College Theatre Programs to Keep An Eye On: Molloy College/CAP21

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Here at OnStage Blog, we’re constantly looking at various college theatre programs. Not only for our own rankings but to know how educators are shaping the next generation of performers that will grace our stages.

So in addition to our annual rankings, we want to do more to highlight some amazing theatre programs that are making waves in the industry.

With our new feature, “College Theatre Programs to Keep An Eye On”, we’ll be deep diving into programs that you should know more about and who should be high on your list of consideration for theatre training.

Today we’re kicking things off by looking into Collaborative Arts Project 21, known more commonly as Molloy College/CAP21.

Founded in 1994 as a producing organization and conservatory, the program had a partnership with NYU-Tisch until 2012 and in 2014, joined with Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY.

The first aspect that makes this program unique is that students split time between Molloy’s main campus on Long Island as well as their new facility in Manhattan.

Opened earlier this year, the center features new state-of-the-art studios occupying the entire fourth floor of the historic building at 50 Broadway, in the heart of the vibrant and revitalized downtown Manhattan. The new studios are specifically designed to suit all of the program’s needs for both instruction and performances. Having walked the facility myself, I can tell you it rivals some of the best facilities you’ll find in the country.

As a first year student, you’ll spend three days at the main campus taking academic/studio classes and then two days in Manhattan. As a second year and higher, the balance shifts and you’ll spend more time at the Manhattan Center.

Just like most conservatories, students are able to start performing in their second year and Molloy College/CAP21 offers multiple opportunities throughout the year. Students also receive private voice lessons in every semester during their four years there.

One of the most notable and attractive reasons to attend Molloy College/CAP21 is their faculty. Given their proximity to New York City, the program employs a number of experienced educators.

Some of them include Melissa Dye a voice instructor who has appeared in Broadway productions of Grease, Into the Woods and Phantom of the Opera. As well as Kimberly Schafer who as been a dance assistant and close collaborator with Tommy Tune and Chita Rivera. Also teaching there is Rob Rokicki, who composed one of my favorites, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. Educators like these really give Molloy College/CAP21 an edge.

When it comes to alumni, Molloy College/CAP21 has quite the list. Throughout its incarnations alumni include Matthew Morrison, Nikki M. James, Kristen Bell and Adam Jacobs. Even Lady Gaga attended the program before leaving to pursue her music career.

I like the way that Molloy College/CAP21 is set up. Not only do students get a first-rate performance training but also a strong academic base as well. I think given industry trends, both are beneficial right now. Because of all the above, I would highly recommend putting Molloy College/CAP21 on your lists of potential college destinations.