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Syracuse vs NYU

toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,989 Senior Member
Hello Everyone-

Like so many others, I am feeling a little battered and bruised by the bfa process. My D applied to 10 programs in both acting and MT, was "re-directed" by 6 (CCM, U Minn, Ithaca, Otterbein, BW, and Rider) waitlisted at 2 (Boston and CMU) and accepted (Yeah!!) at Syracuse and NYU. Our family plans to visit both schools in the next two weeks- but I was wondering if people could comment on what they see as strengths and weaknesses of each program. My D is leaning towards NYU- based on the fact that it is a "famous" program, and she knows a couple of kids who are there now, and have been accepted for next year. I'm not sure her concept is the best criteria for choosing a school......and most of all, I don't want her to make her decision before she looks!

One particular concern of mine- my D is the kind of person who thrives in a small setting, and the size of Tisch (relative to other bfa programs) is a particular concern of mine.

Any thoughts would be most welcome

Replies to: Syracuse vs NYU

  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,926 Senior Member
    I can't speak about NYU Tisch first hand, but I have an NYU graduate and one that is currently a sophomore. Oldest D graduated as a vocal performance major (MT) from Steinhardt. My youinger D is a studio art major in Steinhardt. The advantage of both these programs is that they are small programs within NYU, and therefore they have an intimacy that may be lacking with other (larger) majors. Both D's have close relationships with others in their program and with faculty from the very beginning of Freshman year. Class sizes are small. It is a lot different than being a bio or accounting major with huge lecture hall classes.

    Tisch as you know is divided into the different studios, and I believe the studios are divided further into small groups which stay together for the majority of their classes. So even though you are within a large university, you have the close interaction of a small program.

    Being in NYC is unique and to both of my daughters is a wonderful place to go to school and to be part of a creative community. Outside of their small classes, both D's were able to form relationships/ friendships with students in film, music, acting etc.. The networking opportunities are amazing.
  • keepingitlightkeepingitlight Registered User Posts: 265 Junior Member
    Really great that you'll/she'll have the chance to visit both schools. No specific info about the program, but went to SU and have lived my life in Manhattan. Such different cities.
  • NJTheatreMOMNJTheatreMOM Registered User Posts: 3,673 Senior Member
    It's really important to thoroughly investigate the Tisch studio where your daughter is placed. Visit the studio, talk to students in that studio, etc. There are big differences among the studios and some might be a much better fit than others.
  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,989 Senior Member
    I agree about studio placement- that will be key. Another concern about Tisch, how many productions are there every semester/year? Are all studios competing for spots in the same shows?
  • NJTheatreMOMNJTheatreMOM Registered User Posts: 3,673 Senior Member
    Are all studios competing for spots in the same shows?

    As I understand it,each studio has its own productions. I would guess that in some instances there is casting among the larger community. In any event, during the first two years, the emphasis is on training, not performing. Someone with more direct knowledge will be able to expand upon this.
  • halflokumhalflokum Registered User Posts: 1,870 Senior Member
    @toowonderful, I lifted this directly from the Tisch dept of Drama website;
    What kind of performance opportunities does the department offer?
    Each year, the department provides over 150 performance opportunities, including departmental productions, studio workshops, independent directing projects and student-generated work. The department offers a proposal-based system of choosing the season, with projects ranging from full-scale, fully-realized productions to smaller workshops and even more intimate cabaret and avant-garde performances. The season is an extension of the curriculum, providing learning opportunities for students as both participants and audience members. Please note the restrictions on performing for first-year and transfer students below.

    May I audition for shows as soon as I begin at Tisch?
    No. Freshpeople must wait one year before they are eligible to audition for departmental or studio productions. Transfers must wait one semester to audition. We think it is important for you to take time to embrace the new techniques of your primary training and to adjust to college life and living in New York City. You must be in good academic standing in order to audition.

    In practice this means that there are several Stageworks productions (consider that the equivalent of mainstage) that all Tisch drama students from any studio can audition for (except freshman). Not everybody gets cast and I'd say it's particularly challenging for females especially in the earlier grades to land a role unless they happen to be a particular type that is needed. In that sense it's pretty reflective of real life. Then there are studio specific productions which you are guaranteed casting in but they are limited to members of your own studio. And then there is everything else described above.

    There are plenty of performance opportunities but it often comes down to whether or not you have the time to take advantage of them. I don't know if that looks any different in the advanced training years (junior and senior years) because we haven't gotten that far but I can say that the no freshman auditioning thing turned out to be a blessing and the sophomore year studio productions were great but a lot of work on top of what already is a ton of work. But somehow that doesn't seem to stop these kids from chasing more. Go figure.

  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,989 Senior Member
    @halflokum- thank you for the info. Neither Syracuse or NYU allow students to audition the 1st year (which I think is a great thing) Do NYU students have crew requirements?
  • halflokumhalflokum Registered User Posts: 1,870 Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    @toowonderful, yes they do. It is part of their Intro to Theatre Production class. And I agree with you about freshman not auditioning. It turned out to be a blessing.
This discussion has been closed.