The 5 Most Underrated Theatre Colleges for 2018 - Northeast

Here at OnStage Blog, we spend months compiling, researching and comparing college theatre programs to come up with what we feel are the very best colleges in the country. While names like Tisch, Juilliard, Emerson and Baldwin Wallace get plenty of attention, there are a ton of schools out there with incredible programs that deserve more. 

So we wanted to highlight some of these underrated programs. Whether they are programs that have amazing facilities and curriculum or have a ton of value when it comes to their cost, these are schools that are doing tremendous things in theatre that might not be known on a national level. 

Remember, we're talking about schools we feel are underrated. If you don't see certain programs here, it's more than likely that they're already getting a ton of credit.

Because this list is so massive, we're going to break it down region by region using this map. So, no particular order, here are our picks for the five most underrated theatre colleges for 2018. 


The Hartt School at the University of Hartford - Hartford, CT

Photo: Mike McMath

Photo: Mike McMath

Fast Facts: Students in the Music Theatre program perform in one or two productions each semester starting in the second year.  Hartt produces at least four major musicals each year from across the theatrical repertoire, as well as new works.  Music Theatre students may also be cast in Actor Training productions including Shakespeare and contemporary plays.  The Hartt School/Goodspeed Musicals "Partnership in Training" residency offers senior Music Theatre students the opportunity to audition for Goodspeed's artistic staff and participate in the development of new works.  Students may also audition for productions at Hartford Stage Company.

SUNY Cortland - Cortland, NY


Fast Facts: A B.A. in Musical Theatre is the only major the Performing Arts department offers. As a niche program, their curriculum is tailored to contemporary training standards in the three vital areas of acting, singing and dancing. Facilities include a 386 seat theatre, lab theatre, practice rooms, choral and instrumental rehearsal halls, a dance studio, and a student lounge/green room. Past performances have included: “Hair,” “Legally Blonde,” “Spring Awakening,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Rent” and “Sweeney Todd.” 

Rider University - Lawrence, NJ


Fast Facts: The program produces six productions each year which give students a wide variety of experiences and opportunities both performing on stage and working behind the scenes. Coursework includes the study of Hagen, Meisner, Adler, Alexander and Chekov techniques, as well as specialized study in voice, movement, script analysis, history, directing, Shakespeare and stagecraft.

Susquehanna University - Selinsgrove, PA


Fast Facts: Program features class in "Period Styles", where students receive advanced training in acting with an emphasis on effective vocal/rhetorical techniques and on the use of poetic rhythm and imagery in creating a role psychologically as well as physically. Definition of style/language analysis, Greek period style, the comic impulse/Commedia Dell'arte, Renaissance/Elizabethan period style, 17th-century French farce and Restoration/Georgian "Comedy of Manners." 

Clark University - Worcester, MA


Fast Facts: Department features a program called "Tuesday Night Workshop". At least once a month, actors and playwrights meet to hear scenes from new works read aloud in the Little Center theater. There are often poems and essays read as well. It’s a great opportunity to find out what’s being developed and to meet other artists on campus.

Check back tomorrow as we move onto the Southeast region!