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BWW Blog: Why Syracuse

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Here a few highlights the Department of Drama has to offer that drew me to audition and eventually choose Syracuse. 

BWW Blog: Why Syracuse

With this year's college audition season in full swing, I thought it was incredibly important to share why I chose Syracuse University for BFA in Musical Theater. The Department of Drama provides unique and excellent opportunities for emerging theatre artists to hone and shape their craft for the profession. What is most exciting is how individual professors and instructors are making the most of the pandemic and their chance to turn obstacles into opportunities. Below are a few highlights the Department of Drama has to offer that drew me to audition and eventually choose Syracuse.

1. Conservatory-Style Training in a Larger Research University

An important must-have, for me, was having the opportunity to go to college and get a well rounded education. While at Syracuse, I have the opportunity to take classes beyond the scope of musical theatre, while also maintaining a rigorous schedule within my major. Personally, I am using this opportunity to minor in Public Communications Studies along with my degree. Outside of academics, the access to a Quad, football games, other extracurricular clubs, and other stereotypical college aspects is a nice breather away from the rigorous schedule and training.

2. Opportunities

The Department of Drama has a wealth of opportunities throughout our four years. A major aspect of the department is its connection to Syracuse Stage, a regional theatre in central New York. The Department of Drama and Syracuse Stage share the same building, thus giving us access to professional standards and practices we would see after graduation. Additionally, we have the opportunity to see Syracuse Stage productions for free. From new works, to co-productions, to well established favorites, the amount of theatre I got to see, in my freshman year alone, was invigorating and inspiring.

Syracuse also has a senior showcase, a London semester where students train at Shakespere's Globe during their first semester of junior year, Summer in LA where students are immersed in the film and television industry, and the Tepper Semester. The Tepper Semester gives students the opportunity to study in New York City their second semester of senior year and work with industry professionals, see a variety of NYC performances, and gain valuable industry insight in the hub of American theatre.

The Department of Drama also has a mainstage season, faculty studio projects, and student projects, giving performance majors a variety of opportunities to use the tools learned in class and use them in a performance setting.

3. Training

The training I have received at Syracuse is incredible. Our schedules are jam packed with an equal emphasis on all three fixtures for musical theatre, with acting and storytelling being integrated in all parts of our training. Musical theatre and acting majors take the same acting curriculum their freshman and sophomore years. The core curriculum and additional elective courses available to us, as students, is simply stunning.

There are a variety of professors from the professional world who truly care for our development and growth as artists. Professors this year have made the most of the obstacles confronted to our training, in the age of the pandemic, and have created a curriculum that still gives students all of the tools needed to progress in our training. Despite the obstacles for this fall, the department is bringing in guest professors and implementing innovative teaching idea to enhance our training.

During my accepted students day my senior year of high school, I walked into the department and it felt like home. There is not a one word adjective that encapsulates the feeling of when you find the right fit after a grueling high school senior year. The community at the Department of Drama is like a family where everyone supports each other and is there for one another. The people and lifelong friendships I am making will for sure follow me beyond college and is by far one of my favorite parts of the department. This school, for me, checked off all of my must-haves for what I wanted in my training and has expanded my worldview on what I think is possible.

Below are a few extra resources about Syracuse University's Department of Drama that also provide excellent information on what Syracuse has to offer.

Department of Drama Website
Playbill's "College Theatre Audition" Series (featuring Syracuse)
Tour of the Department of Drama

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