because CAP will still be offering training to Tisch students in 2010-2011 for this year's incoming frosh. CAP's classes span three years and the seventh semester is a showcase semester and if the rising sophs do three years in CAP, they could still create a showcase semester in the new studio (and maybe offer a full fourth year of training that they do not offer now in CAP).

    For those not familiar with CAP21, the program is six semesters of a full array of training classes and a seventh semester that is a showcase semester and workshops with agents and casting directors about auditioning and so on but not a full array of training classes. So, if the rising sophs can be there two more years, they will get the full CAP training and then perhaps they can have a showcase semester in the new Tisch MT program (and even two semesters of training in the fourth year!). When my D switched out of CAP after five semesters, she felt she only gave up ONE semester of CAP training, plus the showcase semester (which is not like classes) but gained three full semesters of training in ETW and thus had more training while at Tisch for all 8 semesters (and did the Tisch MT showcase).
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 12,126 Senior Member
    Has anyone actually spoken to Patricia Decker about this, as Mary suggested?
This discussion has been closed.