BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Millikin 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 Millikin University's School of Theatre and Dance about its focus on entrepreneurial thinking and its five different degree programs. Check out info on the school and answers about their programs below!
The School of Theatre & Dance offers conservatory style training rooted in a liberal arts education. Their approach to education offers a comprehensive integration of theory and practice with the added component of collaboration with third-party stakeholders. Through these collaborations, students gain valuable insight into their chosen field which helps prepare them for professional success. With only 1800 undergraduate students, Millikin is able to offer smaller class sizes, individualized attention, and faculty/student mentorship opportunities that foster artistic and academic growth for all parties. The intimate setting allows them to blur the lines between individual degree programs and focus on working together as a community of artists from a variety of disciplines who are equally essential to the process of creating theatre.
What is the audition process for performing arts majors?
Students must first apply to and be admitted by the Millikin University Office of Admission using either the Common App, or Millikin's no-fee online application. Once admitted, students then submit pre-screen materials and are invited to audition based on the results of their pre-screen. Millikin holds auditions on campus and in Chicago and participates in the Common Pre-Screen. Specific information on our campus and Chicago audition requirements may be found on our website at www.millikin.edu/theatre
What tips can you offer to auditioning students?
We are interested in a wide variety of performers, each of whom have something unique to bring to their work. Don't try to guess what we are looking for because we often don't know until we see it. Be your most authentic self in the work you present to us.
What is the approximate average class size within an arts major?
Any notable alumni you would like to mention?
Sierra Boggess, Joel Kim Booster, Liz Brady, Brian Collier, Allison Ewing, Karen Hyland, Ian Liberto, Joe Machota, Michael Maiz, Drew Nellessen, Chase Renouf, Scott Taylor Rollison, Tim Shew, Annie Wersching, LaVon Fisher-Wilson, Jessica Tyler Wright
Do you see more students interested in working on stage or off?
Millikin offers degree programs in 5 areas, Musical Theatre, Acting, Stage Management, Design and Production, and a BA in Performance Studies. With the wide array of interests among our students we seen about an equal split between theatre artists working on stage and off.
What kind of real world experience outside of the classroom do you offer students during their program?
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 (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.
What kinds of things does your school do for students to help them succeed after graduation?
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.
How do you keep your program as relevant as possible to the current industry trends and how have you modernized it in recent years?
Faculty continue to work professionally and/or attend academic and professional conferences in order to stay informed on emerging trends and shifting industry standards and norms. Curricula are regularly assessed and adjusted to align with the professional market to ensure our graduates have the tools they need to be successful in a competitive field.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your school and its programs?
In the fall of 2020, Millikin will open a new, $29 million facility meticulously designed to support the 5 degree programs offered by the School of Theatre and Dance; Musical Theatre, Acting, Stage Management, Design and Production, and our BA program. The new Center for Theatre and Dance will feature 2 dance studios, 4 acting studios, a costume shop and support spaces, a light and sound lab, design classrooms, practice rooms, collaboration spaces, faculty offices and conference rooms, and a 250-seat convertible courtyard-style theatre. Currently under construction, this beautiful new facility is on schedule for completion next summer.
Be sure to apply to Millikin University's School of Theatre and Dance here: https://millikin.edu/theatre