As most of you are aware, where you go to college is really important in your opportunities that will lead you up to an established career on Broadway and in the new musical theatre scene. Some of are you are currently in college, some of graduated and are off to the races in the heat of NYC. But some of you are juniors or seniors in high school looking to make your decisions on where to apply and where to accept to go for musical theatre, looking at which colleges will help you make it to the top, and which ones respect new musical theatre.
The sad truth is that there isn’t a right answer. A lot of colleges offer great theatre programs, and looking at the history of our favorite actors and actresses, they come from all across the country. A few things to consider:
- Do they have a connection with New York or with any writers, actors, producers with Broadway or Broadway-like credits? If so, how are they using those connections to help their current students?
- Do they offer the program you want? A BFA is 100% different than a BA and going to college is very different than a conservatory, so really look into what you’re looking for.
- How many shows do they produce a year? The more, the better. This gives you chances to get more experience working with different people and different parts.
A lot of people consider location key to making college a great head start toward a career in musical theater. I agree that New York, Boston, and L.A. will have opportunities that you may not get elsewhere. However, some of the biggest schools in musical theatre, particularly *new* musical theatre aren’t in these cities at all. For example, Kooman and Dimond have been in Pittsburgh a while working with CMU (their alma mater) and Carner and Gregor have recently put on a concert with the University of Michigan. These midwest colleges have a great dedication toward making musical theatre students thrive, even with the “big cities” far away.
In going through videos for an #NTMvotw, I thought that it was appropriate and amazing to see these writers working with these colleges, and see how awesome you guys are at the schools you love.
Here’s what I find to be a very appropriate video to show you that perhaps just maybe, for the sake of a college perfect for you, New York can wait: