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BWW College Guide - 25 Major Universities Share How They Help Students Succeed After Graduation

Nov. 11, 2019  

BWW College Guide - 25 Major Universities Share How They Help Students Succeed After Graduation

With college theatre program audition season in full swing, we're highlighting prestigious theatre programs from all across the country and chatting with the schools' faculty about everything from from the audition process to real world experience and more. Today we're looking at how twenty-five different major universities help prepare their theatre students for life after graduation. Find out what University of Cincinnati, Marymount Manhattan College and more had to say by checking out the answers below!

AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts

When students come to AMDA, they are immediately immersed in a culture that gives them access to the entertainment industry. Performance Opportunities with Top Industry Artists- AMDA students and alumni are often selected to perform alongside some of the industries most successful performing artists. Recent examples included the AMDA Choir performing with Kristin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl and AMDA Dance Theatre students performing with Kanye West at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Proximity to the Action - With campuses located in the heart of Hollywood and minutes from Broadway, students are automatically linked to the communities they wish to work in. Students are often offered free or discount tickets to Broadway shows, film screenings and entertainment industry events. From historic theaters to film and TV studios to red-carpet events, AMDA students are where the action is! Industry Working Faculty - Most of our 300+ faculty are working professionals in their respective industries and regularly offer their real-world experience and insights to students. Through this dynamic, faculty serve as mentors and often use students and alumni in their own creative projects due to the cultivated relationship.a?? Production Experiences - From day one, students begin performing and have more than one hundred opportunities to do so throughout the year, equipping them with the skills and experience they need to be marketable when they graduate. AMDA utilizes professional directors, choreographers and production staff that are regularly producing work in Los Angeles and New York thereby providing students professional relationships they can continue to cultivate post-graduation. Access to Industry Representatives - At the culmination of the AMDA BFA degree experience, students are eligible to audition participate in a Spotlight Industry showcase, where they perform in front of agents, managers, and other industry representatives.

Auburn University

Auburn Theatre maintains robust networks for alumni that connect them to their fellow classmates from both their time at Auburn and beyond. Linking them for future employment opportunities and mentorship. Local Auburn alumni clubs in major cities also provide an incredibly helpful space for the sharing of information and knowledge.

Baldwin Wallace University

Students have access to faculty even after graduation, from audition help to keeping them connected with casting directors and agents. With our partnerships with professional theatres we're able to assist in keeping our alumni working long after they leave BW.

Boston University

We have a strong alumni network- we host gatherings in major cities for our alums each year, we pay to bring them back to our career classes to work with our seniors which keeps them connected to the community and helps the seniors make connections; Allowing them to perform outside during their time with us builds their network; We give students access to an internal website of job postings and opportunities well beyond graduation; They are taught to apply for fellowships and work with our Career Service Center on campus as well.

California Institute of the Arts

In addition to our NY and LA showcases, we include a variety of curriculum and opportunities geared toward professional development. This includes such classes as Audition Practicum and Entrepreneurship, curricular internships with Walt Disney Imagineering, and connections with the greater CalArts community - all of which are focused on helping students understand and apply their artistic skills to build a sustainable career.

Eckerd College

Theatre Capstone is the culminating class for BA Theatre majors, where we bring in professional guest artists to discuss the kinds of employment available within the field, and we support our graduates with letters of recommendation and hiring some graduates to return as guest artists. We also an Audition Master Class in cooperation with Circle in the Square Theatre School. Students who pursue the BFA degree will have the opportunity to perform in a showcase at Circle in the Square at the culmination of their second year in New York.

James Madison University

NYC and Washington DC senior showcases. Inviting professional companies and guest artists to campus to work with an audition/interview students.

Kean University

Senior showcase, acting as a profession class where students are introduced to agents, managers, casting directors and work to develop a business plan and audition materials of all sorts.

Loyola Marymount University

During their time at LMU students can take, in addition to the other performance curriculum, classes in Audition and Cold Reading and Voiceover Technique among other professional development classes. In their senior year performance students can take Career Development that leads to an industry showcase in the spring of their senior year. This showcase is attended by Los Angeles casting directors and agents. The LMU Theatre Department is one of a very few Liberal Arts Theatre Departments that offers an industry showcase. In addition to this we have an extensive production season that prepares students in performance, design and technical theatre for work in the professional theatre.

Marymount Manhattan College

The number one goal of our program is to help our students and alumni succeed. Our senior year curriculum is designed to help students bridge the gap between a college education and a professional career in the arts. Our senior year course offerings in theatre arts include the Professional Preparation courses for performance seniors (Musical Theatre Portfolio, Musical Theatre Audition, and The Business of Acting). These courses include a showcase partnership with Actors Connection, where students are given the opportunity to perform, speak to, and get feedback from several of the industry's leading casting professionals. This showcase is also paired with a required classroom component that teaches our students how to manage a life in the arts as a freelance artist by providing them with access and knowledge of professional resources available to them in NYC. We assist all our seniors with creating a professional website and creating online content for submissions, and educate them on how to promote themselves in a professional manner on social media. In Design, Directing, Theatre & New Media, Writing for the Stage, Producing & Management, and Theatre History, students have capstone experiences and work individually with faculty to hone resumes and chart their career paths. MMC also offers students and recent alumni access to our Career Services Office, where they are able schedule an appointment to tailor a resume, gain access to an extensive database of job postings, and conduct mock-interviews to prepare for upcoming job placement opportunities.

Millikin University

Entrepreneurial thinking is a valued component of the educational process at Millikin and is incorporated into nearly every major on campus. Students learn about entrepreneurship and engage in professional development projects designed to help them transition from their academic training to the professional marketplace. Performance majors also engage in a professional development experience (or an alternative showcase) designed to facilitate introductions with key players in the New York and Chicago markets which lead to the building of professional relationships and real-world outcomes.

Pace University

We require industry-focused courses in the final year leading up to program-specific showcases in NYC and, in some cases, Los Angeles.

Point Park University

The students are provided many opportunities to network senior year, we work on professional business aspects, create websites, work on self taping and work with a team from NYC on the NYC showcase,

Roosevelt University

The Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) presents a Senior Showcase for agents and casting directors. All graduating students are eligible for participation. CCPA also offers a Theatre Business class in which graduating seniors learn how to navigate the world of professional theatre.

Shenadoah Conservatory

We have an incredibly strong network of alumni. Our faculty use their connections in the Industry to help guide the students. We teach a class called "Preparation for the Theatre Profession" which helps the students understand all aspects for the life of a performer - everything from paying your taxes, to networking, reels, headshots and anything else an actor may deal with when first moving to NYC. We also provide access to Agents and Casting Directors through our Master Class/Audition series on campus.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

We have business and audition classes where students build their brand, make webpages, and create a digital platform of their work. We also arrange local and national auditions, and do and NYC Showcase.

University of California, Los Angeles

The Department supports the UCLA New York Musical Theater Showcase for agents and industry professionals. A master class with Broadway producer at the Disney Theatricals Office in New York is also offered to these students to prepare them in building career skills. The UCLA Undergraduate Actor Showcase offers a select group of completing Undergraduate Theater students the chance to perform songs and dances for agents and industry professionals in Los Angeles to introduce them to entertainment professionals who will be hiring actors in the entertainment capital of the world. Periodically, a "Career" class is offered to fourth year students and taught by a faculty currently working in the entertainment industry. The class focuses on performer marketing, unions, networking and auditions.

University of Cincinnati

Our students work with casting directors on their NYC showcase that is attended by many industry professionals including casting directors, agents, and producers. They have a great network of people already working in the field in NY willing to help them when they get there.

University of Michigan

We offer a "Working In Theatre Lab" where students meet with Casting Directors, Managers, Agents, and Artistic Directors on a regular basis. We also offer an extensive professional preparation that culminates in our Senior Showcase.

University of North Carolina

Professional Showcases in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. 12 different on-camera acting workshops over four years with renown on-camera teacher Bob Krakower, whose New York classes currently have a 2 year waiting list. We bring as many as twenty different industry guests to campus to meet with the senior class, including agents, managers, and multiple casting directors from casting agencies including Telsey and Co. and Tara Rubin. We make sure somoene from the industry sees every senior class production, and some students receive offers for representation before they even get to showcase season. We also teach classes in entrepreneurship for the artist, so that they know both how to mange their career personally, including basic bookkeeping skills, financial literacy, managing student loan debt post-graduation, grant writing skills, etc. and also so they have some basic knowledge of the skills and resources necessary to either start their own theater company or begin low level media production, for example creating a web series, which some of our graduates have gone on to do quite successfully.

University of Oklahoma

We're able to bring in major creative leaders in the industry, top teachers, guest directors, and casting directors and agents to offer master classes throughout the year. We also offer something we call NY Industry Week.

University of Southern California

Our training is focused on ensuring that students are exposed to a wide variety of opportunities for them to enhance their skillset. In addition, we offer a Career Center that is aimed to support this particular development and this resources extends to one year beyond graduation.

University of Texas at Arlington

Audition and portfolio preparation, business of theatre curriculum, workshops, masterclasses, audition attendance, and networking.

Viterbo University

We have professional companies audition on-campus, connections with regional theatres, and intership possibilites.

Wright State University

We have a weeklong professional immersion (including showcases for agents and Casting Directors), an active Alumni Network in every major market, and extensive professional business skills training as part of the curriculum

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