BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Rider 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 Rider University's Theatre Department about its regional and summer stock theaters opportunities and its "Business of the Business" Labs. Check out info on the school and answers about their program below!
For over half a century the theatre program at Rider University has had a rich tradition of educating students and preparing them for all aspects of a life in theater. Rider offers a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and a B.A. in Theatre with the option of concentrating in Acting, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre or Theatre Studies. Ten productions each year give students a wide variety of experiences and opportunities both performing on stage and working behind the scenes. Course work includes the study of Hagen, Meisner, Adler, Alexander and Chekhov techniques, as well as specialized study in voice, movement, script analysis, history, directing, Shakespeare and stagecraft. Exciting courses, inspirational and motivating faculty, abundant theater facilities, and a strong arts community all come together to give Theatre students at Rider a personalized and challenging education.
What is the audition process for performing arts majors?
Musical theatre applicants submit via Rider's online application or the Common Application and complete a required, pre-screen audition. Applicants must upload two contrasting songs, one contemporary monologue, and 30-60 seconds of dance. Those selected will be invited to audition on campus or at the National Unified Auditions. Theatre applicants (acting and technical theatre) schedule an on-campus audition/interview when applying.
What tips can you offer to auditioning students?
Prepare to showcase who you are and what you do best as an individual and young artist.
What is the approximate average class size within an arts major?
Any notable alumni you would like to mention?
Ron Orbach '74 (Broadway: CHICAGO, DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES, NEVER GONNA DANCE, LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR; Russell Fischer '08 (Broadway: JERSEY BOYS); Colby Dezelick '16 (Broadway: ANASTASIA, MISS SAIGON); Cody Cooley '16 (National Tour: THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL); Jack Gerhard '19, Carlos Castillo '18, Mariah Lotz '18, Matthew Staley '17 (National Tour 2019: ONCE THE MUSICAL); Terrie Lynne '19 (National Tour 2019: THE BOOK OF MORMON); Sheldon Steele '19 (National Tour: DREAMGIRLS); Braden Sweeney '17 (National Tour: FINDING NEVERLAND); Milika Cherée (Griffiths) '17 (National Tour: THE COLOR PURPLE); Shelly Lynn Walsh '18 (National Tour: ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE)
Do you see more students interested in working on stage or off?
What kind of real world experience outside of the classroom do you offer students during their program?
There are performance, management and technical opportunities at regional and summer stock theaters as well as arts internships in Princeton, New York and Philadelphia that engage students in professional experiences while at Rider.
What kinds of things does your school do for students to help them succeed after graduation?
Weekly "Business of the Business" Labs bring leading performers, casting directors, agents, composers and directors on campus for masterclasses and workshops. Audition courses and career preparation workshops culminate in a Senior Showcase in New York City. Many arts majors also pursue a minor in arts & entertainment industries management to cultivate entrepreneurial skills.
How do you keep your program as relevant as possible to the current industry trends and how have you modernized it in recent years?
Working professionals from New York City and Philadelphia serve on Rider's faculty and as guest directors and designers for over 10 full-scale productions annually. Through collaboration with Rider's filmmaking, TV and radio, and game and interactive media design programs, Rider prepares performing arts leaders who are skilled across stage, screen and new media.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your school and its programs?
Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts offers world-class, conservatory training within a strong liberal arts education through its Westminster Choir College and School of Fine & Performing Arts, less than 60 miles from New York City. Students pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Piano, and bachelor's degrees in arts and entertainment industries management, dance, popular music and theatre (acting, musical theatre, technical theatre). Rider's programs feature renowned faculty, dedicated to training performing artists for the 21st century, who are highly skilled, versatile and entrepreneurial artistic leaders.
Be sure to apply to Rider University's Theatre Department here: https://www.rider.edu/academics/colleges-schools/westminster-college-of-the-arts/school-of-fine-performing-arts/undergraduate-programs/theatre