My D just got accepted but we aren’t clear on how the program works exactly. She wants MT and we know you audition for that later, but what classes do you start with then in the fall? If you don’t make it into the MT certificate group, can you still take some of those classes or what do you miss out on? In our case, she wants more of a conservatory program but we (parents) would like something broader. Just having trouble figuring out what classes you actually take so any help would be much appreciated.
Hi @ourturn2 - my S was also accepted and we spent some time exploring on the web yesterday. You can pull down course planners and available courses. From what I can tell, it looks like there is a basic acting core curriculum plus gen eds and electives. And, it appears that the students are expected/able to take private voice (as a course) and dance. We’re going to visit on April 10th, and we will be asking the same questions as you are asking here! And, as parents, it sounds like you all are thinking as we are. We also have quite a few friends who are professional actors, and they are really encouraging our S to pursue the BA route, as opposed to the BFA. So much still to learn!
Thanks so much @efr9598! Please share what you find out! We are going back and forth between being excited as heck about this amazing opportunity and being stressed about the price tag attached to it. Our D had already narrowed down to her top 2 BFA choices and we are visiting both again during spring break since this was pretty unexpected. They are both significantly less expensive so this has us back to wondering what we should do again. I’m a little bit obsessed with northwestern while my D is much more chill and says she’s happy with the cheaper options. Yikes!! Any pros and cons you would like to share would be much appreciated. Feel free to pm me too.
I will definitely share what I learn @ourturn2! Northwestern is at the top of my son’s list, but we are definitely waiting to see what the financial aid looks like. The other two options currently on the table are much cheaper as well! But he is still waiting to hear from 3 more schools, so we’re not quite at decisions yet.
@MomCares can probably answer most questions you have. PM her. She helped us last year when our D was making her decision. And, congratulations! That’s a big one!
Congratulations to all of you! My daughter is a sophomore at Northwestern (theater major, MT certificate & dance minor). I haven’t been on the boards in a long while, but will answer whatever questions I can. I’m trying to remember her freshman year courses… they definitely included voice lessons, dance classes, and required Theatre classes (140-1, 140-2 & 140-3… they take one per quarter and the order they take them in is assigned). She also decided to take Italian classes to fulfill a requirement and to get a BA (instead of a BS). She only had to do 3 quarters because she tested out of a year (2 years of a world language is required to get the BA). She also took 1 or 2 other required gen ed classes because she wanted to get them out of the way early.
I understand being torn by what type of program… she had also had been accepted to many BFA programs. When she went to the accepted student’s day at NU, it really made the decision for her clear. Listening to all the possibilities (additional modules they could add on includes Playwriting, which she is also very interested in). She definitely felt like it was the best fit for her… and I had to agree…even though it was geographically the farthest away from home.
She definitely loves it there and appreciates all of the opportunities that Northwestern provides. There are 11 student run theater groups (2 of them are dance groups) and all the University productions as well. There are usually at least 5 different productions going on almost every weekend. My D has been in a show every quarter since she’s been there. One of the shows was a theater for young audiences production (put on by the Purple Crayon Players) which performed on campus one weekend and they then toured to Chicago-area schools for a quarter (this was a class that she got credit for). She has also been a writer for the Waa Mu show (both last year and this year) which is a great experience. She also is in one of the a capella groups which she loves.
btw, we went to the Senior Showcase during spring break and I believe all of the seniors received calls from agents/managers.
Again… I’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Thank you so much @gigismom! My S is very excited and can’t wait to visit on the 10th. Can you tell us a little bit about the audition for the MT certificate? We submitted the optional video this year but that doesn’t matter for the audition, right?
I’m not sure about if they use the optional video. I do know that the MT certificate audition is both a voice & dance audition. I also believe it is very competitive (both voice majors from Bienen and theater majors from SOC audition). I think they take just over 20 each year…
@gigismom Very helpful-thanks! Voice is a strength, but dance is an area of growth for my S!
Regardless of which school he chooses, you may want to convince him to take a dance class or 2 in next few months before he goes off to college (if he plans to study MT). It will make it less stressful for him once he gets there.
@gigismom - that is in the plan! I am actually hoping he can several months worth in - right now it looks like he’ll be in 2 shows this summer, but he knows it needs to be a priority.
@efr9598 I would have your son call the theatre department to ask if while you are out there visiting, he could observe a rehearsal of the Waa Mu show and talk to a couple of the students there. My daughter was able to do that and it made a big impression on her.
Great idea - he actually has a friend who is a freshman, and I know he’s hoping that he can spend the night in the dorm with him - but I think seeing a rehearsal would be even better!
FWIW, D (rising HS sr) and I saw NU’s mainstage production of Urinetown in February. It was absolutely phenomenal in all aspects (actors were triple threats, set & lighting, and even the pit orchestra were outstanding, etc). NU’s reputation as one of the best places to study theatre seems very well deserved.
A question I have for those whose children were accepted - did they have a really deep resume? Professional credits, etc? I know the academic hurdles are extremely high, but I’m not sure about theatre credentials needed. Thanks in advance!
@Cornycollins18 - my S has no professional credits, but has acted in school and community theatre shows since elementary school. He is also a musician - piano, sax, and, of course, voice - for each of which he has received recognition for. For several years, we really thought vocal performance was going to be where he focused. But at the end of sophomore year in high school, he decided on MT as his passion. He has participated in several local summer MT training institutes. No dancing beyond what he’s done in shows. Oh and he is in a public non-performing arts high school and has (mostly) managed a demanding academic schedule throughout high school. Hope that helps!
@efr9598 thank you! That’s very helpful information. Best of luck to your son!