BWW College Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Webster University in 2019/2020
We're taking a in-depth look at some of the country's most prestigious college theatre programs to help students learn all about the variety of options they have at their disposal to further their education. With the help of the schools' faculty, we're highlighting insights about everything from audition advice to real world experience and more. Today we're taking a look at Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts, including its integrated association with professional theatre companies and more. Find out info about the school and check out answers about their program below!
The Conservatory at Webster is a professional training program for acting, musical theatre, directing, theatre studies and dramaturgy, design, technical theatre and stage management. Located in St. Louis, the Conservatory has been training theatre students for the professional world for over half a century. One of the distinguishing elements of Webster's Conservatory is its integrated association with professional theatre companies, two of which are located on campus: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Webster also enjoys a one of a kind association with St. Louis professional theatre organizations including, The Muny, Variety Theatre, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.
What is the audition process for performing arts majors?
Application to the University followed by an audition for Performance majors or a Portfolio review for Design/Production majors. Acting audition: 2 contrasting monologues from plays written after 1940, not to exceed 3 minutes total. Musical Theatre audition: 2 contrasting monologues from plays written after 1940, not to exceed 3 minutes total, and 2 contrasting 32- bar song selections. Directing: 2 contrasting monologues from plays written after 1940, not to exceed 3 minutes total, and presentation of portfolio. Design/Portfolio: portfolio review by faculty.
What tips can you offer to auditioning students?
Choose pieces that speak to you and that you genuinely enjoy doing. Choose pieces in your age range and avoid ones that require a dialect. Be open to explore your pieces in a different way should you be asked to do so. Auditioning is about being present and open. It's not about getting it right. We're looking for insight into who you are and what you can do, just as you are looking to find out who we are and what we can provide for you in your training.
What is the approximate average class size within an arts major?
Any notable alumni you would like to mention?
In performance: Marsha Mason, Norbert Leo Butz, Jerry Mitchell, Rocky Carroll, Hunter Bell, Michael James Scott, Paula Newsome, Christopher, Gurr, Julie Emery, Kevin Earley, Jenifer Lewis, Ron Bohmer, Nathan Lee Graham, Matt Wallace, Matt Vogel, Michelle Bossy, Katy Sullivan.
In Production/Design: Julia P. Jones, Cody Renard Richard, David Stewart, Rob Denton, Matt Young, Steven Pierce, Jay Heiserman, Jameson Eaton, Katherine (Katie) Riley, Tina McCartney, Greg Combs, Michael Ferguson.
Do you see more students interested in working on stage or off?
We see more students interested in working on stage. However, we also have a Portfolio process for students wanting to be in Design/Production.
What kind of real world experience outside of the classroom do you offer students during their program?
One of the distinguishing elements of Webster's Conservatory is its integrated association with professional theatre companies, two of which are located on campus: Repertory Theatre St. Louis, Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Webster also enjoys a one of a kind association with St. Louis professional theatre organizations including, The MUNY, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Variety: the Children's Charity, and the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, Missouri, the state's oldest Equity Theatre. There are casting opportunities with these theatres for our Performance majors. Students in Production/Design often assist professionals in our partner organizations.
What kinds of things does your school do for students to help them succeed after graduation?
In addition to our partnerships with area professional theatres, we have two Showcases for our seniors, one in New York and one in LA. We bring in guest directors to work in our Conservatory season and regularly bring in professional actors, Casting Directors and Agents to work with the students to prepare them for life after college. We have vibrant alumni communities in most major cities.
How do you keep your program as relevant as possible to the current industry trends and how have you modernized it in recent years?
Our curriculum is under constant review, so that what we are offering in our training fits the demands of the industry. In recent years we have increased our offerings in Auditions technique and on-Camera experience.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your school and its programs?
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University has been training theatre students for the professional world for over half a century. The Conservatory at Webster is a professional training program for acting, musical theatre, directing, theatre studies and dramaturgy, design, technical theatre and stage management. Conservatory alumni have won a number of awards including Golden Globes, Tony Awards, Obie Awards and Emmys. The Conservatory places great value on Ensemble, skills and process. Our students are passionate and curious. Their energy and desire to work in this profession foster an environment of success.
Be sure to apply to Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts here: https://www.webster.edu/conservatory/