College Advice

bwayobsessed
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joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/1/14 at 09:30pm
Hi everyone, I am a senior in High School and have come to the extremely difficult time in which to decide which college I will be going to. I will be majoring in Design with a concentration in set design. I have gotten into schools like NYU and Emerson but I really want a school with more flexibility so I can easily study abroad and Act/direct without problems. The schools I am seriously considering are:

~Fordham at Lincoln Center-which I love, but it's so expensive, is it worth it?
~Adelphi
~Marymount Manhattan
~Temple-the main downside of which is the fact that the grad students usually do most of the designing
~SUNY New Paltz-which seems good except they said themselves there are barely any students interested in set design which could be both good and bad

If anyone can offer any advice as to the quality of the programs or just the schools in general, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!



Updated On: 4/6/14 at 09:30 PM
bwayobsessed
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joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 04:21pm
I have since crossed SUNY New Paltz off my list if that makes a difference to anyone...any advice would be helpful
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 04:32pm
You are going to have problems finding schools that can do all that in one program: design, act and direct.

Merrymount Manhattan has very few performance opp for anyone.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 04:36pm
I think it's going to be difficult (or impossible, I don't really know) to find a program that has that kind of specialization and also allows you to do all of that within the department. However, most schools with a theatre program have student theatre groups where I'm sure you could find opportunities to act and direct if you so chose.
NY10024
Swing
joined:4/14/07
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 05:46pm
I read these boards but rarely post. However, I'm a designer working in New York, and studied design in both undergrad and grad school, so I can probably give you some guidance. The others are right in saying that you'll have a hard time finding a school that will let you do it all--and in truth, you won't have TIME to do it all (or do it all and do it well, at least). Even pursuing multiple design disciplines can be tricky. If NYU is a possibility, I wouldn't cross it off your list--they turn out great designers, and you'll make connections that will help you land a job after graduation.

I hope that's useful--feel free to send me a PM if I can be of further help!
RaisedOnMusicals
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/10
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 05:51pm
Take a look at Ithaca. Great theater department, and has the flexibility you're looking for.
<--------Curtain call, opening night of A Little Night Music, Dec. 13, 2009
broadwaybabytn
Broadway Star
joined:12/30/10
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 05:57pm
NY10024 and RaisedOnMusicals, since the OP is a senior, I imagine he/she has already made lists, applied, and gotten to these schools, and is now deciding between them. Additional suggestions may not be what this is asking for.

That aside, I've heard really good things about Fordham and Marymount Manhattan, but can't speak to the rest.
RaisedOnMusicals
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joined:7/20/10
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 06:04pm
You're right. It's way past the application deadline. I just read it too fast.
<--------Curtain call, opening night of A Little Night Music, Dec. 13, 2009
broadwaybabytn
Broadway Star
joined:12/30/10
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 06:22pm
You're fine! You were making a suggestion in good faith.
bwayobsessed
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joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 07:41pm
Yeah it is too late to still apply to more schools and when I looked at Ithaca, the professor said that the design program was extremely restrictive, which is why I didn't apply. Thanks anyways for the suggestions!
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/6/14 at 10:06pm
Between those on your list, Marymount Manhattan College best fits what you are looking for.
Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
College Advice
Posted: 4/7/14 at 12:46am
NYU is the only one that you got into that will give you the opportunities to do everything. Their design program is amazing.
Liza's Headband
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joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/7/14 at 08:09am
That's simply not true.
bwayobsessed
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Posted: 4/7/14 at 11:40pm
Yeah NYU definitely sounded restrictive
Visceral_Fella
Broadway Star
joined:1/18/12
College Advice
Posted: 4/7/14 at 11:49pm
Please prove me wrong Liza.

@bwayobsessed you can direct your own GAP shows, which are student produced shows and you can act in the shows at Playwrights Horizon. Those are student directed shows that are available to everyone. There are literally hundreds of shows a year happening at NYU. Yes, you can get your design and directing in at any of the other schools, and they're all fine schools, but trying to perform is another thing. First of all many of those programs don't have enough roles to cast all of their performance focused students so you're certainly going to be slighted in the casting pool. If you seriously want to act then you're going to have a hard time being cast at the other schools. Is it impossible? No. Will it be much more difficult? Yes. And contrary to popular belief you can go abroad if you're in the tech track, it's just frowned upon. I know several people from NYU's tech track who have gone abroad.

Updated On: 4/7/14 at 11:49 PM
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
College Advice
Posted: 4/8/14 at 01:47am
But the SAME student will be unlikely able to do all those things. Just because programs exist, doesn't mean you can participate in all of them in addition to you your requirements. If one is a design major, that is where most of their time focus will need to be.

It's not about what is AVAILABLE, but what you have the time to do. Especially if you are actually trying to TRAIN in all three. If the OP is just interested in doing/participating as opposed to learning/studying, then he might have a better chance because of student-only opportunities.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
bwayobsessed
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joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/8/14 at 09:09am
I know it's impossible to truly train in all three, so I'm really focusing in learning tech and more interested in participating with acting/directing.
AEA AGMA SM
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joined:8/13/09
College Advice
Posted: 4/8/14 at 10:15am
If you want to have a chance to do a bit of everything I would recommend avoiding any BFA programs and look for a program that is offering a BA. The BFA programs tend to force you to more heavily focus on your primary discipline and leave less room to explore the other areas of theatre. For some anecdotal evidence, a friend of mine, who's now the department chair and professor of scene design at a fairly large school, got his BA in a program that allowed him to design a good number of productions, as well as act (in lead roles), and had room for some outside designs as well. I know far fewer BFA programs that would allow that kind of flexibility in their training.

I would also recommend avoiding schools with a strong MFA program, as the MFA students tend to receive much of the focus and the undergrads tend to be somewhat ignored and more on the fringe of the program.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
College Advice
Posted: 4/8/14 at 10:28am
^ This is, hands down, the best advice you'll get.
bwayobsessed
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Posted: 4/9/14 at 06:01pm
Thanks for the insight! I'm definitely really only looking at the BAs (Adelphi's BFA is basically a BA when looking at it's number of credits).