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Is there a "Big List" for Acting Schools?

ktmomktmom 18 replies5 threads New Member
edited September 2012 in Theater/Drama Majors
For the past 12 years of her life, my d has insisted that she wants to major in musical theater. She has now decided that she want to pursue Acting (preferably Film) as a career. I know of NCSA and Mason Gross but when I googled Colleges BFA Acting, a lot of schools popped up. Many of them are state schools throughout the country. Do any of them offer a quality program? Her stats rule out schools such as NYU. UArts might be a good program for her because of the opportunity to work in student films. Can anyone recommend a school for Acting to add to her list? What should she look for in a program? Thanks for your help.
edited September 2012
28 replies
Post edited by ktmom on
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Replies to: Is there a "Big List" for Acting Schools?

  • MichaelNKatMichaelNKat 4360 replies58 threads Senior Member
    As a general proposition, many of the schools that offer high quality BFA MT programs also offer comparable BFA Acting programs. If you peruse the websites of many of the schools listed at the top of the MT board, you will find a lot of good information. Most schools have the curriculum posted for their BFA programs as well as a history of their productions. There are some schools, Mason Gross at Rutgers for example, that have acting programs only (no MT) and won't be listed at the top of the board but from among those listed there are a load of schools with strong acting.

    UArts would be a very good school to look at. My daughter is in the BFA MT program there and has many friends in the BFA acting program. In fact, the MT students take the same core acting studio classes as the acting students and I can tell you the acting program is very strong. While it is a theatre based acting program, many of the professors have significant past and current experience working in movies and there is a class offered in acting for film and tv taught by a professor who has a long history serving as casting director on major films and long running tv series . Acting students have many opportunities to work in student film productions and there are frequent movies filmed in Philadelphia. Students often have the opportunity to visit the sets and meet cast and crew. My daughter spent 2 days about a week ago hanging around the set of Transformers 2 talking with the crew and cast.

    Syracuse, CMU and Ithaca are 3 other schools that have strong acting programs in addition to their MT offerings but look at the list, there are a lot.
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  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman 807 replies20 threads Member

    You should be here ...

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/arts-majors/512536-theater-drama-colleges-part-12-a.html :)

    There is something of a "big list" with links to the departmental websites at the beginning of Part 8. Some people also seem to like the more abbreviated list of "top" programs I made near the beginning of Part 9 although they are not all BFAs and I must say that my opinion has changed a bit about some of the schools in the past two years.

    Anyway, if you decide to read the whole thing, pay special attention to any conversation of which Doctorjohn was a part. There's some valuable info there.
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  • Blueroses1Blueroses1 65 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I applied for acting programs this year and did a LOT of research before I applied. I've come up with a list of top schools, many of which I applied to. This information comes from both research and testimonials from people in the industry. These are the schools that came up time and time again as being extremely strong Acting (not MT necessarily) schools. (Many MT schools are not necessarily great Acting schools and vice versa)

    These are sort of in order by repute from what I have gathered, but obviously order is debatable:
    -Juilliard Drama Division
    -North Carolina School of the Arts
    -SUNY Purchase
    -Carnegie Mellon University
    -Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
    -Boston University
    -Tisch School of the Arts at New York University *
    -California Institute of the Arts
    -Ithaca College
    -Emerson College
    -CCM Drama
    -Yale Undergrad (BA)**
    -Northwestern University (BA)**

    *(Tisch is only placed lower because I have heard a lot of accounts of bad experiences there or stories that the undergrad program is overrated. I think the experience there can vary GREATLY by studio, so it is hard to rank.)

    **(the BA schools are only placed lower because they are not BFA conservatory programs)
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  • ActressToBeActressToBe 120 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I've heard from many people that in regards to acting, you should really focus on getting into a good Masters Acting program. Yale and NYU are more known for the strength of the MFA programs than their undergrad, though their undergrads are good as well. I've also heard the same about Tisch undergrad Acting programs, that it varies greatly in quality because, lets face it, you're not actually learning from Tisch faculty, you're in separate studios throughout the city which have had varying qualities throughout the year.

    I don't think you could go wrong with looking at any of those places. Also don't forget to look into the UK since they have excellent undergrad and postgraduate acting programs.
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  • ProudDadFLProudDadFL 100 replies1 threads Junior Member
    The Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at Purchase College is very strong for acting, film and stage design. Several well-known actors made their film debuts in student film projects at Purchase. Graduates also mention the fact that it is not uncommon to stay connected and continue to work together professionally on Broadway, TV/Film and regional theatre.

    NYU is an excellent school for film and acting but I wouldn't know if students from both departments work together.

    I would imagine that many of the good BFA programs train actors to be well-rounded so they can apply their craft in a variety of medium.
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31650 replies378 threads Senior Member
    NYU is an excellent school for film and acting but I wouldn't know if students from both departments work together.

    Responding to this one topic....
    First, at Tisch, there are numerous student films being produced by the BFA Film students and drama students can audition and be in these.

    Second, in the Drama BFA program, there is an advanced studio you can audition to get into as a senior (or perhaps also as a junior I think) called Stonestreet Studios Film and Television Acting Workshop. This option is for an actor who wants some specific training for Film/TV. Students get training in adapting their acting work for stage for the screen. Many films are made in that program. This is an upper level conservatory studio within Tisch Drama for those who want training for the screen. I believe it is for two semesters.
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  • Blueroses1Blueroses1 65 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I also totally forgot to add UMinn Guthrie's BFA program...it's definitely up there with the very top programs, but it is relatively new. I did not know about it and regret that I did not audition for it, but it's a really good program and forges great connections between its actors and the Guthrie Theater
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  • HoosierMom2012HoosierMom2012 235 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I would suggest adding Webster's Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis to your list. If your S or D is involved with a Thespian troupe at their school and goes to thespian conference they may find that they can pre-audition for Webster there.
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  • vjayvjay 19 replies2 threads New Member
    This is very good information. I had not heard of Purchase College before doing a drill down. It seems to be very selective and highly competitive since they only accept about 70 students. From the posted list, I will also add Syracuse which I'm told also has an excellent program. I'm trying to come up with a list of about 6 - 7 schools for my son to apply to and call it a day. Is that a realistic number or should I include more? He'll be a senior in 2009 so we'll start applying in Nov. 2009.
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  • KatMTKatMT College Rep 4183 replies71 threads Senior Member
    6 - 7 is a realistic number as long as he has one true "safety" on the list. A safety school would be a Non-auditioned school, that has a strong theatre program, where his HS guidance counselors feel that he will have NO trouble getting in academically. If this school is also a financial safety, even better. His safety schoolshould also be a school that he would be happy to attend if he did not get into any of the other school to which he applied.

    Many of the "top" BFA programs accept a very low percentage of auditioning applicants -- 2% - 10%. As a result, very talented people are rejected from these programs. Even if he applies to 30 school (:) -- now that would be excessive!) he should have at least one true safety school on his list.

    There are many excellent BA theatre programs that offer excellent undergraduate theatre training, and some very good non-auditioned BFAs out there.
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  • vjayvjay 19 replies2 threads New Member
    ok, that's sage counsel on the safety school. I do remember reading about one in my search that has a good program but dosen't require an audition, which is, of course, very subjective. I'll have to go back to my notes on east coast schools.
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  • Blueroses1Blueroses1 65 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Purchase accepts 16-20 students not 70, just to clarify! It's one of the most competitive schools next to Juilliard, etc.
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  • jakoseljakosel 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Is DePaul a good theater school? I've heard good things and it has a great location (being in Chicago). Let me know please.
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  • mikeyshypnoticmikeyshypnotic 137 replies44 threads Junior Member
    good question^^
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  • HoldYourHorsesHoldYourHorses 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Speaking of lists, does anyone have a 'Big List' of Conservatory programs for film, television, and musical theatre for serious actors, please? Does anyone know of ANY conservatory program that a) is legitimate and high quality, b) offers housing, and c) has a meal plan or cafeteria for students? All we can find are programs where housing and meals are up to the students to find and fend for themselves. Am familiar with NYCDA, AADA, and AMDA, but don't know which is most prestigious. Thanks for any help.
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  • Pantoufle92Pantoufle92 26 replies2 threads New Member
    ^^I'm not sure about housing/meal plan, but LAMDA is a great program in London. Super prestigious.
    Can anyone give me a list of some non-auditioning schools so I can decide on them for safeties?
    Oh, and has anyone had any experience with the Drew program?
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  • afitscherafitscher 1134 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Emerson bump
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  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31650 replies378 threads Senior Member
    Pantoufle92, please be aware that all non-audition schools are not safety schools. A school is only a safety school if your academic profile is above the mid range of stats for admitted students to that college as well as the school not having a very low acceptance rate. One person's safety may be another person's reach.
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  • vjayvjay 19 replies2 threads New Member
    Has anyone heard of Columbia College of Chicago. It's billed as the largest and most diverse private arts and media college in the nation. My son is looking at theatre/acting/music as major. Any feedback will be appreciated.
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  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose 3973 replies117 threads Senior Member
    vjay, if you search for "Columbia College Chicago" on this forum and the MT forum, you should come up with a lot of posts.
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