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BA Theater

findschoolfindschool Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited August 2010 in Theater/Drama Majors
We are over and over hearing theater pros say "get the BA" for candidates to be well rounded. What schools offer theater BA, all aspects with music not just drama, and require audition? We are finding schools are strait drama, and many without audition, which makes no sense to me. Looking for whole college experience with strong program and good professional theater ties. I did not think this was too narrow a search but it seems to be. Any help greatly appreciated. Son graduating '11.
Post edited by findschool on

Replies to: BA Theater

  • LeftofPisaLeftofPisa Registered User Posts: 1,051 Senior Member
    If you are looking for a BA program that requires an audition and has strong academics, Fordham would meet those criteria.

    I would suggest that you include both schools that require an audition and schools that don't require an audition as you create the list.
  • sandkmomsandkmom Registered User Posts: 946 Member
    I second Fordham BUT if it is MT you are looking for, Fordham has few courses. You kind of have to build your own based on your interests. You might take private lessons or add a minor or double major in the Music dept to satisfy your needs.

    Prospective Students | Fordham University Theatre Program

    Music Major and Minor

    Adding that my S was primarily interested in a BA but did consider several BFA programs and ended up applying to NYU Tisch because of the liberal arts requirements and ability to double major, however difficult. Music can be part of NYU's program even outside of the MT studio so you might consider this as well. Another BA school that did musicals and he really liked was Boston College...it did not require an audition but he did interview and was asked to put together an artistic portfolio for the theatre department. You don't provide your S's stats though so it's hard to say if these selective schools will be a good fit.
  • perischackperischack Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    Findschool, have you considered Northwestern? It's a BA Theatre with an optional Musical Theatre Certificate program for which a student auditions after freshman and/or sophomore year. Exceptional academics and a top-notch theatre program with very strong professional ties.
  • momof3sonsmomof3sons Registered User Posts: 5,116 Senior Member
    When you say that the non-audition school "makes no sense," try looking at Northwestern's B.A. and their theatre program. Yes, they are non-audition, but Northwestern has produced a HUGE amount of well-known, talented actors. Your applicant needs to be an outstanding student with excellent SAT scores and a demonstrable interest in theatre through EC's, recommendations, etc.
  • sandkmomsandkmom Registered User Posts: 946 Member
    Northwestern is definitely another great BA option. Non audition but highly selective school.

    Findschool, it would help if you gave some further info such as desired location, size of school, etc and basic academic profile. And don't be turned off by non audition programs, you'll need some on your final list.

    You also probably want to spend some time reading the archives.
  • LeftofPisaLeftofPisa Registered User Posts: 1,051 Senior Member
    Some schools don't require an audition for admission but will require one later to get into the dept as a major. As I recall, Temple and SUNY New Paltz are on that list.
  • findschoolfindschool Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thank you, the archives have been helpful but there is so much information going in so many directions! Fordham does seem to fit my S but the Lincoln Center campus was a turn off to him not for location but for the concrete jungle, underground mole rat kind of feel. As for his stats, Northwestern would be a stretch. His grades are decent 3.5 and SAT's were decent but not great. Both english were high 600's but math was low 500's. Extracurriculars are excellent with a huge theater resume, lots of shakespeare, cast as Hamlet this spring for local shakespeare company. Sadly that passion effects grades but considering the amount of stuff outside school his grades stay fairly high. Will need to find a good school that will weigh this, and not grades alone.
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    Give American University in DC a look. Great school academically. Auditioned BA programs for theatre and musical theatre. Nice campus and location.
  • chrissybluchrissyblu Registered User Posts: 709 Member
    UCLA is BA, requires an audition for the actors that is 80% of the decision and is highly competitive to get in (this year, I think they only admitted 15 actors and 15 MT and auditioned 700-800.) In addition, as you probably know, UCLA is very academic. To fulfill her vocal needs, my D just marched on over to the music department and hired herself a vocal teacher for very little money. She is getting a "real" education because she has to take classes in all the "foundations" for UC (social studies, science, etc.) plus one year foreign language and lots of english for the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. No math, though....which is a good thing for my D. LOL.
  • SDonCCSDonCC Registered User Posts: 2,373 Senior Member
    I wouldn't worry so much about what the theater pros say and just find the undergraduate experience that feels like the right fit for your son. Why not assemble a list that is a mix of audition and non-audition BAs and also audition for some BFAs? Then, come next spring, he'll have options to consider.

    There will be plenty of really strong actors at non-audition BA schools, so you should leave that path open, but it may turn out that your son really wants to pursue a BFA.

    There is no one right path to a theater career. If your son really wants a well-rounded liberal arts education, then do it because that's what he wants and not because it's what you were told to do. There are plenty of highly successful actors who never went to college as well as those who only got a liberal arts education and never attended a professional theater training program.
  • theater momtheater mom Registered User Posts: 535 Member
    My daughter had similar academics to your son. Here are the suggestions I received when I asked for some suggestions for BA programs. They are not all by audition and I don't know anything about the music departments but there are many suggestions and some may work.

  • HannahKaileyHannahKailey Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    I would suggest Brown for a theater BA. It has an excellent program, and, while it is focused in acting, the open curriculum would allow you to study music as much as you like.
  • sandkmomsandkmom Registered User Posts: 946 Member
    findschool, it sounds like your S needs a traditional campus setting, Fordham LC being purely vertical. For anyone else lurking or wondering about Fordham, the traditional campus is in the Bronx but the Theatre majors must attend the Lincoln Center campus which is a very different setting. There is one academic building and one residential for all undergrad & grad/law students. There IS an underground tunnel to connect the two which is why I'm guessing findschool's S felt like a mole. The library is a bit dark but most of the classes/labs, etc are not actually underground and of course, the higher the floor, the better the view. When my S sat in on a class in Feb, many of the students were wearing shorts and T-shirts and happy not to go out given the harsh winter we had here in NYC!

    Good luck with the search, findschool. :)
  • jazzguitarmomjazzguitarmom Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
    Don't know if you've considered it but Florida State has an excellent BA program.
    S just graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre.
    Great opportunities. S spent a semester Jr year in London- the FSU students got to perform Shakespeare at the Globe and the Tower of London. In London he met the Director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin who brought my S and three of the other FSU students to Dublin for a staged reading that fall then to NYC the following spring. He's off the The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (known better as LAMDA) next year to enter their 2 year acting program.
    The faculty at LAMDA said that from their perspective the BA was better preparation. John Lithgow went to LAMDA- after a BA in English from Harvard. Guess they feel like they will provide the actor training- they want you to have a well rounded education first.
    Just one story but I think an interesting perspective - S was fortunate enough to do a number of mainstage shows but he had to be a little more creative to get stage time as a BA. As a result he participated in many experimental productions, worked with the MFA directors regularly, had time to work with the film dept (which is extraordinary at FSU) so he now has a body of film work to show and most importantly he learned a lot about improvising. It really came in handy at the LAMDA recall audition- they did an entire afternoon of it!
    Do visit as many schools as you can and whatever you decide- best of luck to you.
    Its an absolute joy to be able to work at something you love!
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,173 Senior Member
    SDonCC: "I wouldn't worry so much about what the theater pros say..."

    See: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/business/yourmoney/10homefront.html?_r=1&ref=yourmoney

    Theater pros suggest BA programs because they know how incredibly difficult it is to make a living from the acting biz. Most actors, even those with years of experience on Broadway, spend much of their life working a second job so they can afford to pay a mortgage, make car payments, raise a family, and pay college tuition bills (both theirs and their children's).

    Having ridden the roller coaster of actor's life for more than 33 years, I would encourage anyone entering the business to get a BA. They won't need it when times are good and acting brings in six figures, but they will be grateful to have it during those years when acting brings in six cents. Trust me; I've experienced both.
This discussion has been closed.