Anyone still pursuing MT at UofA?

<p>Hi - Just noting with lots of posts seen about other school, no post activity for UofA MT. Any advice on how this program is now ? See a lot of older posts that are pretty critical of a number of things.</p>

<p>S is waiting to hear about acceptance here (along with a few other schools).</p>

<p>Thanks !!</p>

<p>After the fiasco of them posting that some students were in the program on their portal, and then not being offered a spot... there are a lot of angry students, and disgusted parents. The U of A is notorious for pulling stuff like this. Did your son get offered a spot in MT?</p>

<p>^^Wow!....</p>

<p>Stay away from U of A.</p>

<p>Holly06,</p>

<p>Why do you say that? </p>

<p>-E.J.</p>

<p>I recently emailed with a faculty member at U of A, and they sent me this: </p>

<p>Every college has a cut system if they accept BFA in MT their freshman year.
They may call it something else, but they way to tell is...ask them how many
students they take into the freshman class and how many graduate. </p>

<p>We have an audition at the end of the freshman year and at the end of the
sophomore year. Each class is different, but usually 4 or 5 out of 24 do not
pass their freshman audition. Some leave because they want to change majors,
some are asked to leave because they have not progressed, some do not maintain
a GPA of 3.0 and some are asked to leave for disciplinary reasons. We do not
have a certain amount we cut so the sophomore class will be a certain size. </p>

<p>You must have been reading COllege confidential. The year they are talking
about was a VERY strange year, I think it was 5 or 6 years go. We did cut
about 8 people, but it was because they just never connected to the technique
and they would have been too far behind in their sophomore year. We
have never had to cut that many again. </p>

<p>We have about 12 musical theatre students in the freshman class and 10 to 12
Acting students. We aim for 6 men and 6 women in each major. So the
competition is rough. </p>

<p>I can't believe I forgot about this. </p>

<p>-E.J.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Every college has a cut system if they accept BFA in MT their freshman year.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>This is NOT true. While some colleges that have a cut system, do not call it a "cut," there are OTHER colleges that have no cut system by ANY name. For example, my D's college, NYU/Tisch, has NO cuts at all. Same with UMichigan, Penn State, and many others.</p>

<p>At U of A, some are "asked to leave," as the letter (and the history) demonstrates. This is not nearly so at every BFA program!!</p>

<p>At any college, in any major, if you are FAILING, that is a different story.</p>

<p>At U of A's BFA program, clearly 20% of the class is not failing. Given the anecdotal stories by those in the program of some who were cut at U of A, some had very high grades in fact but were still cut.</p>

<p>One more point.....they mention to look at the number who graduate vs. the number who enter as freshmen. Um, at any college, not just BFA programs, less graduate than matriculate, as some students leave college of their own accord for various reasons. I don't know any college with a 100% graduation rate. Looking at how many graduate is not an indication of a cut system!</p>

<p>Also, that letter states the large number of cuts were five to six years ago. On this forum, a student from U of A reported just four years ago of 20 students being cut from the program and in his case, he clearly was talented as he was accepted as a transfer to CMU, a far more competitive BFA program than U of A.</p>

<p>The kids that are BA students are right now getting ready for their " knock out the BFA" auditions... they must audition the end of freshman year, and see if they can displace a student in the BFA department.
I just spoke to a dean that said the whole next two weeks are just nerves and tears... this was from a dean!
Freshman are not allowed to audition for plays or musicals, and are asked not to work in any pro production in town. Then they reaudition at the end of the year, without having any new work to show their progress.
I have never seen theater students treated so poorly, I am hoping that my son does not have to go through this !</p>

<p>Have been reading all the posts, and from my limited understanding (7 auditions) - No matter what it is called, I believe that every MT program which require auditions for entrance, cuts students. Several of the schools my son applied to were very clear about how this works (audition at the end of Freshman and or Sophomore years). </p>

<p>Also, since there are ALWAYS students trying to matriculate into these programs, and auditioning for slots, there will ALWAYS be new students taking the place of students who are cut.</p>

<p>Again you can call it whatever you want ("knock out"), but it is what it is.</p>

<p>Know what - IMHO "This is how it should be."</p>

<p>If the program is working for the student and the student is doing what they need to do to work for the program, then I believe that they will make it just fine. If not, then they probably should not be there.</p>

<p>At the UofA auditions there were MANY students participating as hosts, answering questions and guiding students (Freshman through Juniors - didn't see any seniors), and every last one of them loved the program and wouldn't be anywhere else.</p>

<p>Not sure where son is going to go yet, but getting tired of seeing all these nonsense posts.</p>

<p>MTDadfromArizona, I can GUARANTEE you that NOT ALL BFA in Musical Theater programs employ cuts by ANY name. I am not going to list every example. I'll start with my own child's MT program at NYU/Tisch. Nobody is ever cut. The end of year evaluations every year are simply for feedback and growth and nobody must leave. BA students do not take the place of BFA ones. This is true at many programs. Other examples: Penn State, UMichigan, Carnegie Mellon, and Elon. And many more.</p>

<p>The policies and this process at U of Arizona are not typical of most programs. Some do this, but not most. </p>

<p>There are, however, some programs that have freshmen enter as BA students only and then have an audition after freshmen year to enter a BFA track, which is not the same as auditioning to enter as freshmen as BFA students and after one year, being dismissed from the program and auditioning BA students to take their place.</p>

<p>Please be aware that some students cut at U of Arizona had excellent grades. This kind of cut is not the same as a student who has failing grades which any college in any major would have policies about. </p>

<p>Further, be aware that some of those who were cut from Arizona's BFA in MT program gained admission as transfers to some extremely competitive programs (more competitive than U of A) for MT (such as CMU and BOCO) and so how "bad" could they be?</p>

<p>MTDadfromArizona, </p>

<p>I'm confused when you say you don't know where your son is going yet. The National Reply Date was YESTERDAY. He had to commit to a school by yesterday. You posted that comment today. Has he not yet committed to a program?</p>

<p>In any case, I don't think the posts on the U of A MT forum are "nonsense." I think many provided a lot of information here, including current and past students and families. A faculty member from the program has posted here in the past as well. Information is important to obtain and so this helps people get information which allows them to hopefully go to the source and garner what hopefully are honest answers to more questions.</p>

<p>If a school has this many kids who they feel are not doing well after one year, perhaps their screening for admissions as freshmen for the BFA in MT program should be better as many other programs find students for their BFA where those who enter as freshmen succeed and graduate, though some leave under their own volition (ie, financial reasons, changed mind about major, didn't like the school, etc.).</p>

<p>MTDadfromArizona- It is not true that every BFA MT audition program cuts students. My D is at Penn State, and they do not cut. While they have juries at the end of each semester, they are not used as a cutting tool, but to critique a student's process and offer suggestions for areas of improvement. Of course as Susan earlier commented, a student who is flunking out is an exception, but that is very rare. The current senior class has less students, not because of cuts, but because a number of students have chosen to take a leave of absence to work in the industry. Those students most frequently come back to the program after a year and join the class below them to finish out the program. So some of the students who should be graduating this year, are now in the junior class and will graduate next year. In addition, if a spot does open up because a student chooses to leave the program for whatever reason, that spot is left open- they do not fill the spot with transfers. Most transfer students are required to start over as a freshman or in some instances, if they have enough transferrable classes, as a sophomore. When they are allowed to transfer in as a soph., it is not that they are taking someone elses place but that they are just added to the class. </p>

<p>From what we have seen, the above is more typical of audition programs than what I have read about Arizona. We personally know 2 kids from the Arizona program who were cut very unexpectedly even after receiving positive reviews and with good grades. This was 2 and 3 years ago and the policies may have changed- I don't know what the current practice is. The problem at that time is that since they were cut without any real warning, it was too late to apply to other BFA programs. Very strange to me.</p>

<p>MTDadfromArizona (or anyone else reading who is a prospective student/parent):</p>

<p>Also, for the schools that DO have some sort of cut system, they do NOT replace these students with other students they audition. The class just becomes smaller. This aspect works different from U of A's cut system.</p>

<p>If your child is considering U of A (though it seems the deadline has passed), one thing you should investigate closely is your belief that if a student is doing well, they will be fine (not cut) as there have been many cases who have shared that they or others they know, were cut who had positive reviews while in the program and high grades. This is also not typical of other schools that have cut programs that often have warnings and probationary periods and so forth.</p>

<p>So, even if you are fine with cut programs, the one at U of A differs from the few other cut programs that exist. It bears investigating and understanding these differences.</p>

<p>Not to mention that lots and lots of MT programs have no cut system (by any name) whatsoever.</p>

<p>"Continuation Requirements</p>

<p>For probationary admission to the sophomore level, all Musical Theatre Majors must:</p>

<p>Meet all University of Arizona academic standards for continuing status.
Successfully Audition and Interview with the Acting/Musical Theatre Division Faculty. (Audition Assessment Criteria)
Complete the Theatre Arts and Musical Theatre Core Curriculum:
MUSICAL THEATRE: T AR 113, 118, 149, 151, 205, MUS 100, MUS 101, MUSI 182V (4 units) and two semesters of dance.
Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in major course work.
Have completed a minimum of 9 units of General Education/Foundations course work.</p>

<p>For final admission to upper division coursework and for full membership in the Arizona Repertory Theatre (ART) Company, all Musical Theatre Majors must:</p>

<p>Meet all University of Arizona academic standards for continuing status.
Successfully Audition and Interview with the Acting/Musical Theatre Division Faculty. (Audition Assessment Criteria)
Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in major course work.
Have completed a minimum of 18 units of General Education/Foundations course work.
Audition Assessment Criteria</p>

<p>Assessment of the audition is based on the following criteria:</p>

<p>Talent: The innate ability to act, to perform, to have the ability to be believed by others in a variety of imaginary circumstances and characters. Talent per se cannot be taught. It is a gift. However, the craft of acting can be taught. Talent can be developed and trained through the acquisition of technique.</p>

<p>Professional Potential: The potential for eventual success in the profession of acting or musical theatre. In order to be admitted and advanced in our program, the candidate must have demonstrated talent and professional potential.</p>

<p>Trainability: The ability of the actor to respond to and develop with training. Students who have demonstrated talent and professional potential but who do not, cannot, or will not respond to the training will not be advanced."</p>

<p>As others have posted, most audition based programs do not have cuts nor require a re-audition where a student is re-evaluated from scratch to determine whether the student can remain in the program. This is materially different from schools that have juries for review and instructive evaluative purposes, where a jury is used as a weighted final exam or even where a jury/eval is used as a gateway to advanced level course but a student who does not pass the eval is given opportunities to remediate their level of performance and take the eval again. No other school that I am aware of invites students from their BA program to audition and displace incumbent BFA students.</p>

<p>The speciousness of U of A's process is evident on the face of it audition assessment criteria:
1. UA states that talent is innate and can not be taught. But a student who may have been talented enough to pass the audition for admissions suddenly, a year later, is no longer talented? Or 2 years later?
2. Professional potential - Again, a student who had it suddenly doesn't? And how do you measure it anyway after a year or even 2 years? Doesn't a student grow into their potential through training and experience? So what is really meant by this?
3. Trainability - Let's see if I have this right. A student who is maintaining a minimum of B's in all their studio courses is not "trainable"? UA defines a "B" as "good". So how do you do "good" in studio classes if you are not able to learn and apply technique?</p>

<p>The answer, of course, is the same as it was the last time this issue was discussed in response to the many shocked students who had earned good grades, had affirmatively positive feed back from their professors but then were cut with out warning at the end of the year with no place to go. Students in UA's program, after having gone through the audition assessment process once for admission, are viewed as fungible products and each year the school cleans its shelves to make room for new stock. Hey, if that's the kind of educational environment you want to be in (and pay a ton of money for), that's your decision but at least go in with open eyes.</p>

<p>
[quote]
at least go in with open eyes

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Yes, that is the purpose of many posts here. It is NOT "nonsense" as someone has asserted. If considering this program, an applicant and parent should be fully aware of all those points, and how U of A's program policies contrast VERY much with MOST MT programs, even ones that have some sort of promotional system or cut system, as well as the MANY programs that have NO such cut system whatsoever.</p>

<p>Many people read CC and so it is important that information is shared that is factual. As well, balance of viewpoints can be beneficial.</p>

<p>I will keep this short and to the point.</p>

<p>Thank you to Soozie and MNK for your words of wisdom for all who will listen. You both have stated the truth.</p>

<p>My darling daughter was one of the victims of the slaughter of 06. I know first hand that all reported in soozie's and MNK's posts is true.</p>

<p>Thankfully, on the next rounds of auditions, my DD was offered a spot in many well respected schools. She made an excellent choice and will graduate from UArts this May. </p>

<p>Anyone reading on CC should take note of what the above posters have to say.</p>

<p>It's really a shame for we West Coasters (and others of course) that this isn't a program we can put on our lists. No offense to those who are attending - it's just too risky a school to even consider. For us, it's a relatively short (and inexpensive) plane trip, which would be great, if the program were great. As soon as we found out about the cuts and the terrible year holly06 referred to, we immediately crossed it off the list. I wonder if UofA's administration knows what's going on?</p>

<p>
[quote]
I wonder if UofA's administration knows what's going on?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Indeed, I think they DO know what is going on. For example, a faculty member from the program participated on this sub forum a few years ago. (read past threads on this school's MT forum) Secondly, in post #6 above, a recent letter written by a faculty member is quoted and this person refers to CC in the letter! </p>

<p>In my observations, having been on CC for 9 years, and having read the majority of the MT forum posts, I see very few CCers who have even applied to Arizona's MT program, and it is rarely listed on the long MT Acceptances threads or Final Decision threads. CC surely doesn't represent all who apply to college for MT by a long shot but there are a LOT of readers and participants from all over and so it is telling to see so few applying and talking about this program. </p>

<p>As well, in my line of work as a college counselor who advises students from around the country (and outside the country) applying to Acting and MT programs, I have yet to have a student apply to Arizona (the decision of where to apply is up to the student and his/her family) and none have asked me about this school either. Taking it a step further, some audition coaches who coach kids from around the country and post where their students are matriculating on their coaching websites, rarely seem to have students enrolling at Arizona either. </p>

<p>This school obviously gets applicants (and it is located in a region with very very few MT programs and so may draw from that region), but there are clearly many families who are seeking MT programs who seem to be skipping on this school's program. Perhaps the cuts/policies are turning some away who may otherwise have applied since the program offers good training. I think their applicant pool is affected by this. One might imagine that college reps from U of A reading the feedback over the years here, and seeing many top MT and Acting students who don't have Arizona on their college list, would give them pause to re-evaluate and readjust some of these policies that are keeping some from considering the school. </p>

<p>But the faculty at Arizona do believe in what they are doing, and stand by it, and so in the meantime, those who are exploring schools for MT should arm themselves with as much information as possible and make their own choices of sense of fit of what they are seeking in a MT college program. There are students who apply to this program and many who are happy there and so some may have no issue at all with these policies. For those who are not keen on these policies, it is best to delve deeply when selecting colleges in order to find ones that align with one's own criterion.</p>