University of Tampa BFA in MT?

Can anyone tell me about this program?

I do not know anything about the program itself. However, lived in Tampa for two decades, and the University if GORGEOUS and right on the water in downtown. Did see some recent alumnae in a professional production of Avenue Q at a theatre in Channelside and was very impressed with the acting, and the vocals. In general the student (overall) body is a combination of Florida students and many from the Northeast who think the private price is cheap (compared to upper Atlantic / NE schools) and much warmer.

My older daughter is in the BFA MT program there, and my younger daughter recently auditioned and is waiting to hear from them. What questions did you have? As lyricmezzomom said, it’s a beautiful campus, and my older daughter is very happy with both the program and the school. Great MT professors in all 3 disciplines, smaller class sizes (not necessarily in the MT program, but overall as there are about 9000 students), personal attention, some of the nicest dorms we saw … Falk Theatre was also my favorite theatre of any of the schools we toured. It has a lot of character.

@secondtimemt My d is considering and we live pretty far away so no real knowledge. What kind of performance opportunities can a freshman expect ? Or just in general ? How intense is the MT program ? Or just life in general in Tampa ? Is the campus safe in your opinion? Seems like the outside opportunities would be great in that area. How is the leadership in the department ? The guy my daughter talked to was wonderful and I believe is the head of the department but how are the rest ?

Seems like such a cutthroat industry I worry about the “ friends” competing against each other for roles but it seems like everything is friendlier in Florida !!

Again, I can’t speak to the MT program, but life in Tampa is wonderful, as long as you don’t mind sweating a lot, lol. Overall, Tampa is a hidden gem in the US. It’s not a place, like where I live now in the Middle Plains in a big city, that has violent crime to worry about, or litter, or a big gang problem, etc. Since the campus is essentially downtown, you do have to use common sense, especially young women (as with anywhere). In my daughter’s current campus in MO, a walk across alone at night gives one the creepy feeling. At UT, I would never have that feeling. When I think of big cities, I think of neighborhoods that you don’t go in for any reason because there is nothing there to go to and the risk is too high. That doesn’t exist in the Tampa metro area, except for one small pocket in south St. Pete (across the bay). The Straz Center is the main performing venue in Tampa, home of the Patel Conservatory as well (great programs for K-12 and community) and where the national touring companies perform musicals, and literally right across the river from UT campus. It has a mid size venue and a black box as well. However, there are two other venues in the bay area that brings some nice things as well: Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Mahaffey Center. There is definitely some smaller theatres there to work and earn equity points, as well as Busch Gardens which takes the typical musical revue type singer/actors/dancers, and is open year round thanks to the tropical climate. Cost of living overall is pretty good, but car insurance is very high in Florida, so would check your home state versus Florida for any car for your kiddo. Don’t worry about tropical storms or hurricanes, you get lots of warning (hours to days), and in the 16 years I lived there, only had to go through 2 tropical storms and one CAT 2 hurricane, worse damage was tree branches and a fence down.

Hi, you probably did speak to the head of the department - he’s very responsive to questions from what I’ve seen. My daughter has great professors, and a wonderful vocal coach who doesn’t work full-time for the school but who handles a portion of the vocal lessons. Everything is very personalized, and I feel like everyone knows who she is. There’s a main play and musical every semester, and freshmen can audition, but there are also other performance opportunities on campus and off. There’s dance shows, a musical revue where they bring in an outside director, and student-run shows. There’s an active acting fraternity and music sorority/fraternity. My daughter didn’t audition for anything off campus yet because some of the shows and rehearsals run into winter and summer break, when the dorms are closed, but she is moving into an apartment soon and has already selected a show or two to audition for in Tampa. As said above, some kids also perform at Busch Gardens or Disney (Orlando is a little over an hour away - very doable). She has wonderful friends, who are all MT or acting majors.

As for Tampa, the school is adjacent to the downtown. That was a big selling point to my daughter as high school states for Florida is held in downtown Tampa, and she must have been there 12 times while in high school if not more (she was part of the planning as a district representative). Both my daughters have always really liked Tampa (we live about 4 hours South). As with any downtown, you do have to be careful and I would never walk there alone, but there are a lot of places to walk to and a lot of good restaurants. There’s Straz Center as mentioned, plus Tampa Theatre, and there’s an aquarium and other touristy places. They have a big riverwalk, and there are always events along the river (music, things for dogs, etc.). There are sports on campus (but no football) and a lot of Tampa teams (my daughter isn’t a sports fan, but some students love all the options). They are also a long walk or a short Uber ride to Hyde Park, another trendy area with shops and restaurants, and the new Sparkmans Wharf (same idea). They are not too far from the beach. Apartments are expensive as the closest ones are basically in a downtown area, and most people end up moving off-campus by junior year (dorms are first assigned to the sophomores and freshmen, and they don’t have enough space for everyone). There are more affordable apartments further out, but Tampa traffic can be bad at certain times of day. For parents from out of state, I think a big selling point is that the airport is only 15-20 minutes away and there are a lot of hotels in walking distance to the school.

@secondtimemt my daughter is also waiting to hear if she will be accepted into the BFA program. do you have any idea on when that information goes out? We think it will be soon, but we really have no idea?

When did she audition? My older daughter found out in about 3 weeks. My younger daughter did the on campus audition in October, and Professor Staczar commented that, while he tries for 3-4 weeks, he thought he would be later with those results due to a lot of commitments over the last month.

@secondtimemt I auditioned in early November at a regional event and he said I should be getting a letter “soon”? Not sure what that means… maybe before December?

Don’t know much about the BFA program but have lived in Tampa for 26 yrs. City has changed A LOT. A few years ago I would have said not much to do in downtown, closes at 5, etc. Since then they have made a concerted effort to clean up parts of the city, host many festivals, bring in more restaurants. There’s a lovely area called the River Walk (not comparable to San Antonio or anyhting like that, but way better than what was there - which was nothing).

UT is a very pretty campus and a nice mix of city and green space as it sits on the river. Lots of new buildings as they’ve had to accomodate growing student population. It is a very attractive place and close to everyhting in South Tampa which is where ALL the action is.

The city itself is pretty safe. I still wouldn’t walk around alone at night (but I wouldn’t want my D to do that anywhere). There were several housing projects bordering downtown but they’ve been removed (literally) and redeveloped into the hot areas. D attends the Performing Arts magnet downtown. We were just saying that in 3 plus years, it’s gone from a “we’re crazy to send her there - literally in a ghetto scenario - to being the area that everyone wants to be”. Tampa is not a big city (wife is from SF and I’m from Boston) so there isn’t alot of culture in the form of art and museums like there would be in other areas. But there is enough if one wants to explore. St. Pete actually has more but she would need a car for that.

I don’t know, but they do try to respond pretty quickly. They don’t believe in making you wait until March/April like most programs, and they don’t limit themselves to just issuing 15-20 or so acceptances and then doing a wait list. You probably heard him say all this. He said the numbers all work out in the end, and it did with my daughter’s class.

@secondtimemt - thanks for the info. The program really sounds wonderful - I wish it wasn’t so far away as we are from the DC area - but it is what it is…

I understand. Tampa is only 4 hours by car for us, so I’m really happy with the location. My younger daughter - like everyone else - applied all over the east coast, with 2 more in the middle of the country, and I’d be thrilled if she ended up in Tampa.

Following this thread…
We are going down this weekend for my daughters audition at open house, so interested in any input.

@AbbieC1114 Good luck! The head of the department seems really nice! And it was very relaxed for my D

My daughter is interested in Tampa, and just stumbled upon it. She is concerned that she may have missed the boat because the pre-screens for MT at the other schools she is considering were all due by 12/1 - does UT have a prescreen process for Musical Theatre?

Hi, I have one at UT in the BFA MT program and one who auditioned in October and is anxiously awaiting their decision (Tampa is thankfully one of the few schools that lets you know yes or no relatively quickly). They do not prescreen - although I believe you have the option to submit a video audition if you live more than XXX miles away. They audition roughly once a month at their Open Houses - you must register in advance for the Open House and the audition - and they go to some of the regional auditions (but not unifieds, unless they changed that this year).

My older one is very happy there - loves her classes and her friends, who are mostly in the theatre department. They are opening an amazing new state-of-the-art facility for the arts in the fall, and they have what is probably my favorite of all the college theatres I’ve seen. They also do some of their performances in the nondenominational chapel on campus, which is beautiful. However, I think once the new building and black box open that that will probably change.

Thank you for this information, we are quite far (Pennsylvania) - but it is nice to know that she hasn’t missed the boat so to speak as far as pre-screens go!

I just received my BFA acceptance today! I loved the campus and everyone seemed super duper friendly!

@mtAllDayEveryday how did you hear ? Mail? Email? Portal ? My portal say Musical Theatre and I got a large merit scholarship but I haven’t received anything saying I am artistically admitted. Maybe it will come today ?