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BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About James Madison University in 2019/2020

Sep. 24, 2019  

BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About James Madison University in 2019/2020

With college theatre program auditions just around the corner, we're highlighting some of the most prestigious theatre programs from all across the United States to give you insight into what to expect from their programs, from audition advice to real world experience and more. Today we're chatting with faculty from James Madison University's School of Theatre and Dance about their senior showcases and paid opportunities with professional companies. Check out info on the school and answers about their program below!

James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and its School of Theatre and Dance is comprised of three different majors: Theatre; Musical Theatre; and Dance. The school also offers many theatre and dance performance opportunities outside of the classroom, with a main stage season of four theatre and three dance productions, as well as an Experimental Theatre season of eight to twelve student produced shows.

What is the audition process for performing arts majors?

An audition/interview, and seperate application to the School of Theatre & Dance is required for all students who wish to major in Dance, Musical Theatre, and Theatre. The requirements vary for each major, and are detailed on the apply page for each major in the School of Theatre & Dance - https://www.jmu.edu/theatredance/apply/index.shtml

What tips can you offer to auditioning students?

Specific tips for each major can be found in the audition/interview guidelines that can be found and downloaded on the apply page for each major. However, the common theme across all majors in the School of Theatre and Dance is for prospective students to share themselves honestly throught the audition, interview, and application process. We are looking for young people who are excited about collaboration, artistic growth, and about becoming both well informed artists and citizens.

What is the approximate average class size within an arts major?

20-30

Any notable alumni you would like to mention?

Austin Colby, Anna-Lee Craig, Jacob Dickey, Jasson Minadakis, James Moye, Scott Organ, Rachel Schur, Reshma Shetty

What kind of real world experience outside of the classroom do you offer students during their program?

Students have the opportunity to work as paid assistants in the shops, in arts management, as well as to work on the production crew for the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. In the summer students have the opportunity to audition for paid performance opportunities in our summer Madison New Works Festival. We have relationships with professional companies, bring in guest artists to work with students, and often these connections lead to professional work.

What kinds of things does your school do for students to help them succeed after graduation?

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

How do you keep your program as relevant as possible to the current industry trends and how have you modernized it in recent years?

We bring in professionals to work with our students. The faculty is also made up of working professionals who continue to workoutside of the university. Recently, we have revised our core to offer more interdisciplinary opportunities for students to collaborate, and create their own work. We have a commitment to new work, and have a number of initiatives that bring writers and composers to campus to create and workshop original work with our students.

Be sure to apply to the School of Theatre & Dance at James Madison University here: https://www.jmu.edu/theatredance/apply/index.shtml


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