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Thoughts on Loyola Marymount Theatre Arts program?

meohmyohmeohmyoh 32 replies11 threads Junior Member
With application deadline fast approaching, wondering if anyone had feedback on LMU's Theatre Arts program. It seems impressive and they have the incredible film school there, but I never read much about it. Any input appreciated.
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Replies to: Thoughts on Loyola Marymount Theatre Arts program?

  • CaMom13CaMom13 2074 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited January 6
    Hello @meohmyoh ! I am in Southern California and know several high school actors who headed to LMU for college and they all seem to have been happy with the choice. I will admit that I think for more than one student the school was their non-audition "fallback" but that's not a knock to the school - it's a great fit for anyone who wants strong academics and a very active arts community. I know one of the MT moms @marg928 is a big fan - her D chose LMU over some auditioned programs. If you look at the LMU theatre facebook page you'll see many posts for actors wanted in student films and plays. I think chances for industry connections are pretty great especially for an actor who wants to end up in Hollywood. The school itself is nice -looking and the location is great - close to the beach but also close in enough to be part of the LA scene. I used to live in that neighborhood and the weather by the coast is pretty amazing, year round. Chances are any very urban/adventurous student will want a car at LMU as public transit is not a strong suit in LA and Uber/Lyft adds up. My kid did not want to stay in S. Cal so we didn't tour the school but I've heard nothing but positives over the years. Hope that helps!
    edited January 6
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  • cartervickerscartervickers 1 replies0 threads New Member
    There is an audition for the program!
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  • LamaDramaLamaDrama 32 replies0 threads Junior Member
    There is an on-line video submission for LMU's theatre program. Early Action due November 1st and Reg. Decision due Jan. 15th. Department Head gives recommendation to admissions dept. Grades will matter for LMU.

    I'm also curious to hear thoughts on the program from a current or past students.
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  • nyctolatoctnyctolatoct 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Hi! I am a sophomore from New York who just transferred out of LMU. I was a dance major, however I took classes with theater arts students as well as there is overlap between these majors. Overall, I realized how commercial/film oriented the training and job scene was in Los Angeles. This could be an great option for someone if they are looking to perform for TV/Film, but personally I felt like they were lacking a bit in musical theater opportunities (look on backstage.com for an idea of theater work). The faculty do care though, and I loved my mt class. It was more that the whole school itself wasn't right for me.

    The campus is beautiful, but a bit secluded, as it's on a bluff in a residential neighborhood (you'll have to uber or drive everywhere). Food and dorms really weren't great but you can choose live off campus even as a freshman! It also tends to empty out as many people commute, which is another thing I wish I would've known prior to attending. I know others who have transferred as well, so I'd say tour it if you can, do your research, and talk to faculty about your specific goals so you'll know if you can achieve what you want. I hope this helped a bit and best of luck to you!!
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  • TS0104TS0104 1115 replies29 threads Senior Member
    HI! My D is a junior there, Theater major. Much of her experience is the opposite of what nyctolatoct says...not to negate his or her experience, just to provide another. She hasn't noticed or been affected by any commuting/clearing out. Maybe this points more to the preferred social life of the student (my D isn't a big partier, prefers more hanging out with small groups, and she was happy with the social life. Some of her friends that were more social joined sororities). Also as a Theater student who was interested in film/TV and less in MT, she felt the opposite perception, as a freshman...pressure to focus on in school theater and not to participate in LA's film/TV opportunities (this evened out over time for her). Now, it is completely true that LA itself is film/TV mecca and theater much less a part of the scene. But in terms of LMU and the theater program, my D found the focus on theater, not film/tv. Agree that the faculty cares deeply and one of LMUs strengths is passionate professors who develop relationships with their students. My D did become dissatisfied with the food too..it has great options, but I think the drawback is there is just the ONE main dining hall, which of course would get old quickly. I would also say her dorm was just average (just toured a lot with a younger sibling and realized just how small my D's freshman dorm room really was). Basic. Has the amenities, is kept up, has a lounge, but nothing too impressive. Then again, I think they've build new freshman dorms now.

    My D did meet with the Theater Dept chair while visiting and asked a lot of questions about fit and her goals, and pretty quickly chose LMU over other LA programs (USC, withdrew her app from UCLA). For her, LMU was the obvious best fit for her and it has proved so, she couldn't be happier. She didn't feel particularly challenged by her freshman acting class but she came in with a few years of experience. Since then she has taken more challenging acting classes, and also has discovered other loves (directing, screenwriting) and LMU has the flexibility (as a BA program), for her to pursue those as well. She's assistant directing a production this summer, directing for New Works festival, has been and continue to be involved with friends/contacts independent productions, and has several mentors in professors. I actually just asked her in Nov on a visit if she still feels that LMU was the right choice for her and she said 100%, she never wants to leave, honestly her problem is finding more that she wants to study that she has time for (she's currently double majoring/double minoring).

    UCLA probably gets all the hype for Theater majors in LA, and possibly deservedly so. My D was NOT looking for a BFA, actually BFAs in general is where you will hear much much more about Theater programs than those with BAs. So it absolutely depends on fit and what you are looking for. Good luck!
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  • marg928marg928 1247 replies14 threads Senior Member
    My D is also a junior theater major with TS0104's daughter. She did choose it over five BFA acting programs and she is very happy there. She was lucky enough to have been cast in major roles freshman and sophomore year (one musical, one Shakespeare) which were great experiences. But truly the best experience of all was spending spring of sophomore year studying theater in Germany. It was a life-changing experience for her and she wouldn't trade it for the world. She also likes that is a BA where she can explore other subjects. She is minoring in classics and archaeology. Certainly, being a BA, it is not as intense as a BFA would have been but it gives her the freedom to be able to audition for roles outside of school. Feel free to PM me for more info.
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