Choosing A College/University/Conservatory for Theatre?

LINKS For continuing
Education in Theater

Chosing a career in any Theatre Arts discipline
requires a huge amount of dedication, drive and sacrifice.

NOTE: It must be weighed against
your ability to:
$$$     pay now or in the future    $$$.


As a working theatre professional...
you may not be making much money...
at least for awhile after you graduate 


College Theatre and Musical Theatre Programs
are amongst the most competitive programs to gain acceptance
to within a College or University.
(Written by Chelsea Cipolla, a professional Actress and Audition Coach.)

With thousands of applicants vying for a spot, it is important to present your best and most marketable self to make an impression. In order for you to be ready for these auditions, it requires you to put in an adequate amount of time, energy and passion into your preparation.

Sound stressful? Don’t let it be!

If you are truly passionate about getting an education that will begin your professional career in the arts, then allow the process and preparation to be fun and exciting.


Step 1

First things first: Where do you want to pursue this dream education? Just as important as choosing the right monologue or song for the audition, is choosing the right program to match your needs as a performer.

Before you begin looking at different programs within Colleges and Universities, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What will my main focus be? Straight Theatre or Musical Theatre?
  • Will I do better within a conservatory or university program?
  • What do I hope to accomplish after graduating college?
  • Do I have other interests that I want to pursue alongside Theatre?
Once you are able to come up with these answers, your search will be much easier. Take a look at the differences between Conservatory programs and University programs. Inquire as to what recent graduates of the program are up to after graduation. Decide whether a BFA or BA program suits your needs and your other possible interests besides theatre.


Step 2

Okay, you’ve found a couple dream schools and programs…now what?
Time to focus! You are now ready to begin visiting these schools, setting up interviews, and most importantly, setting up a date for an audition. An easy way to set up a schedule for yourself and your parents is to make a “College Calendar Checklist” spreadsheet.

NOTE: Post this on your fridge or any other important area to make sure all of your requirements are being met. Use the following categories for each college when creating the list:



Step 3

Alright, so now all of your schools are chosen, your dates are set, and you’ve started your applications. Now the real fun begins!

It’s time to choose your audition material!!!

This is definitely the most daunting task of the College Audition Process:

- What type of Monologues are “they” looking for?
- What type of song suits my personality?

If you are amongst the many who are confused as to what pieces are right for you, don’t worry.

First, make sure to check out the website of the programs in which you are auditioning so you know what their requirements are. It is important for you to do your own research and really take an initiative on finding your material.

For inspiration on your college hunt, my favorite quote is:

“If you’re not afraid, if you take everything you are, everything worthwhile in you and direct it at one goal, one ultimate mark, you’ve got to get there”. – James Dean



An Article on chosing a Theater program

BEST Colleges
Rankings in US NEWS
(and World Reports) 

A Listing of BEST Theater College Theater Programs
(from a scholarship website)

A Quick Look at Top 10
for Musical Theater Programs
(from eHow)

An Article on MFA in Acting

Article on the Top 10 Acting Schools
(from the Hollywood Reporter)

Article on top 10 Acting Schools
(From "Made men" website/blog)

Top 10 Acting Colleges and BFA Programs
(FRom Ace Your Audition website)

USA Today Article
on Theater Degrees and college

Article on Community College Theater

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