Theatre Majors at LACs?

<p>I posted earlier that my dd was having difficulty deciding between a BA program or a BFA. She's finally decided that she wants a liberal arts education rather than pursing the BFA. Theatre is her first love and she's thinking about a double major: theatre and history. We've visited a number of schools, but would love to hear suggestions on LACs that we may have overlooked. Dd is primarily interested in east coast schools, but isn't adverse to looking elsewhere. We've been to (in no particular order): Skidmore, Vassar, Connecticut College, Trinity, Barnard, Tufts, Boston College, and Washington University. Also planning visits to: UConn, Wheaton, and Bryn Mawr.</p>

<p>Dds stats--SAT I total 1960 (650 critical reading, 610 math, 700 writing). Need to take SAT 2 in October and will retake SAT 1 in November. GPA 3.69 unweighted; honors courses for 4 years and 4 APs (it's a small hs that only offers 8 APs in total.) ECs--mostly student government and drama--participated in drama club for 4 years and had roles in school plays (3 per year) including participation in the statewide drama festival where the school made it to the final round. Also did tech work. Student government--4 years class VP, president of student council, rep. to regional state student council, student rep to School Committee, student rep on committee to select a new hs principal and faculty/student academic integrity committee. Leadership training through a residential YMCA camp where dd was junior counselor for 9 weeks this year and CIT last year. It was a competitive selection process. Community Service--through our church youth group and this fall, an interpreting project for local historic museum (outreach to local elementary schools) Quill and Scroll and National Honor Society. Studied Latin with a tutor for two years on her own (our school canceled the class and dd wanted to learn the language.) Finally, varsity softball--she'll probably be a co-captain next spring. (The tradition is that the seniors are always captains.)</p>

<p>happymom,your daughter seems to have a focused list. Which ones does she favor? </p>

<p>If she’s looking for additional ideas I’d suggest Kenyon, Hamilton and Wesleyan. </p>

<p>Williams also has a terrific theater program. While a reach (depending on how she does on her SAT retake) it would be a good fit for an actress/historian who is also an athlete and camp counselor. Does she intend to submit a performance tape or CD?</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>My D is a theater/lit major at Reed (interdisciplinary major, not double major). Theater is a small and intimate department where all the majors have plenty of opportunities, and even people not majoring in theater have plenty of opportunities.</p>

<p>Just so you are sure to end up with a well balanced list, I'd mention that her SATs are a little low for some of the schools mentioned here. Try to encourage her to take lots of practice exams in the College Board blue book -- and go over ALL the answers, right and wrong -- before she retakes.</p>

<p>(25th - 75th percentile for 2005)
Williams 1340-1530
Vassar 1340-1450
Skidmore 1160-1330
Connecticut 1250-1390
Trinity 1220-1400
Wheaton 1140-1320
Bryn 1210-1400
Kenyon 1240-1420
Hamilton 1270-1440
Wesleyan 1300-1490</p>

<p>Remember that the range for girls will be higher than for the boys at LACs.</p>

<p>One of my Ds best friends was a theatre major at Reed, he seemed to really like the abilty/freedom to both act and direct pieces.( he started out theatre and music I think)
He graduated and promptly moved across the country to NYC.
( he also had to change his name, because there was already someone of same name in the union- so you might keep that in mind ;) )</p>

<p>Given your D's stats and interests, here are some schools (some would be reaches, some matches, some safeties):</p>

Sarah Lawrence
Boston College
Conn College
Bryn Mawr

<p>Barnard too but it isn't a LAC.</p>

<p>I work with many theater applicants to both BFA and BA programs. Last year, a student with whom I worked who wanted a BA in Theater and also Ancient History chose Sarah Lawrence.</p>

<p>While UConn (on your list) likely has a BA (I'd have to check), it also has a BFA in Acting. Sometimes, a BA student in theater at a school that also has a BFA, can be second fiddle. Not saying this is aways the case but it is something to look at. UConn is far from a LAC, as well.</p>

<p>My feeling is that Williams is too reachy.</p>

<p>I'd chime in for Skidmore too. I worked years ago with the current department head and she is a wonderful creative person who has built a great program. Friends' daughter visited when she was looking and loved it....Seems to combine the best of LAC plus strong theater.....Also, if she would come west, both Oxy and Whitman have great theater opportunities...</p>

<p>As a matchy safety, I've heard nothing but great stuff about the theater department at Muhlenberg. The best all-around performer for many years (acting, singing, plays many musical instruments) from our HS is going there--was recruited by many schools (is also NM Commended, athlete, and URM.) He really liked the feel of it, and also was offered quite a bit of merit money.</p>

<p>Happymom, I'd agree with Weenie that some of these schools may be a reach. My D, with a lower GPA but higher SATs (NM commended), leading roles in HS productions, soloist in highly-regarded choir, violinist, and good recs was rejected at Barnard and Vassar (where she was a legacy). She ended up at an excellent state U, with a good drama program - but where most of the performance opportunities are reserved for the kids in the BFA program, which students couldn't audition for until sophomore year. As a BFA theatre major, she's now unable to double major or even minor in another subject - word on the street is that the department feels it shows that you're insufficiently serious about your theatre studies, and you'll be cut from the program. Although my D loves her school and her program, and loves to perform, she's somewhat ambivalent about pursuing a career as an actor as she's grown up among people in the field and knows full well what a hard life it can be, so she's disappointed that she can't double major. </p>

<p>The moral of the story: Don't assume that your D's talent will be a hook at some of these schools, make sure she finds some safeties; and get really specific with the drama departments at the schools she's interested in about performance opportunities and their attitudes toward double majors.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Pamavision, it seems to me that a BA in theater would have been a path that correlates well with your D's interests and goals, more than the BFA path. A BFA is more appropriate for someone who doesn't want options and who is CERTAIN that this is the path for them and wants to focus on the professional training. I am counseling many students right now who are deciding between the BFA or BA route in theater and I have had a couple change their minds about pursuing a BFA and are applying to BA's after much discussion about such issues with me. At first they thought they wanted a BFA, but all their answers to probing questions, and thoughts very clearly pointed to a BA route and some came to realize this was a closer match to their college interests and pursuits. </p>

<p>On the other hand, your D's BFA program and attitude of the department about studying a minor is not the same at ALL BFA programs. For instance, at my D's school, NYU/Tisch, a student can minor in an academic subject. The BFA program also does not have cuts, though there are BFA programs that do. I realize she is already in the program and you have said she is happy there so there is no problem and I am just pointing these things out. But if she had wanted options or double majors and was not firm in her commitment/desire to pursue a career as an actor, a BA route may have been well suited to her. These are precisely the discussions that I am having with prospective students. It also seems like your D applied to some BA schools such as Vassar or Barnard so was not deadset on the BFA route. My own kid only wanted a BFA and only applied to BFA schools. I also am working with some kids, however, who are applying to some of each. I also have some who started wanting a BFA but talked a lot about wanting options, double majors, etc. and after much counseling, have changed direction and are now pursuing wonderful BA in theater schools. </p>

<p>As far as performance opportunities, I do think someone who is going the BA route, in general, may be better off at a school that does not ALSO have a BFA program.</p>

<p>I am just commenting on these various issues. I realize your D is very happy where she is at and that is all that matters!</p>


<p>Sooz...unless I have misunderstood the meaning of LAC (as in "Liberal Arts College"), yes, indeed, Barnard IS a Liberal Arts College, for women, that is affiliated with Columbia University. As such, its students enjoy a unique blend of the benefits of attending a small liberal arts college for women while having the resources of Columbia University (including essentially unlimited access to undergrad courses, with the exception of the "core"). </p>

<p>My D faced a similar choice when trying to decide whether to pursue a BFA in dance or attend a LAC and get a more broad-based education. She is at Barnard and absolutely, dare I say "deliriously" happy there. She is currently planning a neuroscience major and dance minor and has worked professionally as a dancer as a direct result of living and being able to audition in NYC...</p>

<p>I cannot really speak to the theater program at Barnard/Columbia, however.</p>

<p>Best to you and your daughter!</p>

<p>Churchmusicmom, my bad on Barnard! I do think it is an excellent choice for the OP's daughter (hence my mention of it as a suggestion in my post). I know it is a liberal arts college and my mind was narrowly focusing on the small liberal arts schools she wanted and I was narrowly thinking about schools outside the city. However, you are very much RIGHT! </p>

<p>I also think your D landed at a perfect fit, by the way.</p>

<p>Susan, I was actually trying to reinforce your point about performance opportunities sometimes being limited at schools which offer a BA/BFA. My daughter is going to give the BFA route a try, but all options remain on the table, including transferring to another school, or changing majors. Having grown up around the business, she's well aware that the knowledge and life experience you bring to your craft is just as important as the training you receive, if not more so. </p>

<p>I well remember your many discussions about your talented daughter - however, you must understand that not all kids have the options available to them that your daughter does. The OP's daughter would be well-advised to look carefully at the offerings and policies of the theatre departments at every school she considers, as well as being realistic about her chances of admission at some of the more popular schools. As I recall, rule #1 at CC is "Love thy safety!"</p>

<p>Pam, I'm in total agreement. I think the OP's D is wise to apply to BA schools and it is imperative that she balances her list with reach, match, and safeties, which is why I tried to include some suggestions that fall into those ranges for her based on the limited info. she provided. </p>

<p>In your D's case, I thought she had now entered the BFA route at her school and I was saying that a BA seemed to fit a lot of what she was looking for such as optins and double majors. </p>

<p>I have encouraged many kids I am working with to do the BA route because it more closely aligns with what they want in a college and career wise. The BFA route is surely not for everyone. On top of that, it is highly competitive and not a realistic plan to have all BFAs unless truly competitive in the applicant pool. Many do not relaize just how difficult it is to get in and they tend to create unrealistic lists. I am working with several kids to form more realistic lists than they first presented to me. </p>

<p>Good luck to your D whatever she decides. She has a few choices and they all are good depending on what she realy wants to do in college and beyond.</p>

<p>She should look at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. They have an excellent theatre department and SATs are optional.</p>

<p>Might want to look at Holy Cross-top30 LAC-which has a very good theatre program and counts several alums that are big movie producers/ tv producers. HC has great campus 1 hour from Boston and is SAT optional.</p>

<p>Although a reach, add Amherst, as well. Thier theater department really is pretty good, and their improv group awesome! D is taking History and loves her classes! Good luck!</p>

<p>Barnard, Vassar, Tufts, Williams, Wash U, Wesleyan, Middlebury,Amherst, Northwestern, Davidson - I'm no admissions officer but these schools don't seem very realistic with these stats. </p>

<p>Schools like Bard, Kenyon seem more to me like more reasonable reach schools.</p>

<p>But I'm no expert on this.</p>

<p>Many other good suggestions listed above.</p>

<p>Stats reported in OP:
Dds stats--SAT I total 1960 (650 critical reading, 610 math, 700 writing). Need to take SAT 2 in October and will retake SAT 1 in November. GPA 3.69 unweighted; honors courses for 4 years and 4 APs (it's a small hs that only offers 8 APs in total.)


My daughter is at Barnard now with comparable stats: SAT=1930 (620CR/580M/730W). GPA somewhat higher, maybe 3.8+ UW, but less in the way of honors courses/APs coming into senior year. I will admit that my daughter submitted ACT scores rather than SATs, but her ACTs weren't that much better, it just seems that the 25/75% spread of ACTs at schools tends to be broader. </p>

<p>Obviously that's just one kid, and I would consider the colleges on the list to be reaches -- but at least as to Barnard, Vassar, Wesleyan, Middlebury I don't think they should be written off as impossible reaches. The admission process is very subjective, especially at LACs. I do think that the focus needs to be on exploring whether the OP's d. has qualities that would appeal to the reach college, because obviously if the test scores are unremarkable then the student really needs to strut her stuff to get in. </p>

<p>I'm not sure why you see Bard and Kenyon as reaches rather than matches -- keep in mind that Bard does not require submission of SATs -- nore does Middlebury for that matter.</p>

<p>Because the scores I recall associated with their entrance stats are higher than Ops posted stats. That's why.</p>

<p>I could be wrong though.</p>

<p>Your daugher didn't submit her SATs, and her grades were higher. Possibly not the greatest case in point??</p>