Otterbein 2023 -Visit

Visiting Otterbein on Friday for MT S. Has anyone comitted and visited. What were impressions-Pros and cons

We visited last spring (My daughter is waitlisted this year). It was one of my D’s favorite campus visits. The campus is small, but it’s got character. The program is extremely small, but extremely strong. The surrounding area of Columbus has a lot of great shopping and restaurants.

On our midwest trip, we visited Baldwin Wallace, Otterbein, and Roosevelt. Otterbein was the only one she ended up applying to after the trip.

I can’t speak to the MT program specifically, but my D and I have visited Otterbein twice and she has committed to the theater design & technology program for the fall. She adores the school in virtually every way. The program is excellent, of course, but maybe more importantly, she has found the faculty and students to be kind and engaging, she likes the small-but-pretty campus and the fact that it is a very short walk to the town of Westerville (with coffee places, restaurants, etc) and less than a 30 minute drive to Columbus, which has a good airport, good health care, and a decent amount of culture. She was accepted to programs that would provide more opportunities to participate in professional theater during the school year but she still chose Otterbein because it felt right to her and she was so impressed by the people she met. Potential downsides? Dorms seem marginal at best. Outside the theater program, the school seems to predominantly attract students from within Ohio and it is my understanding that many of them leave on weekends. If you child is interested in a large university and/or a large city experience, Otterbein is neither. Have fun on your trip, and please report back!!

S committed to otterbein this past week.

Woohoo! @gatorbridget! Great choice!

okay @gatorbridget going to ask you the same questions you asked at the beginning of the thread. My S didn’t have a chance to visit, but loves what he hears about the program. He has to decide in 5 days. What did your S love after visiting? What made him decide this was the place for him?

Otterbein was my S last school to visit and it had to beat Coastal Carolina He had already eliminated all other programs in favor of Coastal except Otterbein. If you ask him to rank singer/dancer/actor order HE would say dancer/singer/actor I would say actor/singer/dancer. He loves dance and is a phenomenal tapper but has a lot of development still to go in other styles. That being said , his number one reason for choosing Otterbein ultimately was dance 5 days a week leveled. On our visit, he quickly saw the very tight knit community that they have there. We observed the sophomore acting duet scenes ( all Shakespeare) We were told that the sophomores were learning how to play off of each other and couldn’t choreograph the scene but it was amazing how second year acting students could handle elevated speech and difficult duet scenes ( some of which were gender bent) I knew my son was immediately impressed with the level of talent that was already in the program. Then we saw their spring production. All the leads were sophomores and juniors because the seniors are in New York City. They did Singin in the Rain and it was mind blowing ! It was the second weekend and the number of audience members from the community by far outweighed the students. There were at least 15-20 tap dancing students on the stage and the vocals were perfect ( and I am highly critical of vocals as my sister is a professor of voice at another college that lots of kids on these threads are committing to). He evaluated the curriculum and because he has dual enrollment credits, he is hoping to get a dance minor which a minor with their curriculum appears to be obtainable. Initially we thought the distance/travel from Florida to Ohio might be an issue. We can drive to Myrtle Beach in one day ( albeit a long days drive ) however I have found two airlines fly non stop from our area to Columbus. And Columbus is literally 15 minutes from Westerville. Now the cons: the dorms don’t have ac and they are old. The students response to this was “we use window fans and it is only for the first month or so that you need those”. The second con for us: it snows/gets really cold. Ok, so maybe it’s MY con because he doesn’t seem to think that’s a factor at all. The third con is : the food situation. The students readily admit that the cafeteria is a crapshoot. Somedays are better than others most utilize the grab and go food options around campus more than the meal plan meals. There are no Chik fil A , subway, dominos on campus. There are a few non chain places walking distance but all the good junk food requires a car ride. We were told that they are about to totally renovate the student union which houses the cafeteria so maybe a la carte dining options will get included in the new student union plan.
The deciding factors were 1) dance 2) the senior year internship program in NYC and 3) how amazingly kind and welcoming the students were. So he is giving up sunshine, modern dorms/amenities and Chik fil a for opportunity, growth potential, and a small community

@Sunshinefor6 we have heard that the Honors dorm Mayne Hall is the nicest so we quickly sent an email to the person in charge of the Honors program stating son’s qualifications and received an invitation to join the Honors College within 4hours. I like how the responsive the college has been. The person at student health services notified me on Monday that she received the portion I had to fill out but not the portion the doctor fills out. I explained that they were coming separately. She said she would call me on Thursday if they hadn’t received it and sure enough, she called me on Thursday so I could follow up with the doctor. Speaking of health care, we were told that Otterbein has a close relationship with the health care system there and that they scope all the kids at the beginning of their freshman year to get a baseline for vocal health and monitor vocal health throughout their time there. My sister has worked as a vocal care advisor for a national tour and highly recommends doing this, so I really like that we don’t have to seek out this service ourselves

Oh my gosh @gatorbridget You are the best! Thanks for these two posts! Really helps a lot! (and obviously from my username, you can tell I prefer the sunshine too. lol)

I realize this conversation is a couple years old. My son was just accepted to Otterbein MT for Fall 2021. Your post is extremely helpful. Is your son still loving the program? We have a few other acceptances and are still waiting on over a dozen, but would love to visit.

1 Like

He loves it so much. He is a sophomore now and had the chance to be the swing in last year’s spring mainstage. He was the lead in a student run show twice and is currently in the spring musical which will be streamed in the next two weeks. The kids are amazing. Very close group. Dean flies in and out from Florida and has no car. Someone always brings him and picks him up from the airport. The faculty are amazing. Please let me know what specific questions you might have