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.
Yesterday we covered the Northeast, let's move onto the south. We'll be using this map to divide the regions.
University of Tampa - Tampa, FL
Fast Facts: Student theatrical productions take place at David Falk Theatre, a fully-equipped, 1,000-seat historic theater built in 1928. There is no seniority; freshmen are allowed to audition for all productions in their first semester. Students have the opportunity to perform in six theatre productions per year (two musicals, two plays, one musical cabaret and one studio or experimental theatre production) as well as a variety of vocal ensembles.
Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA
Fast Fact: Facilities include the Goode Theatre, a 185-seat flexible stage facility and fully equipped film soundstage. Our brand-new scene shop is equipped with the latest in scenic design technology including a CNC Router Table and Plasma cutter (to name but a few). Students regularly work with robotic lights and the latest show-running software.
Centenary College of Louisiana - Shreveport, LA
Fast Facts: The Marjorie Lyons Playhouse is home to Centenary's theatre program. Each year, multiple productions are held that include the participation of both Centenary students and faculty and community members. The department features Alan's Hot Tub, a student-led acting troupe devoted to the entertainment and enrichment of Centenary's campus and the Shreveport community through original improvised pieces.
Furman University - Greenville, SC
Fact Facts: Every year students have an opportunity to visit the United Kingdom. The semester-long study away program takes majors and non-majors to the United Kingdom. In addition to seeing as many as 40 plays, students take classes with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, visit historic sites like Dublin's Abbey Theatre, and attend shows on London's West End.
Troy University - Troy, AL
Fast Fact: Features the only Theatre Education degree in Alabama. Students hone their skills in all areas of Theatre – performance, production, design, management, technology, directing – and gain hands-on, practical experience with students of all ages through Theatre Ed classes, courses in the College of Education, and their annual Summer Spotlight series. Upon completion of program requirements, students earn ALSDE Teacher Certification for grades K-12, then pursue opportunities that allow their teaching, leadership, and artistry to flourish.