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Chapman Theatre Performance BFA vs Penn State Acting BFA?

futureactress19futureactress19 42 replies22 threads Junior Member
Hello! After a very long, and arduous process, I have narrowed my school choices down to Chapman and PSU Acting. I, unfortunately, did not get to visit either of the schools, see the spaces, or work with faculty (for one of my programs, I even auditioned digitally!).

I have really been scrounging for information, and have been speaking much with current students, and trying to set up calls with the heads of the programs. I know everything on paper so far looks wonderful for both of them, but was always planning to make my final decisions based on visiting - so many people talk about "stepping on campus and feeling the vibes of the students and faculty", etc., so I am worried about deciding such an important decision without this. I have my deadlines quite soon, and so, could use any help, information, personal insights, or facts about either of these schools, or simply advice for how best to narrow down which would be the best of the best.

I have a long list of what I'm personally looking for in schools, which I would be more than happy to share - I just didn't want to dump too much info on this post! In general, I am extremely interested in the most rigorous program I can find. I have always been incredibly, deeply passionate about acting, and had to take much time off due to a severe illness, as well as a gap year. I am ready to get going, and be transformed. Also, (in a nutshell), film opportunities are very important to me, access to big cities with opportunities (internships, auditions, extra classes) is personally important, allowance for some professional auditions after freshman year is important, and, a warm, supportive, familial environment, with opportunities to become close with faculty, have mentoring, office hours, etc. I'm not as interested in Gen Eds, and, having a chance to continue voice and dance training is important as well. Any way to graduate in 3-3.5 years would be a marvelous boost as well, but, I fully know most programs do not allow for that. I am not very interested in devising, and love Meisner work. I'd love good connections when outside of school, and gaining really foundational acting skills - breaking bad habits, learning how to practically approach new roles and characters, how to audition, etc. This is really what I am wanting to learn. I'm a tad bit older, so, would love open avenues to talk with students in the grades above me, and (only if time should allow) opportunities to travel, or join 1 or 2 clubs. I truthfully want to spend nearly all of my time acting. I've searched online for virtual college tours, however, these do not show many dorms, theatre classrooms, or daily rehearsal spaces. That can be quite important, and, so far I haven't been able to find any! I was initially quite interested in programs like Rutgers, UNCSA, many NY programs, and USC, if that helps at all. Cost is very similar, and, all other pros and cons seem to be very equivalent for me personally. I know I could get a great gut feeling if I could go and sit in on classes, meet everyone in person, etc., so, I am very stressed that I don't have enough info to make an informed decision. I loved the virtual classes I saw at Chapman, but, was admitted too late to sit in on Penn State classes. The classes are truly the absolute make or break for me, but I don't want to eliminate Penn simply because I could not see a class. Thank you so much for reading, and, thank you all for your help.
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Replies to: Chapman Theatre Performance BFA vs Penn State Acting BFA?

  • futureactress19futureactress19 42 replies22 threads Junior Member
    Hello! Any help would be wonderful - thank you all for reading.
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  • BayAreaRecruiterBayAreaRecruiter 202 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Chapman’s proximity to Los Angeles (film opportunities) seems to tilt the scale to Chapman. LA is an hour away with traffic, but certainly commutable for film opportunities. Wishing you great success!
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  • futureactress19futureactress19 42 replies22 threads Junior Member
    @BayAreaRecruiter Thank you so much! I was wondering if it was feasible to often get to LA for auditions or opportunities, I had heard from a few students it may not be, and that would be important to me. I wish I could see Penn State's classes as well, because I really loved Chapman, but it's hard to compare without equal info! So, thanks so much for taking the time to comment!
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  • BayAreaRecruiterBayAreaRecruiter 202 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @futureactress19 Chapman is about an hour from LA, and traffic is likely, but it’s definitely commutable given you have a car. I could see some opportunities conflicting with class schedule, though that would be the case wherever you attend. SoCal is the top market for film, so it makes sense to me to head that direction if film is ultimate goal. Otherwise, I’d be pushing you East if it was theater. I’m sure wherever you end up you’ll feel like it was the right choice :-)
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