College ideas?

<p>Hi! My name is Sofie, and I'm a rising senior, and I've been looking at colleges for the past two years. I thought I had a good list of MT colleges to audition for, but I recently spoke to a UNCSA educator, and he said that he couldn't think of a single MT college that gives you a really good (as in, not-"showy") acting training. Now, acting is extremely important to me. So, I have a two part question:</p>

<li><p>What are some good BFA Acting programs that are similar to UNCSA? I am in the summer session right now, and I love the intensity. </p></li>
<li><p>Do you know of any MT schools with exceptional acting? I would love to get a BFA in MT if it means not sacrificing a solid acting training. </p></li>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>At some BFA schools, the Acting and MT departments are very closely affiliated. Syracuse is one of these -- the focus for both is on solid acting technique. Acting and MT students are required to take the same core acting classes for the first two years; after that, students have their choice of various acting electives.</p>

<p>Odd that he would say that since UNCSA is in the same consortium with CMU. I think their MTs are known for being pretty solid actors. :) </p>

<p>Off the top of my head, some of the other MT BFAs that are reputed to have strong acting emphases are NYU, Otterbein, Syracuse, and Ithaca. UNCSA does seem to offer more work in MT styles than most Acting BFAs, but I think you'd get a fair amount at Juilliard and possibly UM Guthrie as well. Just remember that there is no end-all be-all Chuck Norris of Drama Schools and you'll sacrifice something to gain something else at any school you choose. To get the kind of actor training offered by UNCSA, you'll sacrifice the high quality liberal arts component you'd get at some of the others and still not get as much in-depth work on the music and dance sides of the triple triumvirate offered by most MTs. One thing they all have in common is twenty four hours in a day, ya know?</p>

<p>One option at NYU/Tisch is to study in the Musical Theater studio for four, five, or six semesters, and train in an acting studio for four, three, or two semesters. My daughter did the MT studio for five and an acting studio for three (of course the MT studio also had acting training). While in the Acting studio, she still had private voice lessons and there still was some singing/dance/movement in her acting studio.</p>

<p>If you are willing to consider a BA, at UCLA, which runs a BA "conservatory" experience, the MT's take all their acting classes with the Acting majors, so they get the same actor training as the actors. I think that speaks volumes for the quality of the actor training. The only difference is that the actors have "voice" and the MT have music/vocal, and the actors have "movement" and the MT have dance. But freshman year, everyone is together, and all of them (actors and MT) take ballet together, as well as classes like set design, lighting design, stage management, costume design, introduction to theatre, and reading plays. They also take their history classes together. Finally, all the MT students can and do audition for the straight plays and are cast in them.</p>

<p>Carnegie Mellon School of Drama trains great MT/Acting students.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot for your responses...haven't been able to reply since I was away for a few weeks. I will definitely look into Syracuse and Otterbein. One thing about Otterbein is that I'd love to be near a big city such as NY, Philly, Boston, etc, though obviously UNCSA does not fall into that category. I've already been looking at Ithaca, especially since I've heard that sometimes they take students who audition for MT as Acting students, an option I would definitely consider. </p>

<p>I've pretty much dismissed NYU even though it sounds great, simply because it is so expensive and I've heard terrible things about the financial aid offered there. If anyone has any information contrary to that, please let me know. </p>

<p>I am fine with sacrificing a good liberal arts education. What I want to pay for is a solid acting/MT training. While I have many liberal arts interests, I prefer being able to explore those on my own. </p>

<p>I haven't looked at anything in California because it's just so far from New York, which is where I'd like to live after school, if not during. I want a big part of my college experience to be seeing as many shows as I possibly can. Also, I'm leaning towards stage acting far more than screen. </p>

<p>Isn't CMU one of the hardest to get into vocally? My voice has been trained on and off, and I'm worried that I'd be wasting my time if I auditioned for something like CMU or CCM. </p>

<p>I realize these are a lot of questions, but I would be very grateful for answers you have to any of them. Thank you!</p>

<p>Soso-- I also replied to your post on the MT thread; here are a few more things I just thought of: The Hartt School (Hartford, CT) is another school which accepts MT students into the acting department.
And if being in NYC is your ultimate goal, of course you should consider schools in NYC, including NYU. Also, Syracuse offers a semester in NYC as part of senior year -- my daughter just participated in that and it was invaluable in preparing her for a professional career in the city. I don't want to hijack this thread, so please send me a PM if you'd like more details.</p>

<p>I am definitely auditioning for The Hartt School, especially since my dad lives extremely close to Hartford. I am pretty financially limited, and my mom (who I live with) is not that supportive about me majoring in musical theatre/acting. So, I have to pay for my own lessons. I'm getting voice lessons this fall, but I definitely can't afford dance lessons.
I have a few questions- I'll definitely PM you in a bit. Thank you for your help!</p>

<p>CCPA at Roosevelt University's MT program really stresses training actors who sing and dance. MT's and Acting majors take a lot of the same classes and take some of these classes together. I am about to be a sophomore in the program, and I guess I am a little baised, but I honestly love there. I was looking for the same kind of program you are-- one that gives solid acting training-- and I definitely found it at CCPA. Feel free to PM me with any questions you! Good luck in your search!</p>

<p>We visited Texas State University and met with Kaitlin Hopkins, who is a professional Broadway actress and head of the department. She stressed the importance she is placing on acting in the curriculum she has personally designed.</p>

<p>at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA they do musicals as part of their season and students in the BFA Acting program can take musical theatre acting classes. There is no MT major.</p>

<p>I would put this in perspective. NCSA is an excellent school who has put together what they believe is the best program based on their mission. With that belief comes a certain amount of proselytizing. Their acting program is top notch, but there are many, many BFA Musical Theatre programs whose acting training is top notch. Most schools that have BFA Acting and BFA Musical Theatre programs integrate those programs. Same teachers, teaching the same classes. I believe you would be very hard pressed to find one single school out there who will tell you that it doesn't start and end with actor training. When you sing, when you dance, you are still acting. So most of us train actors who sing and dance. Not all, but most. </p>

<p>Good luck in your search - but one last thing. Otterbein is just outside of Columbus, OH - the 16th largest city in the U.S. Larger than Boston and goodness knows, larger than Ithaca (although I love Ithaca!). While being in a city makes it easy to go see theatre, you are there to train.</p>

<p>I am always a little wary of people who try to rank the "best" schools and programs. Every MT school is a different fit for each student. You need to start researching schools and programs on your own, instead of relying on any one person's opinion of it. You will find the perfect school that meets your needs and wants. What is perfect for you, may not be perfect for the next guy. Narrow down your focus, decide what is most important to you, audition at many schools and then choose between the programs to which you are accepted. And try not to get stressed!</p>